Vintage Jane Austen Blog Tour: Review of “Perception” by Emily Ann Benedict+A Giveaway!

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What would it be like to see Elizabeth Bennet in 1930’s clothes? What if Emma Woodhouse was the daughter of a car dealership owner? What if Marianne Dashwood was seeking to become a movie star in the golden age of film? The Vintage Jane Austen series explores the world of Jane Austen, set in 1930’s America. Five authors took on Jane Austen’s five most popular novels and retold them set in the depression era, remaining faithful to the original plots. As an extra bonus to the series, there is a collection of short stories that were inspired by Jane Austen. Which of these books do you most want to read?

Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Emma): The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant (Sense and Sensibility):Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele (Mansfield Park): It’s March, 1937 and Faye Powell couldn’t be happier. After moving to live with her uncle, a wealthy banker, she’s fallen into the swing of life with his exuberant children–including Ed. The one she’ll never admit she’s in love with. But she hadn’t reckoned on the swanky Carters getting mixed up in that vow. Ed seems to be falling for charming, sweet Helene Carter. And when Faye’s cousin BeBe trusts her with a secret about Horace Carter, Faye is in over her head. Will she betray the confidence BeBe’s given her? Will she lose Ed to Helene? The days at Bellevere House are crowded with surprises and only time will tell how God plans to unravel Faye and Ed’s hearts.

Perception by Emily Benedict (Persuasion): Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones (Pride and Prejudice): Coming soon…A retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice… set in 1930s Arizona.

Second Impressions: Jane Austen’s stories have inspired writers for generations…in this collection they inspire fiction across the genres!

From the English Regency to the American 1950s, in Houston or a space freighter, fairytale land or a retirement center…Austen’s timeless characters come to life again.

My Review of “Perception”

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Oh, Jane Austen. She is such an authorly inspiration. Her stories have survived many years, and have recently influenced some writers to reimagine her stories in a fresh, yet vintage, way.

The story I am reviewing for this series is “Perception,” a retelling of “Persuasion.” Oh, what a puller of heartstrings this story is, ya’ll. This romance of two lovers who find each other again—reluctantly—was emotionally moving. Oh, the feels! *hearts eyes* Yet it also had some fun with the well-developed characters that surround the leads. These characters certainly add a favorable flair to this tale. Also, I especially like that this story stars a not-so-young couple. While I like YA, it is nice to see a story with slightly older people finding love… *in need of tissues*

A sweet retelling, and one that has me curious to read more from this series (and the author, as well.)! The 1930’s is an awesome time to re-imagine Miss Austen’s books, for sure. 😀

I give “Perception” by Emily Ann Benedict a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

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Visit these blogs during this week to find interviews, book reviews, and much more:

November 5

                Review of Emmeline – Once Upon the Ordinary

         Review of Bellevere House – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Series Spotlight – A Real Writer’s Life

Interview with Kelsey Bryant – Resting Life

Series Spotlight – Kelsey’s Notebook

November 6

         Interview with Sarah Holman – J. Grace Pennington

Review of Emmeline – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Mini-Reviews and interview with Sarah Scheele – Deborah O’Carroll

Interview with Rebekah Jones – Livy Lynn Blog

Review Suit and Suitability – Resting Life

November 7

         Interview with Kelsey Bryant – J. Grace Pennington

         Review of Perception – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Review and Interview of Perception – Purely by Faith Reviews

Review of Second Impressions – The Page Dreamer

 Series Spotlight – Finding the True Fairytale

November 8

Interview and Review Suit and Suitability – Once Upon the Ordinary

         Review of Suit and Suitability – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Review of Perception – A Brighter Destiny

November 9

         Series Spotlight – God’s Peculiar Treasure

                Review of Second Impressions and Suit and Suitability –Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father

Interview with Rebekah Jones – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Series Spotlight – Christian Bookshelf Reviews

November 10

         Review of Suit and Suitability – With a Joyful Noise

         Series Spotlight – Liv K. Fisher

Review of Second Impressions- Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Review of Perception – She Hearts Fiction

Interview with Sarah Holman – Rebekah Ashleigh

November 11

         Series Spotlight – Reveries Reviews

         Review of Suit and Suitability – Faith Blum

Interview with Sarah Holman – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Interview with Hannah Scheele – Peculiar on Purpose

Review of Bellevere House – Seasons of Humility

 

As part of this special blogging event, we are giving away a $25 Amazon gift Card.

Enter to win below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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“Many Sparrows” by Lori Benton—Book Review.

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Some stories blow your mind the moment you start reading it. Others catch your attention, sweeping you away with a simpler, yet pleasant, journey that leaves you feeling just as amazed by the end.

This is the case for Lori Benton’s newest book, “Many Sparrows.”

The story is about a woman, Clare, whose husband is killed. And then her son is kidnapped…while she is giving birth to her second child in the wilderness! Yeah, lots of unfavorable circumstances, but she is a determined woman. Eliciting the help of a man who takes messages from colonists to the Native Americans, she ventures out to find her son, and learns some lessons on the journey.

Lori Benton wrote AMAZING characters in this book. They are so real, and their stories fascinating. Not the heart pounding kind of interesting, but more of the heart touching kind. It was lovely seeing the growth of Clare. She went through some difficult times, but came out stronger than ever despite not everything going her way. Her story of learning that God is in control was powerful.

Another thing I really like about this book is that it is a historical that transports me into the last with bits awesome world building. I really feel like I went to eighteenth century America, lived in an Indian village, and traveled some old trails, too. I admit the parts with farming were meh for me, but they were never overdone to the point where I was excruciatingly bored. 😄

I also liked that there was a bit of  guessing element when it came to some characters and their pasts. Two I never fully learned, but they are supposed to be in another book (which I just happen to have), and I am looking forward to reading it.

No, “Many Sparrows” is not a book I set a record of turning pages, but it was still good. The whole thing is just a bundle of historical delight, and one I doubt I will forget. If you like a good historical with some faith elements, then give his books a try ASAP. I give it a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Invictus” by Ryan Graudin— Book Review

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The story is about a group of time travelers who take things from the past that no one would notice missing. However, times of the past start disappearing—literally—and they soon have to save the world even if it costs them great sacrifice…

I enjoyed this book. I loved how it so much humor! The characters were pretty great. I liked how their was time travel, which gave this story a mixture of sci-fi and history. Sometimes all the science stuff stretched my brain to where it kind of hurt, haha, but the comedy helped keep it from being overwhelming. The funny parts also helped with the sad parts. Because, yes, parts of this book were mood downers. However, there is more smile inducing moments than frown weighing moments. Also, there’s an adorable red panda. ❤

I think the only negatives was that this book does have some world views that I as a Christian do not agree with, but I just thought “meh” kind of thoughts and proceeded to read without letting them bother me….Oh, and some cursing. Did not like that, but this book had a lot less cursing than some YA books.  Still, better if there were none.

If you are looking for an interesting time travel book that is sure to give you a smile and stretch your in-need-of-more-excercise brain, you just might want to try this book. I give it a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the publisher through Netgalley for a free -ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Unraveling” by Sara Ella— Book Review

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Sequels are ever so hard to review, because I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers of the first book. However, I shall do my best 😀

So in this sequel we follow El as she adjusts to all the changes life had brought to her from her journey in book one. But book one’s ending was no happy ever after. In fact, it seems the victories of book one are being covered by unexpected bad events causing an unraveling… (The title for this book is spot on.)

I enjoyed this tale. It was a little slow in the beginning—mostly due to my impatience of wanting to see a certain character again—but over all a nicely paced read. Sara Ella really does well with adding unexpected twists to further the story, and I love it when an author can surprise me more than once.

Another thing I liked about this book was that it is one of the first books in awhile that made me happy sigh because of the romance. It has been some time since I have been THRILLED with who the heroine ends up with. *sighs and hearts eyes and more sighs*

I also think the world building in this book is even better than book one, as more of the Reflections are shown.

Oh, and the ending! Gah! Not what I expected, but I respect an author who gives me a cliff-hanger ending even if it makes me sad I must wait to see what happens. O_o

Negatives… Hm. Well, like I said, a slow start (again, impatience on my part), but even then it wasn’t boring. Just I needed a character to show up ASAP. Haha. Other then that, no big complaint.

In the end, I think this book is a worthy sequel. Action, plot twists, one of the best romances of 2017 so far for me… Yeah, I think I will go ahead and give this books a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the publisher for a free electronic advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. (I actually did not get around to the arc before it released, so I read the final copy.)

“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White— Book Review

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About The Book:

Rosemary Gresham is a thief, and a talented one at that. In fact, she is so talented that people hire her to steal stuff. o_O So it’s no BIG surprise that the mysterious Mr. V hires her for the special job of finding proof that Mr. Peter Holstein is a German sympathizer. Disguised as a librarian (best disguise, ever!),  Rosemary is soon hired by Mr. Holstein to organize his library (which is in a sad state of paper-ly shambles.) What will she discover… *mystery music sounds*

My Review:

THIS book.

Strong heroine? Check. Sweet, realistic romance? Check. Faith Content? Check!

I had read only a couple of Roseanna M White’s before this one—which I liked, by the way. However, this one tops them both so that it shines in a brilliant, sun glaring light. (Not REALLY, so no worries. Eclipse glasses are not needed for the viewing of this book.)

I loved the heroine of this story. She was witty, mentally strong, and street smart. She could take care of herself, and yet was still feminine. This is a balance that I think book heroines need to have more of, and Miss Rosemary Gresham is a prime example.  Also, her story of redemption was sweet. ❤

The hero, Peter Holstein, was also a pretty snazzy character. Honestly, I feel like I related to him in more ways than Rosemary. 😛 He’s a writer who gets sucked up into his own little world, and, as I’m a little familiar with this world, it was cool to read about his authorly quirks. These same quirks also kept him from being Mr. 100% perfect, and I liked that. Characters who are human need to have a flaw to seem real, and Peter would have been wayyy too perfect without his writing induced, distracted brain flaw. Also, the part with him having a stuttering disability was something I’ve never seen in a hero character, and made him all the more authentic. And perhaps more lovable because it made him an adorable fluffball of vulnerability that you just want to cheer on. 🙂

As for the overall story, it was an enjoyable story for me! I liked the subtle mysteries, and the included action scenes. The faith plot was also nicely put in, and made the story touching for me. Imagining the story without it would honestly make it not as good, in my opinion.

I also think White has a wonderful writing voice that engaged me into a world that I could see without her overwhelming  me with too many scenery details. Her characterization is wonderful, and I like how she added in real British slang words that gave this story an extra bit of world building seasoning.

I’m going to give “A Name Unknown” a rating of five, and am looking forward to its sequel, as well as trying more of White’s other published works. 😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal— Book Review

 

 

About The Book:

“Shades of Milk and Honey” is a somewhat simple regency romance that follows the story of Jane, a spinster who is not considered outwardly beautiful, BUT has talent with the art of glamour. The book follows her life as it is entwined with various other characters, and the ensuing drama caused by emotions and magic is rather like an Austen book, except, you know, there’s magic. 😛

My Review:

Have you ever wondered what a Jane Austen book would be like if it had a bit of magic? Well, Miss Austen never got around to writing a book like that (*sad face*) , but Mary Robinette Kowal did, and the result is fantastically charming…

Think about a proper British Regency book or film. Okay, now imagine the characters not only having to deal with the drama of society’s structures BUT also the fact that some people have talents to glamour things, while others do not. Think of a world where illusion can make rooms a bit otherworldly, or hide flaws in one’s features. Sounds fascinating, does it not? That is what this book does. It reads like a historical, but the woven-in magical parts complement it so that the story has an authentic flavor that tastes delicious. (Dare I say magically delicious? 😉 #sorrynotsorry) I am a lover of both historical fiction and fantasy, and so the blend of both was ever so lovely

Another thing I liked about this book? Well, as I’m  a young woman who considers herself to be not outwardly beautiful, I always love finding a book where the heroine is NOT the fairest in the land. It makes her much more relate-able for me. I liked that the story showed Jane for being a likable woman because of who she is inside. And, though she is shown as an inwardly strong woman, the story shows every now and again a vulnerability from her that is felt for not having the desired looks women crave. Jane is now one of my favorite heroines ever. ❤

Dislikes… Hm, one swear word. I also think that this story suffers from not being very fast paced. But that is not a terrible flaw.  Also, the ending was rushed, but since there is a sequel, I won’t complain too much about it.

Overall, “Shades of Milk and Honey” is a sweet book with enough drama to make it interesting. I personally would have preferred more action scenes, but that’s just me. I give it a rating of four.

Also, I listened to this book’s audio book version, and the author narrated it. She did an excellent job. *claps hands in a proper, regency era way*  😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer—Book Review

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About The Book:

A retelling of the fairy tale, “Cinderella,” set in a futuristic world in the new East Asian city, New Beijing, and starring a cyborg Cinderella. It. is. so. awesome. 😀

My Review:


There are reasons this book has been gotten such praise. Not only is it a unique take on a classic fairy tale,  it’s also an interesting retelling with a Cinderella that won’t be easy to forget. She’s not the typical “perfect” girl waiting for prince charming. She’s a girl whose plight made me cheer for her— I wanted her to overcome her obstacles (Go Cinder. FIGHTING!). Sometimes her attitude was a bit much, but, over all, I found with her sense of humor, as well as her not- easily- seen- heart, that she is a heroine I liked reading about.  As for the prince, Kai? Yay for a prince who was a character who had more depth than the original Disney prince charming. I love his sarcastic wit, which definitely added some awesomeness to his interactions with Cinder. (He has ended up as being one of my favorite princes in books.)

I also liked most of the different “twists” this book took with the Cinderella fairy tale. I can tell that either one, Marissa Meyer put quite a bit of thought into giving an engaging read with unexpected turns, or, two, she’s a master at taking a story where the reader did not know it would go when they first started reading it.

I quite enjoyed the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. It has likable characters, as well as a setting (slightly reminiscent to Star Wars and even Wall-E) that gives the old fairy tale a fascinating perspective. The major things I wasn’t partial to in this story was that there was use of some bad words, and some of the story was sad, but I liked it over all liked it so much that I have read its novel sequels, re-read it TWICE, and, almost two tears ago, went on a few hours long trip to meet Marissa Meyer (one of the BEST DAYS EVER! Picture with her at bottom of this post.).

I give “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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Fun fact: My hair is naturally brown. 🙂