Published by Quill Ink
As a self-proclaimed Janeite with a penchant for a few of her bad boys, (think John Willoughby, especially when he’s played by the dashing Greg Wise!) I looked forward to getting lost in a world where maybe, just maybe, I could squeeze out even a bit more empathy, and yes, some small amount of adoration for the rakes and rogues that serve as foils for her heroes and who wind up teaching her heroines a thing or two about the kind of men they should truly set their caps for in her stories. Yet, Jane Austen knew even 200 years ago, as well as we do today, that a bad boy can also be easy to fall in love with. So here in “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues,” we find ourselves falling in love (or in at least a state of very amicable feelings) for the bad boys of literature who were once deemed too dangerous to dabble with by any proper lady.
This evolution of our feelings could only happen at the very skilled hands of a writer who knows how to breathe new life into a character that others have since discarded or deemed unredeemable and that’s the talent that drives this collection of stories. Christina Boyd, editor of “The Darcy Monologues,” as well as a bevy of other Austenesque books that I love, has carefully matched this grouping of rakes and gentleman rogues from Jane Austen’s stories and has invited the perfect mix of Austenesque writers to skillfully tell the backstories based on these men in a way that illuminates their histories and allows readers a chance to take another look at them. After all, who better to write about Frank Churchill, than Karen M Cox, who just published her own modern retelling of “Emma” or Lona Manning to tell Tom Bertram’s story, as she’s also currently writing a sequel to her “Mansfield Park” variation, “A Contrary Wind?” If you look closely at the list of authors and the gentlemen they have been matched up with, you’ll see the connections between most of these matches.
As a fan of Jane Austen Fan Fiction, I can’t imagine a lover of Austenesque fiction not wanting to devour each and every one of these stories. Simply stated, these stories are, from start to finish, insightful, brilliantly plotted, and layered with that terrific combination of emotive tension and dry humor that Austenesque readers find so entertaining. Would I want to marry one of these men? Probably not! Would I like to be one of the women in these stories for a short time? Sure! Being John Willoughby’s first “love,” (thank you, Joana Starnes!) would have its thrills, paying my addresses to Tom Bertram could certainly be some time well spent and having two men at the center of a fierce duel fought over me (Loved your Captain Tilney, Amy D’Orazio!) could have its charms. But in the long haul, these are not the men you want waiting for you as you walk down the aisle on your wedding day.
However, not all of these stories shine a flattering light on each rake or rogue. Some stories are rather gritty and offer an edge to these characters that I loved pondering about in my mind. I loved how the authors related many of these stories to canon and fleshed out a whole new way for me to understand these men. The quotes that open each chapter from canon really set the short stories up nicely and I appreciated the background information that was offered as a mini Austenesque-refresher so that even if you haven’t picked up one of these stories in twenty-plus years, (gosh, it really is time I reread “Northanger Abbey!”) you can immediately find yourself enjoying the story based on the specific rake or rogue that the story is based on in the anthology.
All of the stories take place during the Regency era, which I believe will appeal to Austenesque readers who love being immersed in the manners and the culture of Austen’s era. I think the sequence of the stories was also another strength, as the order allowed a subtle connection to be felt between the stories, either due to the connections between the stories and/or the characters. The anthology also includes a mature content rating system, to inform readers of the various levels of mature content throughout this collection of stories. From beginning to end, I loved the well-drawn characters, the clever plot twists, and my time well spent with these bad boys from Austen’s literature.“Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues” belongs on every Austenesque readers’ bookshelf!
Thank you to Christina Boyd for an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
MEET THE AUTHORS and the EDITOR:
CHRISTINA BOYD https://m.facebook.com/TheDarcyMonologues/ wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.
KAREN M COX https://karenmcoxauthor.wordpress.com/ is an award-wining author of four novels accented with romance and history: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, Undeceived, and I Could Write a Book, as well as an e-book novella companion to 1932, The Journey Home. She also contributed short stories for the anthologies Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and The Darcy Monologues. Originally from Everett, Washington, Karen now lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter. Like Austen’s Emma, Karen has many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but like Elizabeth Bennet, she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker.
MARIE CROFT https://www.amazon.com/J.-Marie-Croft/e/B004HZD22W/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1508353662&sr=1-1 is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Bearing witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter are her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014), her playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Just Jane 1813’s Favourite 2016 JAFF Novella), and her humorous short stories: “Spyglasses and Sunburns” in the Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology and “From the Ashes” in The Darcy Monologues. Joanne lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.
AMY D’ORAZIO https://www.facebook.com/Amy-DOrazio-author-369312830172988/ is a former scientist and current stay-at-home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in equal measure. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has two daughters devoted to sports with long practices and began writing stories as a way to pass the time spent at their various gyms and studios. She firmly believes that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses, and happily-ever-afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker. She is the author of The Best Part of Love and the soon-to-be released A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity.
JENETTA JAMES https://www.facebook.com/jenettajameswriter/ is a mother, lawyer, writer, and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full-time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary, and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing, and playing with Lego. She is the author of Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers, as well as a contributing author to The Darcy Monologues.
LONA MANNING https://www.amazon.com/Lona-Manning/e/B01N7UJHJX is the author of A Contrary Wind, a variation on Mansfield Park. She has also written numerous true crime articles, which are available at www.crimemagazine.com. She has worked as a non-profit administrator, a vocational instructor, a market researcher, and a speechwriter for politicians. She currently teaches English as a Second Language. She and her husband now divide their time between mainland China and Canada. Her second novel, A Marriage of Attachment, a sequel to A Contrary Wind, is planned for release in early 2018. You can follow Lona at www.lonamanning.ca where she blogs about China and Jane Austen.
CHRISTINA MORLAND https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Morland/e/B01IJHEZKQ spent the first two decades of her life with no knowledge whatsoever of Pride and Prejudice—or any Jane Austen novel, for that matter. She somehow overcame this childhood adversity to became a devoted fan of Austen’s works. When not writing, Morland tries to keep up with her incredibly active seven-year-old and maddeningly brilliant husband. She lives in a place not unlike Hogwarts (minus Harry, Dumbledore, magic, and Scotland), and likes to think of herself as an excellent walker. Morland is the author of two Jane Austen fanfiction novels: A Remedy Against Sin and This Disconcerting Happiness.
BEAU NORTH http://beaunorthwrites.com/#top is the author of three books and contributor to multiple anthologies. Beau hails from the kudzu-strangled wilderness of South Carolina but now hangs her hat in Portland, Oregon. In her spare time, Beau is the co-host of the podcast Excessively Diverted: Modern Austen On-Screen.
KATIE OLIVER https://www.facebook.com/KatieOliverWriter is the author of nine novels, including the Amazon bestseller Prada and Prejudice, as well as the Dating Mr. Darcy, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and Jane Austen Factor series. She resides in South Florida with her husband (where she goes to the beach far less often than she’d like) and is working on a new series. Katie began writing as a child and has a box crammed with half-finished stories to prove it. After raising two sons, she decided to get serious and get published.
She is convinced that there is no greater pleasure than reading a Jane Austen novel.
SOPHIA ROSE https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13418187.Sophia_Rose is a native Californian currently residing in Michigan. A long-time Jane Austen fan, she is a contributing author to The Darcy Monologues, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and Then Comes Winter anthologies, short stories based on Jane Austen’s works. Sophia’s love for writing began as a teen writing humorous stories submitted for Creative Writing class and high school writing club. Writing was set aside for many years while Sophia enjoyed a rewarding career working with children and families. Health issues led to reduced work hours and an opportunity for a return to writing stories that continue to lean toward the lighter side of life and always end with a happily-ever-after.
JOANA STARNES https://www.facebook.com/joana.a.starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats—physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst—but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine. She is one of the contributors to The Darcy Monologues anthology, and the author of seven Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward—The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion and Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. You can connect with Joana through her website www.joanastarnes.co.uk and on Facebook via her timeline and her author page, All Roads Lead to Pemberley.
BROOKE WEST https://www.facebook.com/brookewestwrites/ has always loved the bad boys of literature and thinks the best leading men have the darkest pasts. When she’s not spinning tales of rakish men and daring women, Brooke spends her time in the kitchen baking or at the gym working off all that baking. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and son and their three mischievous cats. Brooke co-authored the novel The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and the short story “Holiday Mix Tape,” which appears in the anthology Then Comes Winter. Find Brooke on Twitter @WordyWest.
It’s Giveaway Time!
There are two wonderful Grand Prizes being offered during this blog tour!
The second giveaway is a collection of items called #RakesAndGentlemenRogues.This Pleasures Prize Pack includes:
- Bingley’s Teas (Willoughby and The Colonel)
- ‘The Compleat Housewife’ Notecards set
- Jane Austen Playing Cards
- 6 Jane Austen Postcards
- A Pride and Prejudice Print autographed by Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
All guest comments will be entered in this drawing to win. Comment at each site to increase your odds. Contest ends midnight, December 30, 2017. One “Grand Prize #2 winner” will be announced on January 2, 2018.
Visit Amazon to add this book to your bookshelf and remember that the special purchase price of $2.99 lasts only during the blog tour.
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💗 Monday, November 6: REVIEW: Margie’s Must Reads, https://margiesmustreads.com
💗 Thursday, November 9: REVIEW, Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com
💗 Monday, November 13: REVIEW, Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com
💗 Tuesday, November 14: REVIEW, Olga of ROSIE AMBER team, http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/
💗 Wednesday, November 15: REVIEW, Just Jane 1813, http://justjane1813.com
💗 Thursday, November 16: REVIEW, Diary of an Eccentric, https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com
🎩 Monday, November 20: FEATURE w/Katie Oliver (George Wickham), From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com
🎩 Wednesday, November 22: FEATURE w/Joana Starnes (Willoughby), Babblings of a Bookworm, http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.com
🎩 Friday, November 24: FEATURE w/Sophia Rose, (General Tilney), Herding Cats & Burning Soup, http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com
🎩 Monday, November 27: FEATURE w/Amy D’Orazio (Captain Tilney), My Jane Austen Book Club, http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com
🎩 Wednesday, November 29: FEATURE w/Brooke West (Henry Crawford), VVB32 Reads, https://vvb32reads.blogspot.com
🎩 Thursday, November 30: FEATURE w/Lona Manning (Tom Bertram), Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com
💗 Friday, December 1: REVIEW, Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com
🎩 Monday, December 4: FEATURE w/Beau North (Colonel Fitzwilliam), Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com
🎩 Thursday, December 7: FEATURE w/J. Marie Croft (John Thorpe), Harry Rodell blog/ROSIE AMBER team, https://harryrodell.wordpress.com/author/rodellh
💗 Friday, December 8: REVIEW, From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com
🎩 Monday, December 11: FEATURE w/Jenetta James Hannah McSorley (William Elliot), Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com
🎩 Thursday, December 14: FEATURE w/Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill), Darcyholic Diversions, http://darcyholic.blogspot.com
🎩 Monday, December 17: FEATURE w/Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot), Of Pens & Pages, http://www.ofpensandpages.com