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Time is running out for Miss Elizabeth Elliot. She must find a husband soon, for her father’s plan of retrenchment — and his health — are failing.
She is left to choose between Sir Henry, a worn out man of fashion whose invalid wife is not quite dead, and wealthy, tiresome Mr. Rushworth.
But when a wondrous invitation arrives, Elizabeth throws caution to the wind. Alone in a moonlight garden, she encounters Admiral Patrick McGillvary, who is as disastrously handsome as he is opinionated.
As Elizabeth will discover, the course of love is anything but smooth.
Jane Austen’s beloved Persuasion provides the backdrop for this sparkling romp set in Regency England.
Mercy's Embrace is a novel in three parts:
Book One: So Rough a Course
Book Two: So Lively a Chase
Book Three: The Lady Must Decide
I have been slower than most to appreciate the beauty of Jane Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion, but after I reread it earlier this year, I was able to connect with many of the aspects of the novel that other readers have long admired. So when I learned that Laura Hile, one of my favorite Austenesque authors, was re-releasing her popular series, Mercy’s Embrace, which is based on Persuasion, I found myself happily transported to Regency era Bath, a location I visited and loved earlier this year, spending time with the Elliot family and their intriguing assortment of friends and acquaintances. Soon after beginning this book, I found myself longing to read more and more about the fates of Austen’s characters.
This book contains multiple storylines, with each one related to a character from Persuasion, and picking up right where Jane Austen finished her story. However, what I really savored was that Laura Hile’s series invites us to follow the events between some of Austen’s more mischievous characters, such as Elizabeth Elliot, Sir Walter Elliot, and Penelope Clay. You may be wondering if it’s possible to love a Persuasion story that isn’t focused on Anne and Captain Wentworth, but I assure you that the story that Laura Hile has started in this first book in this trilogy is so much fun to read and if you prefer to read about a more fiery heroine than Anne Elliot, which I certainly do, this trilogy should be on your TBR list ASAP!
Now that Anne has found her happiness in marriage, no one is more determined to find herself betrothed than the eldest and single Elliot sister, Elizabeth. Finding herself in Bath for the long haul with her ever vain and selfish father, Elizabeth finds herself growing more uncomfortable in her single state. Is there a suitor good enough for the beautiful but aging (LOL!) Elizabeth Elliot?
In my experience of reading this first book, I believe Laura Hile’s skillful character development and storytelling skills work beautifully together to shape this story into one that even the most skeptical Austenesque reader will love because the way she has developed Elizabeth Elliot’s character felt very realistic to me. Ms. Hile takes her time to develop her storylines and characters, which is the key to creating a story such as this one. By the end of this book, I was actually rooting for Elizabeth Elliot to find the kind of happiness in marriage that her sister Anne has attained. That was quite an accomplishment! Part of this also happened because Elizabeth has the most eclectic group of suitors pursuing her. Just Jane 1813 reader, Gaye Mills, said it best when she responded last week on my blog by stating, “This book should come with a warning: Beware! New book boyfriend ahead! Read at your own risk.”
First, there’s Sir Henry Farley, a much older “gentleman,” and yes, I use this word loosely, to describe a man who is old enough to call Elizabeth his granddaughter, and who has a sick wife of his own who is still very much alive. Her second and more “suitable” suitor is Mr. Rushworth, (sound familiar?) with his twelve thousand pounds a year and his overbearing mother, who is waiting for his divorce to be finalized. This, however, doesn’t stop him from pursuing Elizabeth in his rather awkward and humorous ways. Next, she meets Admiral Patrick McGillvary, who is a confident, opinionated, and devastatingly handsome man, who she develops a distaste for mainly due to his involvement in the Navy and his lack of “good breeding.” Last, but certainly not least, is Mr. Elliot, her father’s heir, who has returned to Bath, and who seems determined to at least play at his chances with the stylish and beautiful Elizabeth, who now seems to be the “perfect antidote” to his mistress, the ever-scheming, Mrs. Clay. Oh, the choices a lady must make in life!!
Yet, readers soon learn that this is not the exact same woman from Austen’s story. Elizabeth has learned a few lessons of her own and even though she is still vain and holding onto the same matrimonial standards she has set for herself so long ago, she allows herself to be open to new possibilities and maybe, just maybe, into falling in love. As she witnesses the persistent indulgence and selfish habits of her father, she learns that she must depend less on him for her happiness and more on finding ways to develop her own independence outside of his behaviors and his expectations.
Through her ever-changing situation and her own growing sense of maturity, readers learn to connect with a woman who was thrown into her mother’s role at a very young age and who may still have a chance to become a more thoughtful and likable woman in her own right, once she determines what’s truly essential for her own happiness. Since Laura Hile is the “Queen of Cliffhangers,” readers will look forward to reading Book Two: So Lively a Chase, where she continues the storyline along with lots of reading enjoyment for her readers! Thankfully, Book Two and Book Three will be released soon, although I can confidently say that this is one of those series that many readers will enjoy so much that they may not want an end to be anywhere in sight!!
Thank you, Laura Hile, for an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I look forward to reviewing So Lively a Chase next week for my readers!
MEET LAURA HILE
The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!
She has just released a Christmas anthology, A Very Austen Christmas, with Robin Helm, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite.
Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, sons, and a collection of antique clocks. Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.
Darcy By Any Other Name
Austenesque Reviews: 2016 Favorites Award (Pride & Prejudice Variation)
Just Jane 1813 Reviewer’s Favorite Award – 2016 (JAFF Paranormal)
From Pemberley to Milton: Top 10 Favorites – 2016
Book Dragon’s Favorite Books – 2016
Austenprose.com’s 2012 Debut Author Award
Mercy’s Embrace as a series, AustenesqueReviews.com’s Top Ten 2012
CONNECT WITH LAURA HILE:
IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME
Laura Hile is generously offering another eBook of Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please leave a comment below to enter this giveaway. The comments have been giving me some trouble, so please no worries if I don’t approve them right away. I shall look for them in my dashboard to make sure they are approved. The deadline for entering this giveaway is midnight ET on Friday, December 15, 2017.
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