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Bewitching wit and a beguiling smile have overcome all her defenses ...
Twelve-thousand a year and an extensive estate can gild a sow's ear, or so Elizabeth Elliot has always supposed. But now that she's fallen for the dashing Patrick Gill, Elizabeth is almost ready to give up pursuing Mr. Rushworth's fortune.
And yet, painfully aware of her bruised pride and vulnerable heart, Elizabeth can only despise herself for loving so common a man. It has never occurred to her that darling Mr. Gill guards a secret of his own--and that he just might be responsible for her father's disappearance.
Jane Austen's beloved Persuasion provides the backdrop for this delightful 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
Good morning, dear readers and Happy Birthday to our beloved Jane Austen!! I am off today to New York City to attend our JASNA birthday celebration of Jane’s birthday and I can think of no more fitting way to celebrate today on Just Jane 1813 than with a review of the second book in Laura Hile’s Mercy’s Embrace series, which is based on the last book written by Austen, Persuasion.
As Austen weaved a story of hope, despair, and second chances, Laura Hile has taken the challenge of turning Elizabeth Elliot into a lady that readers can empathize with and eventually, root for too. Quite an accomplishment indeed!
I hope your plans for today include taking some time to remember Jane, in what has been a year of commemoration and celebration for the writer who is loved all over the world. I can only imagine this love and admiration growing stronger over time as local and global efforts from one corner of the world to another continue to find ways to honor the woman who brought us the stories and characters that we ardently love and admire as the dearest of friends!
I also want to say thank you to my readers and to the authors who visit Just Jane 1813 and who help me make this one of your special Austenesque places in a world filled with many choices!! I love every comment you leave and I am grateful for every friendship I have been blessed with through this blog!!
I hope that we continue to love Austen and Austenesque fiction in ways that help us live more meaningful lives (thank you Devoney Looser!) and that that help us have more fun in our lives too!
Last week I reviewed the first book in Laura Hile’s series based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and today I am beyond excited to review the second book in her series, So Lively a Chase.
Picking up right where the first book left off, (Whew!) Hile has turned the tables on my feelings towards Elizabeth Elliot from admiration to love by demonstrating through the development of Elizabeth’s interiority in a manner which explores her deepest fears and motivations, while also allowing her to self-reflect on her behaviors towards others in the past. As she’s willing to reconsider her actions in light of her father’s actions, she also is struggling with feelings she has developed towards a man that is considered inferior to her in more ways than one. Yet, secrets lurk behind the scenes that may have a hand in changing her fate before she has a chance to make any firm decisions for herself.
Newlyweds, Anne and Captain Wentworth, return to Bath in this story and find that they have a house filled with guests, which include not only Elizabeth, but also Mary and Charles Musgrove, and their children. As events turn throughout the story, we witness Charles Musgrove develop romantic feelings towards another woman while also playing spy with Captain Wentworth to find out what’s behind Elizabeth’s seemingly scheduled departures from home. Could she be doing something that they need to “save” her from? Oh, the best-laid plans certainly can turn into plenty of amusing scenes!!
As Elizabeth continues to make sense of her own situation, she continues to be pursued by the bumbling (but handsomely rich!) James Rushworth, (who reminds me a lot of Sir James Martin in Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen screen adaptation of Love & Friendship) and the lecherous Sir Henry Farley, who seems to know just when to stir up the story and throw Elizabeth off her game. It’s a dazzling array of suitors, secrets, and scandals-in-the-making!
And dare I say that my new favorite book boyfriend, AKA, Patrick McGillary, is as every bit as swoon-worthy as any Austen hero from canon!! I know, I know… a tall order indeed. But I kid you not! The man has it all and in that imperfect way that makes him even more irresistible! When he finds himself is a rather awkward situation in regards to his relationship with Ms. Elliot, it takes every bit of his charm and wit to distract her from the truth of his situation. Will his efforts be in vain when Sir Walter Elliot’s debts reach new heights?
As the Elliot family comes to realize the extent of their father’s troubles, Lady Russell struggles to find a solution for their troubles. Is it possible that Sir Walter will become a prisoner of his own making and be swathed in very unfashionable attire for the remainder of his days? The likelihood that he has any true friends left is very slight and since his son-in-laws are not inclined to help him restore his financial footings, he may be left to do the unthinkable in order to save face. Lots of fun twists here too!
Kudos to Laura Hile who has taken a character from a story other than Pride & Prejudice and made this book every bit as compelling as the best Pride & Prejudice variations and sequels! Through her abilities to write authentic dialogue, create plenty of delicious romantic tension, and develop multiple storylines that are equally compelling to read, she has written a series that JAFF readers will devour as fast as possible!!
So Lively a Chase takes readers on a fast-paced and captivating pursuit filled with characters that will make you chuckle, schemes that will find you turning pages as fast as you can, and a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more, more, more!! I found this second book an even more entertaining read than the first (another tall order!) and in the words of our beloved Caroline Bingley, I say “I am all astonishment” to find I LOVE this series as much as any Pride and Prejudice series and I recommend it to every JAFF reader as their next must-read series!! With the third book due for a January 2018 release, there’s never been a better time to read Mercy’s Embrace!
I hope you love Laura’s new cover for this book too!!
Thank you, Laura Hile, for an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I look forward to reviewing The Lady Must Decide next month 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 an eBook of Mercy’s Embrace: So Lively a Chase, to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please leave a comment below to enter this giveaway. The deadline for entering this giveaway is midnight ET on Friday, December 22, 2017.
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