I’m a fan of Jane.
We’ve been besties since I was 13 and my much older (and cooler) sister-in-law handed me Pride and Prejudice and told me that I would enjoy it. I did and I’ve never looked back.
But sometimes, Jane and I need our space. Just like with any friend, you want to take a break and find some other friends. Here are a few that I think Jane would approve of.
“Don’t think because I tease you that I don’t take you seriously.”
Remember that sister-in-law I introduced you to just a few seconds ago? Well, she has actually appeared on the blog before. You see, she also introduced me to Edenbrooke. It’s my new favorite when it comes to a book set at the same time as any of Jane Austen’s novels.
It begins in Bath and then takes us to the countryside and a beautiful estate called Edenbrooke. Plain Marianne meets dashing Phillip after a rather adventuresome ride, only to discover that he’s not only the titled man of the house, but also the man her twin sister has set her cap on. But of course that’s after she’s pretty much fallen in love with the man. Add to that her despicable cousin who is mad that he doesn’t get an inheritance to a man who is very interested in Marianne, and basically you have a delightful read that will charm any Austenite (and yes, mine is full of post it notes to remind me of my favorite scenes and favorite lines).
A Noble Masquerade
Miranda shook her hand out. Had she really just hit a man? The sting in her knuckles and the pain in her wrist indicated she had. So did the shocked and angry look on her eldest brother’s face.
“That was an option I didn’t consider,” Ryland murmured.
I was bored at the library. I wanted something fluffy to read in the midst of a horrible winter (and a rather dull drought of men) so I found this one at the library. I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t have very high hopes for it. However, in the midst of it, I suddenly fell in love with the fluffy nonsense it was.
A girl begins writing letters to her brother’s best friend, but never sending these letters. Said best friend shows up incognito and discovers the letters and begins writing Miranda back. Of course, he falls in love with her, but when she finds out it’s him?! Yeah, she gets mad. Add to that spy games and threats — this little book is perfect for a rainy day.
“I, for one, have no interest at all in having my heart stolen.”
Ah. I read this book while lounging on a beach chair in Puerto Rico. It had everything I wanted. A dashing earl (named Gavin! which has always been a favorite name of mine). Intrigue. A girl who refuses to ever be married. Yes, it really has EVERYTHING one could only desire from a delightful book.
Alexandria (or Alex as she is called) doesn’t every want to get married. I personally blame her brothers, but who am I to judge? She and her two friends are determined to never marry. Unfortunately, they are to be at every party and Alex is quite the catch. But when her brothers’ childhood friend, Earl Blackmoor, arrives on the scene, Alex starts to question her resolve.
“One last dance, my lady, before I am never to see you again?”
This book probably should have been listed first. It was a book that I read because I love fairy tales, but I fell in love with the time period. Now, it’s actually NOT set in the Regency era, but it’s still worth a read. It has gentlemen and ladies and dancing and intrigue.
Do you know the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses? It’s from the Brothers Grimm and it tells the story of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes every night, but no one has any idea how they do it because they’re locked in their room. The king decides that any man who can figure out how his daughters are doing this will get to marry one of them. That’s the old story. This version has mystery, a creepy guy, and plenty of personality for all twelve daughters.
The Wrath and the Dawn
“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”
This last one is REALLY not set in the Regency era, but it is a beautiful book. If you liked Aladdin as a child, this is definitely for you. The language and imagery is beautiful.
It’s a retelling of the legend of Scheherazade, the queen who kept her life because she was able to weave fanciful stories and leave them on a cliffhanger. Oh, to have that talent! But this dives more into the story and answers questions like why is the king trying to kill his wife? What does Scheherazade sign up for this disaster? It’s pretty fantastic and you should probably read it.
What are your favorite books to read after Jane Austen? Or do you just avoid them and watch the movies?