website statistics Austen in Austin, Volume 1: Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Austen in Austin, Volume 1: Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels

Availability: Ready to download

Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes: • If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma — A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protege falls for the wrong suitor. • Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility — A misguided academy graduate spends the summer f Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes: • If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma — A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protege falls for the wrong suitor. • Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility — A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice. • One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice — A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career. • Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey — A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions.


Compare

Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes: • If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma — A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protege falls for the wrong suitor. • Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility — A misguided academy graduate spends the summer f Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes: • If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma — A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protege falls for the wrong suitor. • Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility — A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice. • One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice — A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career. • Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey — A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions.

30 review for Austen in Austin, Volume 1: Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Austenesque novellas set on Austin, TX, in the late 1800s. ~~~I received an ARC of Austen in Austin, Volume 1 by Susanne Dietze for an honest review!~~~ I had the pleasure of receiving (from Debra E Marvin) and reviewing this book early, and I must say I was not disappointed!!! Because it is set in TX in the 1800s it reminded me of Jack Caldwell’s Pemberley Ranch, which is a compliment because that book was one of my ultimate favorite JAFF books!! Austen in Austin is 4 novellas that play off each Austenesque novellas set on Austin, TX, in the late 1800s. ~~~I received an ARC of Austen in Austin, Volume 1 by Susanne Dietze for an honest review!~~~ I had the pleasure of receiving (from Debra E Marvin) and reviewing this book early, and I must say I was not disappointed!!! Because it is set in TX in the 1800s it reminded me of Jack Caldwell’s Pemberley Ranch, which is a compliment because that book was one of my ultimate favorite JAFF books!! Austen in Austin is 4 novellas that play off each other, so it's important to read them in order. They are themed after 4 of our beloved Jane Austen’s books, and at least another volume is planned to finish the job. All the characters are not directly named for their JA counterparts, and these authors do a wonderful job of smoothly blending the stories yet keeping the JA storyline intact within each book. If I Loved You Less was an adorable Emma retake set in Austin, TX, in 1882. Emmeline Travis is young hotel heiress who's best friend is Noah Whitley, President of Whitley-Crawfield Savings & Trust. Like Emma she is young, headstrong, and believes in her own match-making abilities, though she herself has never felt love of the romantic type before. She feels that it is a “gift” that she must help others out and claim their true loves. She doesn't see that there may be other factor beyond her hand that aides or abets the matches. Emmeline has a good heart which is in the right place with helping others (charity or match-making), but she is a bit vain in her assumptions and a bit self righteous. Noah, what can I say but I just love his struggles!!! He has known Emmeline since she was a baby and had watched her grow and become his best friend. He allows he to “manage” his life, which she just slipped into doing. But as Emmeline starts trying to make matches where she shouldn't, and other gentlemen really start taking notice of her, something snaps in Noah and he becomes more irritable and people take notice. These two are so “clueless” that it is so funny yet frustrating at times. I loved Noah’s 8 yr old cousin, Hank!! He is such a glue for Emmeline and Noah and I just love how he sees everything as it is and gives them both a kick in the pants!!! And I love Mr Travis, Emmeline’s father, so opposite Mr Woodhouse in Emma!!! Romantic Refinements is a cute retelling of Sense and Sensibility set in Austin, TX, in 1882. Marion McDermott is a young lady who just graduated from Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies (Austen Abbey). She is to spend the next month with her aunt on her farm. She is a gentleman farmer’s daughter and is full of spirit, she is ready to find a man to settle down with. Being young with good looks and a full of life attitude, she enjoys all the attention she receives from the ranch hands at her aunts farm, some she recognizes as having been employed by her father. The boldest of the group is Jeffrey Whelp, a smooth-tongue and a velvety voice. She also is introduced to the ranch foreman, Brandon Tabor. While Marion recognizes her father’s warning to look beyond the looks when looking for a husband to eventually help take over her father's ranch , she is young and vain. She prefers young handsome men who will flatter her and shower her with attention and are lively over men who on appearance look rough and unable to handle the responsibilities of running a ranch. This is a story on how she falls in love superficially with one man, though has an unexplainable draw to another man that frustrates her. It is a joy to see how she matures through the lessons that are brought her way. One Word From You is a sweet Pride and Prejudice retake set in Austin, TX, in 1883. Eliza Branch is in her last year at Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies when her mother tells her that because of the financial strain and soon to be losing the ranch, she will not be able to finish her last semester and graduate, and that she needs to entice Mr Clay (“a bachelor in possession of a lucrative cattle ranch” and aka Mr Collins) into marriage. Of course she refuses that idea, though her mother would be happy with Eliza marrying any well-off gentleman. At a gala, she literally runs into the handsome William Delacourt, “owner of the Tennessee-North-Texas rail line” that is extending to Austin. And of course we know how things go when a handsome and wealthy gentleman declines requesting and standing up with a young lady at a dance. I am beginning to think that all the girls who come out of Austen Abbey are taught to think very highly of themselves and a bit vain. This story tells of how Eliza hates one man for a snub, yet is willing to fall under the spell of another who has a hinged tongue and loves to spin white lies. Eliza, even though she is smart, losses all sensibilities in the face of flattery, and charges forward without any realization of what the consequences might be when she only listens to one-sides stories without completely verifying the facts. With the persistence of a worthy man, we see how Eliza matures and has her eyes opened to the real world. Alarmingly Charming is cute and intriguing Northanger Abbey retake set in Austin, TX, in 1887. Kathryn Morton is a shy, unassuming, plain young lady who is escorting her cousin, Jane, from Philadelphia to Austin where Jane will be attending Austen Abbey. Kathryn tends to play agreeable to everyone even if she really doesn't agree, she placates everyone and does not stand up for herself. Jane attempts to push Kathryn to accepting Jonathan Wellington’s attentions even though Kathryn is plainly into another, Harmon Gray. The game is set, there has always been a competition between the marriage related cousins (Mr Wellington and Mr Gray – both are nephews of Mrs Collins – headmistress of Austen Academy). But things soon change, we find out the motives of the gentlemen’s attentions to Kathryn all the while she is trying to solve a mystery to help Mrs Collins. I adored when Kathryn finally got her gumption and started to make her own decisions instead of Jane and Mr Wellington pushing her. I can't express enough of how I loved this book!! I am now forced to PATIENTLY wait until the next volume is released in the fall (I believe)!!! Not sure how I will survive that long to read more delightful novellas that add to these stories. You do not need to be an Austen fanatic to enjoy this book, though having the prior knowledge of JA’s stories adds to the enjoyment. I enjoyed that even though the setting is vastly different, set in mid to late 1800s in early American Texas, there were still some similar nuances (the rules of courtship and propriety) that I adore from the originals. The writing was excellent, didn't not have to guess what was being said or meant. Just an all-around enjoyable read that I couldn't put down!!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    Originally posted at http://christianshelfesteem.wordpress.... Very rarely am I afforded the opportunity to read an entire novel in a day, but this past Friday I read Austen in Austin in it’s entirety in one sitting. This book released in January of this year, but before I could review it for you I felt like I needed to read all of the Jane Austen books on which these stories are loosely based. Having done so, I can say authors Welborn, Draper, Dietze, and Marvin pay proper homage to the original Originally posted at http://christianshelfesteem.wordpress.... Very rarely am I afforded the opportunity to read an entire novel in a day, but this past Friday I read Austen in Austin in it’s entirety in one sitting. This book released in January of this year, but before I could review it for you I felt like I needed to read all of the Jane Austen books on which these stories are loosely based. Having done so, I can say authors Welborn, Draper, Dietze, and Marvin pay proper homage to the original texts while making these stories their own. Austen in Austin is one of the most well executed novellas I’ve read. Each story is set in Texas and together they span from 1882 to 1887. The social structure found in Austen’s novels correlates very well to the upper-crust society of the Texas Hill Country. All of the novellas are interrelated, so where one author leaves off another picks up months or years later, with a new lead character and a familiar cast. I enjoyed the continuity as well as the familiarity which this team of authors developed. If I Loved You Less probably held the closest to Austen’s works. In contrast, Alarmingly Charming struck me as an improvement on the original (because truthfully, I did not enjoy reading Northanger Abbey). All in all, these stories are irresistibly sweet romances with subtle elements of faith. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ceri

    This review was first published on Babblings of a Bookworm: https://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot... ‘Austen in Austen’ Volume 1 is an anthology of stories, each based on one of Jane Austen’s stories and each written by a different author. All of the stories are set in late 1800s Austin, in Texas. The stories are intertwined, so characters appear in more than one story, and the chapters have quotes from the Austen story that they are based on so that the part of the storyline that is being highli This review was first published on Babblings of a Bookworm: https://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot... ‘Austen in Austen’ Volume 1 is an anthology of stories, each based on one of Jane Austen’s stories and each written by a different author. All of the stories are set in late 1800s Austin, in Texas. The stories are intertwined, so characters appear in more than one story, and the chapters have quotes from the Austen story that they are based on so that the part of the storyline that is being highlighted can be neatly linked to. Here’s a quick rundown of each story. ‘If I Loved You Less’ by Gina Welborn is a story based on ‘Emma’. Emmeline Travis is very close to her sister’s brother in law, Noah Whitley. Emmeline is worried that her dear friend Noah is disappointed in love. Luckily Emmeline is very talented in the matchmaking line, or so she thinks. She has two successful matches to her credit, and is currently working on finding a suitable husband for her protégé, Hattie Smith. However, this doesn’t mean that she neglects the care of her good friend Noah: “You may deny all you wish,” she continued, “but your well-being speaks to me. And if you aren’t going to see to its care, then as your dearest friend and almost sister, I shall.” He blinked several times.’ This was a very sweet story; I particularly liked the hints, right from the beginning, that both Noah and Emmeline had feelings for each other that they weren’t able to admit, even to themselves. There were a number of incidents in the story that mirrored events in Austen’s novel, though the way the relationships developed had a slightly different dynamic. I really enjoyed this story though, it was my favourite of the anthology, I loved their wilful blindness! 'Romantic Refinements’ by Anita Mae Draper had a flavour of ‘Sense and Sensibility’; Marion McDermott has gone to stay at her Aunt Mattie’s ranch. Marion is hoping to find a husband to help out at her father’s ranch. She may have found a suitable candidate in cowboy Jeffrey Whelp, although, (unknown to Marion) he has a bit of an unsavoury reputation. Jeffrey is attractive and fit, and seems very keen on coming to an understanding with Marion. Marion likes Jeffrey very much, but as time goes on, it seems as though Jeffrey might not be the man Marion thought he was, and for some reason, she feels a draw toward Aunt Mattie’s foreman Brandon Tabor: “But remember this...men who make good husbands aren’t always the ones who set your blood thrumming the first time you meet. Make sure he’s God’s choice as well as yours.” I haven’t read ‘Sense & Sensibility’ in a long time and I’m due a re-read, but a part of the reason that it’s been so long is Marianne. When I read the story she got on my nerves with her self-absorption, and Marion got on my nerves too! She isn’t as dramatic as Marianne, but she is so determined to get a husband that she annoyed me a bit. Why not just enjoy the visit to her Aunt and just see what happens? Again, this story had some nice nods back to S&S which were enjoyable to see, and this story also had some really exciting moments. I enjoyed getting to know Brandon more – he was introduced in the first story in the anthology and from his name I’d supposed I’d be seeing him again later in the stories. ‘One Word From You’ by Susanne Dietze is a nod to ‘Pride & Prejudice’, featuring Eliza Branch and William Delacourt, who get off on the wrong foot after he refuses to dance with her – due to his injured ribs, but he can’t admit that because then he’d have to admit to the indignity of falling off his horse! Eliza’s family have fallen on hard times financially. Her family is facing having to lose their ranch, and Eliza could save them by marrying a rich man – Mr Hezekiah Cray is desirous of marrying her, but Eliza really can’t face marrying for money. Her mother has this advice for her: “If a marriage for money’s sake offends you, try to fall in love tonight. With someone rich, of course.” Faced with rejection at the hands of the attractive Mr Delacourt, Eliza is happy enough to listen to Mr Jacob Wicks’ tales about him. This was a sweet story. I liked Mr Delacourt, and his belief in Eliza being a fortune hunter was quite understandable. Eliza was very likeable, but I found her to be more Jo March from ‘Little Women’ than Elizabeth Bennet. ‘Alarmingly Charming’ by Debra E. Marvin finishes up the anthology with a story with echoes of ‘Northanger Abbey’. Poor Kathyrn Morton is accompanying her cousin to the Jeanette C Austen Finishing School for young ladies. Kathryn is only due to be there for a short time, but she soon attracts unwanted attention from a potential beau. She is far more drawn to another potential suitor, but she’s not sure how genuine his interest is. Kathryn is an interesting character; she isn’t extremely young like Catherine in NA, but she is quite innocent. She hasn’t experienced much of the world, having had a sheltered life, although she enjoys reading lurid novels: ‘Was he anything more than a flesh and blood link to a paperback hero? Kathryn needed to encounter life firsthand, not just through her imagination.’ Kathryn certainly has an active imagination. She is very interested in a story of a ghost in the graveyard that is scaring potential students away from the Finishing School. I thought this was a neat way of introducing a Gothic element to the story. Again the dynamic wasn’t quite the same as in Austen’s story, but I really enjoyed the story, and in particular, Kathryn, as she was such a sweet heroine, who really didn’t esteem herself highly. This was such an enjoyable anthology of stories. As you may have gleaned from one of my quotes above, there is a Christian flavour to these stories, but it is more that the characters are Christian and may pray for guidance, etc, than the stories themselves having a Christian message. There are no scenes of a sexual nature. I liked the way that in each story there were quotes tying the events of the chapters back to the Austen stories. I was glad to see that each of the stories was interlinked, that was a really nice touch as you could spot potential major characters in the later stories early on, and catch up with characters we already knew later in the anthology. Although the stories were written by different authors there was a good sense of continuity – sometimes with anthologies there will be a story that doesn’t fit or seems weaker than the others but I thought the stories were of a very harmonious style, and of a very even quality. I’d rate each of the novellas as four star reads, and so the anthology as a whole also rates as four stars for me. *I received an ebook of the ‘Austen in Austin’ anthology from one of the authors for my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813

    Four Charming Austen-Inspired Novellas Set in the Late 1800’s, in Austin, Texas My overall 5-star rating is for the entire collection and below are my reviews of each novella. Source: I received an ARC of this book, from the author, Debra E. Marvin, in exchange for an honest review. What do you get when four lovable, witty and somewhat insecure Austen heroines find themselves in Austin, Texas during the late 1800’s? The same exact thing as when you meet four modern-day blog-mates who collaborate Four Charming Austen-Inspired Novellas Set in the Late 1800’s, in Austin, Texas My overall 5-star rating is for the entire collection and below are my reviews of each novella. Source: I received an ARC of this book, from the author, Debra E. Marvin, in exchange for an honest review. What do you get when four lovable, witty and somewhat insecure Austen heroines find themselves in Austin, Texas during the late 1800’s? The same exact thing as when you meet four modern-day blog-mates who collaborate with one another to lasso together a collection of Austen-inspired novellas that are refreshing, charismatic and filled with a whole bunch of romance… “Austen in Austin!” As an ongoing effort to introduce my blog readers to new JAFF authors, I eagerly took part in an opportunity to read and review this collection of novellas and I am thrilled to say I was not disappointed. Typically, I enjoy novels when compared to shorter stories, but this collection of novellas really captured and maintained my interest for several reasons. The writing is well-crafted, the characters are original within their own rights while also being reminiscent of Austen’s own heroines in their execution, and the historical details woven into the stories added to my engagement with the stories. I also enjoyed that these novellas were quite long, with each one taking over an hour to read, which allowed me to feel truly immersed in each story. These novellas are also intertwined with each other just enough to make the reader feel like he/she is reading a set of stories that are companions to one another, yet each one has a different heroine as the focus of its novella, including a storyline that closely resembles Austen’s own novels; therefore, it’s important to read these novellas in the order they appear in within the collection. “If I Loved You Less,” by Gina Welborn Alternate Era JAFF Based on “Emma” My Review: This story takes us to Pecan Street & Congress Ave. in Austin, Texas, where we meet Emmeline Travis, a young match-making hotel heiress, along with her close childhood friend, Noah Whitley, President of Whitley-Crawford Savings & Trust. Just like in Austen’s “Emma,” Emmeline lives with her father, yet instead of living at an estate, they live at a hotel, where Emmeline has been micromanaging her father’s life for too many years to count. Undaunted by his daughter’s meddling within his own life, Mr. Travis allows Emmeline to take charge of her own life (while also “managing” the lives of others) and offer her charitable services to those around her. Yet, not everyone wants, needs or benefits from her “helpful” ways, and as a man, several years Emmeline’s senior, Noah feels frustrated by the way Emmeline “inserts” her opinions and expectations into other people’s lives, including his own life. Similar to Austen’s “Emma,” Emmeline has a friend she has also been guiding towards making a “suitable” match while at the same time steering her away from a young beet farmer who wants to marry her. When her current matchmaking skills prove to be less than desirable for everyone involved, Emmeline takes pause to reflect on her actions. At the same time, Noah undergoes a period of self-inflicted isolation and reflection, as he visits his brother and sister-in-law, (who are Emmeline’s sister and brother-in-law) to discover what he truly wants for his own happiness. Can these “happily” single friends ever come to terms with their true hearts’ desires, or will they be swayed by their earlier intentions and vows? I found Emmeline and Noah as likable characters within their own rights. I enjoyed their “sibling-style” bantering, which helped develop their attraction to each other while also causing them to second-guess the intentions of the other person. I loved the supporting characters in this story. Emmeline’s father was kind and fatherly while being insightful enough to know where to push his points with Emmeline and Noah. Thier 8-year-old cousin Hank is a fun addition to the cast of characters, as his young spirit allows him to say things that grown-ups are normally wary of stating for themselves. I also loved the way that Noah and Emmeline’s involvement with the Jeanette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies, aka Austen Abbey, where Mrs. Collins leads the school as its headmistress, served as a common thread throughout this collection of novellas. “Romantic Refinements,” by Anita Mae Draper Alternate Era JAFF Based on “Sense & Sensibility” My Review: Next we find ourselves transported to farm life, where young Marion McDermott, a new Austen Abbey graduate, is settling into a visit with her aunt. As she observes the changes around the ranch, she reconnects with the dashing ranch hand, Jeffrey Whelp, who is a man filled with a zest for life, an easy-going, charming manner, as well as an eye for the ladies. As one who is a little too comfortable disregarding the rules of propriety, Jeffrey often draws the ire of those around him, including the watchful eyes of Marion’s aunt. At the same time, Marion also becomes acquainted with the newly appointed ranch foreman, Brandon Tabor, whose injuries sustained during battle, combined with his mature air, make him appear a little too stiff and dull for Marion’s tastes. As events unfold between Marion, Jeffery, and Brandon, Marion feels the weight of her conscience turning around in her mind as she contemplates whether or not Jeffery Whelp is truly the type of man who will dutifully care for and maintain Marion’s father’s ranch, once she inherits it as her father’s heir. As smitten as Jeffery appears to be with her, and as willing as he is to promise her a lifetime of passion and excitement, can Marion discern these feelings of his to truly be the signs of a deep, abiding love? As someone who loves Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” I was quickly immersed into this storyline and easily captivated by this new take on Austen’s story. Our young graduate is as optimistic and as hopeful about finding love in the heart of Texas as Austen’s very own Marianne Dashwood was in Regency England, as we travel along with her through the lovingly maintained fields of green farmland pastures to the nostalgic, jubilant spaces of a hometown carnival. I also enjoyed how Emmeline and Noah reappeared within this storyline to add a sense of cohesion to the characters and the story’s plot. The portrayal of Brandon Tabor was realistically drawn in this story and is a crucial part of this story’s credibility to its readers. He was confident without being cocky. He was humble without being a martyr, and he cared about Marion while maintaining his own values and beliefs about what was important in his life. I also enjoyed how Emmeline and Noah reappeared within this storyline to add a sense of cohesion to the characters and the story’s plot. The portrayal of Brandon Tabor was realistically drawn in this story and is a crucial part of this story’s credibility to its readers. He was confident without being cocky. He was humble without being a martyr, and he cared about Marion while maintaining his own values and beliefs about what was important in his life. “One Word From You,” by Susanne Dietze Alternate Era JAFF Based on “Pride and Prejudice” My Review: It’s not a secret that I love Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” and that Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are my two favorite characters of all time. With that said, this novella had a pretty high bar to reach for me and I was very pleased that I found this novella to be an amusing and compelling addition to this collection. However, the story also had lots of its own originality infused within its heart and soul, so while I loved the elements that remained true to the spirit of Austen’s novel, I came to quickly love the main characters that this novella brought to life for us. Here we are, one year after the beginning of the original novella, where we meet the opinionated and articulate Eliza Branch, a current Austen Abbey student. As she faces the recent news of her family’s deteriorating financial circumstances, along with the reality that she will be unable to attend and graduate from her school, Eliza’s mother attempts for force her into a marriage with a wealthy gentleman, who has the will and the means to save her family from their impending ruin. Meanwhile, she accidently meets the successful owner of the “Tennessee-North-Texas railroad line,” a man named William Delacourt, who has newly arrived in town and who comes to believe that Eliza, like most women, is out to snatch him for his money. Once he snubs her by refusing to dance with her, (does that sound familiar?) it seems they are bound to find little regard for each other. Through a series of missteps and misunderstandings, our dear couple seems destined to willfully misunderstand each other at every step and turn. As Eliza moonlights as an advertisement writer for a local paper in an attempt to earn money for tuition, she becomes involved with a smooth-talking gentleman named Jacob Wicks, who appears very interested in Eliza. As Mr. Wicks comes to provide her with “inside information” about William Delacourt’s past actions, Eliza finds herself in a “newsworthy” situation. Hoping to have the newspaper publish an article written by her, Eliza eagerly engages in conversations to uncover “secrets” about Mr. Delacourt’s dealings with several local families throughout his involvement in establishing his railroad. Since her vanity and pride have been somewhat wounded by Mr. Delacourt, Eliza finds herself falling for the “truth” according to Mr. Wicks, and her actions not only put Mr. Delacourt’s reputation at stake, she also places her own character in jeopardy as she uses the written word as her weapon of choice to the detriment of everyone involved in this risky business. When she realizes what she has truly “accomplished,” can she find a way to use her “arts and allurements” for truly noble purposes? “Alarmingly Charming,” by Debra E. Marvin Alternate Era JAFF Based on “Northanger Abbey” My Review: Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” is the inspiration for this novella, and once again we now find ourselves in the year 1887, as we join the rather plain and homely Kathryn Morton, who is serving as an escort to her beautiful cousin Jane, as they travel from Philidelphia, PA, to Austin, TX. The intention is for Jane to attend Austen Abbey as a student. When they arrive at Austen Abbey and both ladies meet the two gentlemen who are the headmistress’s nephews, one gentleman is named Mr. Wellington and the other is Mr. Gray, we take note that Kathryn immediately finds herself drawn to one of these gentlemen. Yet, her cousin Jane attempts to persuade her to accept a courtship from the other gentleman and since Kathryn is rather unsure of herself, she struggles to determine if she should accept this man’s offer of a courtship with her. Meanwhile, the story’s setting includes a mystery inspired by the actual events of a serial killer that committed several murders during this time in Austin, TX. Inspired by her love of gothic novels, Kathryn becomes focused on solving the mystery of Hyde Park Cemetery before another Austen Abbey student flees the city. Yet once she resolves the situation to her satisfaction and returns home to her parents, will she find her way back to the man she truly loves? I found Kathryn not only to be alarmingly charming but also a rather sweet and insightful young lady, who is trying to develop the confidence and the wisdom she requires to make the decisions she needs to make to pursue her own happiness. She wants gentlemen to find her attractive while at the same time she wants to be admired for her inner beauty. She struggles to find her own voice in matters concerning herself, and yet, she eventually finds a way to shine in her very own way! The authors of this collection would like to offer the opportunity for one Just Jane 1813 reader to win an ebook copy of this book. Please tell us about another Alternate Era JAFF book that you have enjoyed or an alternate era you’d love to see explored through JAFF. Please leave this comment below this post by January 30th. The winner will be announced on this blog on January 31, 2016. Also, check out my interview posted separately from this post today, with Debra E. Marvin, author of “Alarmingly Charming.” I’d like to thank all four authors for writing such a creative spin on Austen’s four heroines while infusing plenty of the “Wild West” into these stories. I believe reading these stories will be a most pleasant way for an Austen fan to spend his/her time while at the same time these stories would appeal to any reader who just really enjoys a well-written historical romance story. I am more than happy to know that we can all look forward to another volume later this year.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Charity Andrews

    So much fun! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t ever get enough of Jane Austen adaptations. In this book, you will find four different Wild West Austen novellas: Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. If you love Austen as much as I do, be sure to pick up this fabulous little book. What’s more fulfilling than having FOUR HAPPY ENDINGS in ONE BOOK!???? You can’t go wrong. Even though these are short stories, you’ll find a lot of depth here. Thanks so much for this g So much fun! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t ever get enough of Jane Austen adaptations. In this book, you will find four different Wild West Austen novellas: Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. If you love Austen as much as I do, be sure to pick up this fabulous little book. What’s more fulfilling than having FOUR HAPPY ENDINGS in ONE BOOK!???? You can’t go wrong. Even though these are short stories, you’ll find a lot of depth here. Thanks so much for this great read in exchange for my honest review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Loosely and quite cleverly based on classic Jane Austen titles, "Austen in Austin" follows the trail of four soon-to-be Texas brides as they learn that love isn't always what they thought it would be. It's even better. Emmeline Travis's matchmaking skills have served her well up until now. Noah Whitley, her dearest friend, has been refused and it's up to her to revive his spirits. In addition, her lovely protege has just received some troubling news; her supposed "intended" has just returned to Loosely and quite cleverly based on classic Jane Austen titles, "Austen in Austin" follows the trail of four soon-to-be Texas brides as they learn that love isn't always what they thought it would be. It's even better. Emmeline Travis's matchmaking skills have served her well up until now. Noah Whitley, her dearest friend, has been refused and it's up to her to revive his spirits. In addition, her lovely protege has just received some troubling news; her supposed "intended" has just returned to Austin with a wife! Enjoy following Emmeline's metamorphosis from "meddling" to "mellowing" when she is entrapped in a conundrum of her own making in Gina Welborn's "If I Loved You Less". It may take a little distance to make these two stubborn hearts grow fonder. Marion McDermott is determined to return home from a trip to her aunt's ranch as a married woman. It seems that her dream may become reality when two very different men vie for her attention. Surely love is a dangerous game to play, when a wink of the eye and a touch of the hand erases all sensibility, for not all men are who they claim to be. Marion's flirtations may cost her the chance for life's true love, unless she musters some Texas courage and enough sense to mimic the biblical Ruth in "Romantic Refinements" by Anita Mae Draper. Eliza Branch "has" to get married! No, not for "that" reason, but because her mother insists that Eliza marry a wealthy man to save their family's social standing. A somewhat distasteful cattle baron seems to be her mother's first choice, but if Eliza is to marry for love, she must find a suitor on her own. with great haste. When the slightly aristocratic William Delacourt, owner of an expanding railroad line appears on the scene, it's going to be a battle of pride and prejudice that decides Eliza's future in "One Word From You" by Susanne Dietze. Arriving in Austin as her younger cousin's traveling companion, Kathryn Morton never expected to encounter romance. When the first suitor, Jonathan Wellington eagerly pursues her, her more preferred companion, Harmon Gray, seems to back off. With only a week to spend time with both men, Kathryn decides to focus her attention on mysterious happenings in a local cemetery. A mystery is indeed solved, the mystery of Kathryn's future in Austin, as related in "Alarmingly Charming" by Debra E. Marvin. I received a copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for my honest opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fiction Aficionado

    Janeite though I am, I have tended to steer clear of Jane Austen sequels, rewrites, and the like, and was therefore a little nervous when I agreed to review this volume. Not only was I unfamiliar with any of the authors’ previous books (meaning I didn’t know what to expect from their writing), but I am not a big fan of novellas. I guess you could say these novellas had their work cut out for them where I was concerned! Imagine my relief, then, to find that they were pleasant diversions from my s Janeite though I am, I have tended to steer clear of Jane Austen sequels, rewrites, and the like, and was therefore a little nervous when I agreed to review this volume. Not only was I unfamiliar with any of the authors’ previous books (meaning I didn’t know what to expect from their writing), but I am not a big fan of novellas. I guess you could say these novellas had their work cut out for them where I was concerned! Imagine my relief, then, to find that they were pleasant diversions from my standard full-length reading fare. Readers who are familiar with the original Austen novels will note that these stories do not simply teleport Austen’s characters into a new setting. Names have been altered (even if it is simply in spelling), secondary characters omitted or redefined, and while the primary characters and the conflicts remain recognisably Austen, the way in which each story develops has been re-imagined, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on which novella you are reading. Of the four novellas on offer I will confess I enjoyed the third and fourth a bit more than the first two. The plots felt better developed, the writing was tighter and more engaging, and I enjoyed the way the story of Pride and Prejudice, in particular, was re-imagined. I am sure this collection will hold great appeal for Austen fans with an affinity for stories with a Western setting. Each of these novellas can be read as a story in its own right, but as the stories are all set in or around the Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies, the characters do make brief appearances in each other's novellas. For this reason, some may prefer to read the novellas in the order they appear in this volume. I received a copy of this book from one of the authors in return for my honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Austen in Austin, Volume 1, is the first 4 of 8 retellings of Jane Austen's books, set in Austin, Texas, in the 1880s. Each one is a sweet Christian romance written by a different author. But the authors must have talked when they put the collection together, because many of the characters between the different stories know each other. Also, many of the characters have a connection to a finishing school called Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies. If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn is b Austen in Austin, Volume 1, is the first 4 of 8 retellings of Jane Austen's books, set in Austin, Texas, in the 1880s. Each one is a sweet Christian romance written by a different author. But the authors must have talked when they put the collection together, because many of the characters between the different stories know each other. Also, many of the characters have a connection to a finishing school called Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies. If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn is based on Emma. In spite of Noah's warnings, Emmeline is determined to match-make one of her friends, but things don't go as planned. This story was the first in the collection. It was short, and it probably could have been done much better if it was longer, but this book was supposed to be a novella, and it was a very good novella. The story was clean, and the romance was very sweet and adorable. What I enjoyed most was the growing that Emmeline did as a character. Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility. Young Marion has two suitors - a young, exciting cowboy and an older, more steadfast widower. Who will she choose? This retelling is based on Sense and Sensibility, but unlike the original, Romantic Refinements only tells the story of one of the Dashwood women: Marianne, or rather, Marion. (The retelling of Elinor's side of the story can be found in Austen in Austin, Volume 2, called Sense and Nonsense). Marion had a lot to learn in this story. She was obsessed with getting married and with the idea of being romantically swept off of her feet, which wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't so naive about men. But I liked that she learned and grew to recognize that mushy feelings aren't all there is to love or marriage. This was a sweet romance that I enjoyed. One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice. Eliza writes for the newspaper, and one of her stories about a new man in town gets a little out of hand when she writes only based on rumors and her personal dislike of the man. I enjoyed this book, and I think Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of all Jane Austen's books, as it is for many others. I think this retelling was well-done and cute. I really enjoyed the romance. The author put made Lizzy/Eliza a newspaper writer, and it perfectly fits her character from the original. Her mistakes in the paper were cringe-worthy, though. Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey. Bookish Kathryn comes to visit Austin, Texas, from Philadelphia, and she lets her imagination get away from her while investigating the mystery concerning a local cemetery. I always liked Northanger Abbey because I thought it was ironic in many ways. This retelling didn't capture the irony as well as the original, but it did retell most of the other details splendidly. I very much enjoyed this romance novella and the characters in it. I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated to review it, and all opinions are entirely my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    This collection had me a Jane Austen. What’s unique about this adaptation is that it is set in 1800s Austin, Texas. Each novella includes the essence of one of Austen’s beloved stories. In this first volume, readers get Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. With Mrs. Collins who runs Austen Abbey anchoring each of the stories, I loved that there is a small amount of character crossover. The characters are acquainted with each other or run across each other at some po This collection had me a Jane Austen. What’s unique about this adaptation is that it is set in 1800s Austin, Texas. Each novella includes the essence of one of Austen’s beloved stories. In this first volume, readers get Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. With Mrs. Collins who runs Austen Abbey anchoring each of the stories, I loved that there is a small amount of character crossover. The characters are acquainted with each other or run across each other at some point in each story, yet each hero and heroine has their own journey to travel. Four authors contribute to this collection but manage to keep it cohesive as each new story is introduced, and our couples navigate misunderstandings, misconceptions, assumptions, and revelations before finding true love. And to make my Jane-Austen-loving-heart happy, I now have an Austen in Austin Volume 2 to delve into. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    Jane Austen fans will delight in these Westernized versions of her classic tales. Love how the authors incorporated familiar elements into a Texas locale. If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn -- based on Emma -- Noah is a swoonworthy, long-suffering hero. He has to be with Emmeline for a friend! I wanted to box her ears a time or two just to get her to stop talking and listen for once!!!! Pride gets in the way of her matchmaking schemes, and more importantly, nearly costs her own chance at a perf Jane Austen fans will delight in these Westernized versions of her classic tales. Love how the authors incorporated familiar elements into a Texas locale. If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn -- based on Emma -- Noah is a swoonworthy, long-suffering hero. He has to be with Emmeline for a friend! I wanted to box her ears a time or two just to get her to stop talking and listen for once!!!! Pride gets in the way of her matchmaking schemes, and more importantly, nearly costs her own chance at a perfect match. Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper -- based on Sense and Sensibility -- Oh, foolish girl, Miss Marion McDermott! A story about the foibles of misguided youth though Marion is a likeable heroine who does some growing during the course of this novella. Brandon makes the perfect brooding hero, hovering in the background yet always there when Marion needs a hero. Their love story kept me riveted and I had to consume Romantic Refinements in one gulp! It's that delicious. One Word From You by Susanne Dietze -- based on Pride and Prejudice -- A delightful nod to this timeless classic. Eliza and Will make the perfect sparring pair, their relationship (or lack thereof) a humourous mix of pride and prejudice. Leaping to wrong conclusions and impulsively judgmental, these two deserve each other. LOL. A fun, quick read for the P and P connoisseur. Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin -- based on Northanger Abbey -- A timid, bespectacled bookworm with the heart of a lion and a gallant rancher who puts her dime-novel cowboys to shame. Clever and witty and so much fun to read. Sweet romance, no shortage of emotional angst and a blockbuster ending. Perfection. My thanks to the authors and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    A.M. Heath

    As a whole, this collection was fun and entertaining. I enjoyed watching the creative minds at work as they shaped new stories, new characters, and a different setting to the classic Austen stories. I love the titles and details that went into the stories. Each of the novellas are set in the same town so you meet some of the same characters again. It was a fun and unique experience to feel like I was visiting a town where ALL of Jane Austen’s characters lived. If I Loved You Less was the most str As a whole, this collection was fun and entertaining. I enjoyed watching the creative minds at work as they shaped new stories, new characters, and a different setting to the classic Austen stories. I love the titles and details that went into the stories. Each of the novellas are set in the same town so you meet some of the same characters again. It was a fun and unique experience to feel like I was visiting a town where ALL of Jane Austen’s characters lived. If I Loved You Less was the most straight forward retelling of all the novellas. I enjoy a good Emma story and this was a nice start to the collection, although I found it a bit too lustful for my tastes. Romantic Refinements shook things up a bit by veering from the original story line in an unexpected plot twist. Spending more time on a ranch in Texas brought Merrianne’s story to a whole new setting. One Word From You was my favorite of the collection and retold the story of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The characters were well developed and worked flawlessly together. Alarmingly Charming was a creative approach to one of my favorite stories. The story wrapped up a little too simply, but otherwise was a great treat and wonderful addition to the collection. Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving the entire collection 4 stars. I can recommend Austen in Austin to those that enjoy Christian Historical Fiction but I think those that are familiar with Jane Austen’s work will enjoy it best. ~ I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carole (in Canada)

    Rate: 3.5 Stars I liked this compilation of novellas, as it was well written and all four relate to each other. These stories take place between 1882-1887 in Austin, Texas centering around graduates/current students at the Jeanette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies better known as 'Austin Abbey' run by Mrs. Collins. It was enjoyable to recognize characters from Jane Austen's novels throughout each one...Emmeline (Emma), Marion (Marianne/Sense & Sensibility), Eliza (Elizabeth/Pride & Prejudice) a Rate: 3.5 Stars I liked this compilation of novellas, as it was well written and all four relate to each other. These stories take place between 1882-1887 in Austin, Texas centering around graduates/current students at the Jeanette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies better known as 'Austin Abbey' run by Mrs. Collins. It was enjoyable to recognize characters from Jane Austen's novels throughout each one...Emmeline (Emma), Marion (Marianne/Sense & Sensibility), Eliza (Elizabeth/Pride & Prejudice) and Kathryn (Catherine/Northanger Abbey) along with their respective male counterpart. I would have to say, that Kathryn and Harmon's story was my favourite. Each story has differences from canon but the main theme of each is reflected well. My favourite time period is Regency. I try different time periods to change things up as Ms. Austen's novels relate through the ages even to this day. Exploring these different time periods have led me to many that I absolutely love. This was my first 'Western' time period and I found it just didn't have the same appeal for me. This is a personal preference that in no way reflects on the ability of the authors and the quality of the creations they have given us. This collection would also be classified as Christian Historical Romance but I think many JAFF fans would enjoy it. Note: I won this book in a giveaway without expectation of a review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    Novellas based upon Jane Austen novels and set within a completely unique framework of Texas-based stories. A collection with a cover designed by Roseanna White Designs and published by WhiteFire Publishing. What more could a Austen enthusiast ask for when deciding which renditions to read out of the myriad selection available based upon one of British literature’s most beloved authors? While the west is not my favorite setting (either in person or in fiction), between the authors, editor, publi Novellas based upon Jane Austen novels and set within a completely unique framework of Texas-based stories. A collection with a cover designed by Roseanna White Designs and published by WhiteFire Publishing. What more could a Austen enthusiast ask for when deciding which renditions to read out of the myriad selection available based upon one of British literature’s most beloved authors? While the west is not my favorite setting (either in person or in fiction), between the authors, editor, publisher, and cover designer, I was so excited to see that WhiteFire Publishing was compiling two volumes for the Austen in Austin collection. It was love at first page, readers. This collection, comprised of four novellas from established authors of Christian fiction, is a delight to behold. Each novella stands alone in writing style and voice, but all four are comprised of the elements of solid fiction: good story, endearing characters, and strong writing. I knew of two of the authors before reading Austen in Austin, Volume 1, but without a doubt I will be watching for the work of all of these authors in the coming years.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    I enjoy Austen retellings and stories based on her books. I don't consider myself an Austen "purist" because I like when the characters or plot are taken in much different directions than the original story. This is definitely a unique collection with the setting in 1800's Austin, Texas, and each novella based on a different book of Austen's. It was interesting to see how each author incorporated the classic storyline while making it new and interesting. I think some achieved more success at tha I enjoy Austen retellings and stories based on her books. I don't consider myself an Austen "purist" because I like when the characters or plot are taken in much different directions than the original story. This is definitely a unique collection with the setting in 1800's Austin, Texas, and each novella based on a different book of Austen's. It was interesting to see how each author incorporated the classic storyline while making it new and interesting. I think some achieved more success at that than others. If I Loved You Less stayed pretty close to the original plot and dialogue of Emma, so much in fact that at times I felt like the characters were more British than Texan. Refinements and One Word From You were more creative with the plot and characters. Alarmingly Charming was my favorite since the writing flowed so well and had more depth and dimension than the other stories in the collection. Kathryn and Harmon's unexpected attraction has them in a dance of "should I/shouldn't I" until she helps bring peace to his family and makes her own decision about her future. (Thank you to Debra Marvin for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Based on Jane Austen’s novels—Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey— these four novellas are set in the late 1800s and their distinctive Austen flavor is quite palatable. The authors connected the stories together by having the principle characters from each previous novella mentioned in the next one. I found this to be a delightful addition! The narratives are easily read and contain humorous dialogue, as well as pleasantly descriptive settings. Reading adaptations Based on Jane Austen’s novels—Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey— these four novellas are set in the late 1800s and their distinctive Austen flavor is quite palatable. The authors connected the stories together by having the principle characters from each previous novella mentioned in the next one. I found this to be a delightful addition! The narratives are easily read and contain humorous dialogue, as well as pleasantly descriptive settings. Reading adaptations of classic novels isn’t something I usually do—but I was intrigued by the premise of Austen in Austin—and I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed being diverted from life’s cares for a couple of hours. I would definitely recommend this collection to fans of Historical fiction. I accepted an electronic copy from one of the authors in exchange for my review. No compensation has been received.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annette Bower

    Austen in Austin Gina Wilborn, Anita Mae Draper, Susanne Dietz and Debra Marvin used Jane Austen’s portrayal of English society in the 1800s and positioned the ideas and problems in the new world. Each author utilized a different theme from Austen’s novels but then set the scenes in Austin, Texas. These are wonderful stories of parallel images and conflicting ideas of misunderstandings, common sense vs feelings, marriage to save a family vs marriage for love, and charm vs substance. The authors sho Austen in Austin Gina Wilborn, Anita Mae Draper, Susanne Dietz and Debra Marvin used Jane Austen’s portrayal of English society in the 1800s and positioned the ideas and problems in the new world. Each author utilized a different theme from Austen’s novels but then set the scenes in Austin, Texas. These are wonderful stories of parallel images and conflicting ideas of misunderstandings, common sense vs feelings, marriage to save a family vs marriage for love, and charm vs substance. The authors showed us that there are universal problems in relationships and love around the world and in all ages. A reader does not have to have read Jane Austen to enjoy each novella. Each novella is a story on its own. Enjoy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mikayla

    I choose to stop reading this when about halfway through the first story. The romance was way to physically based for my comfort level, and it was making me uncomfortable. I was happy to see all the spiritual content, and it was super fun to have it set in Texas. Simply not my cup of tea.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beckie Burnham

    Austen in Austin, volume 1, is a fun take on classic Jane Austen stories with the sass and swagger of Texas in the 1880s. With a definite American twist, the four novellas focus on the love stories that make Austen a favorite with romance fans. All four novellas have the fresh voice of their respective authors, but contain a central thread that unites them. While many characters make repeat appearances, Mrs. Collins, the headmistress of the Jeanette C. Austen Academy for Women located in Austin Austen in Austin, volume 1, is a fun take on classic Jane Austen stories with the sass and swagger of Texas in the 1880s. With a definite American twist, the four novellas focus on the love stories that make Austen a favorite with romance fans. All four novellas have the fresh voice of their respective authors, but contain a central thread that unites them. While many characters make repeat appearances, Mrs. Collins, the headmistress of the Jeanette C. Austen Academy for Women located in Austin Abbey, provides a great unifying influence. While the stories use the original novels as a framework, they include fun additions and unique takes. There are cowboys, ranchers, and railroad men, along with the women who add sweetness, elegance, and romance to the hill country town. I love Austen variations, and Austen in Austin is a wonderful addition to my Austen-esque library. The original novels given a remix are Emma, Sense And Sensibility, Pride And Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey. Readers in the know easily see the Austen influence, but each novella presents a new story to enjoy. A big plus in this series is the faith thread that runs throughout the book. The characters’ dependance on God is a welcome addition. It’s hard to pick a favorite of the four (all are great), but I have to say that Alarmingly Charming was great fun. Northanger Abbey is my least favorite of Austen’s works, but this novella made me want to revisit the tongue-in-cheek gothic. There’s so much reading fun in Austen in Austin, volume 1, that I am glad there’s a volume 2! I can’t wait to travel back in time to Austin and Austen! Recommended. Audience: adults. (Thanks to WhiteFire publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Some of ny favorite authors have taken some of Jane Austen’s novels and set them in 1880’s Austin, Texas. Each story is recognizable. The names of the characters have NOT been radically altered to protect the guilty parties! My favorite is If I Loved You Less based on Emma. As I was reading this one— my mind was picturing the actors in a favorite adaptation of Emma. It was a nice touch to have a quote from Emma at the beginning of each chapter. A favorite quote from Romantic Refinements patteren Some of ny favorite authors have taken some of Jane Austen’s novels and set them in 1880’s Austin, Texas. Each story is recognizable. The names of the characters have NOT been radically altered to protect the guilty parties! My favorite is If I Loved You Less based on Emma. As I was reading this one— my mind was picturing the actors in a favorite adaptation of Emma. It was a nice touch to have a quote from Emma at the beginning of each chapter. A favorite quote from Romantic Refinements patterened after Sense and Sensibility: “She’d played love like a game and lost because she’d gone after fancy and lost out on forever.” One Word From You was a delightful twist on Pride and Prejudice. Alarmingly Charming is based on Northanger Abbey. This one captured the hero and heroine just right! They were all very well done and made me want to go back and read the originals or at least watch the adaptations. Thanks, ladies for an enjoyable read. *I received this ebook from the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Volume One contains four novellas that are set in Austin, Texas, in the 1880’s and all are based on different books by Jane Austen. The ingenious thing about these stories is that several of the characters make appearances in all of them and many of the settings and the school, the Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies are central to the theme of Austen in Austin. This makes for a very interesting foundation as the heroines and heroes know each other and interact on occasion. I loved that Volume One contains four novellas that are set in Austin, Texas, in the 1880’s and all are based on different books by Jane Austen. The ingenious thing about these stories is that several of the characters make appearances in all of them and many of the settings and the school, the Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies are central to the theme of Austen in Austin. This makes for a very interesting foundation as the heroines and heroes know each other and interact on occasion. I loved that about the book. For this reason, I recommend reading the novellas in order, although they may be read as stand-alone stories. Besides the obvious difference of time and locale, the novellas have differences from canon in that the names are altered and some of the families, siblings and circumstances vary. I did not find this to be problematic but a plus in that it seemed to fit with the western setting and era. The personalities of the characters were true to their original counterparts and the core narratives still focused on the corresponding books by Miss Austen. The first story, If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, is based on Emma. February 1, 1882, the heroine, Miss Emmeline Travis, is busy making plans for the St. Valentine’s Ball. Her attempts at matchmaking do not go unnoticed by Noah Whitley, the president of a Savings & Loan, and close friend to Emmeline and her father Henry, the owner of Hotel Brunswick where the Travis’s make their home. Observing Noah as he attempts to curb Emmeline’s predisposition to meddle and as he experiences frustration and unrealized jealousy over her attention to Garrison Churchill was amusing. As the two of them discover their true feelings, it is as charming as their earlier bickering and banter. Romantic Refinement by Anita Mae Draper, (Sense & Sensibility), begins in September 1882. Marion McDermott is going to spend a month at her Aunt Mattie’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Upon arrival she is caught, quite literally, by the flirtatious and handsome ranch hand, Mr. Jeffrey Whelp, with whom she had danced three times at the St. Valentine’s Ball in February. The foreman, Brandon Tabor, a former Texas Ranger and friend to Noah Whitley seemed none too pleased at this ‘entrance’ by Miss McDermott or was it something more that bothered this striking man? The novella based on Pride and Prejudice, One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, is the third in the Volume. In October 1883 Eliza Branch, along with her mother and father, attend a dance, hosted by the parents of her dear friend, Jeanie Hale. In Eliza’s haste to get to her friend, she collides with the tall, handsome and wealthy William Delacourt, owner of the Tennessee-North-Texas rail line. The ensuing encounter does not go well. The snub is made, but unknown to Eliza, for much different and more understandable reasons. Her prejudice, sinking to a new low, reveals not only the truth behind the real man but her own shortcomings as well. Let the sparks begin! Bring in Charlie Bingham, Jeanie Hale, Jake Wicks, and Liddie and there are sparks aplenty, but all in a much different way. Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin is the last novella of Volume One. In 1887, Kathryn Morton is accompanying her Cousin Jane to Austen Abbey, as it is called by the girls of the school. Traveling by train and reading a novel about train robbers has Miss Morton in typical ‘Catherine Morland’ form. Add to that a haunted graveyard, night visitations, a little mystery and the stage is set for an entertaining gothic story. I loved seeing Kathryn come into her own and blossom as a young woman of confidence. Mrs. Collins, the very British headmistress of ‘Austen Abbey, and her two nephews, Harmon Gray and Jonathan Wellington, are perfectly cast in this Northanger Abbey based novella. Charming! The style of the novellas is so similar and the continuity so flawless that I might have thought they were scripted by one author had I not known otherwise. This obviously took excellent coordination and communication between authors. They all weave an inspirational thread through their stories giving the main characters a strong faith in God and a deep conviction of right and wrong. At the beginning of each novella and before Chapter One, the authors put a Jane Austen quote from their chosen book and a fitting Biblical quote. The main difference noted was two of the authors had quotes from Jane Austen’s book of choice at the beginning of each chapter and two did not. The references to Jane Austen and the mention of her books were nice additions and always brought a smile. It was neat to ‘see’ her characters in a western setting yet acting in much the same manner. These were delightful tales and I loved seeing the interaction of the characters from all four books. Since the names were different, it was fun to guess which of Jane’s heroines/heroes/villains were being introduced or alluded to. Once I had read all four novellas, I continued to think about the characters, their interactions and how cleverly they were penned to affect their own story. There are references to some characters in Persuasion so I can hardly wait for the release of Austen in Austin, Volume Two. I initially read this volume in preparation for the interview of author, Debra E. Marvin, for my blog, More Agreeably Engaged. Now I plan to go back and read it again, this time to look for interactions/connections that I may have missed and to savor the ones I did not. The novellas in Volume One were skillfully written and a joy to read. They were a change of pace and cleverly executed. I recommend them to anyone who loves Jane Austen and all her works. You will not be disappointed. Well done, ladies.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Austen in Austin, Volume 1 is a charming collection of novellas based on the works of Jane Austen. I am a big fan of Austen and really enjoyed the stories in this collection. Although they are based on Austen’s books, the stories differ enough from the originals so that there are still some surprises. The characters from the different novellas interact in small ways throughout so that all the stories in the collection tie together. These are clean, sweet romances with elements of faith woven in. Austen in Austin, Volume 1 is a charming collection of novellas based on the works of Jane Austen. I am a big fan of Austen and really enjoyed the stories in this collection. Although they are based on Austen’s books, the stories differ enough from the originals so that there are still some surprises. The characters from the different novellas interact in small ways throughout so that all the stories in the collection tie together. These are clean, sweet romances with elements of faith woven in. I look forward to reading Austen in Austin, Volume 2! I was gifted a Kindle copy of this novella collection by one of the authors as a prize from a Facebook party. All opinions shared are entirely my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    Oh, how I loved the retelling of these Austen classics with a Texas twist, and once that cover is turned you are off on a sweet adventure. Each author has taken about a quarter of the book for their retelling, so you can read a little or continue on to the next, as I did when I took a quick peek, only to finish the next. They are that good! You will see the parallels if you are an Austen fan, if not, these are just delightful stories to sit down and enjoy as Jane Austen meets the wild west. I recei Oh, how I loved the retelling of these Austen classics with a Texas twist, and once that cover is turned you are off on a sweet adventure. Each author has taken about a quarter of the book for their retelling, so you can read a little or continue on to the next, as I did when I took a quick peek, only to finish the next. They are that good! You will see the parallels if you are an Austen fan, if not, these are just delightful stories to sit down and enjoy as Jane Austen meets the wild west. I received this book through White Fire Publishing Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Sluiter

    Set in 1800s Texas, it was fun to see how each author wrote her story based on an Austen book. Entertaining light reads, I really enjoyed this series. While each story is a standalone they each also reference characters in another story. The personalities are fun, quirky, and realistic. Love isn’t smooth, and to see the situations they got into made me smile. If you are looking for a relaxing read to take you elsewhere for a while, I highly recommend this series. I received a complimentary copy of Set in 1800s Texas, it was fun to see how each author wrote her story based on an Austen book. Entertaining light reads, I really enjoyed this series. While each story is a standalone they each also reference characters in another story. The personalities are fun, quirky, and realistic. Love isn’t smooth, and to see the situations they got into made me smile. If you are looking for a relaxing read to take you elsewhere for a while, I highly recommend this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Jane Austen fans will adore this collection (I will be reviewing the 2nd volume later this week). Each story had it’s own plot but there were characters that connected each as well. All are well-written and it don’t know if I could really pick a favorite. If I had to pick one it would probably be Refinement. But as I said, I enjoyed all of them and think anyone who lost Austen or historical romance will thoroughly enjoys this collection. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opi Jane Austen fans will adore this collection (I will be reviewing the 2nd volume later this week). Each story had it’s own plot but there were characters that connected each as well. All are well-written and it don’t know if I could really pick a favorite. If I had to pick one it would probably be Refinement. But as I said, I enjoyed all of them and think anyone who lost Austen or historical romance will thoroughly enjoys this collection. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy this novella series set in Austin, Texas in the late 1800's. Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Sense & Sensibility lose their Regency top hats for Texas cowboy hats which sets the stage for romance...wild west style. All of these stories are clean with a dash of inspiration which makes them appropriate for teens or adults. Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy this novella series set in Austin, Texas in the late 1800's. Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Sense & Sensibility lose their Regency top hats for Texas cowboy hats which sets the stage for romance...wild west style. All of these stories are clean with a dash of inspiration which makes them appropriate for teens or adults.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Jessen

    Austen meets West Great Austen stories blended with cowboys and early American history. 4 stories whose characters are interwoven between the stories but they all work as stand alone if you don't want to read in order. Austen meets West Great Austen stories blended with cowboys and early American history. 4 stories whose characters are interwoven between the stories but they all work as stand alone if you don't want to read in order.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gigi Ann

    Always enjoy stories based on Jane Austen books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Four stories of women working at the Jeanette Austen School for Young Ladies. The stories are based on four separate Jane Austen novels. Very entertaining.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Fun, interconnected Texan renditions of Austen classics.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Deon

    I read this on #KindleUnlimited

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...