Wednesday, 14 August 2019

A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio - Blog Tour - Review and Giveaway

Book cover: A Lady's Reputation by A. D'Orazio
I'm very happy to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for the Pride & Prejudice-variation A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio. I've read many of Amy's stories online so I am a long time admirer and I jumped at the chance to review this story for my stop on the blog tour. I'll share the blurb with you shortly but first I'd like to take a minute to admire the cover; this story begins with some gossip and isn't this cover perfect for that? Two ladies, clearly enjoying a comfortable coze and possibly ruining reputations with their talk. Let's take a look at the blurb, and then we'll move on to my review. I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that there is a giveaway to accompany the blog tour, so you can read on for more information on that too :)

Book Description

“Mr. Darcy, I am eager to hear your explanation for the fact that quite a few people believe we are engaged.”

It starts with a bit of well-meant advice. Colonel Fitzwilliam suggests to his cousin Darcy that, before he proposes to Elizabeth Bennet in Kent, perhaps he ought to discuss his plans with their families first.

What neither man could have predicted however was that Lord Matlock would write the news to his sister or Viscount Saye would overhear, and tell his friends, or that his friends might slip a little and let their friends know as well. The news spreads just as quickly through Hertfordshire once Mrs Bennet opens the express Mr Bennet receives from Mr Darcy, and in a matter of days, it seems like everyone knows that Mr Darcy has proposed marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.

Everyone, that is, except Elizabeth herself.

Her refusal is quick and definite—until matters of reputation, hers as well as Jane’s, are considered. Then Mr Darcy makes another offer: summer at Pemberley, so that Jane can be reunited with Mr Bingley and so that he can prove to Elizabeth he is not what she thinks of him. Falling in love with him is naturally impossible…but once she knows the man he truly is, will she be able to help herself?

Book cover: A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio
My Review of A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio
"...we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable -- that one false step involves her in endless ruin -- that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful." - Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen  
Reputation.. so important in Austen's time. We have all read stories set in those times about compromises, people found in situations that can't be honourably explained, and hence a hasty marriage is required to prevent talk. In this story, there is no compromising situation, just talk. What if... Darcy opened his heart to his cousin, and Colonel Fitzwilliam convinced him to talk to his family before proposing? What if... Darcy decided to honour Mr Bennet by asking his permission before proposing? And what if... the story of the engagement spread in both London and Hertfordshire, before Darcy had even breathed a word of it to Elizabeth?

You can see why such a story would be hot gossip. A match beyond the wildest dreams of Elizabeth's acquaintances, and showing Mr Darcy as a real romantic to the ton in London:
Fitzwilliam Darcy was revealed as a man of such intense passion and love that he had thrown prudence and circumspection aside, and he would marry as his heart dictated. It could scarcely be believed.
Once news of the proposal was out, it would be taken for granted that an acceptance had followed. In practical terms it'd be a real coup for Elizabeth and a dutiful lady of the time could do nothing other than accept, both for her own sake, and for that of her family. However, the reader knows that Elizabeth finds the thought of marriage with Darcy impossible. But if an acceptance is assumed, then if an engagement doesn't then follow then Elizabeth would be judged as having withdrawn from the engagement, a circumstance that would reflect badly on her, and by extension, her family:
She was ensnared quite neatly by the silken bands of an arrogant man’s notion that no lady could resist him.
Obviously, this is not an auspicious beginning to a courtship, particularly when Darcy's relatives inform Elizabeth how he has 'helped' his friend Bingley avoid an unfortunate entanglement!
Was it the room or was it the warmth of pure rage that afflicted her? She hardly knew. In any case, she commended Mr Darcy for having the excellent fortune to be far, far away from her at this moment.
Good luck turning this situation around, Darcy!

Forced to agree to the appearance of an engagement for at least the short term, Elizabeth has to spend time with Mr Darcy despite her inclinations. She is determined not to think well of him, but perhaps her prejudices can be overcome with time. Meanwhile, he is brought up short with the knowledge that he isn't always correct in his judgement and actions, and that he has done some wrongs that perhaps he can't right.

This forced relationship gives us quite a bit of Darcy and Elizabeth page time which I liked. There are quite a few misunderstandings which could have been cleared up more quickly, but it was believable that they existed, so it was mildly frustrating in an enjoyable way!

There were several turns of phrase from Pride & Prejudice, but used at different times, which were delightful little Easter eggs to stumble across while reading the story.

One area where this book particularly shines is in the romance. There are no sex scenes, although some things happen behind the scenes, but I think this often amps up the romance, and there was plenty of longing and romance here:
"Proficiency is a fine thing, and to exhibit flawlessly is good too, but it cannot compare to the feeling of your heart awakening or your soul rejoicing. It cannot compare to the enchanting thrill of finding love where you least expect it to be."
Be still my beating heart!

I also liked the characters in this story. I thought that most of the characters were very close to canon, which is something I really like to see. Some characters took a direction which I hadn't expected, but I felt it was possible that Austen's characters could have developed in those directions, depending on events. Another thing I enjoyed was that I thought that some events might happen because they so often do in variations, but the author took a different path, which was refreshing, because the story didn't feel too predictable.

There is some very enjoyable humour in this book, which is mainly provided by Amy D'Orazio's original character, Lord Saye. He is Colonel Fitzwilliam's elder brother, has masses of confidence, and is a little eccentric, sharing his thoughts that simply wouldn't occur to other people, and if they did, they would probably keep them to themselves!
"To Elizabeth, I am no better than George Wickham." 
"You seduced her sister? I must say, Darcy, that is astonishing." Saye appeared surprised but interested. "How many are there? These Bennets are handsome girls, are they?"
I really enjoyed A Lady's Reputation and I'd rate it as a 5 star read.

5 star read

Author Bio

Author A. D'OrazioAmy D’Orazio is a long-time devotee of Jane Austen and fiction related to her characters. She began writing her own little stories to amuse herself during hours spent at sports practices and the like and soon discovered a passion for it. By far, however, the thing she loves most is the connections she has made with readers and other writers of Austenesque fiction.

Amy currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and daughters, as well as three Jack Russell terriers who often make appearances (in a human form) in her book.

Amy’s other releases include “A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity” and the “The Best Part of Love,” a Readers Choice Gold Medal Winner for 2017. She has also contributed short stories to “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues,” “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen's Fine Ladies” and “Yuletide: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories.”

Book cover: A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio
Buy Links

A Lady's Reputation is available for kindle and paperback, and is also included in Kindle Unlimited - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CAGoodreads

Giveaway Time!

You are encouraged to visit all the stops on the blog tour and comment.  Quills & Quartos Publishing will be giving away one $50 Amazon gift card to one enthusiastic follower! You get one point for every blog stop you visit and leave a comment. Good luck!

Blog Tour Schedule

August 5 - Austenesque Reviews
August 6 - Diary of an Eccentric
August 7 - Margie's Must Reads
August 8 - My Jane Austen Book Club
August 9 - My Love For Jane Austen
August 12 - So Little Time...
August 13 - My Vices & Weakness
August 14 - Babblings of a Bookworm
August 15 - From Pemberley to Milton


Blog Tour: A Lady's Reputation by Amy D'Orazio

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40 comments:

  1. If Elizabeth was a dutiful lady of the time she would have accepted Collins (if he had offered in this variation)

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    1. Good thing JA didn't think so, huh?! Thanks Vesper!

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    2. That's absolutely true, Vesper. By the standards of the time, Elizabeth was unreasonable but she still got the reward of the happy ever after. :)

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  2. Patricia Finnegan14 August 2019 at 15:21

    Lady Catherine I think would not be pleased with this. ;)

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    1. No, not at all! Thanks Patricia!

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    2. I don't think this will surprise anybody or be too much of a spoiler if I confirm what you have already thought, Patricia; Lady Catherine IS NOT happy at the news!

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  3. Thanks for your review. I'm so glad it has humor and Lord Saye sounds like a hoot.

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    1. Thank you so much DarcyBennett!

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    2. I have to say, I really enjoyed Saye, he was a ray of sunshine on every page he was on. There were several really funny scenes but they were either too long to quote or I thought they may have potential spoilers so I went with this one :)

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  4. Can’t wait to read the published version! Congrats Amy on your newest release! Lord Saye is one of my all time favorite original characters! He’s such a hoot!

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    1. I thought he was hilarious. I felt that he really showed off other characters' good features as well, as for example, he brings out Darcy's sense of humour and has a lovely relationship both with Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam.

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  5. Aw thank you Dung! Really appreciate it!

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  6. Amazing excerpt. Love to read all the book.

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    1. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it, Patricia!

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  7. Thanks Ceri for hosting and congratulations to Amy on the launch and success of this book. I noticed a 'Best Seller' tag on Amazon. Woohoo!! Blessing my dear.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming to comment. I am pleased to hear that this is an Amazon best seller!

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  8. Thanks for the review! I so agree about Darcy's unpleasant realization of what he has done. Oh, and SAye seems to be excellent at putting things in perspective with his sharp wit and tongue. I really have to reread this!

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    1. Thanks Agnes. I hope you enjoy it when you reread it!

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  9. Thank you for the review. Humor mixed in sounds like it will have some moments thst will make me smile during some tense moments. Looking forward to reading this book.

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    1. I love a bit of humour, Deborah Ann. I didn't find this book too angsty. There were times when I thought the story was going to go down angsty routes and instead the author took another route.

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  10. Another excellent review! I think Lord Saye will be the highlight of this book!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sophia. I will admit that I loved Lord Saye!

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  11. I read this twice, in unpublished and then as an ARC. I loved it both time and highly recommend it. Saye is a highlight, for sure.

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    1. Hi Sheila, I am pretty sure that I read it unpublished too, and enjoyed it, which is why I took up the review offer, because it was one I'd enjoyed so much :)

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  12. Great review! This story is wonderful and a second reading was even better because I knew I would get involved in the lives of such interesting characters and read Saye's wonderful comments!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the review, Daniela! This is definitely one I could enjoy re-reading.

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  13. I agree, be still my beating heart. Congratulations Amy.

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  14. Another hit by Amy D'Orazio! Read this on KU and downed it in less than a day. Well done!

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  15. Really enjoying this blog tour! From the excerpts I've seen, Amy D'Orazio really has a deft hand at writing Ă  la Austen!

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    1. I think she's very good, Marcia. She's one of those writers that is a must-read, although sometimes the angst levels are a bit high for me, because I'm a wimp! Not this one though :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing your review with us!

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    1. Thanks for reading my review, NovElla!

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  17. I love the review, Ceri. It's quite detailed thus it really tempt me to push it up on my tbr list.

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    1. Thanks so much, Luthien. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  18. Thank you for the insightful review. Am following this book tour and I find I like Saye too. I guess the Fitzwilliams had all the humorous personality and the Darcy has the seriousness.

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    1. I think so, Buturot, the Fitzwilliams are the fun side. They draw it out of Darcy too, which is lovely to see :)

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