Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes - Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

As long time visitors to this blog may know, I am a big fan of Joana Starnes' books, so I was very excited when I heard she had a new one out. I am pleased to say that the blog tour for The Journey Home to Pemberley visits here today for me to share my review of the book, and offer you a giveaway opportunity. Let's look at the blurb!

Book cover: The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes
Book Description

A chance encounter in the wilds of the North brings more joy to Elizabeth and Mr Darcy than either of them dared hope for. But her world is rocked by blow after blow – and the truth would only cause him pain. ‘I must be cruel only to be kind’ is Elizabeth’s guiding precept, and she chooses her path. Yet time, circumstances and new acquaintances teach her she had made a terrible mistake.

How can she regain what she had lost and rebuild a future with the only man she will ever love, but for whom disguise of every sort is his abhorrence?

You can view the book trailer on YouTube.

My Review of The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes

This Pride & Prejudice variation opens with Darcy on his way home to Pemberley from his Uncle's house. Instead of travelling to Derbyshire with Bingley, as in canon, he is alone. Not wishing to stay at a particular inn he decides to press on for home but meets with an accident when he parts company with his borrowed steed. Luckily the horse returns to the inn, where some travellers from down south are not paying the abbreviated visit North as in canon, but are taking a more leisurely tour, as had been originally planned. A search for the rider sees an unconscious Darcy returned to the inn, where he is identified by the woman who last saw him in Kent, following his disastrous marriage proposal to her.

Elizabeth has had so many readings of Darcy's letter that she practically knows it by heart and feels vastly differently towards him than she did at their last meeting:
It had crept upon her oftentimes before, over the last four months, whenever thoughts of him had crept upon her. For she had thought of him. She could not help it.
Darcy, however, feels much the same as he did a few months previously, as Elizabeth very soon comes to realise:
It was no wonder that it should be the most insistent one which kept coming to the fore: the incontrovertible proof that, after all this time and despite everything, he still loved her and kept her in his thoughts.
When Darcy realises that Elizabeth and her relatives are actually headed to Lambton, they travel as one party, seeing the sights and becoming better acquainted. With a new understanding seemingly on the horizon, our dear couple seem to be zooming towards an angst-free happy ever after as they make their meandering way towards Pemberley. The story is light hearted and romantic, the couple are very much on the same page and their biggest obstacle to overcome would appear to be easily surmountable.

Until... the inn at Lambton has two letters for Elizabeth, one of which arrived quite a few days before the Gardiner party did. This means that matters are all the more hopeless than in canon as they have moved on. Elizabeth decides on the course of action that she feels is best, though it's a difficult one which brings her only despair:
Under the thick ice of her trance, anguish squirmed and twisted. It was neither silenced nor subdued. Just frozen for a while. Frozen and sluggish. Yet she knew full will it would revive, savage and deadly, to pierce through the ice and tear her apart.
When Elizabeth returns to Longbourn her family landscape is very changed, and her feelings have been turned upside down. She can see no hope of ever making the Journey Home to Pemberley herself.

This story is a very romantic tale, with a lot of interaction between Elizabeth and Darcy. It's a story very much focused on them and their relationship and all the other characters take a back seat. We go through harmony, acrimony, misunderstandings, silences, arguments, regret, compassion and passion. It's one of those stories where the action is in the thoughts and feelings of the characters. We go through highs and lows of emotion on the inside while far less is happening outwardly. I enjoyed this; sometimes you read a story where there is a lot of unlikely events and dastardly characters but this was dramatic in a much more understated way.

I felt very sorry for Elizabeth, and could certainly understand the motives that prompted her actions, because the disgrace which touched her family was dire. However, sometimes I wanted to give her a talking to! The story is written in the third person but very much from Elizabeth's perspective, which gives the reader a more sympathetic view of her character's thoughts and feelings than you would have had if it had been written from a more neutral perspective.

Canon Darcy may say that he has a resentful temper, but aside from his feelings towards Wickham we don't see evidence of it and this Darcy is almost as skilled as Jane Bennet in his capacity to forgive. It put the balance a little off for me, because I felt that all the misery to both Elizabeth and Darcy was caused by the events and Elizabeth's choices. Darcy did absolutely nothing wrong and he probably suffered the most, poor man!

I liked the characterisations in this story very much. The focus is very strongly on Elizabeth and Darcy, but I thought the other characters were well-drawn.

If you like a very romantic read and a rollercoaster of emotions I would certainly recommend this book. I very much enjoyed it and read it in one bonanza four hour sitting! There are some passionate scenes, but nothing too graphic. I'd rate this as a 4½ star read.

4.5 star read


Book cover: The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes
Buy Links

The Journey Home to Pemberley is available to buy now in ebook. In some countries it's also available in Kindle Unlimited. I think a paperback will follow - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Goodreads

Author Joana Starnes
About the Author

Joana lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats – physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst – but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination, and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine.

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels (From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley; The Subsequent Proposal; The Second Chance; The Falmouth Connection; The Unthinkable Triangle; Miss Darcy’s Companion; Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter and The Darcy Legacy) and one of the contributors to the Quill Ink anthologies (The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know and Rational Creatures). They are all available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback, and some in Audible too: Joana’s Amazon Page.

Joana Starnes has visited this blog with many of these works:
  • From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley ~ A Pride & Prejudice sequel - My review
  • The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion - My review
  • The Second Chance ~ A Pride & Prejudice – Sense & Sensibility Variation - My review
  • The Falmouth Connection ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation set where Jane Austen's beloved characters are compelled to leave their tame and reasonably peaceful lives in the south of England and travel to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few - if any! - are what they seem to be... - My review
  • The Unthinkable Triangle ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation that dwells on the most uncomfortable love-triangle of them all. What if Mr. Darcy's rival for Miss Bennet's hand and heart is none other than his dearest, closest friend? And how can they all find their 'happily-ever-after'? - Guest post
  • Miss Darcy’s Companion ~ a variation that explores what might have happened if the warm-hearted Miss Elizabeth Bennet were employed instead of the scheming Mrs Younge. - Guest Post / My review
  • Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter - a Pride & Prejudice variation that sees Elizabeth marrying for the good of her family - but the bridegroom isn't aware of her feelings - My Review
  • The Darcy Legacy ~  a Pride & Prejudice variation with some 'spirit' - My Review

They are available on all Amazon sites.

Books by Joana Starnes at Amazon.com

Books by Joana Starnes at Amazon.co.uk

Books by Joana Starnes on Goodreads

You can connect with Joana Starnes on Facebook, her website, Twitter, Instagram or Austen Variations.

Book cover: The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana StarnesGiveaway Time!

Joana is kindly offering an ebook giveaway to accompany her blog tour. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below:

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Blog Tour Schedule

Please check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Blog Tour: The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes


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42 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this story! I’ve already read it twice! I was frustrated with Elizabeth and her decisions but I can see why she made them (well maybe not the first one while Darcy was in bed ��)
    I really felt sorry for both Darcy and Elizabeth, especially as all could have been solved sooner by them just talking! But then that is almost always the problem between them!
    Darcy’s joy is such a pleasure to read and I absolutely adored the ending. Another definite winner for Joana. Congratulations!

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    1. Glynis and Ceri, thank you both so much for your wonderful words about my book! What a fabulous review, Ceri, thank you! Glynis, you're so kind to follow the blog tour and give more love for 'The Journey Home to Pemberley'! I'm so happy you loved it and especially that you adored the ending :) . LOL that first decision! How could anyone resist him? Either then or later? No wonder you screamed at your Kindle! Next time please do scream at me :)) .Then maybe I'll get my act together, tone down the angst and let our favourite couple bask in their HEA that much sooner.
      All the best to you both and Happy Birthday, Ceri! Hope you have a great time on your special day and that your family spoil you rotten!

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    2. Hi Glynis. I was frustrated with Elizabeth at times too, but it also made sense that she would make those decisions. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Joana, thank you so much for your birthday wishes. I had a lovely relaxing day. I didn't realise this until after I posted, but this was my 500th blog post, so you got to join me for both my birthday, and a landmark post :)

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  2. I always love your novels Joana! Can’t wait to read this one too!

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    1. Thank you, Dung! I hope you'll enjoy this one too. Lovely to see you here. Thanks for coming to read Ceri's wonderful review and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Hi Dung. If you are a fan of Joana's novels I am confident that you will like this one too!

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  3. Sounds like the events with Lydia and Wickham are to far advanced to save her

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    1. I'm so gald you caught that, Susan! Yep, Lydia's been very naughty this time. Bad Lydia! In my other books I went for 'silly teenager who deserved better than to be punished for bad parenting,' but thought I'd mix things up this time ;). Hope you won't be too shocked!

      Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for reading.

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    2. Hi Vesper. As the Gardiners and Lizzy travel for a longer time before they get to Lambton, the letter arrives at the inn before they do, and Lydia's situation has progressed further than in canon.

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  4. I love reading your review although I already feel sorry for Mr Darcy as it sounds like he suffers quite a bit.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's wonderful review, DarcyBennet! Having tortured poor Mr Darcy in one variation after another, I thought it was Elizabeth's turn this time. But what hurts her hurts him too, which is dreadfully unfair! He'd only escape his share of misery if he had moved on. But that doesn't bear thinking about either...

      All the best and good luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I felt very sorry for both of them, Darcybennett, but I must admit I felt worse for Darcy because Elizabeth at least had the small comfort of being able to feel like she was doing the best thing and choosing her own path, even if it was one that made her miserable.

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  5. So I'm guessing that the events in the letter from back at Longbourn involve Lydia and Wickham? Or did you change that up, too?

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    1. Hi Ginna
      Yes, the events in the letter from Longbourn are about Lydia and Wickham, but funnily enough the answer to your second question is also 'yes.' I changed that up to something that puts Lydia beyond redemption and there is no way out that Elizabeth can see. As I said to Susan yesterday, I hope you won't be too shocked :)

      Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's fabulous review and can't wait to hear your thoughts about this scenario!

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    2. Hi Ginna. I liked that Joana made changes to Lydia's situation. If she hadn't been found as relatively quickly as she was in canon then things could well have moved on.

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  6. I can't expect a Joana book to be low on angst. I'm looking forward to reding it. Thanks for your great review Ceri.

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    1. LOL Kate, I can't imagine that either. Maybe one day I'll surprise you with something that's sunny through and through, and playful & fun, but it won't be today :D

      I'm so glad you liked Ceri's wonderful review! Best of luck in the giveaway and can't wait to see what you make of this.

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    2. I'll be waiting for this sunny book Joana. ;-)

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    3. Thanks, Kate! LOL little to no angst in one of my books? Hope it won't come as too much of a shock :D :D

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    4. Hi KateB. I liked the angst balance in this one, it wasn't too heavy, just enough to compel you to keep reading!

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  7. An internal conflict story like this can be just as exciting and intense as an action story. Loved reading your thoughts, Ceri!

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    1. I'm so glad you think so, Sophia Rose! The nearest I could get to an action story was 'The Falmouth Connection,' and even that was more about Darcy & his struggles than the smugglers' dastardly deeds :D

      Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's great review! All the best and have a lovely weekend.

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    2. I agree, Sophia. I am not generally one for highly dramatic events because they stretch credibility, although sometimes it's nice to go on a flight of fancy. Highs and lows of feeling are more believable to me.

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  8. I have also read this book twice already. I love all of Joana's books. Her style of writing is the best!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! I'm so happy you love my books and that you loved 'The Journey Home...' too. Thank you!

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  9. Loved it. Thanks Ceri for hosting and by your list of reviews... you love Joana's books like I do. Even though I received an ARC of this book... I also purchased a copy in my support of Joana's work. We love you Joana!! Blessings my dear on the success of this and future work.

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    1. Blessings to you too, Jeanne! Huge thanks for everything, you're ever so kind!!

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    2. That's so kind of you to buy a copy in addition to your ARC Jeanne!

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  10. Joana’s books are always a must read! So excited for this new release!!!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! I'm so glad you like my books and that you're looking forward reading this one. Hope you'll like it. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I'm with you, Becky, Joana is one of my must-read authors.

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  11. I very much enjoyed reading this book. I am hoping there will be an audiobook version as well?

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    1. Thanks, Jean, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it! I hope there will be an Audible version too. I'll be sure to post about it if it's about to happen. All the best and thanks for asking!

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    2. I'll keep my fingers crossed for an audio version too, Jean :)

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  12. Ceri, I am impressed you read it in 4.5 hours!
    Great review. I thought this a great story too.

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    1. Thanks so much, Christina! I'm ever so glad you liked the book and Ceri's wonderful review. Huge thanks for yours, it's fabulous and much appreciated! All the best and have a lovely weekend!

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    2. I think I'm pretty quick, which is just as well, because I don't get as much reading time as I'd like so I have to make the most of it!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your insight about the story. I love books with a lot of FD and EB interaction. I am looking forward to reading such a book with EB causing most of the distress.

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    1. Thanks, Buturot! I'm so glad you're intrigued thanks to Ceri's insights and her wonderful review! Best of luck in the giveaway and I hope you'll like the story.

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    2. Hi Buturot. One of the highlights of this book for me was the amount of FD/EB time together. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  14. Wow, another excellent review of The Journey Home to Pemberley! Ceri, you must really love Joana's novels to sit through in one reading. But I don't see your review for The Unthinkable Triangle? Did you not read it yet?

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    1. Hi Luthien. If I'm really enjoying a book I don't like to put it down :)

      I haven't read The Unthinkable Triangle yet. I have some premises that I usually avoid and that is one of them. I'm sure Joana has done a wonderful job of it, but I just think somebody (probably the Colonel) will end up heartbroken or possibly dead! The other main one I steer clear of is Elizabeth marrying Collins because I feel bad for how miserable she would be, even if he did his best to be a kind husband. I'm such a wimp!

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