Sunday, 14 June 2020

A Timely Elopement by Joana Starnes - Review and Giveaway

Book Cover: A Timely Elopement by Joana Starnes
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Joana Starnes back to the blog with her new book, a Pride & Prejudice variation called A Timely Elopement. I’m going to share my review of the book with you, and Joana is kindly offering an ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll tell you what I thought of this book.

Book Description

What if Mr Darcy’s first proposal was interrupted by a bearer of ill tidings? The worst tidings: an elopement!

Ah, but whose elopement would allow Elizabeth and Mr Darcy to spend quite so much time together and overcome their prejudices and his stubborn pride?

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The blurb of this book doesn’t give much away, does it!

A Timely Elopement – My Review

Many Pride & Prejudice variations start us off at Hunsford, at Darcy’s disastrous proposal. This one takes off there too, but sends us in a new direction for me. Just at the point where Darcy is about to kindly inform Elizabeth that he is proposing against his own better judgement, they get interrupted. Colonel Fitzwilliam arrives with news of an elopement, and although it involves George Wickham, this time he’s left the Bennet girls alone. He has run off with Darcy’s cousin, Miss Anne de Bourgh!

As it would be dishonourable to ask a lady to marry him when a family scandal is unfolding in front of his eyes, Darcy reassures his lady love that once it’s all sorted he will follow her, post-haste, to Hertfordshire, as he takes it for granted that she will jump at the chance to accept his most flattering proposal. Only here’s the thing; she doesn’t want to marry him.

Elizabeth is shocked to hear that George Wickham has behaved in such a fashion and realises that her judgement has been seriously at fault when considering his character and his relationship to Darcy. However, Darcy still interfered in Jane and Bingley’s relationship, was rude in Hertfordshire, is prideful and arrogant and she has never, until now, considered that he might even like her, let alone admire her. She feels bad at piling more bad news on top of the news of his cousin’s elopement but in fairness to him, Elizabeth knows that she has to tell Mr Darcy that she will not accept his proposal:

With a quiet sigh, Elizabeth drew her hand away, uncomfortably aware that she must tell him that. It would be cruel to let him labour under a misconception.

But she doesn’t get the chance, the Collinses have arrived home and Darcy leaves. Elizabeth must find a way to clear up the mistake. If Darcy arrives in Hertfordshire it would be hugely embarrassing for him and potentially could set off a disastrous possible chain of events for her if word gets out and she finds herself with no option but to marry him. Being offered an opportunity to accompany Lady Catherine to town, Elizabeth decides to go in order that she might have the opportunity to tell Mr Darcy that she won’t be accepting his very surprising offer.

Having the opportunity to see more of Mr Darcy, Elizabeth begins to see that he is a very different person to what she had thought, and has a much more attractive side to his personality.

She had seen him in his home. No ceremony. No reserve. No trace of the despot she expected. Not his sister’s keeper, but her whole world; her protector and succour.

Spending more time together also gives Mr Darcy the opportunity to get to know Elizabeth better. More specifically, once he realises that she has fault to find in his manners and behaviour, he starts to question his attitude somewhat:

If she had not seen his offer of marriage for the tribute that it was – a heartfelt homage to her delightful person – then she might have also failed to find due proof of his devotion in his honest recitation of the impediments he had brought himself to overlook in order to have her beside him.

I really enjoyed this story; there were some lovely sparks of humour, and I enjoyed Darcy’s character in particular and his slow steps in realising his mistakes and blunders. I thought his relationship with his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, was delightful. I also liked the fact that the story didn’t follow the lines I expected; due to the nature of this genre, the fact that it’s based on Pride & Prejudice I have often seen scenarios played out in other works, and you can feel like you’re travelling down the same road. However, this story took me in directions that I didn’t anticipate, which was refreshing.

The only thing I would have liked would have been for the story to be set over a longer time-frame as I felt opinions and feelings changed quite quickly. There was also one character that I felt was let off too lightly, I wanted to see them suffer just a little!

Overall, this is a romantic, amusing, low-angst read, which I would recommend. There’s some passion too, but nothing graphic. I’d rate it as a 4½ star read.

4.5 star read


Author Joana StarnesAbout 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 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, The Darcy Legacy and The Journey Home to Pemberley) and one of the contributors to the Quill Ink anthologies (The Darcy MonologuesDangerous to KnowRational Creatures and Elizabeth). They are all available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback, and some in Audible too: Joana’s Amazon Page.

Book Cover: A Timely Elopement by Joana StarnesBuy Links

A Timely Elopement is available to buy now in Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Joana's other books are also available in paperback and audio so let's hope these will be too!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf



Book Cover: A Timely Elopement by Joana Starnes
Giveaway Time!

Joana is very kindly offering to give away an ebook copy of A Timely Elopement to two lucky visitors to Babblings of a Bookworm! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Sunday 21 June. If you have any difficulty commenting, please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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58 comments:

  1. Great review! I always love Joana’s writing especially the relationship with Darcy & Colonel Fitzwilliam.

    Can’t wait to read this story!

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    1. Such a wonderful review, Ceri! Huge thanks, I'm so glad you liked the book!

      Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's review, Dung. I love that we're on the same page re Darcy and his cousin :D . Have a good week and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I enjoyed their relationship in this one, Dung!

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  2. Great review! I have heard nothing but 4 to 5 stars and a must read. I love Joana Starnes books.

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    1. Thank you, Shelley! I hope you'll enjoy this one too. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!

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    2. If you generally love Joana's books I think you will love this one too, Shelley!

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  3. I love Joana Starnes’s storytelling. Her dialog is believable and I thought this story was just the level of angst that I can tolerate these days.

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    1. You're so kind, Christina! Thanks for you wonderful support and for having me in your Dream Team so many times! I'm so glad this book hit the spot and the right level of angst. Thinking of you. All the best and congrats to Ellary!

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    2. I agree, Christina, with the world as it is at the moment I am not in the mood for high angst!

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  4. Thanks for the review and the giveaway chance! Joana Starnes's books are a must read for me, so I suppose this will not disappoint either :-)

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    1. I hope you'll like this book too, Agnes! Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's fabulous review and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I think you will like it :)

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    1. It so is!! Thanks for visiting, Denise, and good luck!

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    2. Thanks so much, Denise!

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  6. Looking forward to the story, esp EB and FDs times together. Always love to know the turning point for EB. Also eager to know the ending for GW and ADB.

    Thank you for the post and the chance to win a copy.

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    1. Can't wait to hear what you think of it, Buturot!
      Thanks for following the blog tour and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Well I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but I enjoyed going on the journey with all the characters.

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  7. I enjoyed Joana's Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter, and this one sounds like I'd enjoy it just as much! Please enter me in the giveaway.

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    1. I'm so happy you enjoyed 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter', Nightstitcher! This one isn't so angst. In fact, I can almost say that in comparison to 'Mr B's Dutiful Daughter' this one's a walk in Hyde Park :D . But I hope you'll like a less angsty story too. Thanks for visiting and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Will do, Nightstitcher!

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  8. Sounds like the Colonel will be in the story much more than canon which is a great plus for me

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    1. He's definitely popping into the story more often than he does in canon :) . I'm so glad you like the sound of that. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!

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    2. I really enjoyed the colonel in this book Vesper, I would even have liked a little more :)

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  9. Wonderful review. I always love Joana’s stories. This variation definitely has my attention! I am looking forward to reading!

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    1. Such a wonderful review! Thanks for stopping by to read it, Becky. I'm so happy you loved my other books and that this one has your attention. I hope you'll like it when you get to read it. Have a good week and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Thanks so much, Becky! I hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

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  10. Loved this story as I have all of Joana's books. I have read it so don't include me in the giveaway.

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    1. You're so kind to visit and give more love to this story! Thank you, Sheila!! I hope you're still cosy and safe.

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    2. Joana is a must-read author for me too, Sheila. I always enjoy her stories.

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  11. Thanks for hosting, Ceri. I already own this book so don't include me in the giveaway. I just wanted to stop by and give my love and support to Joana. Congratulations on this amazing book, Joana. I loved it and I am trying to get my act together [RL issues, you know] and write my review. It will be 5-stars, for sure. Blessings on its success and good luck to everyone in the drawing. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jeanne, you're ever so kind!! Please, please don't worry about anything like that! It's RL and the big things that matter! Thinking of you. Take care and stay safe!

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    2. Hope your RL issues resolve Jeanne. Glad you enjoyed it too.

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  12. Thank you for the review, Ceri. I'm glad to hear about it from someone who has read it. So it sounds like he didn't get a chance to insult her so much, like he did in the original. That can only be a good thing. I look forward to enjoying Joana's new book.

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    1. "So it sounds like he didn't get a chance to insult her so much, like he did in the original." So true, Ginna (well, not in Charlotte's parlour anyway :D ). Still, he can be trusted to put his foot in it now and then, until he learns a thing or two about Elizabeth's PoV and gets his act together.

      Thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's great review and best of luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Hi Ginna. Although Darcy didn't get the chance to insult Elizabeth as much as during his canon proposal, quite a few things become clear to her so he still manages to cause offence, but in a way that causes a less explosive response! I thought it was really clever.

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  13. Great Review! I'm looking forward to this one! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! All the best and I hope you'll like it.

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    2. Hope you enjoy it Jen!

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  14. Sophia Simeonidou16 June 2020 at 00:48

    Wonderful review! I have almost all of Joana's books and this one looks like a must have!

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    1. So wonderful! Thanks for stopping by to read it, Sophia. Best of luck in the giveaway and I hope you'll enjoy this book too.

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    2. I think all Joana's books are Sophia!

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  15. Joana has done it again. I very much enjoyed this latest entry thru KU - I only put it down once. I would be very happy to receive a copy in the giveaway if selected.

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    1. I'm so happy you liked it! Thank you!! Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for visiting!

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    2. Good luck in the giveaway Maomac

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  16. I love this book already, and it's only been courtesy of the blog tour. Thanks for a detailed and helpful review, Ceri. Best of luck on the rest of the blog tour, Joana.

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    1. Thank you, Suzan! All the best to you too and I can't wait for your next book!

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    2. Glad to know the blog spots have been so enticing for you! I am sure you will enjoy it

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  17. I nearly missed this post! Obviously I’ve already read this absolutely fabulous book (the lack of too much high angst is a definite plus for me).
    I loved the Colonel and his ‘help’, I loved how Elizabeth’s opinion of Darcy slowly improved. But most of all I loved Darcy! Well I always love Darcy but I loved his realisation that perhaps his attitude MIGHT be at fault and I definitely loved the way he determined to improve it. A definite five stars for me.

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    1. I'm so glad you loved this Darcy, Glynis! Bless him, until he learns a little empathy and humility, he's not easy to love :D

      Huge thanks again for all your wonderful messages and for all your love for this book. I'm so happy it was right up your street!

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    2. The Colonel was a big help getting Darcy on the clue bus wasn't he!

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  18. Thanks for the review. I'm a fan of Joana's works and of low-angst so it sounds like the book for me.

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    1. I'm so glad it sounds like something you'd enjoy, darcybennet! Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by to read Ceri's review.

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    2. I think you will enjoy it. I don't think my stress levels could cope with a high angst story at the moment!

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  19. I'm delighted to know that Darcy realises his mistakes and attempts to correct his manners. At the same time Elizabeth also came to the realisation that Darcy is not the proud arrogant man he is back in Hertfordshire. This changed perception of each other is what I love in A Timely Elopement. Great review, Ceri!

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    1. Yes. I love that aspect of stories too, it's so satisfying to see them realise they were wrong!

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  20. I had a comment submitted via the contact me link that I forgot to add at the time - on 15/6 Eva commented:

    Joana Starnes' books have never disappointed me. It will be interesting to see what happens when Darcy does not continue with his insulting proposal. Thank you for this generous giveaway

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