Title: Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
Author: Sally Smith O'Rourke
Publisher: Victorian Essence Press
Published: September 22, 2012
Series: The Man Who Loved Jane Austen #2
Source: Received from author in exchange
for an honest review.
Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!
His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?
Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them
When Sally Smith O'Rourke first approached me about doing a review of this book I was hesitant. Ashamedly, I have never read any of Jane Austen's work, (Horrible, I know. Though they are on my TBR) So, I was afraid that I wouldn't be the best candidate to do a review. She assured me that I didn't need to be familiar with Jane Austen's work in order to enjoy the books, and she was right.
I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It is told in alternating chapters, that flash back and forth between a span of a few years in the 1800's and the present day.
The story itself is an easy read. I wouldn't say that I got swept away by it, but it was enjoyable. I wish that there had been more rounding of some of the characters, but I understand why there wasn't. The main focus of the story was on Fitzwilliam Darcy, and the progression of his relationship with Eliza.
Jane's role could possibly be seen by some as a love triangle of sorts, depending on how you look at it. Except Fitz is never in love with Jane herself, only the idea of her. Though Eliza's jealousy of the time he spent with Jane, is a very real thing that she has to work through so that they can move forward with their own relationship.
I would say that the story is very much romanticised. Fitz says a lot of things that are just right, and the disagreements between he and Eliza don't last all that long.They're solved in what seems like seconds. The details are perfect in setting the scene for the romance between Eliza and Fitz, and although Eliza puts up some resistance, it didn't feel genuine to the vibe I got from her character. I would have liked to have seen more of a struggle between them, instead of them just feeling "like home" for each other throughout.
The one naggingly unexplained detail is the whole fact that no one ever really figured out the time travel element. That was too easily wrapped up and explained away.
Simmons, the stable hand employed by Jane Austen's brother wants to go through the portal that is open between the two times to see if there will be better opportunities for him in Fitz's time. So, he goes through the portal in a field of the Chawton estate that opens at sunrise and sunset.
There just happened to be a renactment going on the day that Simmons stepped through the portal, so he fit in well enough. They assumed he was Amish to explain away his lack of understanding of technology, and they automatically assume that he knows Fitzwilliam Darcy without checking to find out for themselves. I wish that there had been some mention of how the portal was discovered in the first place. Since this is the 2nd book in the series the explanation isn't there, but I feel it would have helped to have a brief recap of some sort.
Overall, the story is very enjoyable. It's a nice look at Jane Austen's world for someone who isn't quite ready to delve into her work, with a nice glimpse of what she might have been like. If you're looking for an easy, romantic read, this is it.
If you'd like more information on the author and her books, be sure to check out this guest post