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Mailbox Monday #526

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Beyond the Lens by Hannah Ellis, a Kindle freebie.

Twenty-six-year-old Lucy Mitchell isn’t the sort of person who’d take part in a reality TV show. But when she loses her job and is offered a free trip to Spain, she reluctantly agrees. She has no idea what to expect.

But she definitely isn’t expecting Adam.

The lovely cameraman captures her heart, and as Lucy sips cocktails in the sun with fantastic new friends, everything seems perfect.

But that’s all about to change.

Thrust into the spotlight, Lucy’s world is turned upside down. Can her blossoming romance survive under pressure? Will she ever escape the cameras? There’s one thing she knows for sure: when dealing with the media, you should always read the fine print…

A Father’s Sins by J. Dawn King, a Kindle freebie.

How do Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet overcome the consequences of poor decisions made by their fathers when Darcy and Elizabeth were young?

In A Father’s Sins, Mr. George Darcy, father of an illegitimate child raised by his steward, Mr. Wickham, agreed with his wife, Anne, that the firstborn son of their marriage would be heir to Pemberley. However, Mr. Darcy loved his eldest son, George Wickham, and indulged him by bringing him to Pemberley to live after the death of his wife. His heir, Fitzwilliam Darcy, paid a heavy price for this decision.

Mr. Thomas Bennet, an educated gentleman and father of five daughters, favored his second born, Elizabeth. Unexpectedly, his wife gave birth to a son and heir. Mr. Bennet, at the persistent urging of his wife, chose not to have his youngest children vaccinated for smallpox. When the plague hit Longbourn it devastated their family. Elizabeth paid the heaviest price for this decision of her father.

Her Good Opinion by Eden Forster, a Kindle freebie.

Mr. Darcy knows that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is aware of his role in separating her eldest sister, Miss Jane Bennet, and his friend, Mr. Bingley, and thereby involving them both in misery of the acutest kind. He knows because he was there when Elizabeth found out. Still, the gentleman offers her his hand in marriage—an offer she promptly refuses.

Determined to win her good opinion and ultimately her heart, Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth for six weeks to change her mind.

What could possibly tempt Elizabeth to accept the man who has been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister?

A Case of First Impression by A.M. Blair, a Kindle freebie.

What if George Wickham hadn’t married into the Bennet family?

A Case of First Impression — a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – gives George and his accomplice, Mrs. Younge, the alternate endings they deserve. George Wickham’s 21st Century counterpart, George Wickersham, is more corrupt than the original, but then again, who knows what the original is up to when he goes off to “enjoy himself in London or Bath.”

Elyse Barret, an updated version of Elizabeth, narrates this modern tale. She’s the only family member her father trusts to keep an eye on Mrs. Younge’s criminal trial, which involves a modern Mr. Darcy as a key witness.

Second Impressions by Pepper Basham, a Kindle freebie.

He likes streamline. She prefers embellishments. His forte is business. Hers is atmosphere. Will they realize each has what the other needs most to create the perfect romance with a touch of Jane Austen flair?

When a country girl travels to Bath, England to visit Jane Austen country, will a serious businessman ruin her regency-dream?

Maria Lucas: A Short Story by Jennifer Becton, a Kindle freebie.

After a great deal of romantic strife, Maria Lucas finds herself married to Mr. Jonas Card in a desperate attempt to extricate herself and her sister Charlotte from a dire financial situation. Mr. Card, however, truly loves Maria and has vowed to woo her. Alas, she views him only in friendly terms. But when it seems that Mr. Card’s feelings have changed, Maria sets out to discover why. And through a series of unexpected events, Mr. Card succeeds in wooing his wife without saying a word.

“Maria Lucas” is a post script to the novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As such, it contains minor spoilers, but it can be read as a stand-alone piece.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms, a Kindle freebie.

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills, a Kindle freebie.

A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end. But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window. She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #457

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what we received:

Angel of Waterloo: Jane Bennet, War Nurse: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Novel by Emma Osborne, free on Kindle.

When Charles Bingley takes up his brother’s regimental appointment and goes across the channel to face Napoleon, Jane Bennet is faced with a choice… stay in Hertfordshire while her sisters court the Meryton regiment, or follow her heart to Brussels.

When Jane’s letters stop coming, Elizabeth Bennet is determined to find her sister, no matter the cost. Mr. Darcy, concerned about his friend Charles Bingley’s sudden silence is also planning a trip across the channel and the two are thrust together in an uneasy alliance to discover the truth behind Jane and Bingley’s ominous silence.

Kitty’s Lucky Charm: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Bianca St James, a Kindle freebie.

Catherine Bennet is in possession of the worst kind of luck. With three of her four sisters happily married, she is stuck in a quiet house with a sister who does not care for balls and dancing with garrison officers, or what new ribbons are in the shops in town. Mrs. Bennet might be anxious to have her married off, but for Kitty Bennet, nothing seems to be going right.

Kitty’s luck takes a turn for the worse when a journey to visit her sister Elizabeth to help welcome their first child puts Kitty in a perilous situation. Her disappointment is unmatched, however, as she discovers that her only hope is not a dashing officer in regimental red, but a young man with ink-stained cuffs and an earnest smile.

Miss Darcy’s Companion by Joana Starnes, a Kindle freebie.

Miss Georgiana Darcy is need of a companion, and she would much rather not have Mrs Younge. The recently bereaved Miss Elizabeth Bennet is in need of a position. When she accepts the one Mr Darcy offers, she finds herself in his near-constant company and gets to know him at his best. Not as he would present himself to strangers in some remote corner of Hertfordshire, but as his nearest and dearest know him. An excellent brother, landlord, master. A wonderful man, noble, kind – and impossibly handsome.

So who falls in love first? What of Mr Wickham and his dastardly ploys? And how is a lady’s companion ever to have a future with one who could marry into the best houses in the land?

Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts by Ceclia Gray, Jessica Gray, Nancy Kelley, and more, a Kindle Freebie.

t’s time for crisp weather, colorful leaves, and a Thanksgiving feast. The authors of the Holidays with Jane series bring you Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts with six modern-day adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. Join your favorite heroines around the fire with a cup of hot apple cider for heart-warming takes on these classic stories.

Amelia Elkins Elkins by A.M. Blair, a Kindle freebie.

In 1817, if childbirth didn’t kill a woman, there were good odds a “miasma” would. Now, thanks to modern medicine, a woman’s demise at the prime of her life is uncommon enough to deserve an investigation. That’s what two lawyers at the Harville Firm promise to do when Amelia Elkins Elkins, a member of a prominent family with more baggage than money, contacts them in the wake of her mother’s untimely death.

In this retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, Amelia and her sisters turn to the American court system to seek justice for their mother’s death. It’s too bad their conceited, silly father is doing everything he can — inadvertently, of course — to hinder their success.

Fitzwilliam Darcy An Honourable Man by Brenda J. Webb, a Kindle freebie

Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man is a Pride and Prejudice variation. Not a simple retelling, it is an intriguing new story that does not follow canon. It is rated for mature audiences.

Leaving England after his disastrous proposal was refused at Hunsford, Darcy spent two lonely years in Scotland and Ireland before returning home to face Elizabeth Bennet, certain that he could regard her as an indifferent acquaintance.

Events that transpired in his absence have left Elizabeth a changed woman. The victim of a marriage by deception to Count Stefano, she has suffered greatly at his hands.

Will Mr. Darcy rescue the woman he vowed to forget?

Jewels on the Water: A Pride and Prejudice Sequel by Rachel Elizabeth, a Kindle freebie.

Does love truly conquer all? Or is sadness inescapable? Is it worth the effort required to be free of its dark downward pull?

The Victorian Age has been kind indeed to Gardiner-Bingley Enterprises, third largest company in Great Britain. Gardiner’s Emporium warehouses in London and Scarborough, and most recently expanded to include Bristol and New York City, are well supplied by the partnership with Bingley Shipping and Bingley Woolen Mills now headed by patriarch Charles Bingley. His second son, Thomas, is blessed with everything the mortal heart can most desire—good looks, splendid property, noble kindred—and his own ship.

He enjoys his well-ordered life until the day he looks into the eyes of his heart’s partner and recognizes her for who she is. But mystery surrounds her. Why is a gentlewoman, a peeress, booked aboard a freight steamer enroute to America—without a maid or companion? Why does she deflect all questions about herself or her future plans?

Like his father before him, Thomas quickly comprehends that he has found his ‘angel’. But will she fly away before he can convince her to stay?

Although there is no explicit content in this story, it does deal with the sensitive topic of successfully recovering from sexual, physical, and emotional violence to find that life can still include ‘jewels on the water’.
This is a clean read appropriate for readers 17 and older

Mr Darcy’s Christmas Angel by Katy Green, a Kindle freebie.

In this story, Lady Catherine never visited Longbourn so Elizabeth and Mr Darcy were never reunited. Mr Darcy is dangerously ill the following Christmas and calling for Elizabeth. Colonel Fitzwilliam goes to fetch her and what happens next is the subject of this festive short story.

Darcy and Elizabeth: Duet in the Halls of Pemberley: Two Pride and Prejudice Variations by Cassandra Knightley, a Kindle freebie.

Two chances for Darcy and Elizabeth to find their happily ever after!

Escape to the polite society of Pride & Prejudice in these sweet, clean variations bubbling with spirit, humor, and romance.

Love Blooms at Pemberley
In the aftermath of Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr Darcy, the worst possible outcome has befallen the Bennet family. Mr Bennet has died unexpectedly, leaving his widow and unmarried daughters at the mercy of Mr Collins.

In this time of hardship and sorrow, Mr Darcy shows his true nature through his kindness, generosity, and friendship. But will Darcy and Elizabeth be able to put aside their hurt pride and stubborn natures to find the Happilly Ever After they both seek?

Mischief & Misunderstanding
A stolen kiss at the Netherfield Ball sparks a merry war between Darcy and Elizabeth.
After unexpectedly inheriting both a title and the fine estate of Messina Grove, Lord Bennet and his family leave Longbourn forever to start a new life of nobility. And why should they not? Mr. Bingley and his party had quit Netherfield no more than a week earlier, leaving Jane quite publicly heartbroken, and Elizabeth secretly so.

But two years later, Lord and Lady Bennet receive a request from Lady Catherine De Bourgh asking if her Nephews and a small party would be welcome to stay at Messina Grove for a short duration.

Jane is very excited to have a second chance with the still unmarried Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth does not care what Darcy does because she does not care at all about him! In this week of mischief and games, true love will be reunited and discovered, but hearts will also be broken when jealousy and old hurts rise.

In this silly, clean variation, Cassandra Knightley knits together two of her favorite tales: Pride & Prejudice and Much Ado About Nothing.

Pour yourself a cup of tea, take a seat on a comfy sofa, and be prepared to laugh and cry and swoon as Darcy and Elizabeth muddle their way towards true love in these two adorable P&P variations.

What found its way into your mailbox this week?