Friday, April 5, 2013

Great Review of Second Glances at Austenesque Reviews!

I can't get stop reading and grinning over the review Meredith Esparza posted today on Austenesque Reviews for Second Glances. You should check both it and the guest post I authored there on Wednesday, as it comes with a very unique giveaway opportunity, but I have to post the review here, too, because I just can't get enough of it. Only other writers can truly understand my joy in having a reader so complete get what I was trying to achieve in this book. I'm absolutely ecstatic.
Out of all the Bennet sisters, Kitty is perhaps the sister that is the least developed and defined by Jane Austen. Described as “weak-spirited, irritable, and completely under Lydia's guidance,” she doesn't seem to possess any unique characteristics or admirable marks of distinction (unless you count being an indiscriminate cougher!) And as far as Austenesque novels go, to date it would seem that both Mary and Lydia are more frequently chosen as heroines over poor, unpopular Kitty. Which is why I am so elated and thankful that Alexa Adams has penned a sequel to her Pride and Prejudice variation, First Impressions, that features Kitty Bennet as the heroine!
At the close of First Impressions with Kitty and Lydia being sent to a ladies school in Bath, it would seem that “two of the silliest girls in the country” were on the path to improvement! As one might expect, one sister made the most of this rare opportunity and worked hard with her studies, while the other remained preoccupied with flirting, frivolity, and fun. Because of Kitty's remarkable progress with her accomplishments and manners, she is invited to London to accompany Georgiana Darcy during her season. As bosom friend and sister to the illustrious Darcys, Kitty anticipates a season full of entertainment, excitement, and elegance. What she doesn't expect is to be plagued by one of the most presumptuous, eccentric, and eligible bachelors in town!
How I adored this novel! As with First Impressions, I was greatly impressed with Alexa Adams adept use of satirical tone and Austenesque language. Her narratives and asides cannot help but make one think of Jane Austen and her delight in the imperfections and follies of others. But my favorite aspect of this book was the development and fleshed-out characterization of Kitty Bennet! Ms. Adams delved into Kitty's psyche and thoroughly explored this oft forgotten character. With her modesty, more reserved nature, understandable insecurities, and romantic heart – Kitty easily won my heart and compassion. Furthermore, I greatly enjoyed observing how spending time with the Darcys (during her summer and winter holidays) has impacted and influenced Kitty's development. Especially Mr. Darcy, who can be credited with triggering the most significant change in Kitty's character. I loved witnessing the mutual respect and high opinion these two had for each other.
However, Kitty's admirable transformation isn't the only aspect of this novel I enjoyed. Far from it! The hero, Sir James Stratton, with his impulsiveness and absurdities, charmingly reminds one of Georgette Heyer's characters. In addition, Mr. Bennet, with his matchmaking machinations and perverse delight in teasing young men in love, provides much sport and mirth. Moreover, Caroline and Lydia, per their usual, enhance the drama of the story with their schemes and shenanigans. All of these amusing and intriguing components mixed in with Alexa Adams' brilliant prose and gentle wit create a sequel that is delightful, diverting, and very hard to put down! I highly recommend!
Have I mentioned I'm ecstatic? Should by some chance you not be familiar with Meredith's reviews, I highly recommend following her Austenesque Reviews at Her dedication to the genre is unparalleled.

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