Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top 10 Reasons You Should Read THE AUTUMN BRIDE by Anne Gracie

Short version here if your Tuesday is busy: go buy THE AUTUMN BRIDE. Do not pass "Go", do not collect $200. (Monopoly should really adjust for inflation, shouldn't it?) In summary, I was waiting eagerly for MONTHS for this book to be in my hot little hands and it did not disappoint in a single scene. Best of all, if you're the type who doesn't like to read in the middle of series, this one is the beginning of the series. You have missed nothing.

Longer version if you're stubborn and not as easily convinced by my natural ability to be right about everything. (Your loss.)

1. A Regency set novel of a heroine stuck in hard times with an original twist: how many other books can you name in which the heroine tries to burgle a house, discovers a sick old lady, then decides to move in to help her instead? That's right. You can't think of any either.

2. You need a book for Book Club, and you're tired of reading about people who drop dead of cancer or a hit-and-run ten pages from the end of the book. I can't blame you. This is the book. Lots of angst and what will happen to these poor characters, but with none of that "Oh, dear, draw a straw--which one is biting it in the end?" I always hate that. (I'm looking at you, Julian Fellowes.)

3. Speaking of book clubs, this book has a book club in it. How many Regency set novels do you know had a book club in them? None of them, I tell you. I've been reading since I was in the womb and none of mother's books had heroines in the Regency period going to book clubs. Anyway, you can totally use that scene to sell this book to Book Club. When fiction mirrors real life, crap like that. Pretentious book club members eat that stuff up and won't realize they're actually having fun until its too late.

4. If enough people buy this book, the publishers will notice and Hollywood will notice--and someone (okay, Mr. Fellowes, I suppose you can come back) will have to write the screenplay. AND since we already know the ending, we know there will be no tragic car accidents. Mostly because this is the Regency period and there are no cars, but the outcome is still the same. A happy ending. Anyway, the point, once Hollywood comes, Maggie Smith can play the dowager that's in this book as well--i.e. the sick old lady. The part was quite written for her, I believe. Those lines! So witty! "I thought books were supposed to improve the mind, but this wasn't that kind of book. But I did notice my mood was improved!" Oh, truer words! I should send dear Maggie a copy. *makes note*

5. For the English majors out there in the pirating world--honestly you should get a life--but if you enjoy that sort of "reading a book to look at structure and admire how its done", this is also a fine book for that as well. Anne Gracie is an organic writer--doesn't really plot the thing out exactly, but goes along with her characters and stays true to them and their behaviors. (Don't bother, Julian, no one cares for your excuses!) Anyway, one of the many things you can notice--without it being obvious and heavy-handed--is how the hero and the heroine both have similar strengths that are their greatest weakness as well. For instance, the heroine is extremely loyal--to the point of not being remotely selfish if it hurts anyone in her circle she's loyal to. She'd never betray someone she loves. Of course, not everyone in her circle has this problem and this is a huge conflict for her. The hero is extremely honorable--goes with being a Regency gentleman, does it not? But his honor and her loyalty get into several head-butting situations. Who's right? Who's wrong? Why is there are all this gray around?

6. You won't be able to wait for the other books of the Chance sisters. (I think this is self-explanatory.)

7. The hero is really quite broody, handsome, and steps in it a lot a la Mr. Darcy. Which coincidentally the Mr. Darcy book makes it to the Book Club.

8. Book within a book--see above. Who doesn't enjoy seeing books we love featured in other books we're loving?

9. I'm sure you won't even notice what I'm typing here because you've already run off to the link and are buying your copy. Right? Right. As you should.

10. Because I said so, that's why. It's almost midnight and I need to get some shut eye. Listen to me, damnit.

Has anyone else read Anne Gracie? What's your favorite book by her? And if you haven't read her (shame on you) what Regency set novel really impressed you for making an original twist to something that can be so easy to make the same? (The question can apply to any genre, really--what original twist have you seen in something near and dear to you that really impressed you?)

15 comments:

quantum said...

Anne Gracie has been on my TBR for a long time, since learning that she is a Janga auto-buy actually, but something irresistible always comes up before I get to her.

Hellie you make her sound irresistible. Your review is almost biblical with its 10 reasons. I sometimes wonder why one of the commandments from God wasn’t ‘Do it cus I say so’. LOL

I think that romance and love amongst ghosts is a little explored topic. Love is undoubtedly a spiritual quality so can be expected to persist with the spirit after death. It therefore follows that ghosts should be capable of love.

If you have missed out on love in this dimension don’t worry. All the great lovers from history are waiting for you in the next.
That is unless you get trapped in the wrong dimension (string theory claims there are 11).

I recommend Anette Darbyshire’s ‘Love in the wrong dimension’ to explore the possibilities.

Maureen’s ‘Caribbean Spell’ story is also pretty unusual. A time travelling witch who boosts her magic through love and sex. I could almost imagine a male author writing this one, but I’ve only read the unexpurgated version (Thanks Maureen). I’m going to buy the published version when available to see how she edited it ..... can’t wait! *smile*

Marnee Bailey said...

I haven't read Anne Gracie yet. *hangs head in shame* But I want to. Is this where I should start?

This sounds wonderful. I love the idea of a burglar who stays to help.

MsHellion said...

Q, Lynn Kurland's books--she LOVES ghosts and romance. They are some really great books. STARDUST OF YESTERDAY is just such a book. It IS available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Stardust-Yesterday-Haunting-Hearts-ebook/dp/B00AFXSTM8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361285288&sr=8-10. I'm not sure what you're used to reading in though and hope you have a version compatible to your machine.

It was one of the first books my college roommate and I bonded over. We both adored it.

MsHellion said...

(Q, you will need to explain string theory and 11 to me sometime. It sounds interesting...fodder for the creative writer. :)) And I'll look up Anette Darbyshire and give her a go! :)

Terri Osburn said...

I own some Anne Gracies and every excerpt I've read I've loved, but have never committed to a full book. No idea why, as Hellie has been badgering me about her for years. I guess getting in at the beginning of a series would be the place to start.

I love this list. Love the sound of the book. An interesting twist. Hmmmm.... I loved how Eloisa James turned the Cinderella fairy tale around. Also like the magical twists I've read in Kleypas' current series.

MsHellion said...

Marn, you can start here--as I said, it's the beginning of a series, and she has the most amazing ability to make you laugh hysterically and then make you cry...and ache poignantly a few pages later. She handles emotion on the page so beautifully. (My favorite book is THE PERFECT RAKE, but as I said, I think you would love this one just as much if not more since you're intrigued by the burgling.)

MsHellion said...

My guess is that Terri hasn't finished one because *I've* been badgering her. It's the same in all aspects of my life: work, home, family, friends. If I recommend it, let's ignore it and do our own thing instead. *LOL* That's fine. I'm not bitter. :)

Good recommendations though--I do love the magical twists Kleypas has given her contemporary series...and Eloisa's fairy tales have all been interestingly twisted but still comfortingly familiar. Which is what we're wanting. The same...but different. *LOL*

Janga said...

From the minute I turn the final page of Anne Gracie's most recent book, I am impatiently waiting for her next. As Q said, Gracie is one of my autobuys and has been since I first read Gallant Waif in 2001. I've loved every one of her books, but Gallant Waif is still my favorite--and one of my all-time favorite reads.

I second Hellie's recommendation of The Autumn Bride. Nobody blends humor and pathos better than Gracie. All the characters in this story have suffered. There are some dark issues present, but there is also much humor. Some will make you laugh out loud and some will evoke a gentle smile. Gracie's also a genius a creating those moments that tighten your throat and leave teardrops clinging to your eyelashes.

Hellie, I can't wait for Daisy's story. I suspect it will be the final one in the series, but what an unusual heroine she's going to be. Gracie also does great old lady characters, and Aunt Bea in TAB rivals Andy Taylor's Aunt Bea for memorability. I loved her!

I'll stop raving now. :)

irisheyes said...

I'm an Anne Gracie lover! Since Janga introduced me to her years ago I've picked up everything she's written and never been disappointed. My favorites (because I can remember the plots pretty clearly, and that's saying a lot these days, and a smile comes to my face right off the bat) are GALLANT WAIF and THE PERFECT RAKE. I believe GW is the one where Wellington makes an appearance at a ball and saves the day for the heroine. Great Scene!

I have her current one, but haven't dived in yet. I'll have to move it up the TBR pile. I love the idea of the heroine breaking in and staying to help the old lady of the house. You comparing the hero to Darcy just ups the ante for me, Hellie! LOL

I can't think of any twists I've read recently. I do know I've read several books where instead of using the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING the author chose the high road and had the H/H work through it. That's always a pleasant surprise. I wish I could remember but my brain is mush. Sorry - left midnight Friday night to visit colleges in Tennessee and Alabama and got home last night at 11 pm. LONG weekend!

Love the review, Hellie (especially the Julian Fellowes comments!) I'm sorry I missed yesterday's discussion. :) I haven't sat down to watch Sunday's episode yet, although I already know what happens (I cheated and read reviews posted on Heroes and Heartbreakers last fall).

P. Kirby said...

Um,not my cuppa, and it gave me a sparky bit of sticker shock.

But...kuddos for a really awesome and funny review!

MsHellion said...

Janga, exactly, I do start yearning for Gracie's next book before I've finished the last page of the book I'm reading. *LOL*

MsHellion said...

Irish, thank you! And that does sound like a LONG WEEKEND! Holy cow! And I'm glad to hear we didn't cheat you with any real spoilers because you already cheated yourself. That IS a relief. *LOL*

MsHellion said...

Thanks, Pat! *LOL* I understand and I'm glad you enjoyed the review at any rate. :)

Maureen said...

Ah, I love the preview review from Q for A Caribbean Spell! (hugs!)

I've enjoyed a lot of interesting paranormal twists over the years and reinventing of genres...though I think 11 realities is far too few...

You are so enthusiastic about her...she must be brava...

MsHellion said...

Mo, she is very Brava! :) And I loved Q's glowing review of your story as well! ;)