by Anthology

October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-77501-9
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Trade Paperback

If you are a fan of literary mash-ups there is a new one from Harlequin soon hitting the shelves. In Bespelling Jane Austen, four authors have lent their pen to give readers half-Austen and half-paranormal blends.

In Almost Persuaded Mary Balogh spins reincarnation into the classic Persuasion.

Jane Everett has memories of things that canít possibly be true. At least, that is what her family tells her. Then why does she remember having a different mother, a different life? Jane suppresses any ímemoriesí in order to keep peace; if not for herself, then for her family.

When Jane is introduced to Captain Mitford she feels a connection to him. Almost as if she knows him. His explanation for those feelings is enough to make Janeís head spin.

Baloghís Almost Persuaded keeps the heart of Jane Austenís story of love, regret, loss, and redemption.

Colleen Gleasonís Northanger Castle is in keeping with Austenís lighthearted poke at Gothic literature. The heroine Caroline is a voracious reader of the genre and has difficulty distinguishing truth from fiction. She is convinced, however, there are vampires in Bath. Armed with a stake, she determines to rid it of the bloodsuckers.

Susan Krinard proves there are little differences between the mating rituals of the 19th century and those of today in her contribution, Blood and Prejudice. Krinard has succeeded in translating, with affection, the popular Austen novel into a paranormal contemporary. I dare to say even an Austen purist would be hard pressed to find fault in this fun adaptation of Lizzie and Mr. Darcy.

In Little to Hex Her, Janet Mullany gives Emma a matchmaking service to wreak havoc in the lives of those around her. Witty and charming can best describe this retelling of Austenís famous busybody. Emma discovers love where she least expects it. Mullany also reveals the truth about Washington D.C. It is overrun with witches, vampires, and all manner of paranormal creatures!

This is my first mash-up and I am by no means disappointed. This anthology has kept Austen in the heart of the matter while playing with the fringes. Strictly Austen fans or lovers of paranormal romance, there is something for everyone in Bespelling Jane Austen.

Reviewed in September 2010 by Rho.

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