[The Austen Inspired Romantic Comedies]: A Series Review

Hi y’all!

Anyone else feel like the stabilizing routines of fall are so close? I feel like I am almost in the groove of school and fall routines. But not quite. Wishing everyone a smooth transition this fall!

Today I am excited to share a series review of the four novels in the Austen Inspired Romantic Comedy series by Rachel John: Engaging Mr. Darcy, Emma the Matchmaker, Persuading the Captain, and Dashing into Disaster.

These books were so much fun! I loved the Austen inspired story lines with modern twists. Great books to kick off my summer reading this year!

Check out the book summaries on Goodreads:

Engaging Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice retelling)

Emma the Matchmaker (Emma retelling)

Persuading the Captain (Persuasion retelling)

Dashing into Disaster (Sense and Sensibility retelling)

As a big Austen fan, I love the clever details from the original stories that are incorporated into John’s modern tales like clever place names, supporting characters, and plot twists. Elizabeth and Darcy’s first interaction is as perfectly awkward and misunderstood as in the classic story. Also John gives it a fun modern setting that is also so true to the original small town of Meryton that I love from Pride and Prejudice. Emma’s reprimand from Knightley after her poorly done interaction with Miss Bates is fantastic as is her reconciliation with Miss Bates. I also love how she and Knightley connect while babysitting their shared niece and nephews. The clever connections continue in Anne and Wentworth’s story including the accident near the sea, Mr Eliot’s story, and my personal favorite — Wentworth’s letter. And in the last book, I thought the engagement between Edward and Lucy Steele was cleverly modernized as well as Elinor’s family and their financial situation. Overall, I loved being in these favorite stories with modern twists.

Rachel John cleverly modernizes classic characters while still being true to their original characterization. I was impressed by the subtle similarities despite s few centuries difference in timeline. It’s so fun to see how she gave modern personalities to characters — from all the protagonists to favorite supporting characters like Harriett Smith, Mr Elton, Miss Bates, Marianne and Greta (Margaret) Dashwood, Captain Bennick, Jane Bennett and Charlie Bingley, and more. I especially loved the Persuasion adaptation. Anne is spot on — kind, loves her eccentric family, doing good for others and a bit regretful of her past. Eric (Capt Wentworth) is also well developed — proud, successful, seemingly unaffected but actually still totally in love with Anne. I love getting inside both their heads throughout the novel. A great element in all these stories!

Perhaps the highlight of these novels is the dual perspectives point of view. I loved getting inside the heads of both our heroines and heroes. Its fun to think about what Mr Darcy or Mr Knightley or Edward Ferras would be thinking at pivotal moments in the story. I love getting in Elinor’s head as she starts to care for Edward. We see her passion and excitement for life under her sensible exterior. I enjoyed getting inside our heroes’ heads and seeing how their attraction grows as they get to know Lizzie and Elinor, and the longstanding love for Emma and Anne. These dual perspectives add so much to the original stories making these retellings even more fun!

These novels are simply delightful! My Austen loving soul loved the clever details and character connections. Each book can stand on its own and all are so easy to get invested in. I read them all quickly. They are just fun! Loved them all!


What are some of your favorite Austen inspired novels?

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