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The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel: Book Two of Jane Austen's Fighting Men (Volume 2) Paperback – July 28, 2016
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About the Author
Jack Caldwell, born and raised in the Bayou County of Louisiana, is an author, amateur historian, professional economic developer, playwright, and like many Cajuns, a darn good cook. Jack is the author of Jane Austen-themed historical novels. PEMBERLEY RANCH is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Reconstruction Texas. THE THREE COLONELS: JANE AUSTEN’S FIGHTING MEN is a sequel to Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. MR. DARCY CAME TO DINNER and THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE are Pride & Prejudice-flavored farces. In 2015, he released the first four of a series of historical novels about New Orleans, titled THE CRESCENT CITY SERIES. THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE begins the series, commemorating the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. Jack marked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with three modern novels: BOURBON STREET NIGHTS, ELYSIAN DREAMS, and RUIN AND RENEWAL. When not writing or traveling with Barbara, Jack attempts to play golf. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Jack is married with three grown sons. Jack’s blog postings – The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles – appear regularly at Austen Variations.
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First of all, I have to say that I loved seeing that the love between Percy and Margot was still so strong, that they'd led a happy life, that they were great parents, and that they had two wonderful kids.
Then characters from Persuasion (Bufford); Pride & Prejudice (Caroline Bingley and references to Lizzy & Darcy); Sense & Sensibility (Brandon); and--the most perplexing of all--Frederick Tilney from Northanger Abbey who, in this book, is a great person (as well as the love interest). Not to mention all the important personages from the Regency period (Regent included).
Does the book work? Yes, and pretty well most of the time. There is one last Pimpernel-type adventure (exactly along the lines of all previous Pimpernel-type adventures down to the villains); there is young and mature love; there is excitement and romance, there is plenty to keep you on your toes with maybe a bit more tension and action than most Austen variations (which was the only downer for me but might be an asset to others.)
What a rousing adventure of revenge, romance and redemption...all great elements of an exciting journey. In the opening of book 2 of Mr. Caldwell's 'Jane Austen's Fighting Men', we have the handsome rake and soldier, Captain Frederick Tilney of Northanger Abbey, defending his actions for being a most determined flirt with a duel. As he parts ways with his opponent, he tells him:
"You are a fool, Sir Robert, but a brave fool. Live and learn from this. Trust no woman."
Famous last words from a man who has yet to be fully 'struck' by love. The bolt of lightening strikes as he is re-introduced to Miss Violet Blakeney, who he remembers only as a child. He soon finds himself face to face with a man whose honour and actions have set him above your average aristocrat...Baronet Percy Blakeney, the Scarlet Pimpernel, her father. However, evil forces are at work on the Continent as intrigues, manipulations and revenge start slowly building and place our characters in danger.
There was so much that I loved in this book. Mr. Caldwell has deftly combined the characters by Jane Austen and Baroness Emma Orczy into this story. We not only have the Tilneys, but interaction with the Darcys, Colonel Brandon and Marianne, Lord and Lady Matlock, and his own creation, Colonel John Buford to name a few. I enjoyed the development of Captain Tilney's character along with the building intensity of this story. It was gradual and as the danger increased, so did the pace. I also loved the deep and abiding love of Sir Percy and his wife. Lady Blakeney is fabulous in this story!
Before reading this book, I had read Baroness Orczy's 'The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel' to refresh my memory of the story. I only ever remember seeing the movie. Then I re-read "The Three Colonels (Jane Austen's Fighting Men #1)", which is one of my favourite books. Do you have to read these first? No, but I strongly recommend that you do, so you have a deeper appreciation of the overall story both before and after.
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And after reading several of his books, I have to agree.Read more