Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.
It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.
What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.
We were provided an ARC for an honest review.
- These are some of the best writers of Jane Austen variations on the market, and the quality of the writing in this anthology proves it. This anthology is for anyone who is well acquainted with all of Jane Austen’s novels. Sadly, the only novel I know really well is Pride and Prejudice.
- Full disclosure: I have never read Mansfield Park and have only ever seen several of the film adaptations, this means I have little memory of Tom Bertram or his caddish/drunken ways. I came to his story without any prejudice or malice towards him.
- [MAJOR SPOILER] Tom’s story does not end in an H.E.A., and personally I would not consider this story a true romance but rather a character study.
- I loved the narrative structure, and how Tom was the one who told the/his own story. He is a compelling storyteller. You get his version of events and his feelings, regrets, about his caddish ways.
- Rose and Tom had a quintessential meet cute! It was fun to watch their relationship progress and to see him fall more and more in-love with her, without even realizing it!
- It is through Rose that Tom wants to change his ways. It is true, no one can change anyone else but you can make someone want to change. Rose makes Tom want to be a better person, brother and friend.