Blog Tour,  Book Reviews,  Jane Austen Fan Fiction

A Learned Romance

“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning”–Jane Austen, Persuasion, chapter 4

MARY BENNET HAD NEVER WISHED for anything more than to be known as the meek and pious Bennet sister, the one who sweetly brought peace to her family.

BEING THE LAST UNMARRIED BENNET SISTER, the pressure to partake of a London Season with the nouveau riche Wickhams was considerable, no matter how little she desired it; but, her young sister Lydia would not hear a refusal. Mary hoped she could pass her days as quietly as a mouse and maybe encourage her still-wild sister to become a more demure wife and stop quarrelling so much with her husband. 

BUT WHEN LYDIA’S FLIRTATION with scientist begins stirring gossip, Mary discovers it is not enough to stay meek and quiet. She must protect Lydia’s reputation by drawing the man’s attentions her way, and convincing the world it is Mary, not Lydia, who attracts Mr Cole. If she fails, Lydia’s disgrace will taint every family member connected with her—Bennet, Bingley, and Darcy alike—and Mary will have no hope for her own future. But alluring a gentleman is hardly the sort of practice Mary has a knack for. Though it goes against every fibre of her being, Mary must turn aside from the peace she craves and uncover the belle within—all while finding her heart awakening in the illusion of romance she has created.

photography of stones

“I am free. And happy.”

Oh, I do love a good Mary story! There is something so satisfying about seeing her have a HEA. She has the potential for such a magical transformation. A Learning Romance was a delightful transformation story for Mary!

One of my favorite parts was the fact that Lydia and Wickham were a large part of the story. We don’t see them very often AND in a post-marriage setting. I found it fascinating to see them in a different light.

Mary was everything I wanted her to be. Overall, her story stayed true to her character, with room for her to grow to find her HEA. I recommend this one for anyone who enjoys a statifying character arc and that enjoys seeing Mary have her moment to shine.

I do wish we would have seen more of the main couple together at the end, but the addition of the epilogue does allow insight into their future. Who is your favorite Bennet sister to read about?

Elizabeth Rasche Author Bio

After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, which is over 4,000 miles from Derbyshire. (Doesn’t everyone measure distance from the center of the world, Pemberley?)

She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), London, Bath, and of course, Derbyshire. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect. Elizabeth Rasche is the author of Flirtation and Folly, as well as The Birthday Parties of Dragons. Her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest.

Don’t forget to check out the other blog tours along the way! Thank you to Quills & Quartos for allowing me to be a part of this tour and gifting me a copy of ALR. All opinions expressed are my own.

Happy Reading! Melissa

Melissa has been in love with books since she was a child. As a young girl, in her Holly Hobby decorated room, she would sit and tape scraps of paper to her books so that she could organize them by the Dewey Decimal System. She is a huge advocate for helping children learn to love reading. Along with hosting an online Regency based book club and a book club at her home, she started a book club for kids at her son’s school. These days, Melissa can be found at the library writing a book review or tucked in some quiet corner having a love affair with a newly discovered romance novel.


  • buturot

    Thanks for the review. I do love Lizzy. But love to know what happens to all (we know already what happened to Jane and Lydia) So always looking forward to knowing what happens to the other 2.

    • Elizabeth Rasche

      Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you’re interested in what becomes of the other Bennets. Jane has her happily-ever-after and Lydia has her…whatever it is. 🙂 But Mary and Kitty are left wide open for a new story to be told.

  • Vesper

    I am enjoying reading this story as Mary is my favourite Bennet daughter, it can only be bettered if she is paired with the Colonel, I know it will not happen in this story

  • Glynis

    Having to live with Lydia and Wickham would definitely be my idea of a nightmare! Add to that having to try flirting with a man to try and prevent society from realising what Lydia is up to? Double nightmare!
    Poor Mary! I hope she gets her just reward.
    My favourite Bennet sister is Elizabeth! Especially when she’s loving and loved by Darcy!

    • Elizabeth Rasche

      Mary does get her happily-ever-after, but you are right that it is quite a trial to deal with Lydia’s and Wickham’s antics! Thanks for the comment, Glynis.

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