Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her famil...

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Title:Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
Author:Jennieke Cohen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance Reviews

  • Kester Grant

    I gulped this delicious book down in one sitting - and stayed up far longer than I should have. As a lover of georgette heyer's regency romances I enjoyed the depth to the delightful regency frothyness that strikes a chord - with its detailed issues of divorce and physical abuse. also as a hardened hist romance/mystery reader i was sure i knew the outcome of the mystery, but i was completely blindsided by the perp! I sincerely hope there's a sequel in which Mr C gets a starring role.

  • Laura Namey

    I got to review an early copy of this book and my Jane Austen heart is so happy! I wish I’d had this as a teen! Wonderful pacing, twists and turns, beautifully drawn characters, and lovely prose make this a win win win!

  • Samantha Hastings

    If you love Jane Austen’s books, Jennieke Cohen will be your new favorite author. Dangerous Alliance is the perfect combination of mystery, intriguing characters, surprising action, and delightful romance. I couldn’t put it down!!! I read it in one night!

    What I loved 🖤🖤🖤:

    1. Lady Victoria Aston is not your typical damsel in distress, every time she is in danger, she uses her wits to fight back. She’s optimistic, loyal, brave, out-spoken, and utterly charming. She’s definitely a feminist protagoni

    If you love Jane Austen’s books, Jennieke Cohen will be your new favorite author. Dangerous Alliance is the perfect combination of mystery, intriguing characters, surprising action, and delightful romance. I couldn’t put it down!!! I read it in one night!

    What I loved 🖤🖤🖤:

    1. Lady Victoria Aston is not your typical damsel in distress, every time she is in danger, she uses her wits to fight back. She’s optimistic, loyal, brave, out-spoken, and utterly charming. She’s definitely a feminist protagonist that modern girls can cheer for, but she still is believable for the time period.

    2. Vicky’s obsession with Jane Austen’s books is so cleverly inserted into the story. Vicky tries to use Austen’s books in real life situations and the results are hilarious. She is no Fanny Price and she’d even give Elizabeth Bennett some serious competition.

    3. Vicky’s childhood friend, Tom, is a complex character with a tragic past and an uncertain future, yet you can’t help but cheer for him.

    4. The mystery—who is behind the attacks and accidents befalling Vicky? What really happened between Tom and Vicky? What is Mr. Carmichael’s business with her bro-in-law Lord Dain? There are great twists and reveals!

    5. Through Vicky’s sister, Althea, Jennieke Cohen highlights the awful legal situation of married women in early 19th century England. Despite being abused and/or cheated on, women couldn’t get a divorce. The best they could hope for is a legal separation. Men on the other hand, could divorce their wives for adultery and remarry. Wives (and their dowries) were the legal property of their husbands under English law.

    6. Vicky is hoping for her own Jane Austen story-book romance and there are plenty of hiccups! Her suitors range from absolute boors, to former best friends, to wealthy mysterious men. Her ultimate romance is sweet and oh, so satisfying.

    A must read for Cindy Anstey and Patricia Wrede fans!!!

  • Lillie Lainoff

    I'm exhausted today – why, you ask? Well, I stayed up all night reading an early copy of Dangerous Alliance because I couldn't put it down!

    This book has so many wonderful components that it would be impossible to list them all. Here's just a few: Vicky (the MC)'s strong, distinct voice is a pleasure to read. Her personal strengths are so closely tied with her flaws (in my opinion one of the best signs of a well-developed character). The fierce, sisterly love is believable and authentic, and the

    I'm exhausted today – why, you ask? Well, I stayed up all night reading an early copy of Dangerous Alliance because I couldn't put it down!

    This book has so many wonderful components that it would be impossible to list them all. Here's just a few: Vicky (the MC)'s strong, distinct voice is a pleasure to read. Her personal strengths are so closely tied with her flaws (in my opinion one of the best signs of a well-developed character). The fierce, sisterly love is believable and authentic, and the romantic banter between Vicky and [REDACTED] is perfect (I refuse to spoil this gem of a novel, you'll just have to read it yourselves!)

    Most of all, I loved the exploration of the line between what we read and how we conduct ourselves in our own lives. How we find our own individuality amid thousands of other voices telling us who to be and how to act – even if those voices belong to people (or writers/characters) we idolize.

    A stellar debut. I can't wait to read what Cohen writes next.

  • Shima

    Throughout extremely lucky circumstances I got my hands on half a dozen pre-release books. Some of which I'd been waiting for months to read, this wasn't one of those. I hadn't heard of the book or the writer. While I do like historical fiction, I only read romance in very rare and specific circumstances. All in all, the chances would have been slim for me to pick this book up, especially since the synopsis does not do the book justice. It would have been a big loss.

    The book begins when Vicky's

    Throughout extremely lucky circumstances I got my hands on half a dozen pre-release books. Some of which I'd been waiting for months to read, this wasn't one of those. I hadn't heard of the book or the writer. While I do like historical fiction, I only read romance in very rare and specific circumstances. All in all, the chances would have been slim for me to pick this book up, especially since the synopsis does not do the book justice. It would have been a big loss.

    The book begins when Vicky's sister, Althea flees her abusive husband to take refuge in their parent's house, and it is the ramifications of that decision and what it means to pursue a divorce in that era that pushes the events of the book forward. That alone is a unique enough storyline to set this book apart from other historical romances. But it's certainly not the only thing.

    Now suddenly Vicky's previous decision to take her time before marriage could mean the family state could fall into the hands of a brother-in-law that beat her sister. If she wants to help her family she needs to make a match before the season is out. She isn't forced to do so, she is given the time and opportunity to actually search and meet potential matches. Her decisions are respected and let me tell you her search for a match isn't just reasonable, it's high-stakes enough to be interesting and it's very very amusing, without resorting to constantly have the characters behave in foolish ways.

    Here's the thing with romance book characters, there are a lot of them that I've liked, but when I say I like a character in a romance, it means they're not hit-in-the-head stupid. I don't expect them to be particularly deep.

    No matter how much I emphasise it, you can't know how rare that is. These were characters I actually cared about beyond mere curiosity about what happened to them, beyond finding them amusing or dreamy, beyond not being annoyed by them.

    You know when you read romances and characters somehow manage to exactly leave out that important bit of information or somehow react in a way that causes that rare misunderstanding, be in the exact wrong place at the wrong time (or the opposite) and how pretty much everything could have been solved in a page if they actually talked and asked question and acted like human beings? Well, in this book they do, and yet it moves at a brick-neck pace and never stops being exciting.

    She is the strongest woman in a romance I've read and that includes all the modern-day romances. She is courageous, capable, smart and rarest of all, she ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE. She takes action, be it fixing a wall or jumping out of a carriage (for good reason). She has interests. She cares for other people. She makes informed decisions. She stands up for herself but isn't constantly rude under the guise of being 'feisty'. And all of this, we can discover naturally instead of being beaten over the head with by the writer.

    He isn't just 'the love interest'. He is actually another fully-formed character with his own wants and needs and motivation that don't just surround finding a wife, or determinedly not finding a wife. He has a family to care for, a past to come to terms with and business to get off the ground.

    In fact, their characters are so well-written that the book would have worked without them ever falling in love. I would have been more than willing to read whole books about these people.

    That is not to say though that their relationship isn't a pleasure to read about. Old childhood friends reunited after years of silence, a big part of Tom and Vicky's relationship is coming to understand each other again. They do not see each other and suddenly fall apart with passion and desire. They don't spend hours thinking about the other's perfect eyes or jaw structure. Instead, they actually care about each other. They notice each other's flaws. They enjoy each other's company. They help and trust each other. They actually seem like friends.

    And they still manage to remain separate people with separate lives and their other relationships are just as important to the book as the one they share.

    If that's not how you know characterisation was done well, I don't know what is.

  • Jacqueline Firkins

    I was fortunate to read an ARC of Dangerous Alliance, diving full speed into Regency England and a tale of damsels in distress, dashing heroes with impeccable timing, and dastardly villains so evil one can almost imagine a moustache being twisted over a wry sneer. The book has everything a lover of the genre could want, with its careening carriages, kidnappings, balls, and duels, all set up to support a central love story that parallels Pride and Prejudice. Cohen adds her own unique flourishes,

    I was fortunate to read an ARC of Dangerous Alliance, diving full speed into Regency England and a tale of damsels in distress, dashing heroes with impeccable timing, and dastardly villains so evil one can almost imagine a moustache being twisted over a wry sneer. The book has everything a lover of the genre could want, with its careening carriages, kidnappings, balls, and duels, all set up to support a central love story that parallels Pride and Prejudice. Cohen adds her own unique flourishes, giving the heroine agency and a meta-awareness of all the parallels between the story we read and the stories the heroine reads. The asides read almost like an actress turning to the camera with a wink and a nod. Readers who are familiar with Austen's work (4 of the 6 books are referenced) will delight in all the parallels. Readers not familiar with the references will welcome the way the author provides the information needed to grasp the key info. I appreciated the historic detail sprinkled throughout, which added depth and texture to the world. I also appreciated that the central relationship had some complexity. This isn't just a romance between a beautiful girl and a handsome boy who are bent on being together. They have to discover the truth of their feelings by sorting out their own messes. While the central relationship provides the spine of the book, Cohen also weaves in family struggles, land and estate battles, legal complications around marriage and divorce, and a thread of mystery about who keeps attempting to harm the heroine and why. It's a layered novel. It's also a fun story about heroes and villains. I think readers who enjoy Regency love stories between feisty heroines and noble heroes will have a blast.

  • Alexa

    Dangerous Alliance scratched an itch I didn't know I had for a Jane Austen-esque YA historical romance. This book is if every Jane Austen novel plus Vanity Fair had a baby. It's set in 1817, so Jane Austen herself has published all but her last two novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion), and the main character, Victoria "Vicky" Aston is a massive fan. When disgrace befalls her family, she must participate in the Season to find a wealthy husband to save her family's estate. Reluctant but determ

    Dangerous Alliance scratched an itch I didn't know I had for a Jane Austen-esque YA historical romance. This book is if every Jane Austen novel plus Vanity Fair had a baby. It's set in 1817, so Jane Austen herself has published all but her last two novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion), and the main character, Victoria "Vicky" Aston is a massive fan. When disgrace befalls her family, she must participate in the Season to find a wealthy husband to save her family's estate. Reluctant but determined, Vicky uses lessons from Austen's beloved heroines and the rogues and love interests of note to guide her through things.

    To that end, the book is a little meta. This premise has been done before, but always in a modern context--it was fun to read it in a historical, where essentially Jane Austen is a contemporary of the main characters. I'm trying to imagine 200 years from now someone writing a YA historical about a massive Leigh Bardugo fan using her books to guide their life lol.

    I quickly got sucked into the main action, and particularly the characters--they're each well drawn, with a TON of conflict that made my stomach do flips, and turn the pages because I had to find out what would happen. The book is in multi-POV third person, so you get chapters/scenes from three characters: Vicky for the majority, also from Tom, her longtime best friend who has reappeared after a 5 year absence, and Susie, Tom's half sister who was born in scandal. It's really Vicky's story, but Tom and Susie's bits are there to fill in gaps and build tension.

    I cared for Vicky, Tom, and Susie and so it was distressing at times to know their POV and then flip into another's and see the conflicts/them being badmouthed/misunderstandings. That's a big thing in this book: like every good Austen book, much of it relies on a building series of social misunderstandings, perceived slights, misplaced pride/prejudice, and some dastardly figures outright lying. If that sounds up your street, this book delivers! I was compulsively turning pages yesterday to find out what happened. I read 50% of the book in a single day.

    Basically the book is full of Austen-esque character tropes and they are all deliciously well drawn. You'll recognize so many figures, but they all have an original twist to make them fit this world. There are rogues and rakes and meddling moms and cash poor nobles, etc. etc. I was swept up in all the emotions, twists and turns--I was SO ANGRY at the rogues/rakes/villains and SO FRUSTRATED with characters for not seeing them for who they were! It was great.

    I highly recommend this book if you love Jane Austen, social/romantic conflict, and/or historical. I can see fans of (adult) Regency romance really loving this.

  • Lisa

    Half mystery, half romance, I loved it all. All the fun of Georgian England PLUS Jane Austen references. I really appreciated the author’s research into the particulars of the time - it added so much to the story.

  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    I feel super dispirited right now... not many YA books seem to be holding my attention lately. This is the third ARC within the space of a few days that I think I'll have to DNF.

    She ends up slamming her head on the ground for the SECOND time in FIVE MINUTES because she didn't move out of the way of someone who's randomly attacked her. She also doesn't seem to be demonstrating the appropriate

    I feel super dispirited right now... not many YA books seem to be holding my attention lately. This is the third ARC within the space of a few days that I think I'll have to DNF.

    She ends up slamming her head on the ground for the SECOND time in FIVE MINUTES because she didn't move out of the way of someone who's randomly attacked her. She also doesn't seem to be demonstrating the appropriate level of horror over the fact that someone

    attack her.

    Like bitch, there'll be time to fangirl over your hot neighbour later! Right now focus on the man who tried to murder you! IN FACT the hero himself voices it:

    So yeah, basically she acts like a moron and he calls her out on it. Not my thing.

    There are a ton of other irritating things about this book.

    . She's described as 'petulant', and 'pouting at the unfairness' of something. Yeah... how old is she, again? Plus she refuses to acknowledge that she made a mistake and put herself in danger. Again, TSTL.

    ➽ She lives her life by the refrain of 'what would Lizzy Bennett do in this situation?' This is cringey, but also, Lizzy Bennett would NOT whine and pout so you've already failed. It's super irritating to hear her constantly assuring herself she's definitely conducted herself like an Austen heroine.

    ➽ Quick POV changes within the chapters. We were in the heroine's head for a handful of paragraphs, then before I even managed to bond with her, we switched to the hero's head. (From whose perspective we discover that the heroine is ravishingly gorgeous, complete with a 'heart-shaped face' and 'cupid's bow lip.'

    ).

    . A man in A BLACK MASK AND GREATCOAT sneaks up on the heroine, bashes her on the head, and vanishes into thin air. As I mentioned before, neither the heroine nor her parents seem to care much... it's the hero who's demanding a magistrate etc.

    I will say that I've not yet noticed any glaring historical inaccuracies. I think I'll continue for a short while longer, but my hopes aren't high with this book.

    -

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    RTC

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