Today we’re celebrating the release of Jane Grey, an historical romance in the style of the classics by Nina Mason. Set in France’s Loire Valley in 1850, Jane Grey tells the story of a frustrated painter and a beleaguered English governess who comes to France to tutor a flirtatious young heiress in the social graces. Jane Grey meets Matthew Brontë when he takes a spill from his horse near where she is walking—the same way Jane Eyre met Mr. Rochester in the book our Jane is reading at the time. Jane finds it uncannier still that Matthew is a cousin to the author of Jane Eyre.
As the weeks pass, Jane and Matthew discover they have many shared interests. They seem perfect for each other apart from one significant snag: Matthew cannot marry without forfeiting his fortune, and Jane can only marry a man with the means to support her and her dependent relations back in England.
Will the strength of Jane and Matthew’s devotion be enough to overcome this seemingly unsolvable dilemma? Or will Jane be forced to choose her duty to her family over her own greatest desire?
Jane Grey is an original work with subtle shadings borrowed from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey.
Here’s the blurb:
When faced with the choice between love and money, which will each of them choose?
Here’s an excerpt:
“If you don’t mind my asking, was your relationship with the countess an affectionate one?”
Matthew’s candor pleased Jane on more than one level. “So, you didn’t love her?”
After an extended silence, he said, looking pained, “To be truthful, Miss Grey, I’ve never loved any woman—and often doubt myself capable of experiencing that most-coveted of emotions.”
His words crushed her hopes and brought more tears to her eyes. “Surely, you are wrong. For you strike me as a man of great passion.”
“I used to be.” His countenance grew even more sullen. “But now, my heart is like a tree in winter. Barren, leafless, and encrusted with ice.”
“Perhaps it will thaw when you meet the right woman,” she offered hopefully.
He brought his face very close to hers and, for a breathless moment, she thought he meant to kiss her. Instead, he said in a strained voice, “I probably should keep this to myself, but my cold heart has warmed some since making your acquaintance.”
For several hellish-yet-heavenly moments, they sat together in silence. His mouth was so close to hers she could feel his breath warming her lips. As her heart leapt toward him, her body impulsively followed. Their mouths met ever so sweetly. Then, mortified by her forwardness, she jerked back and turned away.
“Forgive me. I shouldn’t have been so presumptuous.”
“There’s nothing to forgive,” he said. “I rather liked the feel of your mouth on mine.”
She liked the feel of his, too—very much indeed—but carrying on like a common hussy would only lead to her ruin. “Perhaps we should return to the house and see if Cécile’s headache is any better.”
“Yes,” he said with audible strain. “Perhaps we should at that.”
He stood and offered her his arm. She took his coat sleeve between her gloved hands and let him lead her farther along the path. After they’d walked several paces, he said, “I don’t believe I’ve yet asked your favorite flower.”
“No, you haven’t.”
He waited a few moments before letting out a small laugh. “Will you not tell me what it is?”
“Very well.” She released a sigh. “I shall tell you. As queer as it may seem, my favorite flower is bleeding heart.”
He laughed, drew to a stop, and freed his arm from her grasp. Turning toward the bed to their right, he bent over the boxwood border and plucked several stems of the flower she’d named. Then, he offered the bouquet to her with a gallant bow. “Please allow me to offer you this humble token of my admiration.”
She accepted the flowers with joy in her heart. It was foolish, perhaps, to experience so much elation in response to so simple an offering, but no man had ever given her anything before. He’d also demonstrated tremendous compassion when she told him about her family—and had admitted to liking the brief intimacy they’d shared.
Might he have some feelings for her? Or was he just being kind? Oh—and what about his secret? She must take care not to let him turn her head, lest she end up brokenhearted when the truth came out.
Note: Jane Grey will be 99 cents until May 21 and thereafter will revert to the regular price of $3.99.
Here’s more about the author:
Nina Mason, the author of eleven published books to date, is an incurable romantic who strives to write love stories that entertain and edify. A research fanatic, she goes to great lengths to ensure the locations and time periods in her books are accurately portrayed (and thanks the Powers That Be for the internet). Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason lived in Oregon briefly before moving to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and college-bound daughter. When she isn’t writing, she makes historic dolls, fairy babies, and putters in her garden.
Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers Book 1) by Nina Mason, set in the Loire Valley, France and England in 1850.
In “Jane Grey” the reader will be shocked and thrilled by the similarities between the story of “Jane Eyre” to Matthew Brontë and Jane Grey. Matthew is the cousin of the author of “Jane Eyre” books.
A story of a frustrated painter, and a “kept” man and a beleaguered English governess who comes to France as a teacher, to a young heiress, thus meets Matthew, in much the same manner as Jane Eyre met her Mr. Rochester, except Jane ran away from and her feelings for Matthew until she just couldn’t possibly run anymore.
Readers will also find a slight departure from Nina Mason’s other stories. Masterfully written, I felt, anyway.
This is a story of disappointment, fortitude, unwavering love, hardship, the difficulties of a painter, in the 1850’s, and the romance of the century.
Can wealth come before love? If you had a choice between weath or love, which would you choose love or the money? A delimma for most, especially when you meet the love of your life.
“The only happiness in life is to love and be loved.”, my favorite passage.
“Jane Grey” has many avenues for which to take the reader on, here’s just a few, forfeiting a fortune but never marry, never marry unless the spouse can provide for the other’s dependent family, or throw all away for marriage, love and finding a HEA.
I found “Jane Grey” to be endearing and romantic with a bit of a sad side. I enjoyed watching Matthew and Jane find their joy and contentment. Don’t be mistaken, in “Jane Grey”, while the story has similarities, this story takes a few twists, turns, with a few surprises along the way, lingering doubts and and a round about detour to happiness.
Ms. Mason is a talented author and once again, her talent shines through with the telling of “Jane Grey”. She never disappoints her readers in her plots, her characterizations, or her details. I’m truly excited for this new adventure. I hope readers will enjoy reading “Jane Grey”, it truly makes you wish to read “Jane Eyre” after all these years. Yes, I haven’t read it since high school! This story is definitely a departure from her other stories. The passion is not explicit nor over done, if that makes sense. I throughly enjoyed “Jane Grey” and I think you will as well.
Fans of the “Brontë Classics” will surely enjoy “Jane Grey”, with unusual circumstances, contentment and finally finding true love, what’s not to enjoy. This is an incredible story by Nina Mason! I can’t wait to read the next installment in what promises to be an amazing series.
Bravo, Ms.Mason!! Well done, indeed!
Heat rating: Mild
Reviewed by: AprilR