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Summary

Just as Mr. Darcy finally decides to propose to the enticing Miss Elizabeth Bennet, she is summoned to Falmouth, to meet a relation she never knew she had. Thus, the ill-starred Hunsford proposal is avoided - but before he could even begin to understand his luck, adverse circumstances hasten to conspire against him, and Fitzwilliam Darcy is compelled to follow the woman he loves to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few - if any - are what they seem to be...

©2017 Joana Starnes (P)2017 Joana Starnes

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Action, adventure and romance!

Would you listen to The Falmouth Connection again? Why?

I would listen again. I listened to the audio book some time after reading the book and in many ways, I preferred the audio book. It's a long story and at times, I rushed the reading of it when I got to the exciting parts! Listening to the book means nothing is missed. It's a brilliant story and I loved it just as much the second time around.

What other book might you compare The Falmouth Connection to, and why?

I have read a lot of books in this genre but don't really think it's like anything else.

The story starts when Elizabeth is forced to leave Kent, prior to Darcy's proposal. She and her family are travelling to Falmouth to see a distant relation, literally changing the fortunes of the Bennet family. Mr Darcy makes his intention to propose clear, but prior to him making his proposal, Elizabeth learns of him separating Bingley from her sister. Needless to say, things don't go well for Darcy and he has a hard time trying, without much success to redeem himself! Worse still is that he has a rival for her affection.

What does Stevie Zimmerman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

As a listener, rather than a reader, no parts are rushed or missed. Stevie Zimmerman's reading is just brilliant - the tone and expression are perfect. You can hear the appropriate emotion in her speech. A book like this is not an easy read in many ways. It requires concentration and it is long! Being able to listen, for me, meant I could give it my full attention. I was free of the distractions and interruptions I get while I am reading!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely yes! There is something going on in every chapter and I really couldn't wait to see how this one was going to work out.

Any additional comments?

This is a fabulous book, superbly narrated and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sophia Rose
  • 09-07-17

P&P On a Cornwall Adventure

Timely advice, a trip into Cornwall, a rival, secret goings on, and unrequited love lead to a sweet romantic adventure in this Pride & Prejudice variation tale.

I had a good time with this story from first to last. It engaged all my emotions it seemed. I was amused by a series of blunders and mishaps, saddened by the unrequited love and heartbreak moments, and sighed with pleasure over the romantic scenes. The hero, Darcy, really blunders and struggles in the beginning. He's so cocksure and arrogant. I enjoyed how the author showed his flaws and strengths and gave him some good growth moments. The heroine, Elizabeth, has her own personal epiphany, too. Seeing them work through so much really had me rooting for them. The rival part was an interesting development. I think how this played out involved my only niggle about the story.

I enjoyed the bit of intrigue and adventure next to the romance part which suited the Cornwall setting where things are not what they seem. The big climax was built up to and worth it coming back to back with the turning point in the romance and other story threads. The denouement came down slowly which was good so things could be settled and understood. I was startled by a few of the minor characters' story lines, but not in a bad way. Elizabeth's little sister Lydia was a surprise. There is an interesting finish for her that I'm still not sure how I feel about it because it was a twist that I didn't see coming.

I experienced The Falmouth Connection in the audio format. Stevie Zimmerman was a fantastic match for this story. She caught the tone, pace, and the characters so well. The dialogue between characters was particularly well done.

All in all, this variation of a classic took things on a fun romantic suspense style adventure. I think those with some familiarity of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice will get the most out of the story since it assumes the reader knows a bit of what came before the beginning of this story. I enjoy each new outing with the author's works and will definitely be going back for more. I would recommend this to sweet historical romance fans and/or those who enjoy classical story retellings.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • HeatherY
  • 26-06-17

Two People, Perfectly Matched

This flawless Pride and Prejudice variation spins a very different tale for our beloved Lizzy and Darcy! The day before Darcy makes his disastrous Hunsford proposal, he and Col Fitzwilliam visit the parsonage to find Lizzy has been summoned to Falmouth to meet a newly discovered great aunt. To Col Fitzwilliam's surprise, Darcy offers to convey Lizzy to join her family. Lizzy reluctantly agrees to travel with him, and Col Fitzwilliam joins them.

Confronted by Col Fitzwilliam about his intentions, Darcy reveals his plan to propose. He also reveals some of his speech, and Col Fitzwilliam is aghast at Darcy's litany of objections to Lizzy's family. Luckily, Col Fitzwilliam's censure causes Darcy to rethink some of his language. When the trip begins the next day, Darcy is desperate to find the perfect moment to propose, but he's foiled by weather, busy inns, and Lizzy's own unwillingness to spend time alone with him.

Lizzy is surprised to find Darcy a pleasant companion on the first part of the trip, joking, even flirting with her. For the first time she recognizes that he's handsome and desirable, and she can see why a man like Bingley would choose him for a friend. But when Darcy and Col Fitzwilliam deliver her to the inn where her family is staying, Col Fitzwilliam unwittingly reveals Darcy's role in separating Bingley from Jane. This revelation deeply wounds Jane. Lizzy is furious, and no amount of warm smiles will enable her to forgive Darcy. Desperate to right this wrong, Darcy sends for Bingley and sets out for Falmouth to find Lizzy and beg for forgiveness. It won't be that easy though, as Darcy first needs to locate the Bennets, after which he faces a new financial situation for the family, a titled rival for Lizzy's affections, and a villain from his past who appears to torment him again.


Joana Starnes is a master at pulling the reader right into the story and making them feel each emotion as the character feels it, joy, hope, affection, warmth, amusement, and fear, misery, rejection, or utter wretchedness. Darcy's passionate and all-consuming love for Lizzy is a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I rode those peaks and valleys with him. Starnes has the knack of showing the vulnerable side to Darcy, and while he may have said the word "ardently" in his canon proposal, Starnes makes the reader feel it. Lizzy's reaction is just as heartbreaking when she finally realizes the depth of Darcy's love for her, but knows she can't return it. My heart broke with hers, for him. Jane and Bingley's trials are just as emotional, and while many variations have their story as a pale shadow next to Darcy and Lizzy's, this variation shines a light on the intensity of their love.

When reading the original P&P, I always long for more interaction between the couples. The characters converse quietly off page so frequently, I just want the development of those moments. And that is what Starnes delivers. The dialogue and new scenes are so imaginative. The moment Lizzy and Darcy meet under cover of darkness in the garden, and share a passionate and magical interlude. Mrs. Bennet's designs to marry off her daughters, and Mr. Bennet's scheming to prevent it. And the moment when Lizzy realizes Darcy's feelings for her! Oh my goodness, indeed!

Stevie Zimmerman's narration is outstanding, her pleasant voice easily shifts between male and female voices and the narrative. Her male voices are believably male and her voice for Darcy is the perfect blend of intensity and vulnerability. I was provided a copy of the audiobook for an honest review, and audio with a British narrator is now my favorite way to experience P&P variations.

As I listened to this well-crafted story, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Jamaica Inn came to mind, and I finally realized that this book is set in the same location. The setting is beautiful, and the wild, untamed country and shoreline provide a perfect backdrop for the emotions roiling in each character. It beats staid Hertfordshire to pieces. Over time, most P&P variations tend to blur together for me, but this one will stand out. With a fresh location, original storyline, and lovingly crafted happily ever after for our dear Bennet girls, it will be a frequent reread.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynda M. Truitt
  • 28-10-17

Loose variation of Austen

The concept of Lizzie becoming an heiress is interesting but far fetched. The main characters with whom we are familiar, to me, are a departure from Austen's, making them seem unrecognizable at times. The plot is difficult to follow and gets bogged down at time in lengthy descriptions of settings, something Austen declined to do. I prefer Mr Darcy retain a little more of his pride. He was embarrassingly besotted and Lizzie was turned into a femme fatale of the town who seemed to relish being the unlikely object of two very desirable and elevated men.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessie-May Ventour
  • 17-07-18

Joana Starnes does it again!

Joana Starnes "Pride and Prejudice" variations are so richly entertaining and plausible. If Jane Austen were alive today, she would probably read Joana Starnes and say: "Wish I'd thought of that angle..." Wouldn't it be lovely if these books could be made into movies, too? Thanks for taking this genre to a new level, Ms Starnes...

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  • Christina Boyd
  • 29-04-18

A favorite!

What made the experience of listening to The Falmouth Connection the most enjoyable?

I love imaging all the British coastline scenes and the different spin on a timeless classic.

What other book might you compare The Falmouth Connection to and why?

This book tugged at my heart much like Joana Starnes’ The Unthinkabke Triangle!

Have you listened to any of Stevie Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I enjoy Stevie Zimmerman as she narrated Austen reimaginings. She has a great voice for Elizabeth!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this as I folded piles of laundry—it made the chore less so!

Any additional comments?

I recommend this audiobook as well as the other written formats! Delicious story.

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  • AvidReaders
  • 28-11-17

Another great book

This is my second audible book by Joana Starnes and narrated by Stevie Zimmerman Like the Fust book this one was very entertaining. The story starts in Kent where Darcy has decided to propose to Elizabeth but gets interrupted when she receives a missive from home saying that the Bennet family will be traveling to Falmouth at the request of a long lost relative. Darcy volunteers to take Elizabeth to meet her family in hopes of having an opportunity to propose. Unfortunately this does not happen. The Bennet's arrive and Landenis an estate owned by a distant relative who has decided to leave the estate to the Bennet second daughter and bequests to the other daughters. Darcy follow Elizabeth and finally gets his opportunity to propose but is refused (but not quite so harshly). When a heartbroken Darcy overhears what he thinks is a plot to harm Elizabeth he takes steps to protect her that lead to a second chance that leads to a HEA for Darcy and Elizabeth.

There are several original characters is this story, my favorite being Mrs. Pancara, the Bennet's long lost relative who is an elderly lady with an attitude.

Stevie Zimmerman's narration was great as usual and her accents for the different characters were spot on.

I have yet to actually read a book by Joana Starnes and am hesitant to start reading now as the audible versions are so entertaining to read.

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  • Virginia
  • 26-11-17

Great Story and narrator

This is one that you don’t want to miss. Every emotion can be felt and Stevie brings it to life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-09-17

Original

The last two hours seemed unnecessary to me but it was enjoyable overall. The narration was ok but sounded as though it was recorded in a big empty room.

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  • 2KidzMomma
  • 10-09-17

An Enjoyable Read.

Like many others, Pride and Prejudice is my absolutely favorite novel. It is enough to make one swoon. I have avoided reading/listening to any of the P & P variations for fear that they would not do justice to the original and taint the storyline, however, I finally took the plunge. This is the second variation of P & P that I've read by Joana Starnes and I must say she has not disappointed. The first, The Unthinkable Triangle, was so beautifully done, that I immediately sought out more titles by her. The stories pay homage to the original by incorporating some of the familiar, and memorable dialogue, albeit in different surroundings, and the main players, maintained the charcteristics as Austen imagined them, with pleasantly surprising outcomes, even as new players are introduced. Again narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, who does an exceptional job. No doubt I'll be seeking out more works by the author and the narrator. Well done. Capital!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KateB
  • 18-06-17

Sweet romance with a touch of mystery

What made the experience of listening to The Falmouth Connection the most enjoyable?

Stevie Zimmerman is one of my favorite narrators.

Any additional comments?

I loved The Falmouth Connection, the romance, the mystery I like stories in which Darcy has a rival. It was fun to follow his way of thinking, how he misinterpreted Lizzy's behavior and expressions, until he was forced to face the truth.

The book had great villains, some of them were a surprise. There is even a duel (sigh). Lizzy's aunt is such a colorful character, and her and her sister's story was heartbreaking. There are some unexpected pairings, but it worked for me. Great book, Joana!