Review: Sense and Sensibility by Cerise DeLand, Jane Austen

October 27, 2014 Review 2

Review: Sense and Sensibility by Cerise DeLand, Jane Austen

If love is never sane, then lust certainly is all passion.

Elinor Dashwood cannot explain her affection for polite, reserved Edward Ferrars. In contrast, her younger sister Marianne endlessly extols the visage and virtues of dashing John Willoughby. Frustrated and lonely, Elinor yearns for Edward’s touch and some declaration of his regard. Yet she loves him.

Marianne eagerly surrenders to rapture in Willoughby’s arms—and cannot even consider the constancy of quiet, compassionate Colonel Brandon. Neither sister can escape the draw of lust. But as they learn more about those men they adore, they learn that love can be both sensible and sensational.

Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Cerise DeLand, Jane Austen
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Do Him Right, With Her Kiss, His Delectable Cook
Series: Clandestine Classics
Published by Totally Bound
Source: Publisher
Published: 6 December, 2014
Genres: Erotic Historical Romance
Pages: 351
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: four-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

A reworking of a classic story that focuses on the plight of two sisters after the untimely death of their father and protector, Cerise DeLand manages to maintain the integrity of the original novel as she expands and brings us a far more steamy version of the original.

No, Austen didn’t have the story wrong for her time: her characters of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are completely of their time, yet surprisingly created with traits that are ‘less favorable’ for the era in which they live.  Highly intelligent, imaginative and resourceful, these young ladies dream of being swept off their feet by a man who will both provide for them, and love them as they are. DeLand takes these flirtations into the realm of the scandalous as these two women, in their own way, explore their more sensual and sexual sides.

Elinor is the eldest, far more flamboyant and outspoken in her real life, her fantasies all surround the quiet and respectful Edward.  She longs to experience some of the heart-flutteringly sensations that Marianne is on about in her relationship with John Willoughby, yet Edward remains, true to the time, unstintingly reserved.

Marianne is a bit more flighty, and takes to the unabashed flirtations and advances from Willoughby as a duck would to water.  Tired of her sister’s extolling the virtues of a man she sees as solid and boring, Marianne is not interested in the quiet and constant interest from Colonel Brandon, but is she destined for heartbreak or ruin with her profligate ways?

There is difficulty in comparing the two stories, without taking from the obvious talent and cleverness of DeLand’s writing and plotting.  In what would have been shamefully scandalous behavior from either of these women in their own time, the cleverness of the character’s curiosity and openness in their discussions, and the readily apparent enjoyment in the steamier scenes brings a solidity to these characters that keeps this version separate from, yet wholly informed by the original.

Diehard fans of the original Austen, my second favorite by that author, will not find great lapses in character, in fact, this retelling of their story with additional more modern elements is an interesting read that adds new perspective and modernizes the original for new readers.

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2 Responses to “Review: Sense and Sensibility by Cerise DeLand, Jane Austen”

  1. Cerise DeLand

    I am so absolutely gratified (color me tickled) that you liked my version of Jane’s S and S!
    I labored long and hard to ensure the voices matched, that the motivations were compatible with Austen’s. I delight in your delight and I thank you so very much for giving this a good go and enjoying it for what it was.
    Many have asked me why I would want to change such a classic. My response was that I did not attempt to change it, but embellish it with an erotic twist. We see adaptations of classic novels in so very many ways, why not the erotic one?
    Thank you very much.