Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke

Good morning, dear readers! 
Coffee with ColetteI am absolutely delighted to have joining me for coffee this week a fellow Austen Author, the amazing and talented Sally Smith O'Rourke! She has created a new re-imagining inspired by Pride and Prejudice that I cannot wait to tell you about! Am I aging myself too much to say that one of my favourite movies was Somewhere in Time? Now Sally has put a time travel twist on Jane Austen's classic characters that I think is worthy of a Hollywood adaptation, and after you hear what she has to say, I think you'll agree!

PS:  Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIOBOOK! If you LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, you will be entered to WIN A FREE AUDIOBOOK of this amazing novel!

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? Eliza Knight thinks so.
But can Fitz Darcy, The Man Who Loved Jane Austen love ordinary Eliza Knight?
Things begin to happen in Chawton, England that could change everything.
Will the beloved author be the wedge that divides or the tie that binds
Eliza Knight and Fitz Darcy?

No Mr. Darcy without Elizabeth

Jane herself said of Elizabeth that she was “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print” and as far as I’m concerned, even after 200 years, she still is. Playful and lively, intelligent and good-natured, strong and independent she is one of the most complex fictional characters ever written.

Like so many stories that have come after Pride and Prejudice, borrowing heavily from the Austen classic, our protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy dislike like each other. However for Mr. Darcy, at least, that changes very quickly. After declaring in public that she is only tolerable he is taken with her energy and easy playfulness and begins to watch her whenever they are thrown together, even positioning himself to eavesdrop on her conversations. Her quick wit makes him see her face as “rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes”. In spite of having initially seen “more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form” he is mortified to acknowledge that her figure is actually light and pleasing.

Her fierce independence is an even stronger draw and we see his internal conflict clearly when he says he would not want his sister walking alone over three miles of countryside but admits that Elizabeth’s doing it makes her even more beautiful by brightening her fine eyes. The conflict he feels is, of course, the reason for his ungentlemanly first proposal.

Elizabeth is spurred on in her dislike by his arrogance and Wickham’s story but as early as the day after the assembly ball, Charlotte comments that Darcy, with his family and fortune
has an excuse for being proud. Elizabeth agrees and admits that she could have easily forgiven his pride if he had not mortified hers. It is her injured pride that causes her prejudice and of course it is his prejudice that turns his pride to arrogance.

The main plot point that made me want to learn more about Austen is Lizzy and Darcy looking into themselves and facing their flaws and faults and then making the concerted effort to fix them. Reading his letter makes her feel deeply ashamed. “How despicably have I acted!” she proclaims to herself in thinking back on Wickham’s actions and words. She is justifiably humiliated by her blindness and vanity of having been pleased by Wickham’s attentions and offended by Darcy’s neglect. Ultimately she admits to Jane that her actions made her uncomfortable, unhappy even knowing just how weak, vain and nonsensical she had been.

We witness his transformation when they meet at Pemberley but he puts it into words when he proposes the second time. “I have been a selfish being all my life. I was given good principles but left to follow them in pride and conceit.” Admitting too, that she humbled him when she first rejected him, “You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.”

The change each makes is to better themselves not to win the affection of the other, which, of course is why it works. It is a difficult thing to admit, even to oneself, that there are flaws in your character. In reading Jane’s letters you know that she knew her faults and spent her life trying to overcome them. But it is those very flaws that make her characters alive for us. These people written 200 years ago are still relatable today because they are not perfect; they are not always of one mood; they are people, fully rounded but with edges that still need smoothing. It didn’t matter to her if she was creating people of the upper classes or servant class they all were complete and complex characters to whom everyone could connect, then and now.

Darcy would likely not have been attracted to anyone else in Hertfordshire. It was Elizabeth who drew him out (quite unintentionally), compelling him to stay in the country. In fact it is his growing affection that triggers his complicity in the Bingley sisters’ plan to remove their brother from his growing attachment to Jane. Seeing that his friend was falling in love, he hoped separating them would end it for Bingley and himself. However, absence seems to have made Darcy’s heart grow fonder as his Kent proposal shows.

All of this happens because of Elizabeth Bennet. Imagine, if you can, Mr. Darcy with anyone else. Even beautiful, sweet Jane Bennet was no intellectual match for him. It is insupportable to imagine him being attracted by any of the other three Bennet girls or Charlotte Lucas. And the possibility of Darcy with Caroline Bingley: heaven forbid.

Elizabeth Bennet is a strong and independent woman, filled with vitality; a free spirit wrapped in the propriety of the day. So without Elizabeth Bennet there would be no Mr. Darcy ~ no Pride and Prejudice. Can you imagine that?

I have imagined the man who may have inspired Jane to write Mr. Darcy as she did. Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen delves into the complex nature of the man who may well have been the basis of Elizabeth Bennet’s Mr. Darcy.
This offbeat love story is immediately engaging. Sheer escapism at its best. Clever, charming and affectionate. Jocelyn Bury of Jane Austen’s Regency World 

In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last pageMeg Massey for Luxury Reading 

…the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion. Erin Murdock for InD’tale Magazine 

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a delightful and sweet story. Kinx’s Book Nook
I have finished Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen and really liked it. Your books are imaginative and very different. Your ideas are new and fresh and endearing. Well done!  Ann Channon, House Manager; Jane Austen’s House Museum
Available Now from Amazon for Kindle and in Paperback and Barnes & Noble for Nook. Audiobook also available from Audible!
Don't forget to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, and you will be entered to WIN A FREE AUDIOBOOK!


About the Author

     “Where shall I begin? Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?” (J.A. June 15, 1808)
     That I reside in a small Victorian village in southern California; a mere two miles from my place of employment, a local hospital where I spend most daylight hours as a scrub nurse in the operating room.
     That I am a native Californian, having been born in Glendale, and that I have spent most of my life here with a relatively short span of years in Reno, Nevada where I attended school. Returning after graduation I have remained in sunny SoCal.
     That I was widowed some time ago. That I have the very domestic hobbies of sewing, cooking, baking, candy making and cake decorating. Oh, I write, too. Spending time with my nieces and nephews (great nieces and nephews as well), step-children and my grandchildren keeps a smile on my face.
     That Mike, my late husband and teacher, taught me that writing has to be treated like a job so every day no matter how tired I am I edit, research and/or write one or more projects.

     That Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is my first solo effort (my other three having been collaborations with Mike) and I am happy to say is being received with some acclaim and enjoyment by readers.
     That my next project might be a story of reincarnation in Pasadena, CA or a haunted house in San Francisco then again it may be a fairy story in Pebble Beach, CA and of course the possibility of a follow up to Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is ever present.
     That many stories are running around in my head and often colliding but I untangle them, pick up the debris and continue on.
     And so you have a few of my nothings.

Keep up with Sally: (The Everything Austen site) (blog)  (@Chawton1810)

Other Books by Sally:
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen
Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage
The Maidenstone Lighthouse

What people are saying about Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

This is a perfect take on Jane Austen's life! I absolutely loved it and I can not put into words how it made me rethink what I new about Jane Austen. There were obvious connections to Jane's books and then there were some that were well hidden. This is also a time travel romance. Which usually I am skeptical about how the author will tidy up the plots so that the past present and future still work. The author had me by the middle of the book.

Janet Taylor – More Agreeably Engaged ~ 5 out of 5 Stars

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a touching and lovely fantasy. I truly loved reading a fictional story with Jane Austen as one of the main characters. I would like to think that she did know of the love and romance that she was able to capture in words and depict so memorably to readers for two hundred years.  The tinges of sadness that I felt were for Jane herself and for what might have been. I will not be forgetting this book any time soon as I was profoundly moved.

Amy ~ 5 Stars

Sally Smith O'Rourke once again charms us back in time to the world of Jane Austen in her sequel to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. Sally's gift for beautiful details and descriptions makes the reader feel as though they have stepped through time and are observers of the story as it unfolds. Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a delightful read and is not to be missed. Read it with joy and expectation!

In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that investigates what and who might have inspired Jane Austen. While the story line is certainly far-fetched, it is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last page. O’Rourke creates an Austen to whom we can really relate; one of humility, charm and inspiring talent. And one can see why Fitz Darcy so inspired Miss Austen to create a hero that would romance women in every generation since the novel’s creation. If you enjoy Austen-sque fiction, you are sure to love this unique, romantic novel.

Joceline Bury ~ Jane Austen’s Regency World

Moving back and forth between early 19th century Hampshire and 21st century Virginia, by way of New York City, this offbeat love story is immediately engaging.
Time-travel romance has become a popular and successful sub-genre of historical romantic fiction, giving writers every opportunity to place their characters in situations that test their affections not only across barriers of class and education, but also across centuries. O’Rourke handles the ensuing conflicts with humour and sensitivity.
As romance develops between Eliza and Fitz, a literary mystery unfolds and a heinous literary crime is foiled - all building to a splendidly satisfying conclusion.

O’Rourke creates a world that defies cynicism and demands suspension of disbelief – even in this age of doubt and hyper-realism. Sheer escapism at its best.

Clever, charming and affectionate – is the real Mr. Darcy unmasked?

…the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion.

O’Rourke satisfies the need for more Jane Austen without boring the reader with redundancy and the seemingly disconnected story lines are wrapped tight in the end. Well done!

From Ann Channon at Jane Austen’s House Museum

I have finished Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen and really liked it. Your books are imaginative and very different. Your ideas are new and fresh and endearing. Well done!

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a delightful and sweet story.
I did enjoy the budding romance between Fitz and Eliza. They are so tentative but at the same time passionate about each other. I really like that love-at-first-sight meant, to Fitz and Eliza, being home. I thought that was so romantic. Big sigh!

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a sweet Austen related romance with a time travel twist.
I felt the author captured Jane Austen's voice very well and I enjoyed reading her thoughts and reactions as the story flowed.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a fun take on where the character of Mr. Darcy comes from. I was completely engrossed in all three story lines. Getting to see a personal side of Jane Austen was eye opening. She’s such a big unattainable hero, but with this book I got to envision her world so vividly, watching her drink tea and practice her piano forte. I felt I was sitting by the fire listening to Aunt Jane telling a story. It was heaven. And the idea that Darcy is a real person, awesome. Sally did a wonderful job making her Darcy so much like Jane’s Darcy but with his own little quirks and modern tendencies.
I’m very excited that I got to review this book when I did because this year is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. I will be rereading Jane’s book in honor of that and I highly recommend Sally’s book as well.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a sweet love story about new beginnings, magical adventures, and cherishing the moments, however brief they might be, you’ve had with the people who’ve changed your life. It’s about not losing who you are amidst societal constraints and believing that happily ever after is possible, if you’re willing to take a chance. I finished this book with tears in my eyes for a woman whose stories and characters have meant so much to me and who died too young. Like O’Rourke, I’d like to imagine that Austen experienced the kind of love she wrote about. This is the perfect book for people who’d like to believe the same.

Debbie Massman

You’ve got another winner here! I find myself in the story, standing across the room from everyone and watching the story unfold before me. Not all authors can do that, but you have. I am not the reader who is holding the book; I am a guest who has been warmly invited into the story, to enjoy it up close without ever being noticed by its characters.

From Regina Jeffers

…smartly old-fashioned love story that is poignant and completely enthralling.


Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen what a delight it was to read your story. I have to say I’ve my own image of Jane Austen in my mind and I generally don’t like how others have betrayed her in other stories. That being said I loved the way you wrote her and brought a modern Darcy and Eliza into the story.

Thank you for sharing your talent with us/me and I encourage all to read this wonderful time travel Jane Austen and Fitz story.

I really did enjoy this book. I thought it was creative, different, and very enjoyable.
I would recommend this book especially to Jane Austen fans.
I just might read this book again...not every year, but definitely in a few years

Any Jane Austen fan loves Pride and Prejudice (one of my absolute favorite books of all time) and those fans have probably all wondered...who is Mr. Darcy? How did Jane Austen come up with him? Was he based on a real person? Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen answers these questions in a fantastic way.

Raina on Amazon

I was so happy to see this sequel. I loved the first book and have picked it up so many times to reread it. I never imagined a sequel but was so excited when I came across it. It is the perfect conclusion to their story. Both books were so well written and intriguing the wish I could have found my own portal to join them.

Karen C. Groves on Amazon

I was pleased to discover that there was a sequel to "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen" as I had enjoyed that book very much. This one had a twist, and I appreciated what happened at the last opening of the portal. We never know what little things could change the destiny of one's life. Maybe that is why it is so important to pay attention to what we say and do. At any rate, I enjoyed this one as much as the first.

Susan Heim

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a fun, lighthearted romance that will delight fans of Austen's characters who are fascinated by the "what ifs" in Austen's life.

I didn’t know I needed Mr. Darcy with a Southern drawl until I read Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke. Take a moment and soak that in… Mr. Darcy with a genteel drawl… yes.

Smith O’Rourke creates a whole life for Jane Austen in 1813 that feels authentic and intriguing. There’s a lot for any Jane Austen fan to love here.


  1. Gee, an audio book would be fun. I drive up to Chicago once a week from Indiana and I'm always looking for something to listen to other than sports or talk shows. Hope things are going well.~jen red~

  2. Oh, what a lovely treat is this book, and to have it in an audio it is just perfect. Very touching and romantic, intriguing and magical at the same time. Love and love and love it.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun working with Kendra Hoffman on the audio book and am very happy with it. She does all the accents well which really brings it all to life, including Mr. Darcy soft, southern accent. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Time travel and Darcy - you've already got me hooked!

  4. Enjoyed your post! You know how much I love the book, too! I know hearing it would be fantastic too!

  5. So there is Darcy, and Darcy, and I love time travel stories. This week was the first time I thought I would like an audio book - I was doing some sewing and wanted something to listen to

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  6. The book sounds lovely would love to listen to it :D

  7. As you know, I love your books. I would love a chance to win an audio version.
    Congratulations on the continuing success.
    Cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net


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