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Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Young adult

Dangerous Alliance


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jennieke Cohen, on your first book!

by Jennieke Cohen

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Quick take

An avid Jane Austen fan gets caught up in a marriage scheme similar to her favorite author's characters. Coincidence?

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


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    400+ pages

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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 family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

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Dangerous Alliance

Chapter the First

April 1817
Oakbridge Estate, Hampshire, England

The lichen-kissed stone dropped onto the rock pile with a hollow clack. Lady Victoria Aston rested her aching hands on the rough stone. She wiped her muddy palms down the front of her thighs, smearing muck onto her father’s old tan breeches. When attempting to save the lives of a particularly bothersome flock of sheep, one had to make sacrifices.

With two more sizable stones, she would close the gap in the wall. Then she could scour Oakbridge’s 6,562 acres for the estate shepherd. Vicky narrowed her eyes at a shaggy old ewe: one of many she’d found out-of-bounds in the neighboring pasture. They’d jumped over the crumbling gap and gobbled a patch of indigestible clover. Soon, their bellies would bloat, and without the shepherd’s aid, they would certainly perish.

Inhaling the clean morning air, redolent with the perfume of freshly drying grass, Vicky bent for another rock. This would never have happened to Emma Woodhouse. Or rather, Emma Woodhouse would never have let it happen to her.

Having just finished reading Emma for the third time since its publication, Vicky had lately found herself comparing her own country existence to the heroine of said novel. Not that Emma was her favorite heroine from the four novels written by the author known only to the public as “a lady” (but whom most of the local Hampshire society knew to be one Miss Jane Austen). No, Vicky reserved that honor for Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice.

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Why I love it

During the holiday season, I take my reading agenda very seriously. Few months are as productive for my reading life as December, when I can plow through books on train rides, in my family’s home, while I’m pretending to be watching the ball drop… the list goes on. It’s often a time for me to tackle a classic I’ve long wanted to read, or to sink into a big, sweeping story from a new author. So what better book to read than Dangerous Alliance—a long and big-hearted debut inspired by a classic author, Jane Austen.

The book follows Lady Vicky Aston, a smart, brave, and bookish heroine who turns to the works of Jane Austen when she needs help with basically any kind of problem. But when Vicky’s sister reveals that her seemingly-perfect marriage is in fact abusive, Vicky must find her own husband to financially support her sister’s escape—a search that’s far more complicated than her favorite novels suggest.

Whether you’ve got Mr. Darcy’s name tattooed on your chest, or you’ve never so much as cracked the spine of Pride and Prejudice, there is so much to love about Dangerous Alliance. It’s a love story; it’s a mystery; it’s a fun romp through historical England; it’s a thoughtful look at the ways societal taboos and a lack of financial freedom have trapped women in abusive relationships. More than anything, this charming, satisfying story is just the thing to escape into over the holidays.

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Member ratings (789)

  • Corinne F.

    Beverly, MA

    A delightful tale! I’m a huge Austenite & really felt a kinship with the protagonist. I learned a lot about divorce in Regency England and found the historical note at the end to be super interesting!

  • Alyssa K.

    Tonawanda, NY

    The references to Jane Austen’s work helped establish the setting. I appreciate research the author did. I felt the book had a nice flow up until end. It was still a great read, it just felt rushed.

  • Heather M.

    South Portland, ME

    Such a fun Austen inspired story. I loved the fact that Jane Austen is a real person in this world, and Vicky's obsession with her is super relatable. The mystery and romance angles were both so good!

  • Bogdana G.

    Anza, CA

    The beauty of any Austen lover is that they can apply Austen into their lives wherever they go. That is exactly what Victoria does within the pages of these books at a time when women needed her most

  • Liesel F.

    Longmont, CO

    This book has the appeal of being set in the same era as Jane Austen and mostly uses authentic language, but isn't dense and sometimes difficult to understand like Austen. Cute romances! Well-written.

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