Cousins, One and All

A Jane Austen Fan Fiction Fantasy Romance Novella

Romance - Historical
79 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Cousins, One and All by Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland is a great alternate plot based on Pride and Prejudice’s characters. Having grown up together, the five cousins - Ben, Cat, Wilma, Lottie, and Lucas - are excited to reunite and enjoy some time away together, only what they envisioned to be a relaxed getaway turns all their lives towards a more fulfilling future. Bennet Wickham, having been raised by his grandparents, is the second heir to his grandparents’ fortune, but even that does not stop him from worrying. Something plagues his mind and he longs to be free. As they quickly settle in at the inn, Ben decides to go trekking and Lottie soon follows after him. Ben, unfortunately, falls into a ravine and as Lottie goes after him, they are both thrust into timeless worlds that leave them questioning their sanity.

Reflective, riveting and spell-binding, Cousins, One and All by Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland is an enchanting story that captured my attention from the beginning to the end. The events of the book are based in England, in the beautiful Lake District. Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland chose beautiful scenery to develop the story. The dialogues contained in the book come from all the characters, allowing each character to have their own voice and place in Cousins, One and All. The best part of the book is its unpredictable plot. A laid-back holiday quickly turns into an unforeseen adventure. The authors delicately balance the plot between romance and adventure and pull this off brilliantly. Absolutely captivating. I believe the story is a definite step up from the original.

Jane Finch

Cousins, One and All: A Jane Austen Fan Fiction Fantasy Romance Novella by Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland moves the infamous Pride and Prejudice story on with the lives of five cousins descended from the original characters of Jane Austen’s memorable saga. Here the cousins, Cat, Lottie, Wilma, Lucas and Ben, meet up in the Lakes for a holiday together. Immediately, the reader is teased by secret love aspirations and the interactions of the cousins, but the story then takes a sudden and surprising twist when Ben and Lottie find themselves in a world they do not understand and one in which they do not belong. Misunderstandings and confusion abound, with little touches of romance that keep the reader’s attention.

Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland have created the perfect voice for this fan fiction fantasy novella, so much so that the reader can imagine Jane Austen herself penning the pages. The tone and timbre and dialogue development all fit perfectly, as do the characters. The pace is smooth and flowing, if somewhat slow, and then suddenly the reader is taken by surprise when Ben and Lottie enter another world. Does the combination of fantasy and fan fiction work? Sort of. It is unexpected and throws the story a little off kilter, but it’s different. The way the characters have been created and developed is very clever and works very well. Whether the story line works is dependent on the reader. Those who are avid readers of Jane Austen may find it a little hard to accept, but that aside, the writing is perfect and if anything the novella could have been longer and thus more in depth, which is really a credit to the writers.

Jessica Jesinghaus

With a title such as Cousins, One and All: A Jane Austen Fan Fiction Fantasy Romance Novella, even a literary heathen who has never read Pride & Prejudice should know what they’re in for. But Cousins, One and All by Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland still has a few surprises up its sleeve. Based on the premise that the children of the characters from Pride & Prejudice have remained close and are now in their early twenties and taking a holiday together, Cousins, One and All blends light (if not predictable) Regency romance with a unique fantasy / time travel twist. When two of their party head into the Lake Trails for a simple day’s hike, they experience a fantastic journey not likely to be believed. Whisked into two disparate lands, the cousins experience things that will forever change their lives.

This is a short novella and easily read in a single sitting. The characters’ personalities are very quickly established and remain consistent throughout the tale. The romance was simple and sweet, and felt authentic for the era of the story. Where the novella left me wanting was the experience certain characters have when they leave their own time and place and travel to “other” realms. I really feel like the story could’ve been expanded slightly here while still retaining its novella status. Likewise, the resolution when characters return to their families and friends felt short, if not slightly rushed. Regardless, Cousins, One and All is an enjoyable, well written read and I will be searching out other works by Ronnda Eileen Henry and Aleksandra Layland.