Book Review: George Knightley Esquire: Lend Me Leave *Winner Announced*


Title:  George Knightley, Esquire:  Lend Me Leave (Book Two)
Author:  Barbara Cornthwaite
Publisher’s Synopsis:  A rival for the hand of Emma Woodhouse has brought about George Knightley’s realization of the true nature of his attachment to her. He is determined to win her in spite of Frank Churchill’s charming ways, and he has only to figure out how to make her realize that they were meant for each other. As he joins the ranks of the heart-sore men of Donwell, hope grows ever more faint, but good news sometimes comes at the most unexpected moments.

Barbara Cornthwaite has written a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma from the hero’s point of view. Carefully researched and skillfully written, this final book in the George Knightley, Esquire series tells the other side of Emma’s story.

I’ve been waiting, drumming my fingers, impatient beyond any measure of impatience you’ve ever imagined for this book.  Mrs. Cornthwaite did not disappoint.  I feel guilty for admitting that I like this book even better than the first, but who wouldn’t as long as it was done well?  Done well… kind of like Donwell, isn’t it?  Anyway, my point is, the second half is when the greatest conflict of the book occurs.  Of course it’s better!  Again, better if she did it well.  Did she?

DEFINITELY!  The characters stay within character.  The plots, old and new, are engaging and faithfully rendered (where appropriate).  She manages to tie up loose ends without wrapping them so neatly that you are left with the feeling that it is all a little too convenient.  Isn’t that just the worst part of a story?  When every character reforms so perfectly that you cannot imagine them as real.  Barbara doesn’t make that mistake.  She does a flawless job of leaving her characters human enough to relate to, her plots clean enough not to depress, but enough realism to leave you inspired and satisfied.

Within these pages, three men all suffer from the same malady– unrequited (for now anyway) love.  Knightley swings from a “checklist” of things that he can do to secure Emma’s love to the realization that those things are doomed to failure and finds his own heart plummeting at that thought.  From the Regency version of a cold shower (I laughed aloud for several minutes, trying to explain it to my husband.  I got a half-smile out of him… and that’s pretty cool), to late night confessions of love– to a cat– the story advances with as many giggles as sighs.  Isn’t that the very essence of what is Austen?

I sympathized with Spencer, groaned at Edmund Gilbert’s foolishness, meddled alongside Knightley in Martin’s business, and was keen to read of Knightley’s ultimate success.  It was fabulous!  Seeing Emma’s flaws and virtues through Knightley’s eyes was a treat that Austen didn’t give us.  BRAVO! Mrs. Cornthwaite!  In this book you also gain a deeper appreciation of both John Knighltey and Isabella Knightley.

All in all, our hero lives up to his name in every way.

You know, I keep trying to state just how fabulous this book is, but I can’t do it.  Until you read each sentence yourself, see the masterful way Mrs. Cornthwaite has crafted her story and wove them so skillfully into those of Miss Austen, you cannot possibly understand the brilliance that is this book.  The books are so well written, so faithful to the original while digging deeper into the characters, that I think if I was forced to choose between owning Austen’s Emma or Cornthwaite’s Knightley, I’d pick Knightley without hesitation.

The book is available from the author’s website, on Amazon (Kindle too!), and at Barnes & Noble.

So, if you’d like to win a free copy of this book, just post a comment and let me know if you read the first or not and how you liked it! 

The Winner is:

I read the first book some months ago and I love it. My review is at my blog in case you want to read it. Honestly, I need to reread it to refresh my memory. Finally Book 2 is available so I plan to get it if I don’t win. Thank you.

25 thoughts on “Book Review: George Knightley Esquire: Lend Me Leave *Winner Announced*

  1. I’ve been wanting both book 1 and now that it’s out book 2! WOO HOO! Read the Austen versions, but I can’t wait to see what wonderful things Mrs. Cornthwaite has spun!

  2. Pingback: Giveaway at Paradoxology! «

  3. Oh, I’ve read Book 1 at least three times, and loved it even more each time I read it! I have read another Emma spinoff written in Mr. Knightley’s perspective but I love Ms. Cornthwaite’s version by far the most! I love Ms. Cornthwaite’s writing, her style is elegant and the story told from Mr. Knightley’s perspective is absolutely delightful. She stayed faithful to the characters and brought all them to live, and added some gentle humour to them that left me smiling all the time. I fell in love with Mr. Knightley and Emma when I was reading the novel, but fell even deeper for the gentleman when I read Book 1. I have been following Ms. Cornthwaite’s blog and her posting since then. I can’t wait to get Book 2!

  4. I haven’t read the first one – yet. Sounds absolutely wonderful though and I can’t wait to get my hands on the books.

  5. I haven’t had a chance to read book 1 yet, but from the review you just did, it looks like I need to get it on my “must buy” list right away. I do hope I win book 2 though! 🙂

  6. I just finished the first book a few weeks ago and am so glad I didn’t have to wait long for part two. Barbara’s book breathes new life into George Knightly and the inhabitants of Hartfield. For as many Emma movie and TV adaptations that have been done over the years, I want to know who’s door do we need to pound on in order to see this George Knightly on screen.

  7. True confessions, Chautona: We bookish types are patient souls. We wait, drumming our fingers as you describe, but are for the most part long suffering. Well. Until I became a Kindle owner, it seems I never understood the overwhelming power of INSTANT GRATIFICATION! For once a book is out, snap, I can read it! (Picture a frog snatching a fly from the lily pad!) Greed is fed. And then, shame on me, I gloat. (“It’s mine, all mine!”)

    And because I use gift cards, purchased at the neighborhood grocery store, there’s no credit card guilt!

    I’m reading Barbara’s Lend Me Leave now …and while at Amazon I purchased a copy of Argosy Junction! *happy sigh*

  8. Pingback: Giveaway of Lend Me Leave! « Jane Started It!

  9. I was reading the first story as an on-line WIP, and somehow, I missed the last few chapters. So, both volumes will now be added to my Kindle list.

  10. So fun to read your review– so looking forward to reading book 2 myself. I forgot about Mr K talking to his cat, and nice to hear that the ending isn’t too pat.

    Would love to win a copy of this book.

  11. I read the first book some months ago and I love it. My review is at my blog in case you want to read it. Honestly, I need to reread it to refresh my memory. Finally Book 2 is available so I plan to get it if I don’t win. Thank you.

  12. I’ve read the first one and have been waiting patiently for this next one for a long time!!! Bring me more Mr. Knightley!

  13. I have not read Book 1 because when I discovered it (and Emma is my favorite JA book!) I learned she was writing book 2. Knowing I would go nuts, I waited. NOW I plan to read both. Just as soon as those kiddos get on the bright yellow bus! I know it will be good. I have heard such wonderful things about book 1 and now about book 2! Please let me win!

  14. I’m so excited to read these books! I have a bit of an addictive personality, so when I found the first book, I knew I wouldn’t be able to read it until the second one came available. I would have gone NUTS! Now both gems are available, and I am all anticipation! Thanks for the great review, it looks like my wait will be worth it! 🙂

  15. Yay!! I’m so excited! Emma is my favorite Austen novel, and I’m glad to be able to read more about what happens after. Can’t wait to read this book whether I win it or not.

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