Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility (Love, Austen, #6) [Zach & Brandy / Noah & Wade] by Anyta Sunday

I don't think there's a book more fitting to end 2021 and begin 2022. It's finishing a year and starting a new one with a smile. It's saying goodbye, heart broken yet full of hope. This is now my absolute favorite series EVER. It's beautiful and heartfelt, tender and raw with the most delicious slow burn. The one to finish the series was a bit different having two (!) couples instead of one and somehow it worked better than I would have thought. It wasn't all jumbled together and even when it was a bit (nearing the end) it was still somehow very clear with a place for each of the couples to grow and find their way into each other's arms. 

 Zachary and Noah Dashwood used to live in a beautiful home, decorated with art done by their loving father who recently passed. Due to his debts the brothers had no other option but to sell the house to the Ferrars family who couldn't have been more condescending and mean about it. While Noah used to be a good friend of Franny Ferrars, their friendship was destroyed long ago. They have a temporary place to live in, but they need to find a new one ASAP and generally a better way to support themselves. 

We start the book with Noah Dashwood's POV. He is doing his best taking care of his younger brother (though not by much). But it's hard when his heart is breaking as well at what they had to leave behind. It's not just a house, it was their home and everything that reminded them of what they used to have. Thinking he has caught his brother sneaking in to "steal" a family portrait he finds Wade Ferrars in what used to be his room. He didn't expect they'll connect but they do. Wade is nothing like his big sister or his mean mother. He feels bad for Noah (and Zach) but he has problems of his own, so though he is interested in Noah right from the start, they somehow both put out breaks. It's not easy to trust and put your heart out there. 

Noah has always been the sensible of the brothers, the one who takes care of both of them, but in his heart he yearns for someone of his own who will see him and want him with all his complexities and his strange fascination with birds (and especially Penguins).

While these two are still struggling with their shared interest in one another, we continue to Zachary Dashwood's POV. Looking for a job to help with their joint expenses he visits "Ask Austen studios" in search of a job. It might not have been the best day though - Sunday - as the only guy around wouldn't even give him his real name (or maybe he had?). 

We met Brandon Morland before. He is the owner / manager of the studios. He loves his job but he is basically married to it, not having time for anything else. As we saw in the second installment - "Cameron Wants to Be a Hero" - which focuses on his brother finding his HEA, he can be very considerate and caring. When Zach appears in his life he follows him for some reason. Maybe it was the exact sort of change and excitement he needed and once he spends time with him, I could see why he basically got addicted. I think I would have gotten a mild headache trying to navigate Zach and his energetic carefree ways. But for Brandon, or Brandy, it seems like the exact thing he needed. 

For Zach, who no one takes seriously and who doesn't have anyone else in this world who cares for him except his brother, having this connection with Brandy means FAR more than anything he ever had before so while he is "a bit" (= a lot) attracted to him, he tries his best to keep the older guy at a "best friend" distance not to spoiler his new found meaningful friendship. The age different (10 years) was noticeable for sure, but I think it also what made them work so well. They balanced each other out. It made me think of our first couple - Lake and Knight and how much I ADORED them as well. 

The story moves back and forth between the couples in sections - "Sense" with Noah's POV and "Sensibility" with Zach's POV - while maintaining a linear timeline. It really kept me at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happened with each couple, even if we get glimpses of what's going on through the general interactions between all the characters. I liked how close the brothers are. The way they took care of one another, and saw each other but also how fun these two were together (mostly because of Zach) yet it was obvious why especially now they were at a place where they also needed to find a sort of separation with someone of their own. Noah getting someone to loosen him up a bit, and taking care of him for a change and Zach needed someone else to see him and take him seriously while also accept him with little quirks. 

I feel like I've said far too much and yet it doesn't cover so much of what happens in this one. There were so many layers, relationships as well as quite a few of our couples from the previous instalments. Made me wish I could start right from the beginning.  

A MUST READ, as were all the others in this series. 

Read on:
31 December 2021 - 1 January 2022


Love, Austen is a Contemporary Romance series by Anyta Sunday. Each book delivers an updated (and gay) version of the 6 novels written by Jane Austen (including a Jane Austen themed novella). I haven't actually read any of the original novels (though after finishing the series decided to educate myself :)) but it doesn't really matter, Anyta can write about penguins on the moon and I'll read it hehe. This series is simply SUPERB. I love each of the characters, their personal arc and as a couple. Each is so simple yet complex. ALL are MUST READ with a delicious slow burn.

[ If you've felt the ending of the second novel a bit rushed, trust Anyta, she will make it better, continue on to the next one - and that's ALL I'm going to say here :) ]

Honestly can't recommend this series enough, each on it's own and especially all together. 



0.5 Mr Fairfax, Mr West and the Meet Cute [Josh Fairfax & West Churchill] (Published 1 January 2022)  ★★★★★
1. Emerett Has Never Been in Love - "Emma" [Emerett “Lake” Lakewood & Knightly "Knight" Dixon] (Published 15 March 2021) ★★★★★
2. Cameron Wants to Be a Hero - "Northanger Abbey" [Cameron Morland & Henry Tilney] (Published 17 May 2021) ★★★★★
3. Bennet, Pride Before the Fall - "Pride and Prejudice" [Bennet Keene & Darcy Tilney] (Published 30 June 2021) ★★★★★
4. Finley Embraces Heart and Home - "Mansfield Park" [Finely Price & Ethan Bertram] (Published 21 September 2021) ★★★★★
5. Elliot, Song Of The Soulmate - "Persuasion" [Elliot Anneston & Wentworth McAllister] (Published 11 October 2021) ★★★★★
6.  A Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility- "Sense and Sensibility" [Zachary Dashwood & Brandon "Brandy" Morland / Noah Dashwood & Wade Ferrars] (Published 19 November 2021) ★★★★★

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