Tuesday, March 15, 2022

If you liked “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

This classic rags-to-riches story is full of love and suspense, with our “Plain Jane” heroine a force to be reckoned with. The stories below all share similar themes and storylines as the classic, but emphasize the romance or suspense to bring new edges to the tale.


 “The Duchess Deal” by Tessa Dare

This book is your standard, cheesy regency romance, but has similar elements to “Beauty and the Beast” and “Jane Eyre.” The Duke of Ashbury needs a wife, and when vicar’s-daughter-turned-seamstress Emma Gladstone appears in his library wearing the wedding dress intended for his ex-betrothed, he chooses her for the position. Scarred physically from war and emotionally from his prior relationship, Ashbury has strict rules for their marriage agreement, ones that Emma wants nothing more than to break down.


 “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier

Another classic, “Rebecca” has a similar storyline to “Jane Eyre,” but with more of a gothic atmosphere. The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where Rebecca is swept off her feet by wealthy widower Maxim de Winter. After moving to his country estate, Rebecca begins to feel haunted by the shadow of his popular deceased wife. And as Rebecca learns more secrets, she realizes all is not as it seems at Manderley. These two books’ heroines share a lot in common, but Rebecca faces her demons in gothic atmosphere.


 “The Wife Upstairs” by Rachel Hawkins

In this modern take on “Jane Eyre” with hints of du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” this Jane is a broke dog-walker in the gated community of Thornfield Estates in Alabama. Recently widowed Eddie Rochester, Thornfield’s most mysterious resident, falls for Jane. But as time goes on, Jane becomes haunted by the legend of Rochester’s wife, who owned her own southern lifestyle brand. This tale takes the set-up of “Jane Eyre,” but flips the script with forbidden romance, a twisty love triangle, and plenty of suspense.

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