Susan by Alice McVeigh
Susan is a Jane Austen Prequel (or Pride and Prejudice Variation) brilliantly capturing Austen's own Lady Susan as a young girl.
As the BookLife review put it for Publishers Weekly: "McVeigh's prose and plotting are pitch-perfect. Emma mingles with Pride and Prejudice in a delightful confrontation between the two books' worlds... This Austen-inspired novel echoes the master herself."
Familiar characters abound - Frank Churchill, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Darcy himself - but Susan - mischievous and manipulative - is the star. This is Austen that even Austen might have loved, with a touch of Georgette Heyer in the romantic sections. Fans of Bridgerton will also relish this classic regency romance, the first in a six-book series.
Sixteen-year-old Susan Smithson - pretty but poor, clever but capricious - has just been expelled from a school for young ladies in London.
At the mansion of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, she attracts a raffish young nobleman. But, at the first hint of scandal, her guardian dispatches her to her uncle Collins' rectory in Kent, where her sensible cousin Alicia lives and "where nothing ever happens."
Here Susan mischievously inspires the local squire to put on a play, with consequences no one could possibly have foreseen. What with the unexpected arrival of Frank Churchill, Alicia's falling in love and a tumultuous elopement, rural Kent will surely never seem safe again...