Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Second Ending by Riana Everly ~ Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! Riana Everly is here with her third book in her new series Austen Echos! How lovely, these books came out so quickly! One a month! Nice!

Thanks so much, Candy, for letting me stop here today to talk about my new book, The Second Ending. This is the third and final book in my Austen Echoes series of contemporary Austen retellings, all centred around members of a concert choir in my home city of Toronto. This book, just released a couple of days ago, is inspired by my favourite of Austen’s novels, Persuasion, and trust me, you’ll love it!

One of the fun challenges about re-setting a Regency-era novel into the present is how to make the characters keep up with the times. For the most part, women today just don’t sit at home and sip tea while waiting for their heroes to come dashing across the fields on a jet-black horse. A modern heroine needs a modern life, and that is probably going to involve a career of some sort.

Likewise, the men need new lives as well. Even if I were to keep Austen’s military characters in that field, times have changed. Naval captains now draw a salary, rather than keeping a chunk of loot from whatever foreign ships they capture. It’s a different world, and our characters need to reflect that.

When I began thinking about this contemporary take on
Persuasion, I knew right away that Ashleigh Lynch (my modern Anne Elliot) would be a lawyer. It’s a career acceptable to her snooty family, but it also lets her be a helper. Just like Anne Elliot is the one helping her sister Mary with the children, taking care of packing up Kellynch hall after her father and sister Elizabeth take off to Bath, managing the crisis when Louisa has her dreadful accident in Lyme, modern Ashleigh is the one helping as well. She takes legal aid cases, working with people who can’t afford to pay a lawyer from their own pockets, helping abused women escape their tormenters, assisting families get new starts in life. 

It’s not the sort of career to make someone rich, since legal aid rates are far below what a lawyer can charge private clients, but it’s the sort of career that suits someone like Ashleigh, who wants to make a difference for people who need her.

What about Marcus, my modern Frederick Wentworth? He had to come from a place that’s absolutely unacceptable to
Ashleigh’s family. He had to start off with a job that the Lynches would hold their noses at, but that would also give him the possibility of doing extremely well for himself. Here, I decided to put him in the trades.

Marcus Fredericks met Ash when he was a construction worker, and she was a university student. But in the years since they broke up, he took his uncles small business and turned it into a huge success, building a development corporation that made the construction worker into the CEO. 

When Ash and Marcus cross paths again, eight years after her family managed to break them up, they’re very different people from who they were back then. Or are they?

Do these new interpretations work? Do these careers suit a modern take on Austen’s wonderful characters? You’ll have to read the book and decide that for yourself!

To give you a taste, here’s an excerpt from The Second Ending: A Modern Austen Persuasion Improvisation.


Still, law had been a good choice for her. She’d excelled at her classes and passed her exams with ease, and discovered that, all stereotypes aside, there was a great deal of good she could do in her profession. It wasn’t all money laundering and overcharging clients, but instead, it was a way to help people out of bad situations. Whether that meant supporting a small business
owner in a lease dispute or advocating for a new immigrant with little English when his employer decided not to pay him, she found she went to bed each night with the sense of having made a difference in someone’s life.

Law had also engendered in her a passion for helping others, something that had not been part of her rather pampered childhood. Her father was, as she joked, a poor trust-fund baby. The family once had quite a lot of money. Some forward-thinking grandfather had put it all into reasonable investments, and the interest was enough to live on more than comfortably.

One of those investments had been a house in Rosedale, where Ashleigh’s father had lived since he was a baby. Living there, in that most prestigious part of town, an enclave of old money and new sports cars, Walter Lynch could consider himself part of Toronto’s elite. He was certainly well-connected, having been to the right schools and having made the right contacts, and if his wealth didn’t quite extend to summer homes in the south of France, it was enough to keep up appearances without having to resort to actually having to work.

Because Walter Lynch, for all his insistence that his daughter train for a suitable career, had never worked a day in his life. Ashleigh suspected her parents would be quite horrified at what she really did with the precious law degree they had insisted so vehemently that she achieve.

Ashleigh sighed as she glanced around her slightly tatty flat once more. Oh, her father would have a fit if he saw it. Her sister would drag her to the nearest real estate agent in seconds, and her mother would smile in her absentminded way and say, “It’s not very fancy, is it, dear? Wouldn’t you prefer something nicer?” As if wishing would make it so.

She had, once, had something nicer, back eight years ago, when her life was full of promise and when the future looked wonderful. When she was still with Marcus.

Seeing him again today had disturbed all the ghosts, bringing long-buried memories flooding back. Her mind replaced the faded paint and worn furniture with the sweet place they had shared for not nearly long enough. She recalled the butter-yellow walls, the deep burgundy curtains, the lovely long couch that one of his friends had found for them, the comfortable chair, the elegant dining room table… 

Did he still have them? Or had he burned everything after she’d walked out? 

She let out another deep sigh. Probably, by the anger he had vented then, and by the hard expression he’d borne today when he had seen her for the first time since their awful break-up, he’d burned them, then burned the ashes, and then buried them. Like her heart.

Because that was the second time her family had destroyed her dreams.

The Second Ending
A Modern Persuasion Improvisation
by Riana Everly


The last person Eglinton Echoes member Ashleigh Lynch expected to see across the table from her was her ex, Marcus Fredericks. Eight years ago when they were in love, she was a law student and he was a construction worker, not nearly good enough for her elitist family. But times have changed. Now she’s a lawyer, and he owns the development company threatening the playing fields she’s been engaged to protect. 

Her family managed to crush her dreams and her confidence back then, and seeing Marcus again has rocked her to the core. But as talks over the playing fields continue, they are forced to confront each other again and again, and even the hardest hearts aren’t always impervious to old, tender feelings. 

But rekindling their romance won’t be easy. They are on different sides of a dispute, and Ashleigh has caught the eye of a charming guy from the city’s planning department. When the development project is threatened and Ashleigh discovers who her real enemy is, her very world begins to crumble around her, and not even her precious music is safe. Can she find the inner strength to deal, at last, with an old threat and reclaim the happiness that was ripped away from her eight years ago? 

This musical reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved Persuasion will have you cheering the characters on, pulling you into their world and into their hearts.
Buy: Amazon (paid link)
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Links to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a book through the link provided. Thanks!

About the Author

Born in South Africa, award-winning author Riana Everly has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She proudly boasts one husband, two grown(ish) children, three degrees, four recordings, five instruments (of varying proficiencies), six languages (also of varying proficiencies), and thirteen novels (and growing). She also can’t count very well.

When not indulging her passion for Jane Austen, Riana loves cooking, travel, and photography. She’s a historian and trained classical musician, specialising in viola, and is delighted to be able to combine her love of writing and music in her novels. 

She now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, a secret stash of chocolate, and far too many books.

Connect with Riana Everly

* * * GIVEAWAY* * *

Riana is hosting a giveaway! Here's a message from her:

I’m delighted to be able to offer a giveaway of an eBook at each stop on this blog tour. I will randomly select one person who comments on the post here through Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win! I will take comments until midnight, North American Eastern time, five days after the blog post goes live. Good luck everyone!

Congratulations, Riana, on the release of The Second Ending! That's awesome! Also, many thanks for visiting with us and offering one of my readers a chance to win an eCopy of The Second Ending.


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