Monday, July 11, 2022

Sophia Rose Reviews - Much Ado About Persuasion by Barbara Cornthwaite

Today on the blog Sophia Rose is back reviewing one of her favorite genres, historical romance and a clever mash up of two Classic tales. 

Much Ado About Persuasion by Barbara Cornthwaite

Historical Romance

Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing

Published: 5.3.22


Pages:  215

Rating: 4 stars

Format: eARC

Source: author

Sellers: Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads


GoodReads Blurb:

Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.


Sophia Rose's Review:

When two powerhouse classics meet, a most interesting tale unfolds.  I was all kinds of curious when I took a gander at the blurb for this latest release from an author who has captivated me with her writing in the past.  Barbara Cornthwaite took my favorite stories from both authors and mashed them into an entertaining, clever bit of storytelling.


Sir Walter Elliot has a private penchant for the Navy and those brave men who command the ships of the Royal Navy.  The baronet hosts a house party to enjoy the company of his friend, Admiral Croft, and some other officers.  The house party also includes his heir, Mr. Elliot, and his steward’s daughter, Mrs. Clay along with his old neighbor, Lady Russell.  Lady Russell is pleased for another reason.  Sir Walter has three daughters and the oldest two are unmarried.  Elizabeth, the eldest, is proud and fiery in nature while, Anne, the second daughter is a serious, calm woman.  They attract the attention of two very different naval men.  However, someone at the party is bent on a quiet, insidious revenge against Captain Wentworth through his love for Anne Elliot and another has the chance to prevent the success of the vengeful plot if he is willing to leave his unsavory past behind and turn over a new leaf.


As I mentioned, these two stories are my favorites from both authors so I was curious to see how the author would entwine the tales.  Using the character names from Austen’s Persuasion, but some of the character traits and plot of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I was enchanted to see the stories melded together.  Elizabeth and Admiral Baldwin have a hostile enemies to lovers romance, Anne and Captain Wentworth have a tender, gentler romance, but I was tickled by the third romance for a surprising couple that is the key to the whole story and are variations on Shakespeare’s characters Borachio and Margaret.  The span of the story is during the house party so it followed the Shakespearean plot with the Persuasion setting.


I found this light and fun tale to be highly entertaining.  It has the tone of Shakespeare, but also facets of Austen, too.  There was a balance, but never a complete mashing together into something completely new.  In fact, I think it leaned heavier on Much Ado than Persuasion as to plot and much about the characters and even some direct quotes. I felt it worked for what the author was trying to do here.  There are inspirational themes of guilt, wrongs, and finding redemption.  I don’t think a reader has to be overly familiar with either or both the classics that make up this book, but I do think readers will have fun spotting familiar characters, situations, and writing style if they do.  All in all, it was flirty and sweet with a respectful nod to two classics.  Those who enjoy sweet, but light historical romance should be a good fit.


Author’s Bio:

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before "retiring" to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six
children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.



Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

Sophia’s Social Media Links:






  1. I can see why you'd like this Sophia Rose. Thanks for sharing

    1. This was highly entertaining and so fun to see the pairing. :)

  2. Glad to see you found this entertaining Sophia!

    1. Oh yes, Shakespeare and Austen mashed up was a hit with me. :)

  3. Ohhhh a narration like this sounds fun