Works and Reviews
A rollicking new twist on the historical romance, Phyllida portrays the situation of a man with a wife and a boyfriend as a love story, with a happily-ever-after ending for the three main characters.
"Herendeen's book brings a breath of fresh air and creativity to the romance genre and with her humor and ability to entertain, she is sure to woo fans"--Publisher's Weekly
"Sparkling with Regency wit and panache, Herendeen's debut novel ... is a brilliant exploration of love, sexuality, class, and gender, but above all, it is a wonderful love story. Highly recommended for those readers comfortable with alternative sexual and erotic literature"
"Impeccable research, fantastic characters, and even a bit of mystery made this one of the best novels so far for 2008. Be prepared to be shocked, to learn something about the Regency world, and to laugh out loud. Ms. Herendeen writes a dynamite tale. I very highly recommend this clever story and give it a Perfect 10"
"With caustic wit, some wildly original characters, and plenty of sex, Herendeen creates her own delightfully imaginative and boldly sensual take on the classic Regency marriage-of-convenience plot"
"Herendeen takes many plot devices of the traditional Regency romance and turns them, quite delightfully, on their ear.... The final chapter, which features a play on the marriage scene that typically completes a Regency romance, is the perfect ending for this genre-bending novel. While Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander can be enjoyed on many levels, readers ... who appreciate new interpretations of a classic genre will be delighted with the games the author has played in this novel"
"This witty and fast paced first novel does great credit to the author's training as an English major at Princeton and to her own very well developed talent. Lust, love, secrets, lavish settings and intrigue -- this one has the whole delicious menu for a great summer read"
"Ann Herendeen has written a Regency novel unlike any that has come before ... Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander comes bursting through a door in Regency romance that previously Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John books had only knocked upon politely ... Impossibly, wonderfully, the book has a happy ending. Read Herendeen to find out how, and then keep an eye on her"
"A delightful twist on the Regency romance genre ... a story that will keep you laughing and reading ... a fresh look at an established genre of story, giving it a new vibrancy and excitement ... crafted into a romantic homage to Jane Austen's oft-crossed lovers and comedic misunderstandings. I look forward to Ann Herendeen's next book"
"Subtitled 'a bisexual romance,' this well-written novel opens doors to a little-known side of Regency England. With style and wit Herendeen introduces readers to an unusual romance that works perfectly because she's created realistic characters whose motivations drive the story forward. We believe in them and cheer as they find their way to an unconventional love"
"Herendeen ...writes about romance and history with comedic timing and the kind of dialog that makes you feel you are in the room with the characters ... This book [is] a great love story, beautifully written, with a sense of life and a sense of comedy that is at once exhilarating and impassioned ... If you're not sure if you're reading a Regency romance, a bisexual romance, a comedy or a novel ... Call it all of that or none of it: It's a great read!"
"A clever, highly articulate, historically sharp, and delightfully entertaining romance ... Herendeen has a writing voice that matches the tone and restraint of the Regency, and her descriptions and dialogue are fantastic"
"A wonderful romance, well-written, exceedingly historically accurate, and very, very sexy"
"Humorous and satirical as Herendeen skewers the ethics of the ton (and by implication modern day American hypocritical claims of morality) Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is a superbly written bisexual Regency romance"
"This book is a winner! Reminiscent of the best of the period-piece Merchant Ivory film scripts, it is written with style and wit, peeking behind the closed doors of the gay life of 1812 London and exploding in an engaging and lively plot peopled with vivid characters from all walks of life. There's a painter, a cryptographer, a writer, a scullery maid, a spy, a scoundrel, lords and ladies. Moods range from tough to tender; hysterical to noble; hilarious to solemn. Filled with sophisticated humor, zesty sex, believable dialogue, and passion, this literary romance is a refreshing romp through uncharted but timely bi-sexual territory. Author Herendeen is one worldly writer! Five stars"
"A great read. This is Ann Herendeen’s first novel and it is just a delight to read. Herendeen breathes new life into the romance novel. She takes a look at sexuality, class, gender and gives us a wonderful love story which is full of wit, humor and romance. The characters are fantastic and the author’s look at the regency world is so very interesting…. Phyllida Lewis, a young and beautiful writer agrees to enter into a marriage of convenience with Andrew Carrington, a gay heir to an earldom…. What began as a marriage turns into drama and each tries to protect the other from any kind of harm. What eventually happens is that they end up hurting each other…. The book is an easy read and is really a lot of fun and Ann Herendeen knows how to tell a story"
The hidden story of Jane Austen's popular novel!
A finalist for the 2011 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Fiction
Mark Simpson says: "I have had to readjust my dressing gown a few times when reading ‘Pride/Prejudice’, which is currently at my beside. You ... write about man-on-man action with much more vim and vigour than most male writers. In fact, you make MSM hot again, even to a jaded homo like me (who also has a big weakness for slutty bi men)."
Publishers Weekly says "this unlikely redo is erotic, witty and as often silly as refreshing."
Brigitte Weeks in the Washington Post says P/P "breaks open a new genre of Austen-based fiction" and that "Janeites will not be pleased, but Oscar Wilde might have welcomed such a transfiguration."
Laura Miller on Salon says "Herendeen does a better job than most of approximating Austen's style without aping it."
Pink Magazine calls P/P "a haughtily naughty same-sex twist" on Austen's story, "told in comparable English ... and leading up to a crux of of 19th century bisexuality that teases and tantalizes."
Reviewer TJ Jarboe of Instinct Magazine gives P/P four out of five round red thingys and says "the intensely graphic sexual scenes described between Darcy and Bingley, Elizabeth and Charlotte and even Wickham, in several gay encounters, make for a rousing read!"
Roza of Night Owl Reviews gives P/P 4.75 out of 5 stars, a Reviewer Top Pick and says: "This is probably one of the best fan fics I've read in a long time. Everything that happened in the original but just happened off-screen (-page) happens here. If it was hinted at by Austen and glossed over for whatever reason, it's explicit here. And the best part is that it still sounds like Austen, still uses language like Austen."
EDGE Magazine editor-in-chief Steve Weinstein, in a serious, thoughtful review, says "Herendeen does a nice job of using sex to deconstruct Austen’s characters."
Lototy, on Coffee Time Romance calls P/P a "most scintillating read" and adds, "Darcy and Charles’s characters are brought to life, and their relationship bears all the earmarks of a great male love story. But then you add in the ladies, Elizabeth and Jane, and you have a tangled web of sweetness, seduction, and secrets that will keep you thoroughly spellbound. Their nineteenth century propriety is a veil to a whole host of lusty liaisons, ebullient emotions, and fierce intelligence sure to titillate anyone’s secret desires."
Valerie, on Love Romances and More gives P/P four hearts, saying, "Ms. Herendeen has written a compelling, sexual and realistic story that I enjoyed and I believe others will too," and that "she tells the story beautifully."
Amos Lassen says: "The Questions Answered. Do we know the nature of Darcy's friendship with Charles Bingley and does that cause him to prevent the wedding between Bingley and Elizabeth's sister Jane? How did Darcy deal with his own desire for Elizabeth while he is set upon saving his friend from the same fate? What was the nature of the relationship between Darcy and his foster brother, George Wickham? Was there anything else besides a friendship between Elizabeth and Charlotte? If you want answers, pick up Ann Herendeen's reimagining of the story as she looks at all that was untold in the original--the secrets, the scandals, the humility of pride and the freedom from prejudice. Herendeen's take on the famous novel gives it a bisexual tone. She says the clues are there and she has simply brought them to the surface….These added activities convolute the text even more and it is not a question of keeping things 'straight' because no one here is very straight anyway. This new look at the story is quite audacious yet it is masterful and the novel becomes one of sexual manners as well as everything else it is purported to be. Austen's eighteenth century characters get a new 'lease on life' and what is so interesting is that everything that Herendeen has written could have actually been. I have read the reviews that show offense at the treatment of the characters here and to those people, I say, ease up and relax. The creativity of this version more than makes up for what these readers find not to their liking…. I suspect that these same readers might be afraid of someone finding out about their own hidden sexual desires."
"I gobbled up this delicious book in one sexy/cerebral reading orgy. Now I need to go back and marvel at leisure, at its author’s wealth of insight and imagination"
"Ann Herendeen has turned Jane Austen's beloved classic novel on its head with this beautifully written 'what if' story. It is the erotic retelling of Jane’s very eighteenth century characters. The book is surprisingly creative and makes this version timely, realistic and clever fun. An entertaining read!"
"Audacious and masterful, Pride/Prejudice is an exploration both sympathetic and daring of the intimate lives of Jane Austen’s immortal characters. True to Austen’s spirit, Ann Herendeen has given us a compelling, and sexual, novel of manners. In scenes that illuminate the motives and intellects of our favorite characters, we witness their most private moments. Delectable"
Many readers are surprised to learn that Jane Austen, typically for her time and place (England of the late 18th century), spent the first year-and-a-half of her life, not at home with her family, but in the cottage of her wet nurse.
In this short article for the newsletter of the Jane Austen Society of North America--New York region, I discuss the use of wet nurses among upper- and middle-class women in Western Europe, beginning in medieval times.
Take a bisexual Prince Charming, his gay boyfriend, an intersex Cinderella and two stepsisters, one of them wicked only in bed (where it's an asset)--and what do you have? The classic fairy tale as only Ann Herendeen can tell it.
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 1
Sometimes you're still coming of age at thirty-five. Sometimes you have to travel halfway across the universe to find your home.
Life on sweltering Planet Earth isn't working for Amelia Herzog. She's light-sensitive, with protective third eyelids that appear at the first glimmer of UV rays. And she hears other people's thoughts, a one-way conversation that's more isolating than intimate.
Eclipsis, a cold, dark planet settled centuries ago by refugees from Earth's climate catastrophe, a place where eco-tourists visit but no one wants to live, seems like the perfect place for Amelia to disappear. Instead, she discovers a world of choices, the possibility of love and, perhaps, a way to turn a curse into a gift.
In Recognition, the first book of the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs, Amelia takes a job on Eclipsis and meets the one person who truly shares her thoughts. Before long she's on her way to a new career, a new identity, and a chance to realize her full potential as a telepath.
With the ECLIPSIS series, Ann Herendeen writes, as always, from "the third perspective," taking readers back to the future as puts her unique twist on the sword-and-sorcery genre.
Quiet Riot Girl says: "To create a whole other world, that is both believable and fantastical takes a lot of talent. Eclipsis does just that. It transports the reader to a different time space continuum, but makes it seem real.... there is also a historical feel to the story.... if you enjoy genre-bending and other worldliness, but also like a good old-fashioned story, this is the book for you."
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 2
Amelia Herzog has found a home on Eclipsis--or so she hopes. Soon, she'll become Eclipsian Amalie and leave her Terran self behind. But despite hard work and good intentions, Amelia faces some difficult choices. In reaching her decisions, Amelia is forced to question the motives of the one person she thought she could trust. Is he her lover--or her enemy?
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 3
After months of separation, Amelia Herzog has a chance to be with her lover, the formidable Dominic, Margrave Aranyi, one of Eclipsis's ruling nobility. But as a rebellion rises in the north, Dominic must leave Amelia and go off to war. When Dominic returns home, wounded and with his young companion, Stefan Ormonde, at his side, Amalie faces her greatest challenges: Can she and Stefan work together to heal their partner? Can she survive the burning ordeal of the Graven Rite of Matrimony? Can she adapt to the restricted life of an Eclipsian noblewoman and make this marriage of three people a success?
Readers of Ann Herendeen's novels know that she writes from the Third Perspective, the woman who prefers a bisexual husband and an m/m/f ménage. Wedding, the third installment of Lady Amalie's memoirs, tells the story of the original ménage and the first of these unusual heroines.
T. T. Thomas says: "Wedding is the most realized, most poetic, almost cosmic, of the [series].... One really ought to read the series in order to appreciate how Herendeen's amazing talent moves the series from a most unusual voyage of adventure to an entrancingly mellifluous love story. Here[n]deen explores and explains complex concepts of bisexuality with insight, humor and sensitivity.... a love story about two unique characters who use their individual and combined gift of 'communion' to reach both new depths and new heights of romantic love."
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 4
The honeymoon is over for Amalie and Dominic, Margrave Aranyi. Adjusting to married life has been one misstep after another for Amalie, leading to escalating fights. For Stefan, Dominic's companion, life in the middle of this squabbling couple has become unbearable. And unlike Amalie, he's free to leave.
With blood and sex and shouted curse words in two languages, "Birth" is an unusual account of a universal family event, here occurring in a mixed marriage of three telepaths: one Terran, two Eclipsian, all gifted--and in love.
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 5
Six years have passed since Amalie married Dominic and became 'Gravina Aranyi. Dominic's companion, Stefan Ormonde, has moved on to marry and start his own family.
Now Amalie has learned a few things about Dominic's past. And in her jealousy and anger, she sets out on a dangerous journey with her two children, only to be ambushed by bandits. As she tries to free herself through the use of her telepathic gift, she makes a horrifying discovery: her captor is gifted too.
While Amalie hopes for rescue from Dominic and his new companion, the intrepid young officer Niall Galloway, she knows it's up to her to protect herself and the children in the meantime.
But for the Aranyi family, the enemy within is the most dangerous.
Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs, 6
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves--Chinese proverb.
Has the Aranyi family dug its own grave along with Reynaldo's?
As Amalie and the children recover from their ordeal, Dominic, with Amalie's active encouragement, tortures the captured bandit leader. But when torturers and victim are gifted telepaths, the process threatens to corrupt and destroy the entire household.
In the final episode, Amalie and Naomi, the household's healer, accompany Dominic on a romantic quest, to convince Niall Galloway to return and make the family whole again.