Alone With Mr. Darcy // by Abigail Reynolds
Read Via: Kindle
Overall Rating: 3.0/5.0
Characters True-to-Original Rating: 3.0/5.0
Clean Rating: PG13 – cuddling, snogging, dreamily yearning, but nothing super graphic
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Elizabeth Bennet can’t imagine anything worse than being stranded by a blizzard in a tiny cottage with proud and unpleasant Mr. Darcy. But being trapped there for days – and nights – with an injured and confused Mr. Darcy who keeps saying the oddest things about her is even worse. At least he possesses the useful ability of lighting a fire to keep them from freezing to death. But when he puts his arms around her, she discovers the hearth isn’t the only place he knows how to build a fire. And the little half-frozen kitten he finds in a woodpile isn’t proving to be much of a chaperone.
She doesn’t really believe his promises to marry her if anyone finds out they spent two nights alone together, especially after learning he was betrayed by another woman in the past. When her worst fears are realized and her reputation is in tatters, she isn’t surprised to discover Mr. Darcy has vanished into thin air, leaving her no choice but to find a husband as soon as possible before her whole family is ruined. Any husband will have to do, no matter how much she dislikes him. Even if she can’t stop thinking of Mr. Darcy….
After Charlotte’s wedding, Elizabeth decides to take the long way home to clear her mind – she still can’t believe that Charlotte would willingly marry Mr. Collins! Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy, after struggling for a few weeks in London, has decided to ride back to Longborn and tell Mr. Bennet the truth about Wickham so that Elizabeth – and other young women of Meryton – will be safe from his wiles. Still determined to not give in to his desire to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy feels that he should do at least this much to protect her.
When his horse shies and throws him, Darcy is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, the weather is turning as Elizabeth hurries for home – only to stumble across a barely-conscious Darcy. They manage to make it to a small cottage before the storm hits full-force, where they are trapped for two nights. During that time, they are able to talk about some of their differences. When the leave, Darcy wants to marry Elizabeth right away, but she convinces him that that isn’t necessary. He makes her promise to let him know if rumors begin about her because he will be glad to marry her.
Of course, rumors DO get out, but that’s when things get complicated.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad variation, but it was a bit boring. The main drama centered around Mr. Bennet being a pain in the backside under the guise of “protecting” Elizabeth. The constant miscommunications between Darcy and Elizabeth, aided and abetted by Mr. Bennet being purposely obnoxious (and straight-up lying), started to get old after a while. Also, while I could buy that their time together could help Elizabeth start to view Darcy with new eyes, I wasn’t convinced that that time could suddenly make her desperately in love with him as it did in this story.
While this was fine for a one-off read, it wasn’t one that I would want to read again and again. There was a lot of potential here, but Mr. Bennet annoyed me so much that I just couldn’t deal with it. There were also some other weird side things below that lowered my enjoyment of the story.
The secondary story is about how Darcy had a stepmother who apparently tried to kill him when he was a kid (????) so Darcy’s father sent her away and Georgiana just found out that her mother is actually alive and now Darcy doesn’t know what to do, etc. This whole plot felt completely unnecessary and awkward. Like I never figured out why it was even part of the story as it just made things extra complicated.
Spoiler Review: (complete with capital letters, exclamation points, and question marks)…
So after they leave the cabin, they pass the inn on their way back to Longborn. Apparently this inn is outside of Meryton proper. Elizabeth goes in to see if she can get them something to eat, leaving Darcy outside so they won’t be seen together. She comes back out distressed because there is a girl in their apparently getting raped/abused/she’s kind of vague but it sounds bad. Darcy is like, “She’s unwilling?” And Elizabeth is like, “Yes, I know her.” So Darcy is all like, “I’ll go in and rescue her!” And Elizabeth’s like, “No, there are a bunch of dudes and they’re drunk so there’s nothing you can do.” And he’s like, “You’re right, oh well.” AND THEN THEY JUST LEAVE HER THERE?!?! This seemed sooo terrible and out of character to me. I really can’t imagine either Darcy OR Elizabeth leaving some young girl to her fate, especially when later we find out that it was Maria Lucas?!?! Now Darcy finds Maria a husband and makes sure that she is taken care of but… seriously???!! I just couldn’t get past that. It seemed SO horrible, and also completely unnecessary?? Like why was that even part of the story??
Meanwhile, Mr. Bennet was a BRAT in this version. He decides that Lizzy is lying that Darcy seduced her while they were alone, even though Elizabeth tells him that nothing happened. Then, when rumors start, Elizabeth says that Darcy said to write to him and that he would marry her. Mr. Bennet tells her that that was just a lie so that Darcy could get in her pants. Elizabeth says, Fine, let’s send the letter and see. So Mr. Bennet takes her to London, then says that he is going to see Darcy and deliver her letter… and doesn’t. He comes back and tells Elizabeth that Darcy laughed and said he wasn’t interested so Elizabeth is devastated. Meanwhile, Darcy finds out about the rumors and can’t believe that Elizabeth didn’t write to him. He concludes that it must be because she hates him so much that she isn’t willing to marry him even to save her reputation. He rides to Longbourn to find out… and Mr. Bennet says Elizabeth doesn’t him! So then they moon around for eons being mopey and depressed. Even when they finally see each other, they continue to misunderstand each other. I just was really over Mr. Bennet being an obnoxious bratty selfish horrible person.
The stepmother thing was weird. Like it was weird to start, then it was weird in the middle, and then it was magically resolved which was also weird. I couldn’t figure out why it was even in this story, other than to keep things weird.
Like I said, not a bad read for one time, but not an all-time fave for sure.