Can't Stop Reading P&P Variations…

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Rainy Days // by Lory Lilian

RD cover-red.inddType:  Variation

Setting:  Regency

Read Via: Paperback

Overall Rating:  3.5/5.0

Characters True-to-Original Rating:  4.2/5.0

Copyright:  2012

Pages: 389

Clean Rating:  Mature.  There are several scenes of intense making out, and the final chapter is a detailed wedding night.

Synopsis (via back cover):  

In Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s first impression and hasty judgment of Mr. Darcy and that gentleman’s pride and aloofness toward her loved ones took them on a long and difficult road to happiness.

In Rainy Days, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are caught in a rainstorm two days  before the Netherfield ball, and they are forced to spend a few hours alone together where they talk, listen, and better understand each other’s feelings.  However, even when original pride and prejudices are overcome, new obstacles arise.  The road to true love is never smooth, and surprises along the way enhance the passion of the journey.

Review:  

Back in the day before I caved and bought a Kindle, I used to save up my allowance money (yes, I’m in my 30’s and get allowance money haha … don’t worry, it’s a team thing, not an overbearing-husband thing :-p) and buy hard copies of random P&P variations (I told you I have an addiction).  Recently, Lilian came out with a sequel to this one, so I decided to reread Rainy Days.  

I ended up giving it a completely middle-road rating.  It is a decent story, but not one that I love.  The characters are done well, and I appreciated that there were no crazy evil people running around.  There are some good conversations, but a few too many lovery scenes for me, especially because the plot throughout the second half of the book feels quite thin, like they are just excuses to link together more making-out opportunities.

The initial premise, wherein Elizabeth and Darcy have to take refuge in a small cottage for a few hours during a sudden rainstorm, didn’t feel horribly contrived.  However, it really felt like Darcy should have explained more clearly his past dealings with Wickham.  All he really says is, “Feel free to ask me anything you want and I’ll tell you the truth.”  Elizabeth doesn’t really ask him anything, and he doesn’t volunteer any more.  Yet for some reason, Elizabeth is more or less won over and doesn’t like Wickham any more … except she does keep believing him when he says mean things about Darcy, which also makes no sense.

Anyway, the overall story moves along just fine.  There is a really weird subplot later in the book that legit felt like filler so that the six weeks between engagement and wedding night could move along.  The book ends abruptly with a lovemaking-filled wedding night.  There were some nice moments in between, and overall I enjoyed the story enough to be interested in reading the sequel (hopefully there will be more with Georgiana… she’s my favorite, let’s be real), but on the whole it was a so-so variation.

Spoiler Review:  (complete with capital letters, exclamation points, and question marks)…

Read more…

On Oakham Mount // by Sophia Meredith

OOM1Type:  Variation

Setting:  Regency

Read Via: Kindle Unlimited

Overall Rating:  3.9/5.0

Characters True-to-Original Rating:  4.8/5.0

Copyright:  2015

Pages:  279 (per Kindle)

Clean Rating:  G.  Totally clean except for a few “he found himself yearning for her” moment.

Synopsis (via Amazon):  

When Mr. Bennet insists that Elizabeth marry the odious Mr. Collins, she dashes off in tears to seek refuge on Oakham Mount.  There, she encounters Mr. Darcy seeking distraction from his own concerns.  In a moment of emotional turmoil they turn to each other, and Mr. Darcy is moved to offer a solution to Elizabeth’s dilemma: A marriage of convenience.  But when this engagement is broken almost before it has begun, why do the two feel so bereft?  Could there be more between them than a simple arrangement?  Can these two proud, strong-willed individuals overcome all the obstacles that keep them apart?  More importantly, can they open their hearts to each other and to love?

Review:

This was a straightforward and pleasant P&P variation.  When Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s father tells her that she must wed him, rather than supporting Elizabeth’s decision to refuse Mr. Collins as he does in the original.  Elizabeth is devastated by this betrayal from her favorite parent, and horrified at the prospect of marriage to Mr. Collins.  She runs off to the woods to cry her heart out.  While she is there, Darcy rides by and sees her.  He’s feeling a bit annoyed himself, having just receive another letter from Lady Catherine, hounding him about marrying Anne.  As Darcy and Elizabeth converse, he feels moved to offer for her.

On the whole, I’m not sure why I didn’t feel like rating this book higher.  I think it was just because it was rather boring.  Everyone was super nice, except for Lady Catherine (and Wickham, but he doesn’t really come into things much until he absconds with Lydia), so it was basically just Darcy and Elizabeth misunderstanding each other that was keeping them apart, and I’m always annoyed when the only thing standing in the way of true love is a straightforward conversation.

The whole proposal thing felt a little weird, but on the whole seemed not unreasonable.  However, I think the whole story would have been better if the marriage had gone through and we had worked from there.

I’m not even bothering with a spoilers section for this one since there really aren’t any.  A placid tale with characters very true to Austen’s original, but somehow without their engaging manners.

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