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Archive for the tag “Abigail Reynolds”

Mr. Darcy’s Letter // by Abigail Reynolds

Type: Variation

Setting:  Regency

Read Via: Kindle

Overall Rating:  3.5/5.0

Characters True-to-Original Rating:  4.0/5.0

Copyright:  2011

Pages: 255

Clean Rating: Mature, mostly due to one very descriptive scene

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 

A lady’s reputation is a fragile thing. If anyone discovered Miss Elizabeth Bennet had received a letter from a single gentleman, she could be ruined… or forced to marry a man she detests. In this “Pride & Prejudice” variation, Elizabeth chooses the safe course and refuses to read Mr. Darcy’s letter of explanation. Returning home unaware of Wickham’s true nature, Elizabeth confesses everything to him, putting both Mr. Darcy and herself in grave danger from Wickham’s schemes.

Review:

In this version, Elizabeth is even more set against Darcy than in the original.  When he gives her his letter, she is determined not to read it, believing that he is just trying to use this as an opportunity to force her into a marriage with him.  Because Elizabeth doesn’t gain the critical information within the letter, she continues to be prejudiced against Darcy – and to believe that Wickham is telling the truth.

There were a lot of things about this version that I liked, the main one being the way that Lydia’s story played out.  I also enjoyed the concept of an Elizabeth still vulnerable to Wickham’s schemes.  When Darcy and Elizabeth eventually overcome their confusion, I liked them as a couple.  Most of the characters from the original felt true to themselves throughout the story.

However, there were a lot of places where the story felt rough.  Sometimes characters were kind of forgotten (at one point, Georgiana is abandoned by everyone at Netherfield… and would she even have been staying there without her brother in the first place??).  Bingley was sooo annoying, waffling even more than ever (if I had been Jane, I would have sent him off with a flea in his ear!).  Elizabeth is far too prone to listen to what other people are saying instead of listening to Darcy (hello?  He is standing right in front of you trying to explain and you’re just blowing him off??).

Still, on the whole the story came together pleasantly enough.  I could have done without the passionate anticipation of vows, which seemed unlikely, but most of the rest of the story was pretty G-rated.  Good for a one-time read, and maybe even one I’ll pick up again in a few years when I’ve forgotten exactly how it went.

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

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Alone With Mr. Darcy // by Abigail Reynolds

Type: Variation

Setting:  Regency

Read Via: Kindle

Overall Rating:  3.0/5.0

Characters True-to-Original Rating:  3.0/5.0

Copyright:  2015

Pages: 370

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….

Review:

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)…

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