What If Elizabeth Didn’t Believe in Happy Marriages?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Elizabeth Calbry née Bennet, at the age of twenty-seven, has given up. She has given up on love, on romance, and happiness in marriage. With the passing of her husband and the end of their disastrous and infelicitous marriage occurring just a year ago, Elizabeth looks forward to returning to society, answering to no one, and indulging in some innocent diversions. Unfortunately for Lizzy, it is generally assumed that a beautiful, vivacious, and young widow must be in want of a man to warm her bed…
Now that she has concluded her period of mourning and is allowed to rejoin society, Elizabeth encounters several young men that supply her with ample attention. There’s the engaging George Wickham, the captivating and very attractive Lord Winthrop, the wealthy and flirtatious Mr. Cranford, and the man Elizabeth is least interested in…the arrogant and presumptuous Mr. Darcy. Lizzy enjoys the attentions of the men that flatter her and adore her, but Mr. Darcy just stares, broods, and officiously tells her what not to do. Will Lizzy’s charming behavior and lack of caution get her into trouble? Will she continue to refuse Mr. Darcy’s counsel and support?
What an intriguing alternate path for our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth to travel! Elizabeth a widow? Darcy younger in age? Obstacles such as disbelief in lasting love and the inability to trust? I just love how P. O. Dixon boldly steps out of the Pride and Prejudice canon to create such an imaginative and diverse variation! Some readers may hesitate when they hear the alterations made to Elizabeth’s age and situation, but the uniqueness of this premise and P. O. Dixon’s deft execution will easily dispel any qualms. I greatly appreciate the author’s skill in plausibly deviating from the plot, while respectfully remaining true to the original characters.
Although Darcy’s blatant and barely concealed interest in Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s naiveté and suppression of her unhappiness sometimes raised my eyebrow a little, I found myself entranced by the tension, drama, and romance instilled in Still a Young Man. I took great pleasure in the intense, heated moments of anger and passion between Darcy and Elizabeth. Just like in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth truly loathes Darcy with every fiber of being for the first half of the book! I loved seeing her opinion of Darcy go through a slow and satisfying transformation as she learned more about him.
Filled with secrets, scandals, and speculation, Still a Young Man is an enthralling adventure into London society! I highly recommend this novel to Austenesque readers interested in seeing Darcy and Elizabeth traverse distinctly alternate and original path!
(Note: due to a few brief mentions of intimate and romantic scenes between characters, I’d recommend this novel for Mature Audiences only).
DOUBLE GIVEAWAY!!! Author P. O. Dixon has kindly donated TWO ebooks of Still a Young Man for me to giveaway!!
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