Once Upon a Time Darcy Broke Elizabeth’s Shoe at a Wedding…
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Giveaway Win!
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern Adaptation, Mature Audience
TIME FRAME: Modern-Day
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, William Darcy, Georgiana Darcy, Richard Fitzwilliam, John Fitzwilliam, Jane Bennet, Charlotte Lucas, Maria, Lucas, Charles Bingley
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
Linda Wells is a very prominent and popular author in the Austenesque genre and I cannot believe it has taken me so long to read one of her books! While the premises for all her Regency variations sound wonderful and intriguing, I was fortunate enough to win Perfect Fit in a giveaway awhile back and thought I’d start with that one since I was in the mood for a modern-day tale!
- A Truly Inspirational Romance: Darcy and Elizabeth have practically a fairytale relationship in this adaptation: they fall in love at first sight (Lizzy is more than tolerable to this Darcy!) and any discord between them stemmed from outside factors or people from their past. They truly were an emblem of a deeply passionate and fervently devoted couple in love. I enjoyed witnessing what they did on their dates and holidays together (I think it might be time for me and my Mr. Bingley to take some dance lessons together! For real!) In addition, I loved seeing how they relied on, supported, stood up for, and protected each other.
Clever, Interesting, and Fitting Professions: I thought Linda Wells did a wonderful job with choosing modern professions for these characters that were very appropriate for their personalities – Elizabeth is a YA author, Jane is a wedding planner, Darcy is CEO of a paper company that throws himself heavily into his work and is very hands-on. I enjoyed seeing what each character did for a living and how they faced the challenges of their careers.
Fairy Tales: With Darcy and Elizabeth meeting over her broken shoe, Darcy being as romantic and perfect as Prince Charming, and everyone living “happily ever after” this adaptation definitely had the feel of a fairy tale to it! I especially enjoyed the nods to Walt Disney’s Cinderella – one of my all-time favorite Disney movies!
Important Issues: I appreciated and admired how Linda Wells bravely and adeptly tackled difficult and scary issues such as abusive relationships (mental not physical), internet predators, and drug addiction. It was inspiring to see how the characters overcame and healed from these horrible experiences, and how in some cases, took steps to help other women in similar circumstances.
“Pictures of Perfections:” No pride, no prejudice, no misunderstandings. Darcy and Elizabeth seemed just a little bit too perfect. Their flaws were minor and the conflicts between them were mostly caused by demons of their past. In addition, when their romantically-challenged friends and relatives started coming to them for relationship advice, they started to seem a little smug (sort of in a Bridget-Jones-smug-married-couples way). I would have enjoyed seeing some more conflicts and obstacles in their path, and a little less perfection.
- The Dialogue: I can’t really pinpoint why, but I often found the dialogue a little awkward and unnatural. I think the characters sometimes seemed a little stilted or rehearsed in their speech, and I think maybe there could have been a little more showing and less telling.
The Pacing: With no obstacles and misunderstandings things moved at quite a fast pace in the beginning of this novel for Darcy and Elizabeth (who were engaged by page 78). But then the story seemed to change to a much slower pace for the rest of the novel (the wedding took place on page 226). It felt a like there was a lot more falling action than rising action.
Mature Scenes: Darcy and Elizabeth are quite amorous and passionate in this novel
Escape into a fairy tale romance with Darcy and Elizabeth! I’m so happy I finally got to read a novel by Linda Wells! This sweet and romantic tale is a “perfect fit” for readers looking for a low-angst tale about Darcy and Elizabeth where mostly everything is “good and agreeable” in their world.