Jul 222013
 

Mr. Darcy's Noble ConnectionsA VERY Different Pemberley Variation by Abigail Reynolds

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Alternate Path

TIME FRAME: A couple of months after Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford Parsonage

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Lady Eleanor Carlisle (original), Lord Charles Carlisle (original), George Paxton (original), Dowager Marchioness (original), and Lord and Lady Bentham (originals)

SYNOPSIS: What if Elizabeth didn’t have a “very strong local attachment?” What if she wasn’t “always at Longbourn?” What if Lizzy spent much of her childhood as a playmate and resident companion to the daughter of a Marquess. Now, six years after her last visit with dear Lady Eleanor, (and a couple of months after Mr. Darcy’s disastrous proposal at Hunsford Parsonage) Elizabeth returns to Bentham Park to find none other than the “last man in the world” she’d ever want to encounter again!

WHAT I LOVED:

  • A Change of Cast/A Change of Scenery: No Bennets, Bingleys, Gardiners, or Wickhams. No Jane, Charles, Georgiana, or Colonel Fitzwilliam. No Longbourn, Pemberley, Rosings, or Netherfield. Abigail Reynolds takes her readers to a wholly new and original location – Bentham Park and introduces readers to a whole new cast of characters.
  • Intriguing New Characters: Such dynamic and well-drawn original characters! The Carlisles – a noble, titled family – consists of a son in exile, another son whose rakish habits rival Henry Crawford, a rebellious daughter in love with an unsuitable man, an evil step mother, and a strong matriarch who loves to give commands. I loved all these new characters, especially Lord Charles – I can’t help but like the idea of a bad boy trying to turn good.
  • Mr. Darcy – A True Gentleman: Fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and loved ones, honorable and noble even in the most difficult of predicaments, principled and respectful – Elizabeth Bennet can hardly find reason to accuse Mr. Darcy of being ungentlemanly in this novel! I just loved seeing him act so heroically and honorably! So many excellent traits to admire and love! He even shows some vulnerability in this novel – your heart doesn’t stand a chance!
  • A Variety of Influences and Inspirations: Henry Crawford, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Lady Bracknell, Downton Abbey – such a wonderful and intriguing array of influences and inspirations. I loved spotting the echoes and references to all these great works and characters whether they were intended or not.
  • Ton Manners and Practices: In this novel there is talk of entrapment, extramarital affairs, duels, and gambling bets gone bad. We are no longer in the quiet country parlors of Jane Austen, but in the more worldly and scandal-ridden drawing rooms of the upper-class. It did in some ways feel very much like a Georgette Heyer novel.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Not. A. Thing. 😀

NOTE:

  • This novel does not contain mature sex scenes as many of Abigail Reynolds’s other novels do. There is some passionate kissing and sensuality, but the only article of clothing being removed is…Lizzy’s hairpins *sigh*

CONCLUSION:

In my opinion, Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections is quite different from Ms. Reynolds’s other splendid Pemberley Variations. But different in a good way! I thoroughly enjoyed her refreshing departure from the Pride and Prejudice canon, inventive new characters, and exciting new plot twists! Well done, Abigail Reynolds!

**Want to see what other people thought of Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections?  You can read our group read discussions HERE!

 

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20 out of 30 completed!

 

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  18 Responses to “Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections – Abigail Reynolds”

  1.  

    This sounds absolutely wonderful! I love Abigail’s works and to see you give this a great review only encourages me more to read it.

  2.  

    The variations being my very favorite sub-genre along with Reynolds work, I like when she create new characters and flawlessly put them in P&P variations. I am very eager to discover the new characters and this new settings
    your opinion on the novel made me want to read it even more as I do not like mature contents. As a fan of Mrs Reynolds’ novels it also surprise miss that there is none but kisses .
    I will add this to the already long list of novels to read.
    I also want to congratulate you for reading 20 books out 30 on your list !!
    May I ask you how do you put the icon ‘reading challenge on the right side”?please I tried on my blog but it did not work

    •  

      Variations are my favorite too, Mariam! I love watching E&D fall in love over and over again!

      Yes, this is probably one of her most chaste novels. 🙂

      Thank you for the kind congratulations! I think I can make 30 by December!

  3.  

    I read Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections very recently and thoroughly enjoyed it – a great read!

  4.  

    I really liked this one too! It made my gut churn and my head spin for a bit but it was refreshing to have a Darcy and Lizzy story with new friends & foes rather than the usual peeps.

    •  

      You have such a great way with words, Monica! Parts of the story made me feel that way too! I liked how the new friends and foes were so well-drawn and likable (for the most part!)

  5.  

    I look forward to my turn to read it. I love the idea that you shared about Darcy and Lizzy in new setting amongst new characters.

    •  

      It is very interesting to see how Darcy and Elizabeth act around a new group of people and far away from the familiar environs of Pemberley and Longbourn. I hope you get to read it soon, Sophia Rose!

  6.  

    I loved this one too! Thought it was wonderful. Such a fun change of scenery and cast of characters. I have to agree with you about finding nothing to dislike about it! Thanks for a good review.

    •  

      So glad you enjoyed it too, Janet! It was so wonderful to have you take part in our group read! I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book together! 🙂

  7.  

    I really enjoyed reading this too! You know, I didn’t even miss the original cast from P&P (Jane, Mr. B, etc.). Haha, and like Monica, it made my gut churn! I have to laugh at myself, because I know it will turn out wonderful! Does Abigail know what she does to us?? I don’t think so. 😉 And, Yes, the romantic moments made me sigh too!

    I like how you wrote your review, Meredith! Great job. I need to add this to my completed P&P reading challenge list!

    •  

      I didn’t miss the original cast either, I think that is because Abigail’s new creations kept me so entertained and intrigued!

      Thanks for the kind words, Candy! It was great fun to share this reading (and reviewing!) experience with you! 😉

  8.  

    Wonderful review. Abigail will be so pleased.

  9.  

    Oh, I must get my hands on this book! I love how unique it sounds, and I’m always up for something new in the Austenesque genre. I’m very curious about the change of scenery and the original characters.

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