Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Variation
TIME FRAME: Morning after the Netherfield Ball to almost a year later
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Bennet, George Wickham, Colonel Fitzwilliam
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
The inventive premise. Mr. Bennet desiring/forcing a marriage between Elizabeth and Mr. Collins + Elizabeth running away from Longbourn = a very intriguing premise that I was very curious to see play out.
WHAT I LOVED:
- Plausible Premise: Lizzy is very fortunate that both of her parents don’t force her to marry Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice. Considering their situation, the time period, and her lack of dowry, she is extremely fortunate! It isn’t really a stretch to imagine a Mr. Bennet, who is irresponsible, lazy, and has many shortcomings, pursing such a course. Having his favorite daughter help take care of his estate when he is gone? Selfishly and indolently letting someone else save his family from his mistakes? It makes sense.
- Alteration of Jane Bennet: What if Jane was already seriously disappointed in love when Mr. Bingley came to Netherfield? What if that gentleman that was “so much in love with her” when she was fifteen touched her heart and broke it? I enjoyed how L. L. Diamond explored this different path with Jane Bennet. Her heart is closed to Bingley when he comes, and Mr. Darcy is correct in his assumption about her feelings not being engaged. I like it when Jane isn’t portrayed as a perfect and serene angel, it can get too saccharine sometimes!
- A Tender and Devoted Darcy: While attempting to abscond to London, Lizzy gets caught in a downpour and catches a cold. Oh, how I loved witnessing Darcy tend to her! How he would read to her at her request, check her fever while she slept, and spend the night in a chair by her side. The time Darcy and Elizabeth spent sequestered alone together was just beautiful! I loved seeing Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship develop through frank conversations, selfless concern, and sweet smiles. 🙂
- A New Take of Georgiana: Watch out, readers! Georgiana is a bit of a villain in this story! Because her older brother was always away at school and her father never established a relationship with her (except for giving her trinkets), Georgiana has grown up into a very insolent and resentful young woman. She doesn’t look upon Darcy with any regard or respect, and she thinks he is a hypocrite for marrying Elizabeth when he wouldn’t let her marry George. It was interesting to see Georgiana portrayed in this darker and more defiant manner – no timid reserve here! Since Darcy and Elizabeth resolve their issues earlier on in the story, Georgiana created some conflict and tension that carries us through the rest of the tale. I was dying to know what would become of her and what was the nature of her relationship with Wickham…
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Some More Reconciliation, Please?: Darcy and Elizabeth have conflicts with not only Georgiana and Wickham, but also Mr. Bennet and Jane Bennet in this novel (albeit more passive). While we see a resolution of sorts with Georgiana and Wickham (which I sort of have ambivalent feelings about), there isn’t really one with Jane and Mr. Bennet. It felt like Elizabeth should have had a showdown, reconciliation, or something with her family – especially Jane.
- Some intimate and romantic scenes (which were very tasteful and not overly frequent!) Thank you, L. L. Diamond, for not making Darcy have a raging libido!
A very refreshing and thought-provoking alternate path to Pride and Prejudice! By removing some lightness and brightness and adding some darker personalities, L. L. Diamond creates a story that displays the fervent and fulfilling love two people can have for each other when everyone else in their lives hurts and disappoints them. If you don’t mind seeing some creative adjustments with Jane Austen’s characters and some intimate scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, then I recommend you add Rain and Retribution to your TBR list!
Leslie has generously sent me some proof copies of her new releases for me to give away today!! I have two paperback proof copies of Rain and Retribution and three paperback proof copies of A Matter of Chance to give away to 5 randomly selected winners!! (The proof copies may have different fonts, cover alignment issues, etc. but the content and editing of the story are the same as the finished copies.)
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!!
(In your comment feel free to indicate whether you are interested in winning Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, or either.)
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Leslie!
- This giveaway ends January 27th!
Double your chances by leaving a comment on Monday’s post where L. L. Diamond shares some excerpts from her new releases!