Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Mom 🙂
What if a tragic carriage accident befell a rejected and dejected Mr. Darcy on his way to Pemberley and rendered him unconscious? What if Georgiana mistakenly assumed Elizabeth and Darcy were engaged and wrote to Elizabeth beseeching her and Jane to come to Pemberley? What if Mrs. Bennet read the missive from Georgiana and eagerly sent her daughters off to Pemberley with all possible haste?
What a predicament for Elizabeth to be in! Rather than be obstinate and refuse to go and see the man she just refused to marry, Elizabeth thinks of what this opportunity might mean to her sister Jane, and agrees to see what aid she can give to Mr. Darcy and Georgiana. So onto Pemberley these to Bennet sisters go, not sure whether Mr. Darcy’s condition has improved or turned very grave. Upon arrival they learn of Georgiana’s misapprehension about Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship (she knew Darcy was about to propose, but what she doesn’t know is that he was refused!) Not sure an emotionally wraught Georgiana could bear to hear that she has erred and that her brother and Elizabeth are not engaged, the Bennet sisters decide to keep it a secret. But that could be a dangerous game…
Doesn’t this sound like a fascinating premise?!? I love all the misapprehension and confusion! I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth and Georgiana form a fast friendship right away and how Elizabeth’s harsh feelings towards Darcy started to budge a little when she saw his weakened and helpless state. I thought this might lead to a change of heart and new understanding for our dear couple, but as soon as Darcy awakens, wrong conclusions are jumped to and Elizabeth departs for home. I would have loved to explore more of Elizabeth being at Pemberley, their mistakenly assumed engagement, and Darcy recovering from his head injury. However, with Elizabeth returning to Longbourn and Darcy remaining at Pemberley, our beloved couple spends a good chunk of the novel apart.
While I loved the first part of this premise, I found the latter half – while sweet and inspirational – to be a little less engaging. In this part of the book we see Georgiana take her brother to task and help him improve his character so he can win Elizabeth’s heart. It was great to see Georgiana featured in a more prominent role in this variation and I loved the close-sibling relationship between her and Darcy. I thought the “caring-calls” Georgiana took Darcy on were sweet and I think she did a very good job of teaching Darcy to feel comfortable and sociable around those that are “inferior” to him. But I missed the conflict and excitement that was found in the first half of the book.
This variation is the first one Kara Louise ever wrote, and while her later variations – Darcy’s Voyage, Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, Pirates and Prejudice – are more polished and highly-praised, this tale was endearing and had the special touches that I have come to associate with all Kara Louise novels. The scenes with the handkerchief and under the moonlight the night of the wedding are so beautiful and achingly romantic! What a heartfelt and charming tale!