Jun 192015
 

An Unwavering TrustA Marriage of Salvation for Two Complete Strangers!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Variation

SETTING: An Alternate Starting Point from P&P – April 1810, before Darcy and Elizabeth have met

MAIN CHARACTERS: Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. George Darcy, Lady Catherine, Rebecca Matlock (Darcy’s grandmother), Mr. Gardiner

SYNOPSIS:

  • Poor Darcy – What if Mr. George Darcy was still alive and was more insistent than Lady Catherine about Darcy marrying his cousin Anne? What if he gave Darcy a two-week ultimatum to propose on his own or be disowned and never see Georgiana again?
  • Poor Elizabeth – What if a horrific carriage accident left Elizabeth as the sole survivor in the care of her two uncles – Mr. Phillips and Mr. Gardiner (who is involved with smuggling instead of respectable trade)? What if Mr. Gardiner, desperate for funds, plans to trade Elizabeth to his so-called business partner to absolve himself of some of his debt?
  • What if Darcy overheard this plan and felt compelled to rescue this unknown and friendless young maiden? What if they find a plan that mutually helps both of them escape their undesired situations…

WHAT I LOVED:

  • A Wholly Unique Premise: As you can tell from the synopsis, this is a big divergence from our typical Pride and Prejudice canon. With such drastic alterations there is very little in common with P&P – in fact this story could probably work just as well as a standalone traditional Regency romance. I loved this unique premise! There was desperation, danger, a daring rescue – it was fascinating and gripping! I don’t mind a change in scenario or alteration in character as long as they don’t suspend disbelief too far and are fairly plausible (which these changes were!)
  • A Family Affair: In this variation the focus is on the Darcy and Fitzwilliam families, rather than the Bennets! I absolutely adored Darcy’s no-nonsense and spirited grandmother! She is extremely loyal to her family, fearless, quick-witted, and has a compassionate and selfless nature. The Darcys are extremely fortunate to have her support! In addition, I loved spending time with the other Fitzwilliam relations – seeing them come together and assist each other when faced against Lady Catherine and Mr. George Darcy warmed my heart! I especially loved witnessing their reactions when these oppressive opponents tried to selfishly get their way.
  • Sweet and Sensual Romance: Similar to her first novel, Rain and Retribution, Ms. Diamond places Darcy and Elizabeth in a forced situation where they hardly know each and beautifully develops their relationships with gradual understanding and affection. I loved witnessing how their feelings slowly and tentatively  progressed and seeing Darcy so protective, caring, and utterly besotted. The burgeoning and passionate romance between them was so lovely to witness, and that moment when Darcy pulls Elizabeth closer in bed and tells her “I promise I will not bite…” (can you say swoon???)

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • The Premise Had So Much Potential: This part of the review is hard for me because I was so very much engaged and riveted to the first half of this book! The dangerous plots and situations, the sinister and scheming antagonists, and the uncertainty of what they would do when their plans were foiled – it was all so gripping! However, it seemed the second half of the book did not hold the same energy and excitement, it felt like all the antagonists were in retreat or eliminated. We saw a lot more of the day-to-day activities of normal life and Elizabeth’s pregnancy than anything else.  And while it was lovely to see Darcy and Elizabeth after marriage, I missed the thrilling conflict we had in the beginning.
  • Some Small/Nagging Quibbles (SPOILER ALERT!): Some things just didn’t sit right with me in this tale – like the treatment of Lady Catherine after Anne’s death, Georgiana’s amazing awareness and forethought around Wickham, and how Thomas Grayson (who seemed to be the most sinister villain in this story) pretty much disappeared until a passing mention of his fate in the epilogue.

WARNING:

  • Some intimate and sensual scenes (which weren’t too explicit or frequent!) Recommended for Mature Audiences.

CONCLUSION:

The imaginative premise, daring character alterations, and inspiring romance in this variation are what I love best about L.L. Diamond’s prose. In An Unwavering Trust, L.L. Diamond creates a fascinating and inventive Pride and Prejudice variation that will be sure to surprise and delight readers who enjoy seeing these characters overcome new challenges and atypical obstacles!

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  12 Responses to “An Unwavering Trust – L.L. Diamond”

  1.  

    This premise does sound good! As I was reading your review I wondered if it would be a good book without being a P&P variation.

    •  

      I’ve loved so many traditional Regency romance stories I’ve read recently. I think this plot-line would have worked just as well with different character names.

  2.  

    Hi Meredith! Enjoyed your review.
    This sounds like an interesting idea for a variation, I’ll have to try and fit it in sometime 🙂

  3.  

    Meredith — I have to agree with you in the review. I’ve read all of Ms Diamond’s books; however, this one seemed so rushed and had the biggest let down at the end. It was (Spoiler) nice to know that Uncle Gardiner turned around. My opinion with the genre is that publishing is not taking it seriously enough. There are some really good books out there — and some that need real editorial assistance. Good agents also help in getting authors in doing re-writes of sections that don’t seem to work well. Anyhoo, that’s “my share” for now.

    •  

      I did love the happier endings for Mr. Gardiner and Mr. George Darcy, I didn’t mention those in my review, but it was nice to see their reconciliation and resolution.

  4.  

    Wow! Yeah, I didn’t realize what the plot was on this one even though I’ve read an excerpt. That does sound exciting. Sorry it did a switcheroo in the second half.

  5.  

    I agree with you, it started really great, but the second half was kind of a let down. It may be realistic that Darcy didn’t do anything about Grayson after he heard a certain conversation, because I don’t know what he could have done and whether people would have believed him, but he didn’t even seriously try to think of something. And the conclusion to that whole business was not satisfying for me. But kudos for the premise, I really liked it that Mr. Philips had his moment of glory here, usually he is only mentioned or he’s not a likeable character, but in this story was really great.

    •  

      (SPOILER) I agree with you about Darcy not doing anything…it would have been a little too dangerous for him. I was sort of hoping to see Grayson emerge as a bigger villain – since his plans were thwarted and he was out a lot of money, I would have thought he would have retaliated against Darcy a little.

      I agree about the premise. And I loved seeing more of Mr. Phillips, it was very nice to see him given some more attention – I would have loved to see E&D invite him to visit them at their estate!

  6.  

    Such an interesting premise! And Darcy that saves Elizabeth? Aww… I love this kind of situations!! 🙂 Loved your review, Meredith!

  7.  

    I, too, read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Sorry to come so late into the conversation.) Good review.

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