Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Author
What if, while on his way to Longbourn to visit with his betrothed, Darcy’s horse threw him and he was gravely injured in a horrific accident?
What if Lady Catherine saw Darcy’s extensive injuries and weakened state as an excuse to take control and separate him from Elizabeth?
What if Elizabeth took desperate measures to see her fiancée and ensure herself of his well-being?
Sounds like a pretty interesting premise, doesn’t it? In this Pride and Prejudice variation novella, Denise O’Hara derails these beloved characters from their traditional course a mere two days before their wedding. Poor Darcy and Lizzy! To be so close to their happy marriage! With Darcy unconscious and immobile, their wedding doesn’t take place as planned. And no one dares oppose Lady Catherine when she demands that Darcy be moved to Rosings and declares that no visitors, save Georgiana, will be permitted. But a despondent yet determined Lizzy doesn’t give up hope! She finds a way to be reunited with her beloved even if does involve a bit of disguise and deception…
I found this premise to be a lot of fun to explore. Not many variations take such a dramatic twist so late in the novel. I loved the bit about assuming a disguise – felt very Shakespearean! My favorite aspect of the story was seeing the devotion between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their declarations of love and unyielding affection was moving to witness. I also greatly enjoyed the crossing of verbal swords between Darcy and Nurse Ainsworth. I thought the dialogue between them to be well-written and very true to character and style.
This variation definitely asks the reader to suspend disbelief a little and enjoy the ride, which I was fine with and prepared to do for the most part. However, there were several instances that I thought didn’t sound or feel right. Like how no one attempted to stop Lady Catherine, or how there were no adverse effects from Darcy’s relocation to Rosings (he was unconscious after all!). I also thought Georgiana and Darcy appeared to be a little too complaisant and unsuspicious about being taken to Rosings. I would think Darcy upon waking would have so many questions and demand to know why he was removed from Netherfield, and that Georgiana would divulge to her brother the reason that his fiancée isn’t in attendance.
In addition, grammar and editing isn’t usually something I comment on, but I’m afraid I found some of the typos and other errors to be a little bit distracting in this tale – such as Elizabeth forgetting that she is already betrothed “If they were spotted kissing before their betrothal…” (page 11) or how odd it felt for Elizabeth to constantly address her betrothed as Mr. Darcy (both publicly and privately) yet address his sister as Georgiana.
Despite my quibbles, I found Pride and Prejudice: Disdain and Deception to be a diverting and unique read! It may not be my favorite Pride and Prejudice variation, but it is a fun novella that is great for readers looking for something lighthearted, entertaining, and quick to enjoy!