Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Mature Audiences
TIME FRAME: The day after the Netherfield Ball and about 2 months later
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Wickham, Lady Catherine, James Darcy, Lady Stafford, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Bennet, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- I’ve read and loved every published work by Lory Lilian
- Pride and Prejudice variation + forced/arranged marriage scenario = that’s my jam! 😉 (well, one of them!)
WHAT I LOVED:
- The Premise: I love it when Darcy comes to the rescue! It immediately throws Lizzy a curve ball because she already believes him to be full of selfish disdain and conceit. But in this situation, Darcy’s selfless concern and tender actions, bring about some speculation and rumors. What does Darcy do? He again tries to save the day and protect Elizabeth’s name! It felt very believable that Darcy would act in such a way and that Elizabeth would immediately begin to wonder at her previous impressions of him. I liked how one of the central themes of the story was Elizabeth trying to understand and fully figure out Mr. Darcy’s character.
- The Execution: While the premise is intriguing and clever, you need more than a great idea to build a satisfying and enthralling story. I thought Lory Lilian did a fabulous job of providing a plausible and pleasing sequence of events for her tale. How Darcy and Elizabeth react to their forced marriage felt true to character and compelling. I love that Ms. Lilian didn’t attempt to add too much melodrama or angst to the situation; the balance felt perfect.
- The Realistic and Thoughtful Portrayals: Probably my favorite aspect of this novel was seeing how Darcy and Elizabeth were portrayed. Ms. Lilian’s Darcy is a bit straight-laced and impeccably proper; she accentuates the fact that he is kind-hearted and takes his responsibilities and duties very seriously. It was quite easy to fall in love with such a worthy and admirable man! Elizabeth was easy to love too; her compassionate nature, tender heart, and loyalty were wonderfully highlighted in this tale. For me, these depictions felt very realistic, gratifying, and very reverent towards the original.
- Illustrating the Relationship: I loved witnessing the gradual evolution of Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s feelings for each other. They don’t fall in love and confess their feelings instantly; there is a slow build-up, lots of introspection, and many revelations. Which for me, made a very satisfying and engaging journey. I love how the conflicts and obstacles this couple faced were varied in size and consequence, and that there was more diverse dynamics to their relationship. I’m not a fan when Darcy and Elizabeth continue to face the same obstacle, opposing force, or have repeated misunderstandings.
- Loyal Servants and Pets: Aww, I love the love! It was so heartwarming to see the Darcys interact with their dogs and those in their employ; and to see the respect and loyalty the animals and servants had for them in return. 🙂
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
I can’t really find anything I did not enjoy. Some readers may not like the fact that Darcy has experience and past history with another woman, but I wasn’t bothered by it; I appreciated the length, timing, circumstances of that affair. This type of occurrence added some realism to the story and in no way diminished Darcy in my eyes!
NOTE: There are several romantic and intimate scenes that begin in the last quarter (90 pages or so) of the book, and for that reason I’d recommend this book for Mature Audiences only.
Sketching Mr. Darcy a beautifully and skillfully written tale that presents a faithful look at what life would be liked should Darcy and Elizabeth be forced to marry soon after the Netherfield Ball. As always, Ms. Lilian presents a story that is thoughtful, creative, and exceptionally romantic! Sketching Mr. Darcy is definitely my new favorite of hers!