Jan 112016
 

The Earl's ConquestThe Courtship of Darcy’s Grandmother!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

In her most recent Pride and Prejudice variation, An Unwavering Trust, author L.L. Diamond introduced readers to Darcy’s grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Matlock, Rebecca Fitzwilliam. I’m sure I am not the only reader who found the Dowager Countess – with her no-nonsense manner, compassionate heart, and sharp wit – a An Unwavering Trustwonderfully fascinating addition to the story. She is the type of character that must be universally adored and admired. I’m so glad that Ms. Diamond created a prequel to An Unwavering Trust that illustrates more of Rebecca’s character and her marriage to her husband.

This sweet novella begins with Elizabeth on the brink of giving birth to their second child. The midwife has been called for and Elizabeth is looking to distract herself from the labor pains. In comes grandmamma (Rebecca Fitzwilliam) and Elizabeth begs her to tell the story she has yet to hear – the story of how she came to marry Gerald Fitzwilliam, Earl of Matlock…

While I was already a fan of Rebecca, I adored meeting this younger version of her – she is a praiseworthy heroine that immediately arrested my attention and sympathy due to her open and genuine personality and challenging family situation. I was able to see all the qualities I admired in her in An Unwavering Trust developing in this tale – her candor, humor, selflessness, and *ahem* disregard for propriety. Our hero in this tale, Gerald Fitzwilliam, is also an easy character to fall in love with. He is a widower and an eligible bachelor, but due to his unhappy first marriage, presently has no thoughts of remarrying… that is until he encounters Rebecca Fairchild and she harshly upbraids him for making her slip in some mud! Gerald was an admirable hero with his impulsiveness, perseverance, and devotion. I loved seeing these two characters together – their moments of playful banter, companionship, and strong regard were so pleasing to witness.

One of the elements I love most about L.L. Diamond’s writing is her character development. She isn’t afraid to alter Jane Austen’s characters, augment their personalities, and provide a detailed past for them. Sometimes her character changes are very daring and a little dark, but I have always found them to make sense and work well within the confines of the story. However, I feel that in a setting like this where most of the characters are original creations of the author, Ms. Diamond’s skill with characterization and development was able to shine in the spotlight and become fully realized. All the characters in this tale were well-defined, strong, and memorable. Whenever I put this book down, my head would remain full of them for long periods after.

Now there may be some of you who might opt to pass on reading this work because it doesn’t highlight a Darcy and Elizabeth romance and is about characters with whom you are not very familiar. If that is so, I would entreat you to change your mind! This romance may be in a different era and generation, but there are many nods and winks to Pride and Prejudice for the reader to discover. While Rebecca and Gerald possess their own unique and individual traits, the reader will be pleased to see some similarities between them and Darcy and Elizabeth. In addition, Darcy and Elizabeth do make some small appearances throughout this novella and their exchanges are everything that is touching and delightful. (Trust me on this!)

I really couldn’t be any more satisfied with this exquisite prequel novella by L.L. Diamond! The story was well thought-out, skillfully executed, and the action and intriguing characters had me captivated! I sincerely hope Ms. Diamond will continue to create original characters and tell more stories like this in the future! I highly recommend!

NOTE:  It is not necessary to read An Unwavering Trust first before reading The Earl’s Conquest.  But I do recommend reading both stories!

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  38 Responses to “The Earl’s Conquest – L.L. Diamond”

  1.  

    Thank you Meredith. I have read all Leslie’s books and have enjoyed them all. She is a brilliant storyteller. Look forward to reading this one too after such a fabulous review.

  2.  

    Thank you, Meredith!!!! This review has made my day! I am so glad you enjoyed Gerald and Rebecca. I had not planned on writing this and was just a fun thing to do while I edited An Unwavering Trust, but I fell in love with it. I’m so glad those who have read it have enjoyed it as much as I have.

    •  

      Hi Leslie! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you asked me to read The Earl’s Conquest! It was such an enjoyable read! And I’m really glad to see that I am not alone in thinking so! Congrats on your release, and I wish you many more!!!!

  3.  

    Oh, wow, Meredith! You have completely sold me on this one-it sounds so good! I feel like I have been under a rock, because I haven’t read An Unwavering Trust. Now I have 2 books that I want to add to my TBR pile. 🙂

  4.  

    I knew you would love this one Meredith. I totally agree with you that anyone who thinks they won’t read it because it isn’t mainly about Darcy and Elizabeth really must give it a chance. I had this on my wish list but was lucky enough to win a copy from Leslie’s Christmas post – Thanks again Leslie!!! I have all Leslie’s other books and have read them all several times and this will be the same – Great characters! 🙂

  5.  

    Yes, I will put this on my pile of TBR books. Wish I could read faster or had more time…but I do spend a lot of the time I have reading, it seems.

    •  

      Me too, Sheila! I have so much I want to read! Looking at my TBR pile makes me sad because I want to read all of those books right NOW! LOL! I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this one, my friend!

  6.  

    I agree with you !00% on your review of this book. I found Rebecca in “An Unwavering Trust” to be a wonderful, delightful character and jumped at the opportunity to read more about her life and how she met and fell in love with her husband. Both books have a permanent home on my Kindle and are guaranteed “feel-good” reads.

  7.  

    Thank you, Meredith. Rebecca was a very unique lady. I also loved the fact that she accepted Elizabeth unlike some other of his relatives. So glad Leslie for writing this prequel. An Unwavering Trust was super, and I loved the added character of Rebecca. The Earl’s Conquest is in my TBR stack so I must read and then reread An Unwavering Trust.

    •  

      I love how independent Rebecca was in all things, even in her youth. It is a very admirable quality. I do love her relationship with both Darcy and Lizzy! Hope you get the chance to read The Earl’s Conquest soon!

  8.  

    I read this one a few weeks ago and thought it was very enjoyable. It’s very accurate to refer to it as a novella! My only dislike was that it was so short. If I had gone in thinking “novella” instead of “novel” I would have been able to adjust my expectations. I immediately re-read An Unwavering Trust after finishing this one!

  9.  

    I haven´t read any book of LL Diamond but with such a beautiful review I´ll put it in my TBR pile!. I´m very interested in the story of Rebecca and the fact of being a different era and generation adds more interest to the plot because it´s a way of learning about others periods of time. Thanks for this insightful review. I think the development of characters is very important in order to success in the writing of a novel because if characters are well-designed, readers can easily enter into the story and put themselves in characters´s place. So, bravo for LL Diamond!.
    By the way, some days ago you told me you would like to take a look at my blog, well, you were so kind to stop by my blog in 2014 but if you want see it again, I will be very happy 😉 The only quibble is that my blog is written in spanish because I have trouble writing reviews in english as I´m not able to express so many feelings and thoughts as I do when I write in spanish, my mother language. Anyway, Mr Bingley can help you in the traslation 😉 One of my goals this year is to write some review in english although the quality is not as good as I would like it. I invite you and all the readers who speak spanish to stop by my blog, you are all welcomed!
    https://letrasparlanchinas.wordpress.com

    •  

      Yes, I agree, Teresa! It was interesting to learn about the different time and hear about characters dressing in different styles of clothing and powdering their hair!

      Thanks for sharing! I’m happy to reacquaint myself with your blog! I wish you all the luck with your blogging goals this year!

  10.  

    Sounds fascinating! I love the idea that she wrote about the older generation of Fitzwilliams. I still need to read the novel.

  11.  

    Lovely review! You have pushed this book up on my TBR list, as I enjoyed the book that it’s based on as well.

  12.  

    Sounds like a great read Meredith going by your review. Another one for the TBR pile. Sob!! I’ll never get through it.

  13.  

    I knew you would love this book Meredith! I love your reviews…so in depth! I gave this book a 5* too and wrote a (short) review on amazon.ca for it. I will have to cut and paste it to Goodreads when I get a chance! So looking forward to reading more from Ms. Diamond…maybe more on Grandmamma and the Darcy’s? Here’s hoping!

  14.  

    Your reviews are honestly getting better and better, Meredith. This book sounds delightful, can’t wait.

    •  

      You are so kind, Michelle! I’ve been worrying that my reviews aren’t up to the same standard, since I’m trying to be more efficient with the time I spend writing them.

  15.  

    Sounds very interesting

  16.  

    With her previous novels, I was always impressed with L.L.Diamond’s bravery in taking “loved” characters from P&P and making part of her plot twist a character twist–that is, as her villain! Meredith, I admire how you hit the nail on the head by observing Ms. Diamond’s expertise in character development, and that’s how she’s so successful at engaging the reader, even with such dramatic changes. Every character in this book was vibrant, and I found myself reacting to each in their own way: Swoons for Gerald, jeers for Sarah, and eyerolls for Catherine.

    Bravo, L.L.Diamond! Thanks, Meredith!

  17.  

    I greatly enjoyed An Unwavering Trust, so I know I will enjoy The Earl’s Conquest, especially since you gave it 5 stars, Meredith. As usual, a great review.
    Great stories, Ms Diamond. Keep writing!

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