Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: 2 years before the start of Pride and Prejudice
MAIN CHARACTERS: The Bennets, Mr. Darcy, and George Darcy
SYNOPSIS: What if George Darcy was alive? What if he was an immoral, unjust, controlling man and the sworn enemy of Mr. Bennet? What if Darcy and Elizabeth were falling in love, but knew they had no future together because of their fathers’ feud?
WHAT I LOVED:
- Heart-Melting Beginning: Oh, this was just lovely! Darcy and Elizabeth meet at a masquerade ball, wearing masks, and not knowing each other’s names. It was enchanting and oh-so-adorable! I loved seeing their interest in each other begin, how they didn’t want their exchanges to end, and the humorous things they were thinking to themselves!
- Unique Antagonist: Not only is George Darcy alive, he is the villain in this variation! It was interesting to see Darcy have an estranged and conflicted relationship with his father. We are so accustomed to seeing Darcy as master of Pemberley and in control of his own destiny. But in this story, George Darcy keeps Darcy under his thumb and even has some of Darcy’s friends and servants acting as his own personal informants! And wait ’til you find out what happened with Mr. Bennet!
- Consumed: Just like with Pride and Proposals, Victoria Kincaid’s prose held me captive. The impossibility of the situation Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves, their ardent devotion for each other, the risky charade they have to play in front of others – ah! such a terrific blend of conflict, romance, and danger! This story definitely had me playing the “just one chapter more” game!
- Fits In To Canon: I love how this story, event though it began with such a different premise, still followed the same course – Meryton Assembly, Jane at Netherfield, Elizabeth in Kent, Elizabeth in Derbyshire. It was clever how Victoria Kincaid took events like Darcy’s insult at the Meryton Assembly and his unfriendly demeanor to Meryton society and made it plausibly fit in the constructs of her tale.
- Passionate Embraces: Mmm, yes! With so much tension and conflict, the stolen moments alone between Darcy and Elizabeth were deeply satisfying! I love that Darcy was so affectionate with Elizabeth – he definitely embodied the description of a “man violently in love.” And I love how Elizabeth was so warm and receptive of his affection. *sigh* (Note: this story is suitable for audiences over the age of 13).
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- The Ending: The build up for this story was so magnificent, I was enraptured and gripped by these characters and their conflicts. But I must admit, I felt slightly dissatisfied with the ending – perhaps because I felt it came about too quickly or because the conclusion itself felt a little too brief.
WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT THIS STORY: Mr. George Darcy is a domineering villain who has a long-standing feud with Mr. Bennet!
Darcy vs. Bennet is a splendidly romantic and compelling tale! I adore Victoria Kincaid’s expressive prose, passionate characters, and the dramatic obstacles she puts in their way! I can hardly wait to reading Victoria Kincaid’s next Pride and Prejudice variation, Chaos Come to Longbourn, which was just released earlier this month!