Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy form Author
TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Begins shortly before Elizabeth’s arrival at Netherfield to tend Jane
Quite by accident, Elizabeth overhears a discussion at Netherfield where Miss Bingley disparages her family and their low connections. A similar conversation to the one in Chapter 8 of Pride and Prejudice. But instead of letting Caroline’s diatribe go unchecked, Mr. Darcy decides to defend the Bennets and forcefully reminds Caroline of her own inferiority in society. Mr. Darcy’s strong defense does much to change Elizabeth’s opinion of him, even if he did say she was “tolerable.” But despite there being less pride and prejudice for Darcy and Elizabeth to overcome, it seems that there are several acquaintances and strangers who wish to separate them…or do them harm!
WHAT I LOVED:
- Bravo, Mr. Bingley!: From the very first chapter in this variation, we learn that Mr. Bingley does not tolerate his sister Caroline’s manipulations and has taken actions to separate himself from her. As well as protect his dear friend, Mr. Darcy. I really take pleasure in seeing a Mr. Bingley who does not let his evil sister walk all over him! I like that he attempts to keep her in check – because she is not only damaging her own reputation with her superiority and machinations, but his as well. Well done, Mr. Bingley!
- Intriguing Twists: In addition to the alterations between Mr. Bingley and his sister, there were a few other twists with our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters. One twist, which was a little sad, had to do with Georgiana. (However, it was handled very gently and sympathetically.) Another twist was with the Gardiners. (I really liked that one!) They are featured more prominently in this tale and I’m very happy for their situation! The last twist is also about Mr. Bingley. And while I’m inclined to like it, I’m afraid I didn’t find this relationship as plausible. (Sorry to be cryptic, but I don’t want to give any spoilers!)
- Dreamy Mr. Darcy: Oh be still my heart! I love seeing an ardent Mr. Darcy! I loved witnessing Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s frank conversations with each other. He is quite gentlemanly with her and a good deal less haughty! I enjoyed seeing how honorable Mr. Darcy was towards the Bennet family and my heart went out to him when he was in anguish! Ms. Diamond always does a wonderful job of portraying the banter, chemistry, and attraction between Darcy and Elizabeth.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Split Conflicts: It kind of felt like there wasn’t a central conflict arc throughout the story. There were several conflicts introduced, but we didn’t really see one become the main focus and tie the whole story together. I definitely don’t mind a story having multiple conflicts (I love me some angst!). But it kind of felt like the conflicts were secondary to the plot, and perhaps spread a little too thin. I’ve seen how Ms. Diamond can create some delicious drama and tension with her antagonists and creative obstacles, but this book didn’t have as much of that.
- Resolutions: I must admit some of the resolutions didn’t fully satisfy. While there is a happily-ever-after the road to get there accelerated quickly at the end, and some of the other conclusions felt a bit rushed too. Also, Elizabeth’s near mistake at the end felt like it came out of nowhere and didn’t really seem to belong.
NOTE: Some intimate allusions and brief romantic scenes towards the end. (not too many or too graphic)
While Particular Intentions isn’t my favorite release by L.L. Diamond, I still greatly enjoyed my time reading it! I love the plausible premises Ms. Diamond dreams up, how she isn’t afraid to make some creative alterations with Jane Austen’s characters, and her wonderfully romantic portrayals of Mr. Darcy!! I cannot wait to see what she writes next!