Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Mature Audiences
TIME FRAME: Begins the day after the Netherfield Ball
SYNOPSIS: It’s the day after the Netherfield Ball and we all know what that means – Mr. Bingley has left Netherfield and Elizabeth is about to receive a very undesirable proposal from her cousin, Mr. Collins. Elizabeth is always quick to give Mr. Collins a firm ‘no’ to his proposal, but what is the one scenario where she would have to say ‘yes?’… After four years of an unhappy and emotionally abusive marriage, Elizabeth is set free by Mr. Collins’s thankfully early demise. And now that Elizabeth is once again free, there is a reserved and ardent suitor hoping to have his second chance. But the question is, does Elizabeth even want to be married again? Even if she falls in love?
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Daring and Realistic Premise: Not many authors like to write about Mr. Collins and Elizabeth (probably because not many readers want to read about such a union!), but in this variation Sophie Turner intrepidly decides to show readers the very real possibility (because in reality…Elizabeth is pretty lucky her parents didn’t force her to accept Mr. Collins’s proposal) of what Elizabeth’s marriage would be like with Mr. Collins. And I applaud Ms. Turner for bravely taking on such a premise! Her depiction of their marriage is realistic, and while it is unpleasant to witness, it is honest. Elizabeth is very different from her friend Charlotte, and since Mr. Collins is now an estate-owner, he is not so easy to manage. (If you really don’t like the idea of seeing Elizabeth married to Mr. Collins, don’t worry, it is mostly referenced in flashbacks.)
- The Evolution of Elizabeth: Sophie Turner looks closely at Elizabeth’s emotional well-being during and after her marriage to Mr. Collins. I felt Ms. Turner did a marvelous job illustrating Elizabeth’s strength and resiliency through all her bleak and traumatic experiences. She is still our Elizabeth who believes in the philosophy: “think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” And I adored seeing Elizabeth as mistress of Longbourn, a role she fills with great aptitude and integrity.
- The Definition of Ardent: (Can you believe I got this far in my review without mentioning Mr. Darcy?!? Well, here is a whole paragraph dedicated to him!) After four years of regret and longing, Mr. Darcy has his chance to win Elizabeth’s heart. At first, their relationship is one of mentor/mentee as Elizabeth seeks his advice on estate management and tenants. And then it proceeds into friendship with daily phaeton rides and enjoyed companionship. But through it all, Darcy’s heart is determinedly engaged. And knowing that, makes these scenes all the more endearing and heart-melting. But when Elizabeth realizes that her own heart is engaged as well, it poses a conflict because she was intending to never marry again. But Darcy doesn’t want to accept a life without Elizabeth, and proves his fervent devotion by willing to agree to a marriage on any terms. In every scene, action, and speech Ms. Turner illustrates Darcy’s ungovernable admiration and ardent dedication to Elizabeth and her happiness. He is the definition of ‘ardent’ in this story. He personifies it. He is loyal, fervent, and impassioned… *sigh* I loved, loved, loved seeing Darcy portrayed this way. (Be prepared readers, his thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and understanding will touch your heart and make you swoon.)
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
Ahem…that we didn’t get to see more of Mr. Darcy’s additional nights! *blushes*
WARNING: I’d recommend this story for Mature Audiences due to several intimate and romantic scenes (which are very integral to the story and while a bit graphic, are tastefully written.)
Thoughtfully composed and beautifully impassioned, Mistress is a splendidly unique and original Pride and Prejudice variation! I cannot help but praise and applaud Ms. Turner for her skillful and sensitive emotional development of these beloved characters and her daringly honest premise. Very well done!!
Today Sophie brings 2 copies of her new release, Mistress: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, with Parts Not Suitable for Those Who Have Not Reached Their Majority for me to give away in conjunction with her visit and my review. (Paperback or ebook for North America or Europe. Ebook for all other countries.)
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (with some shipping restrictions). Thank you, Sophie!
- This giveaway ends April 26th!
~~ Want to double your chances? Check out Sophie’s wonderful Guest Post and leave a comment ~~