The Evolution of Elizabeth Elliot
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The beautiful, haughty, and expensive Elizabeth Elliot is determined to be married before her rapidly approaching thirtieth birthday. The family’s dire financial situation and the fact that both her younger sisters are no longer single increases Elizabeth’s desire to be wed. For Elizabeth, “a man needs three qualities in order to be considered a matrimonial prize…good breeding, good looks, and a good income.” While on the lookout for this “matrimonial prize” Elizabeth encounters a wide variety suitors, some more eligible than others.
Unfortunately, in one way or another, all these marriageable prospects are disagreeable choices for Elizabeth. First there is the lecherous Sir Henry Farley, who is old enough to be her grandfather and has a invalid wife still living. Then there is Mr. Rushworth, a wealthy young man, albeit a bit doltish, who will soon be in the market for a new bride as soon as his divorce is final. (sound familiar? I love that a Mansfield Park character is appearing in the pages of a Persuasion sequel!) Although Rushworth seems quite smitten with her, Elizabeth fears she will be unable to marry such a foolish man, no matter how wealthy he is. Lastly, Mr. Elliot has returned to Bath, and seems to be intently pursuing Elizabeth, but she loathes the sight of him.
Elizabeth escapes the attentions of all these men by forming a friendship with a gentlemen who appears to be the least likely to fit her description of a “matrimonial prize;” yet, ironically, he fulfills all three of her requirements. Enter Admiral Patrick McGillvary (a.k.a. Patrick Gill). Admiral McGillvary is daring, strong-willed, quick-witted, and devastatingly sexy. In addition to all this he is wealthier than Mr. Rushworth and from a noble Irish family. However, this is not the man whom Elizabeth befriends, she befriends a humble and common clerk by the name of Patrick Gill. Elizabeth is completely unaware that Admiral McGillvary and Mr. Gill are one in the same. Will Elizabeth break her vow to remain immune to romance and fall in love with an ineligible man? Will Admiral McGillvary ever escape from his tangled web of lies? And will Elizabeth be able to forgive him for deceiving her? (Hopefully these questions will be answered in book two or three of this series!)
Under the pen of the talented Laura Hile, Elizabeth Elliot, one of the least liked of all Austen women, is becoming an appealing and captivating heroine. Remaining true to her nature, Elizabeth is still horribly pretentious and self-absorbed. But the reader will be able to see the stirrings of a sympathetic heart and a humbled disposition, and know that Elizabeth’s character is in the midst of an admirable transformation.
I am exceedingly impressed and pleased with Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough Course! I am greatly enjoying Ms. Hile’s respectful renderings of these beloved Austen characters and I relish her fast-paced and thrilling style. I find Mercy’s Embrace to be a simply magnificent series, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on the second installment, Mercy’s Embrace: So Lively a Chase!
(Potential readers should be made aware that this is the first book in the Mercy’s Embrace series, and that it will be necessary to read all three books to attain the story’s conclusion).