Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy form Author
What if, before Darcy had a chance to propose at Hunsford Parsonage, Elizabeth received word that her father was seriously ill? What if Darcy offered Elizabeth assistance in returning home to her father, instead of offering his hand in marriage? What if Elizabeth, caught somewhere between infuriation, gratitude, and necessity, agrees to an unwanted arrangement to save her family?
In similar style to Abigail Reynolds, Susan Adriani, and Linda Wells, debut author Susan Mason-Milks pens a Pride and Prejudice variation that explores an untraveled road in Jane Austen’s classic novel. In this variation, Susan Mason-Milks shows readers what would happen if Elizabeth married Darcy before she fell in love with him, before she understood him, before she realized how prejudiced and misguided are her perceptions of him. As you may guess, this path to true love has a whole lot more more ruts and turns for our hero and heroine…
I just adore this premise! I love the idea of Lizzy marrying Darcy before they work out their differences. Although Darcy disclosed his past dealings with Wickham and made amends with Jane and Bingley, Lizzy still thinks him proud, arrogant, and controlling. The tension and conflict between Darcy and Elizabeth is considerable. With distrust, resentment, jealousy, stubborn temperaments, and a lack of open communication, it is only a matter of time before this relationship become volatile!
My heart went out to Darcy in this variation. He knows he took advantage of the situation to achieve his own desires, he knows his love isn’t returned, and he is paying dearly for it. Seeing Darcy suffer and so vulnerable was heartrending. I loved witnessing his longing for Elizabeth. *sigh*
My one small quibble with this variation is with Elizabeth. For a large portion of the book she was uncomfortable receiving any kind of physical affection from Darcy, which is understandable because of her inexperience and lack of feelings toward Darcy. But her behavior changed a bit abruptly once her feelings for Darcy altered. I felt it was a little out of character to have her initiate intimacy between them. In addition, I did sort of feel that it took her a little long to see what a great guy Darcy was and realize she was in love with him.
Overall, I found Mr. Darcy’s Proposal to be a well-crafted, entertaining, and compelling variation. I adore Ms. Mason-Milks writing; she had me so wholly engrossed with her characters that I could not put the book down! I dearly hope to read more novels by Susan Mason-Milks in the future!
Note: Due to the references of intimacy in this novel, I’d recommend this novel for audiences over the age of 13. There are no explicit or graphic scenes.
GIVEAWAY!!! Author Susan Mason-Milks has kindly donated a brand new copy of Mr. Darcy’s Proposal for me to giveaway!!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this review. (To save inbox from unwanted spam, please don’t leave your email address.) Just check back to see if you win! Fortunately for our international friends, this giveaway is open worldwide! Thank you, Susan!!
This contest will close November 22nd. Good luck and thank you for entering!