What If Elizabeth was a Paid Companion?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
What if Elizabeth never met Darcy in Kent? What if Lydia ran off with Wickham soon after the Netherfield Ball? What if, in a horrific series of events, Lydia, Mr. Bennet, and Mr. Wickham all came to a harrowing and untimely demise?
In this unique and absorbing Pride and Prejudice variation, readers witness the great misfortune and social decline of the Bennet family. Mrs. Bennet’s greatest fears are realized as she is forced to remove from Longbourn a mere month after the death of her husband and daughter. In addition, Jane and Elizabeth have no other alternative but to find posts as governesses. Jane accepts a post in Scotland, but Elizabeth has yet to find a suitable situation. Until Mr. Darcy comes along…
Upon hearing of the Bennets’ fall from society and status, Mr. Darcy, feeling immense guilt for not exposing Wickham’s true depravity, strives to find a way to protect and assist Elizabeth Bennet in her plight. While he is desperately in love with Elizabeth, Darcy vows that he could never marry her because of his duty to his family and Pemberley. And so, indulging in his selfish desire “to have his cake, and eat it too,” Darcy engages Elizabeth as Georgiana’s companion. Sharing with her his home, his life, and his heart – but not his bed.
Similar to Kara Louise’s Only Mr. Darcy Will Do and Abigail Reynolds’ Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, author P. O. Dixon explores the possibility of Elizabeth being in a diminished living situation when she re-encounters Mr. Darcy. I love these types of variations because Elizabeth is even more beneath Darcy’s social status than before! It really does test his love for her! I enjoyed witnessing how Darcy and Elizabeth developed an amicable, albeit atypical, friendship with each other. But what I really loved was seeing their electrically charged disputes and disagreements! So much tension! So much restrained emotions!
One aspect I took great pleasure in was the development of Darcy’s character. Since there was no proposal and rejection in Hunsford, Darcy has yet to transform. He is even more insufferably proud and controlling! As you can imagine, this doesn’t sit well with Elizabeth. I loved witnessing Darcy’s journey through confusion, aggravation, acceptance, dejection, and finally resolve.
I admit I was slightly disappointed that poor Bingley and Jane’s fates weren’t as happy and fortunate as Lizzy and Darcy’s. But I guess everyone can’t be gifted a happily ever after! Regardless, I found To Have His Cake (and Eat it Too)to be an imaginative, emotional, and exhilarating variation of Pride and Prejudice. And it looks like there is more in store! Dixon’s next novel, What He Would Not Do is a sequel to this one!
NOTE: Readers who wish to avoid intimate scenes and descriptions should be advised of the inclusion of several passionate and amorous scenes in the last fifty pages of this novel. In addition, in this variation Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are more rakish and frequent an establishment called Madame Adele’s.
GIVEAWAY!!! P. O. Dixon has kindly offered to TWO digital copies of To Have His Cake (and Eat it Too) for me to give away to TWO lucky winners!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this review. (To save your inbox from unwanted spam, please don’t leave your email address.) Just check back to see if you win! This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, P. O. Dixon!!
This contest will end January 12! Thank you for entering and best of luck!