Jan 062012

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!




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  22 Responses to “To Have His Cake – P. O. Dixon + GIVEAWAY”


    I love reading Austen ‘what if’ stories and this one sounds amusing with Darcy having to work on his arrogance gradually and Elizabeth’s family situation being so pitiable.


    This sounds wonderful! Although this “what if” is sad to me because I love Elizabeth and Darcy so much, to read a “what if” would be a good change. But question if I’m in love with the idea of them and p & p to a sense of obsession. Will a what if make me mad. I guess I will have to read this clever book to find out!


    I am a great JA fan, so I would like to drawn in! I found this blog recently, and I must say: what a wonderful blog! I finished yesterday reading “Captain Wentworth’s Diary”, so this digital book would be so welcome to me! :o) And I would love to read how Darcy transforms under the circumstances in this book!



    I love whatif stories! This one sounds like it has a dark beginning and Darcy will have a long way to go before he becomes a man that Elizabeth can love and respect. Thanks for hosting a giveaway.


    This sounds wonderful! And many thanks for a worldwide giveaway


    Great review, Meredith! I love the thought of Elizabeth being a paid companion!


    Good review. I like that Elizabeth’s station is even more below Mr. Darcy’s station. This looks like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance to win it.


    Great review, Meredith! I mentioned on Twitter that I’d heard Darcy was rakish in this, and was somewhat apprehensive about that, but it seems like the E & D storyline is good enough for me to get beyond it and want to give it a go.

    Thanks for the giveaway! Keeping my fingers crossed.


    This book sounds very interesting – would love to win and read it!


    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.I would love to win a copy!


    What if I love it! Thank you for the giveaway because I would love to read this!


    I loved your review as usual. I have really been sitting on the fence about this one for a very long time. You’ve helped me to decide and I think I’d love to give it a shot.


    I absolutely love Austen variations and Kara Louise and Abigail Reynolds happen to be two of my favorites in the genre, so I’d probably really enjoy this book, too!


    Don’t know if I’m in the minority here, but I love reading P& P “what ifs!” This story sounds like an interesting premise and I love giveaways! Sign me up!


    I love all what if’s. It can be fun to qwirk personalities sometimes too. I love Colonel Fizwilliam too. Rakish? Sounds interesting!! Thank you for the giveaway!


    it is similar too abigail reynolds’s story, i’d like to read it, to see how the quthor as developped her jaen austen’s character
    for he intimacy scenes,i think will jump them …sorry to the writer .
    but i would like to join the giveaway :), i like variation


    what an interesting POV!!
    thank you for this giveaway!!!!


    Would love to read this one along with the sequels!


    I’ve had this book on my to-read list for a while.. and now your review makes me want to move it to the top! Count me in for the competition!


    Hi Meredith! It’s been too long. As I attempt to restore my online life, I was so fortunate to come across this giveaway (love the new look, by the way). I have been curious about this book, and your good review ensures I will read it. I am afraid I will be very dependent on you to catch me up on all the books I have missed during my absence. How lucky I am to have such a devoted JAFF reader in my life!


    Jane was a genious in her time, but how can we help wondering ourselves how would the stories come out “if only…” she was able to have the “liberties” women are allowed in literature in the 21st century…


    I just love the “what-if” scenarios that so many authors are presenting. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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