Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Brother <3
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Several weeks after the Netherfield Ball
SYNOPSIS: While walking home from Charlotte’s wedding Lizzy finds Mr. Darcy fallen from his horse and injured, just as a snow blizzard is beginning. They seek shelter from the storm in an empty tenant’s cottage and are trapped there for two days. Darcy knows Elizabeth is compromised by their being alone together for two days and nights and happily offers marriage to protect her reputation but also secure his heart’s secret desire, but Elizabeth is convinced no one will find out they were alone together, and she doesn’t want Darcy to sacrifice himself just because he feels honor-bound to do so…
WHAT I LOVED:
- Completely Infatuated: Like Darcy’s feelings for Elizabeth, this describes my feelings for anything written by Abigail Reynolds. Her style of writing always has me enraptured and I always have the hardest time tearing myself away from her stories! I love when a book has this kind of effect on me, and I love that after 8+ years and a dozen books later, I’m still completely infatuated with Abigail Reynolds’s writing!
- Forced Confinement: Alone with Mr. Darcy for two days? Yes, please! I love scenarios like this! I love how the rules of propriety bend, the candidness and freedom to confront issues, and share new intimacies or confidences. I found the premise for this variation to be plausible and I really enjoyed seeing how it all played out – especially with the added conflict of needing food and needing to keep warm…
- Crewe: Darcy’s valet in this story is awesome! I love that he has opinions about Darcy’s life and that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind (or act in Darcy’s best interest!). His exchanges with Darcy were hilarious and for some reason I kept picturing him as Michael Ian Black with his dry delivery, fastidiousness, and sarcasm. 😉
- Snowball: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love cute animals or kids with Mr. Darcy! Seeing Mr. Darcy’s interactions with Snowball melted my heart and Snowball…a.k.a. Snowdrop was a lovely addition to the story! But seriously, Abigail… did we really need another reason to fall in love with Mr. Darcy?!?
- Co-Conspirators: As per their usual, Darcy and Elizabeth are separated by their misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions. It was interesting to see some different characters be the impetus that help Darcy and Elizabeth get ogether. Of course Colonel Fitzwilliam is often one who is in this position of plotting and manipulating, but I was pleasantly surprised by his two cohorts in these endeavors!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Small Quibbles: Just a few small points in the story left me a little unsatisfied. Like the treatment of Maria Lucas (not talking about what happened to her – although that was horrible – it was also realistic), but I felt the reaction of everyone and the overall treatment of such a situation was a little too light and casual. Even though it is a dark subject, I think more time was needed before moving on to a new scene. I also thought Colonel Fitzwilliam’s PTSD seemed brushed aside quite rapidly when it was first introduced as a serious and alarming situation. But neither quibble marred my enjoyment of this story.
NOTE: This novel does not contain mature sex scenes, although some mentions of intimacies and amorous scenes are made. Recommended for audiences over the age of 14.
In her latest Pride and Prejudice variation the ever-creative and talented Abigail Reynolds infuses a myriad of new challenges for our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth to face – snowstorms, tarnished reputations, evil step-mothers, deceptive fathers, and a will with an unfortunate contingency. Abigail Reynolds accomplished a marvelous feat by bringing all these components together and I appreciated the uniqueness and arresting romance of her story. Don’t ever stop writing, Ms. Reynolds, your stories bring me and so many others such immense joy!