Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: 5 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice
MAIN CHARACTERS: In addition to Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, the Bingleys, and the Fitwilliams, we are introduced to Lady Markham (Mr. Darcy’s childhood friend who is now a widow), Mr. Howton (Mr. Bingley’s troublesome and lazy cousin), Lord Van Lynden (a dangerous man from Lizzy’s past), and Emily (who is extremely adorable!).
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Bingley is in desperate need of some help and Mr. Darcy is the only person he can turn to, even though they have not spoken or seen each other in five years. After years of loneliness and heartache, Darcy is finally in a place where he is moving on with his life. He has even proposed to his childhood friend, Lady Markham, whom he cares for and loves…as a friend. But while assisting the Bingleys, Darcy finds out what has become of Elizabeth Bennet, the woman who will forever claim every inch of his heart, and her reappearance in his life begins to wreck havoc with all his carefully laid plans…
WHAT I LOVED:
– Wondrously Original: Gosh! How does Ms. Webb dream up these enthralling and unique scenarios?!? The premise of this story stunned me (not much is disclosed in the back cover blurb) and the opening chapters which introduced some new characters and drama had me riveted! I love stories by Brenda Webb because she is quite the proficient at creating new dynamic characters that steer her variations into completely uncharted waters. Her plots and twists are truly unlike any others. I love that this one took place five years later, had a bit of estrangement between the Bingley and Darcy families, and had Darcy contemplating a marriage of companionship.
– Mr. Darcy: I adore how Ms. Webb portrays Mr. Darcy – he is always fiercely and irrevocably in love with Elizabeth, honorable to a fault, and heart-meltingly adorable. And in this variation, readers witness his vigilant protection of Bingley family, his kind gentleness towards Elizabeth and Emily, and how adorably impatient he can be when apart from Elizabeth. And not to mention…he is an artist… *swoon* (Was that really necessary, Ms. Webb? We are already head over heels for your Mr. Darcy, did you have to make him even more swoon-worthy?!? JK!) 😉
– The Turmoil: Who wants some angst and drama? This story is brimming with it! There is an assignation attempt, mismanaged funds, numerous deceptions, and more than one love triangle all happening at the same time! Ms. Webb masterfully creates a delicious amount of tension and turbulence in this tale, and it becomes so engrossing that this book is almost impossible to put down! I loved all the drama of these scenarios – they didn’t feel over-the-top or implausible, and I greatly appreciate how Ms. Webb skillfully executes and interweaves each story-line.
– Equal Parts: I appreciate how well-balanced this story was. There were equal parts sinister plots and tender scenes, dangerous characters and heroic characters, romantic relationships and family/friendly relationships, emotional angst and ardent love. It was a terrific mixture!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
– Falling Action: While I was consumed and enthralled by the first half of the book, I did sort of feel my interest wane during the falling action and conclusion. I’m overall satisfied with the story’s resolution, but maybe the pacing of it was a little too drawn out for my taste. Maybe after such an exhilarating opening premise, the falling action pales a little by comparison.
NOTE: While I’d still rate this book for Mature Audiences, there really was only one brief and not explicit intimate scene in the last 30 pages.
Darcy and Elizabeth: A Promise Kept is an inventive and epic Pride and Prejudice variation that brings action, intrigue, emotional turbulence, and passion to our beloved characters in a thrilling way. I dearly hope Ms. Webb continues to write these supremely original and exquisitely compelling variations!