Jun 092017

What If Elizabeth Bennet Had A First Love?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation

TIME FRAME: Just before Bingley and Darcy come to Meryton

MAIN CHARACTERS: Our usual Pride and Prejudice cast plus Henry and Francis Warren, Elizabeth’s deceased husband and his brother

SYNOPSIS: Taking a sizable step away from the Pride and Prejudice canon, Ms. D’Orazio tells a story of Elizabeth Bennet experiencing a whirlwind romance and marrying Henry Warren, the Earl of Courtenay, at the age of seventeen. Unfortunately, happily ever after doesn’t last long as Elizabeth’s husband is killed by a group of radicals. In order to protect herself and her unborn child Elizabeth must hide her identity and leave her husband’s ancestral home until all those involved with the murder are apprehended. Two years later finds Elizabeth in Meryton, where everyone publicly acknowledges her as Elizabeth Bennet, unmarried daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. And when a wealthy, reserved man from Derbyshire comes to town he believes that is who she is… a country maiden with no wealth or consequence, and therefore, sadly, not for him. (Even though his heart wishes it were otherwise!)


– Striking and Compelling: Gah! What a premise! Elizabeth mourning her first love? Darcy not knowing who she really is? Scandal, danger, secrets, political plots – there are so many layers and twists in this tale – what a riveting adventure! This has to be some of the stiffest competition I’ve ever seen Darcy face! (and of course he makes his usual terrible first impression and Elizabeth can’t stand him!) And just when I thought things have sorted themselves out and settled down, the rug was ripped right out from underneath us in the most inconceivable way!! And then we were knocked for a loop with another startling twist! Complete derailment! I confess I didn’t see any of it coming and it had me stunned. Jaw-on-the-floor stunned! Brilliantly executed, Ms. D’Orazio!

– Emotionally Invested: In this story we witness both Darcy and Elizabeth in anguish and gut-wrenching turmoil! (I was sobbing and could feel myself falling to pieces over it all!) The emotion was so beautifully and powerfully rendered. I couldn’t help but feeling what Darcy and Elizabeth were feeling. Brava to Ms. D’Orazio for creating such a strong and poignant story that affects the readers and engages so many emotions.

– Darcy’s Love: Darcy’s love for Elizabeth is completely unselfish and unreserved, and he continuously proves how earnestly devoted he is to her happiness and well-being. Darcy was fully aware that their marriage would begin as one of unequal affections and he welcomed it anyway, and was never resentful or upset over Elizabeth’s feelings for her first husband. I adored how he would treasure and cherish any affection or special moment she shared with him. This is the kind of love that makes you swoon!

– Tender and Light-Hearted Moments: Don’t worry, this story has many sweet and happy scenes as well! Especially between Elizabeth and her son, and Mr. Darcy and her son. πŸ™‚ In addition, there were many laugh-out-loud moments with Mrs. Bennet who tries to deter Jane for forming an attachment with Mr. Bingley! (Her sister is a countess! Mr. Bingley is not good enough for the Bennets now! LOL!)

– First Love vs. Forever Love: I really appreciate how the author portrayed Elizabeth’s different feelings of love. Knowing how hard it is for readers to see Elizabeth in love with anyone other than Darcy, Ms. D’ Orazio stresses the different kinds of love Elizabeth feels for these two great men in her life. One love that grew rapidly and was carefree, and one that overcame obstacles and blossomed slowly. I greatly enjoyed Elizabeth’s emotional journey and felt it evolved flawlessly.

Puh-lease! Not a thing! πŸ˜‰

NOTE: I’d recommend this story for Mature Audiences as there is one or two descriptions of intimate scenes.


In a suspenseful and enthralling tale of sinister plots, tragic loss, and danger grows an achingly beautiful and powerful journey of love that is sure to warm your heart and entangle your emotions! Expressive, sensitive, and captivating – The Best Part of Love is truly an outstanding debut from Amy D’Orazio! I cannot wait to see what she doesΒ next!

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  36 Responses to “The Best Part of Love – A. D’Orazio”


    I totally agree with you, Meredith! There is nothing that I didn’t like in this book, except Elizabeth’s first husband! lol. But seriously, this story is so well written, so compelling and so wonderful that I can’t get enough of it. Amy was brilliant there!


      Thanks for reading my review, Daniela! So glad to hear that you loved this story! Elizabeth’s first husband definitely put us readers in a quandary! I couldn’t completely hate him! Definitely couldn’t get enough of it!


    It looks brilliant!! But at its current price, I’ll wait until after I’m done grading essays for the school year and invest in Kindle Unlimited over the summer so that I can read it and many others for only a dollar more per month. Although this one does look like a “keeper”…. πŸ˜‰


      That sounds like a lovely treat for yourself when you finish grading essays! Hope you have many happy summer reads! I agree though, this may be one you want to keep!


    I loved this one!!!Fantastic review, Meredith!!


    Absolutely, positively, over-the-moon agree with your review! Great job and one I had to own in paperback!!!!!


    I, also, loved this story and read it first as an unpublished story. Then when it was published I read it again. Just fantastic! Especially enjoyed the beginning when Darcy meets Elizabeth in 2 very different settings. Darcy, what have you done?

    Lovely review, glad you enjoyed it so well also.


      It was so cute to see the beginning of the story from Darcy’s perspective! I really enjoyed his interactions with Elizabeth and how he would notice her absences and finally gathered the courage to ask Jane about it. πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for reading my review and sharing your thoughts, Sheila!


    I have this book but haven’t yet read it so thank you for your beautiful review Meredith.
    This is definitely high on my TBR list so it looks like I need to stock up on tissues (and perhaps wine and chocolates???)
    Thanks again.


    OMG!!! I loved the cover. I Loved the Elizabeth & Darcy page time. I LOVED the book period!!! Nearly everyone I know gave it 5-stars. Nearly, some people aren’t too hip on angst… but that’s OK. Because I loved it. Whew!! I choke up just thinking about that near disaster. Man… if you are reading these comments and have not read this book… PLEASE read it. It will be unlike anything you’ve read before. Delicious!


    Beautiful story! Love the cover! thanks for featuring Amy.


    Oh my, WHAT a story!!!! The premise – the mystery – the heart-wrenching developments!!! I loved every word! Although we often want Mr Darcy to be Elizabeth’s first and only love, in this book Elizabeth’s past was so enthralling and so movingly done that it seemed not only natural but right, and beautifully adding to the story. And then of course the plot thickens, Mr Darcy comes on the scene and Elizabeth’s mixed feelings about him are a joy to read (and even more so when they become less mixed πŸ˜‰ . And then – WOW!! Meredith, you said it beautifully! Yes, that’s 100% how I felt: ” And just when I thought things have sorted themselves out and settled down, the rug was ripped right out from underneath us in the most inconceivable way!! And then we were knocked for a loop with another startling twist! Complete derailment! I confess I didn’t see any of it coming and it had me stunned. Jaw-on-the-floor stunned! Brilliantly executed, Ms. D’Orazio!”

    Hats off to Amy D’Orazio, this is an incredible tale, moving, stunning, absolutely brilliant and a definite ‘must-read’!


      Thank you SOOO much, Joana! I loved hearing your comments about this story! You said it wonderfully as well – the mixed feelings were so well done! Thanks so much for sharing!!


    This sound brilliant. I cannot wait to read it. Full of angst. Thank you for this wonderful review. Lizzy married before she meets Darcy. What horrors. The book his now in my TBR.


    So glad you enjoyed it Meredith. I read it as a work in progress on AHA and was loving it until it broke my angst meter and I had to give up! It’s probably easier to read it without having to wait for the next installment πŸ™‚


      Thanks, Ceri! πŸ™‚ I would not be able to survive reading it installment by installment! It would kill me! Maybe you can try it again someday now that it is fully published! πŸ˜‰


    My heartfelt thanks to you Meredith for such a generous review! And to those of you above who have read or thought of reading BPL — thank you! πŸ™‚


    This is the first I have heard of this book but between your review, Meredith, and the comments here . . . wow! It must be something – – and with a “controversial” story, since it veers from the canon. Will definitely be looking into this one. Beautiful cover as well.

    Thanks for the great review!


    I think I have read all or just about all of Amy’s unpublished stories on AHA and loved them, even the short ones. She does have another with even more angst!!! I hope she publishes more of her stories.


    This was the best of P&P variations. I have since read Amy’s P&P variations. All are excellent. She reset the bar for me.


    I get the impression that you might just have liked this book, Meredith, just a little bit!

    I was lucky enough to win a copy on the blog tour but have to confess I haven’t got around to reading it yet. Shame on me! Sheila has written enthusiastically about Amy’s unpublished writing quite a few times in Sophia Rose’s Goodreads group, so I already knew her writing is of the highest quality and now your review just puts the icing on the cake. Now all I have to do is find the time (or Hermione Grainger’s time turner or my very own TARDIS!)


      Just a wee bit! πŸ˜‰

      LOL! Yes, we definitely could use one of those devises! It would free up sooo much reading time!

      Hope you get the opportunity to delight in this one soon!


    One of best variations of P&P that.i read in a while.


    I couldn’t agree more with you Meredith! I was affraid of the premise, because I cannot stand books where Elizabeth loves someone else and if if she has childern with someone else it’s even worse, but I absolutely loved this one!
    I have to say that a book really needs to be incredible and the author very talented to make me love a it with this premise, but Amy D’Orazio did it! This book had everything! It was pure perfection πŸ™‚


    Yes, Rita, it is an incredible story. Amy did such a good job developing both relationships even though we don’t really see what happened in the first marriage until the threads all come together…and we begin breathing again. Such imagination and then such talent to put it all into written form with well done editing, etc. I hope she publishes some of her other stories. I have devoured all I could find. There is one that will got off the meter for angst if you ever read it. She did say when I was reading it and commenting that if I survived that story I was good to go for any angst filled tale…or something to that affect.

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