Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Begins with Elizabeth’s Tour of Pemberley
Instead of assuming Elizabeth has “been long desiring his absence” and traveling to London in secret to search out Wickham and Lydia himself, Mr. Darcy stays and shares his plans with her, making sure she understands that she has not lost him as a friend. With the Gardiners, Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, and Mr. Bennet all working together to salvage Lydia’s reputation and patch up her scandalous affair, what kind of changes does this development produce between them all? What does Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardiner think as Mr. Darcy involves himself with their family’s affair? What does Elizabeth think when after the chaos and anxiety of securing Lydia’s future, Mr. Darcy suddenly renews his addresses to her?
WHAT I LOVED:
- Elizabeth Sees It All: One of the aspects I enjoyed about this premise was how Elizabeth’s sees and knows it all. She bears witness to all Mr. Darcy’s improved manners, responsible actions, and she cannot help but grow to respect and admire him more. But it isn’t just Elizabeth who Mr. Darcy impressed, Mr. Bennet seems to have a more favorable opinion of the dour and taciturn man who previously called his daughter “tolerable.” I enjoyed seeing how a prolonged interaction between these characters produced some different results.
- Mr. Darcy’s Ardency: Oh, I love that Mr. Darcy couldn’t leave Lizzy feeling distraught without saying something. *sigh* Makes me love him even more! As we already know, post-Hunsford Mr. Darcy is everything that is admirable and wonderful, but what I really enjoyed was seeing his adorable interactions with Lizzy. The moments where his comments make Elizabeth blush and the intense gazes that can’t disguise his love for her just make you want to swoon! And seeing Mr. Darcy’s attempt lover-like speeches and his moments of vulnerability were just All. The. Things.
- What Is Love?: I enjoyed how this premise explored Elizabeth’s mindset and reflection on love. I found her hesitation and uncertainty plausible. Especially since she witnessed all the greatness of Mr. Darcy saving her family firsthand, it would be enough to make anyone pause and want to re-evaluate.
- Family Drama: Hold on to your bonnets, there is some fresh family drama being served in this variation! Poor Darcy and Lizzy never have it easy…especially with relatives like Lydia and Lady Catherine! It is always interesting to see how the stir up trouble, and I definitely liked the just desserts that were served at the end of this tale.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Conflicts Collide: I really enjoyed how there were both internal and external conflicts in this story. My only issue with these conflicts was their timing. With things not exactly resolved between Darcy and Elizabeth the family drama is introduced, takes center stage, and eclipses the previous obstacles Darcy and Elizabeth were facing. Since I do tend to favor internal conflicts more, I was wishing there would have been a more satisfying resolution for the internal conflict before the next one was introduced.
- Some Small Quibbles: Once in awhile there was some dialogue that felt too forward and blunt for the time period, and there was one development with Anne de Bourgh that I would have liked to have seen fleshed out more.
Similar to her first release (Folly and Forgiveness), Lizzy Brandon delivers a thoughtful, emotionally turbulent, and entertaining Pride and Prejudice variation!! Recognizing Love is a perfect choice for readers who enjoy a reflective Elizabeth, a fervently devoted Darcy, and an extremely intractable Lady Catherine! I sincerely hope we see more from this author soon!