Jul 082019
 

What If Elizabeth’s Lifestyle Habits Were A Little Different?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation

TIME FRAME: Begins at the Meryton Assembly

SYNOPSIS: What if Elizabeth wasn’t a great walker? What if the Bennet’s had a housekeeper, who grew up in America and specialized in making a variety of cookies and pastries? Not only does Mr. Darcy disparage Elizabeth’s appearance at the Meryton Assembly in this variation, but he specifically cites her weight and apparent lack of self-control to be the reasons she is found wanting in his eyes… (seriously not cool, Darcy!😡) Lizzy is determined to make some changes in her life, but these changes lead to some unexpected developments. And Mr. Darcy isn’t the only one to recognize Elizabeth’s worth and inner beauty…

WHAT I LOVED:

  • An Original Premise: A lot of Pride and Prejudice variations portray Elizabeth Bennet as an energetic and outdoor-loving walker, with some tomboy tendencies. This is the first time where I have seen an author go against the grain and portray an Elizabeth as not fond of taking her daily constitutional or seeing the beauties of nature. It brought an interesting new dynamic to this story and one that many modern readers can relate to and understand. I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth have some unique personal issues to address and work through and I appreciated the important message about not judging or being overly concerned about appearances.
  • Darcy Has Competition: It is always a fun twist when there is another contender for Elizabeth’s heart! Mr. Thaddeus Beckett was an exciting and intriguing new addition to this troupe of characters. He is Mr. Darcy’s personal physician, and his background is one readers will find very interesting! I enjoyed Mr. Beckett’s attentiveness, charm, and merit – and it was quite diverting to see what Mr. Darcy does when he has such a worthy rival for Elizabeth’s heart!
  • Bingley and Jane: Some unique personality changes for these characters are in this tale – Mr. Bingley stands up for himself and is much more decisive, and Jane is a great walker who takes two long walks each day up to Oakham Mount. I enjoyed these alterations and found much to applaud and admire in both of these characters. In addition, I loved how they both were protective and supportive of Lizzy.
  • Mrs. Bailey: Another original character I enjoyed is the Bennet’s housekeeper, Mrs. Bailey, who has a special relationship with Lizzy. I liked seeing her care for Lizzy and share some motherly concern and guidance. It warmed my heart and I was happy with the developments in their relationship.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Things Happen So Quickly: (Some Slight Spoilers!) With Lizzy losing weight and adapting to her lifestyle changes so easily, characters recovering from serious illnesses and injuries with uncomplicated swiftness, and the quick development/change of feelings several characters exhibited my main complaint for this story would be that some elements were just too fast-paced. I enjoyed seeing the new premise and dynamics Robin Helm introduced in this story, I would have loved to see some more time spent exploring these alterations and developing these characters’ journeys rather than seeing them take place so suddenly.

CONCLUSION:

More to Love is an engaging and inspiring Pride and Prejudice variation, and I enjoyed the creative plot twists and original characters Ms. Helm introduced in this tale. Fans of her work will delight in seeing some Robin Helm trademarks in More to Love – such as her sweet and earnest prose and the humorous yet honest inner monologues she gives her characters. A pleasant read for Darcy and Elizabeth fans looking for something a little different!

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  17 Responses to “More to Love – Robin Helm”

  1.  

    I just bought this book, Robin, and look forward to reading another Robin Helm P&P variation. Thank you.

  2.  

    This has been on my list for ages so now I think it’s time to move it up. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Meredith. I love your reviews and wish I could write similar ones. (But all I can think of is just saying yes I liked it or giving the whole story so I go with the former

  3.  

    What a lovely review, Meredith. You hit every point I wanted to make with More to Love. I have been a bit overweight since I turned 40, more than a few years ago, and I wanted to write something from my heart. I know how Elizabeth felt.

    Thank you so much!

    Robin

    •  

      Thank you, Robin! I’m so happy to have had the chance to read this lovely story – thank you so much for sharing it with us! I think it was a very interesting premise to explore! Loved it!

  4.  

    Great review, Meredith. I can’t wait to read it. Say hello to your Mr. Bingley. Thanks to Robin Helm for sending you a copy of the book. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5.  

    I thought this was a nice little gem, too, Meredith. Mrs. Bailey was a lovely original character and it was neat to see a different nuance with this Bingley and Jane.

    •  

      Hello, Sophia Rose! Mrs. Bailey is a real person at my church. She’s a darling lady who beautifully decorates sugar cookies. She’s been known to give me 1 or 2 or 20 of the delicious cookies, and I DON’T share them. lol

      Glad you liked my sneaky, intelligent Bingley and strong Jane.

      Thank you for commenting!

      •  

        Wait, she’s real? Is Mrs. Bailey the one behind photos you’ve posted of beautiful frosted cookies? That is so great to include her as a character! I would feel bad eating such amazing creations … until just after taking the first bite. 😀

  6.  

    Loved this book! Thanks so much for featuring Robin here on the blog. Isn’t her cover amazing?

    •  

      Thank you for the compliments, Jennifer! You know I absolutely love that cover. The model is my younger daughter. Jennifer McCoy made the costumes, I hired a local photographer and local venue, and Damonza did a spectacular job on the design. I think it’s my favorite cover to date, though A Very Austen Valentine certainly comes in a close second.

  7.  

    I have this in my TBR pile. Now I gotta move it to the top. New characters? Jane the walker? Bingley enjoys a backbone? Woo hoo. Sounds delightful. Thank you Meredith for the great review. Thank you Robin for your great writing. Book one???

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