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.
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!