This book wasn t awful, but I couldn t give it 3 stars simply because I consider 3 star books to be good enough to recommend to someone who likes the genre, and this isn t one I d particularly recommend That said, I wouldn t warn someone away, either It s a benign 2.5 stars for me I skimmed a lot of it and rolled my eyes through other bits, but I did finish it, and at least 50% of it was fine, if nothing special.Hiding the rest of this review, as I m not going to hold back on spoilers I had a whole list of things immediately after I read it, but I ve read something else since then, and I don t care enough to try and remember everything Still, here are a few specific things I liked and disliked view spoiler 1 I liked Darcy joining in on gatherings and discussions with his lessers and learning things from them, to his benefit and growth I really liked the idea that Elizabeth had introduced him to people who could expand his social circle and introduce him to opinions and ideas he wouldn t necessarily encounter in his accustomed society.2 I did not like the premarital sex I can buy it in a romance novel about people from the same social classes as these characters, but this is Elizabeth and Darcy, for crying out loud I felt they were very out of character here I mean, come on The Darcy I know would never encourage Elizabeth to sneak out of her house in the middle of the night to meet him at an abandoned house to have sex And the Elizabeth I know would never risk disgracing her family with that sort of behavior, even if she was tempted The whole thing was just ridiculous.3 I hated the way Mr Bennet and Georgiana were used in out of character ways just to fuel the misunderstandings and artificial conflict Georgiana was just a brat, and I don t think that the departure point for this variation was a justification for so completely changing her character I could have believed Mr Bennet s behavior if he d relented when Lizzy had a frank conversation with him, but his obstinate attitude was silly hide spoiler This must have been the worst of them all In Jane Austen S Classic Pride Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet Never Expects To See Mr Darcy Again After His Disastrous Proposal In Hunsford But What If Family Business Required Him To Stay At Rosings After Giving Her His Letter Coming Face To Face With Mr Darcy Only Days Later Could Give Elizabeth A New Chance To Understand Himor Chance For Even Misunderstandings This is the second PP variation I have read from Abigail Reynolds and they seem to follow a formula Of course the whole point is that Elizabeth and Darcy come to a better understanding of one another, but so far both of the variations I have read have been very similar in outline Basically some detail changes, ED go back and forth on whether they should be together get engaged, premarital sex ensues, overwhelming passion blah blah, hurried wedding, happily ever after.I think I would find these variations appealing if they focused less on Darcy s uncontrollable passion for Elizabeth and how they are constantly tempted by one another I get that these are romance novels but one thing I have always admired about both ED is their sense of propriety and their honor I find it hard to believe that Darcy would endanger Elizabeth by enticing her with sex, almost as much as I find it hard to believe that Elizabeth would violate societal norms so easily.Okay, rant over Sorry Overall, this was a pretty good attempt to explore the what ifs of PP If you enjoy romance novels and or PP you might enjoy this one. I am devouring these, one after another, so I am becoming a bit of an expert on Reynolds.So this one lots of Elizabeth and Darcy misunderstandings Yowza I prefer it when she gets them together early, and then we spend the rest of the book watching them fight off the rest of the world together The Mr Bennett stuff and Georgiana stuff are bold moves Why not I do really dig the psychological investigation into Lizzy s relationships with her parents and what those relationships have done to affect her being able to trust anyone with her feelings Plus the side stuff about her education or lack thereof The great steamy stuff is just bonus However, does Darcy need to use the phrase claim her as his own so often There are some wonderful feminist moments throughout, but Darcy using physicality to stake his claim all the time does get under my skin.Reynolds is a smart writer and I feel fortunate that she is choosing to spend those smarts in this way What if indeed. The first half if great, the second half is terrible The characters do not act how they should would have in that era. This is my least favorite of the PP variations The others made me want to run out and pick up After I finished this one I just took a nap. Very similar to other Reynolds novels well written, but way too preoccupied with sex, so much so that it twists the characters into versions of these characters that I really did not recognise I understand that Darcy is passionate but his sole thought and aim in this seems to be sex, which leads him to be out of character for most of the novel After a while it gets pretty tedious I started skim reading at 60% when it descended into full on sex scenes without plot. This is one of my favorite JAFF authors, it s just that this particular title is not my cup of tea The writing is every bit as good as usual For me the story went on too long, but only because of the type of story it is, and I was warned in the blurb about the content, so I don t feel at all put out Just meh But again, that s just me and my personal preferences I highly recommend this author Well this is a what if version of PP What if, after Darcy s proposal and Elizabeth s stormy refusal at Hunsford Parsonage, he unexpectedly has to stay in Kent rather than go away the next day They both have to face each other, both are mortified, him at the refusal and all the accusations flung at him, and her at the realisation that she has been far too hasty in her impressions of both Darcy and Wickham, and the realisation of what her family s behaviour has cost Jane The times they have to meet in Kent are really well written, lots of uncomfortable emotions etc They are brought together afterwards in London where Darcy meets the Gardiners etc This part of the book is really good, I would rate it five star.But then bizarre behaviour creeps in Lydia elopes, as per the real PP Lizzy throws a super strop when they come to visit Longbourne after the wedding and goes off in self righteous indignation at how selfish Lydia has been and then goes on to hypocritically behave in practically the same way The justification is that Mr and Mrs Bennett haven t been good parents to her, but actually any bad behaviour on her part would have affected her sisters chances I really don t think Elizabeth would have been so monumentally selfish She and Darcy are like a pair of randy teenagers frankly, and there is not really much romance, it s all pretty seedy I would give this part of the book 1 star, as that is the lowest, it s really awful If I were to re read this book I would give up at the point where they are invited to Darcy s party in London It s very good up until that point and after that it s not good I don t know why the author changed Elizabeth and Darcy s characters and morals so much, it s such a waste as this could have been an excellent book I also didn t like the way Mr Bennet s character was changed, he s quite unpleasant in this book.
Abigail Reynolds may be a nationally bestselling author and a physician, but she can t follow a straight line with a ruler Originally from upstate New York, she studied Russian and theater at Bryn Mawr College and marine biology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole After a stint in performing arts administration, she decided to attend medical school, and took up writing as a way to
- 250 pages
- By Force of Instinct
- Abigail Reynolds
- 22 February 2019 Abigail Reynolds