Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 2013
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When I started reading Mr. Darcy's Noble connections I could not believe it! I was finally reading something that was good!
I was afraid the story would disappoint me as I continue reading, but it never did! In fact, everything about the book was great!
This variation takes us to a completely different scenario from P&P. Darcy and Elizabeth get reunited after the Hunsford proposal at Bentham Park, a house belonging to a mutual acquaintance.
The scenario and the characters are all very different from the ones in P&P, and I need to say this was quite refreshing. I enjoyed the new characters, and loved the interactions Abigail Reynolds created. Darcy and Elizabeth remain faithful to their own personalities, and the interactions between them are absolutely wonderful. The love story in this book is amazing, it shows a connection and understanding between them that is very touching and romantic. Above everything the love story is touching and interesting without ever loosing propriety.
There is one other love story in the book that keeps us interested in it, and that was also another positive point in the book.
I totally recommend this to any P&P fan.
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Immediately after Darcy's disasterous proposal at Huntsford, Elizabeth receives an urgent message from her childhood friend, Lady Eleanor, begging for her to come to Bentham Park. Eleanor is being forced to marry a dull aristocrat instead of her true love, Paxton, whose fortune was made by trade. The lovers devise a plan to meet under the assumption that Paxton will be 'courting' Elizabeth. What will Paxton's friend and Bentham relative, Darcy think of this scheme when he sees his true love again at one of the most elite estates in England?
What makes this story different from the rest of the authors stories is that Darcy and Elizabeth are not necessarily the main characters in the novel. Equal time is given to learning about Lord Carlisle, his prodigal brother, Edward, their stepmother, Lady (MacBeth), and other members of the ton. I defy you to not see Maggie Smith when we meet the dowager marchioness. This does mean less screentime for our favorite couple. But, oh do those scenes pack a punch. This sudsy soap opera will leave you staring at the page saying...he/she did WHAT?!?
The story takes place shortly after Darcy's first proposal at Hunsford. Instead of meeting again at Pemberley, Darcy and Elizabeth meet at a house party at Bentham Park, the home of Elizabeth's friend Lady Eleanor and Darcy's cousins. Thrown into the mix are many new characters whose matchmaking and flirtations end up with Elizabeth and Darcy thrust into each other's company so soon after Elizabeth's rejection. Emotions run high for Darcy and Elizabeth upon first encountering each other. Darcy tries to act indifferent to Elizabeth, but, happily, we know it will all be for naught. Reynolds, however, throws a delightful twist in the form of Lord Charles Carlisle (Eleanor's brother and notorious rake). Lord Charles appears as a suitor to Elizabeth, which, of course, does not make for a happy Darcy! Chaos ensues as Darcy tries to protect Elizabeth from Lord Charles as well as help his friend Geoffrey Paxton (whose low connections do not endear him to the Eleanor's family) meet Lady Eleanor in secret. I won't go into more detail of plot, as you'll just have to read it yourself!
I cannot remember the last time I read a JAFF novel where I literally felt like my stomach was being twisted in a million different knots. The emotions Elizabeth and Darcy were put through left me feeling emotionally exhausted (in a good way!). Reynolds truly has a gift of placing the reader in the minds of her characters. You feel their joy, their passion, their heartache. Yes, this novel has angst, but don't let that deter you from reading it if you're not a big fan of the angst. Granted, there were a few moments in the novel where I was afraid for Darcy and Elizabeth, but I knew Reynolds wouldn't let me down with my desired happily-ever-after! The ending of the novel and the stolen moments between Elizabeth and Darcy are reward enough for surviving the angst!
It is such a worthwhile, emotional journey when you read one of Abigail Reynolds' novels. Lovers of Darcy and Elizabeth will rejoice when picking up this novel. Reynolds truly has a love for Darcy and Elizabeth and she understands that her readers do, too. She is always spot on with her characterizations. I always feel like I understand Darcy and Elizabeth a little bit better after reading one of her novels. So if you want a passionate, angsty read or you just want to spend a little extra time with Darcy and Elizabeth, read this book. You won't think of hairpins the same way again! ;)
TIME FRAME: A couple months after Darcy's proposal at Hundsford Parsonage
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Lady Eleanor Carlisle (original), Lord Charles Carlisle (original), George Paxton (original), Dowager Marchioness (original), and Lord and Lady Bentham (originals)
SYNOPSIS: What if Elizabeth didn't have a "very strong local attachment?" What if she wasn't "always at Longbourn?" What if Lizzy spent much of her childhood as a playmate and resident companion to the daughter of a Marquess. Now, six years after her last visit with dear Lady Eleanor, (and a couple months after Mr. Darcy's disastrous proposal at Hunsford Parsonage) Elizabeth returns to Bentham Park to find none other than the "last man in the world" she'd ever want to encounter again!
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Change of Cast/A Change of Scenery: No Bennets, Bingleys, Gardiners, or Wickhams. No Jane, Charles, Georgiana, or Colonel Fitzwilliam. No Longbourn, Pemberley, Rosings, or Netherfield. Abigail Reynolds takes her readers to a wholly new and original location - Bentham Park and introduces readers to a whole new cast of characters.
- Intriguing New Characters: Such dynamic and well-drawn original characters! The Carlisles - a noble, titled family - consists of a son in exile, another son whose rakish habits rival Henry Crawford, a rebellious daughter in love with an unsuitable man, an evil step mother, and a strong matriarch whos loves to give commands. I loved all these new characters, especially Lord Charles - I can't help but like the idea of a bad boy trying to turn good.
- Mr. Darcy - A True Gentleman: Fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and loved ones, honorable and noble even in the most difficult of predicaments, principled and respectful - Elizabeth Bennet can hardly find reason to accuse Mr. Darcy of being ungentlemanly in this novel! I just loved seeing him act so heroically and honorably! So many excellent traits to admire and love! He even shows some vulnerability in this novel - your heart doesn't stand a chance!
- A Variety of Influences and Inspirations: Henry Crawford, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Lady Bracknell, Downton Abbey - such a wonderful and intriguing array of influences and inspirations. I loved spotting the echoes and references to all these great works and characters whether they were intended or not.
- Ton Manners and Practices: In this novel there is talk of entrapments, extramarital affairs, duels, and gambling bets gone bad. We are no longer in the quiet country parlors of Jane Austen, but in the more worldly and scandal-ridden drawing rooms of the upperclass. It did in some ways feel very much like a Georgette Heyer novel.
WHAT I WASN'T TOO FOND OF:
Not. A. Thing. :D
This novel does not contain mautre sex scenes as many of Abigail Reynolds's other novels do. There is some passionate kissing and sensuality, but the only article of clothing being removed is...Lizzy's hairpins *sigh*
In my opinion, Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections is quite different from Ms. Reynolds's other splendid Pemberley Variations. But different in a good way! I thoroughly enjoyed her refreshing deperature from the Pride and Prejudice canon, inventive new characters, and exciting new plot twists! Well done, Abigail Reynolds!
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the new set of characters that accompanied it. They were likeable enough, but I felt like I was reading just another historical romance with our couple thrown in for interest.
Maybe it's because I love reading a new dimension to existing P&P characters, but I wasn't a fan of them not being here.
However, this is purely personal taste. I loved the scenes and story between Elizabeth and Darcy, so a success it still is.