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When They Fall in Love: Darcy and Elizabeth in Italy [Paperback]

Mary Lydon Simonsen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 April 2013
Spring of 1814 – Fitzwilliam Darcy proposes to Elizabeth Bennet at the Hunsford Parsonage, but his offer of marriage is rejected. Spring of 1821 – A recently widowed Fitzwilliam Darcy has taken up residence with his six-year-old daughter, Alexandra, at a villa in the hills above Florence and invites Charles and Jane Bingley and their daughter to come for a visit. Included in the invitation is Elizabeth Bennet who has taken on the responsibility of governess for her niece, Cassandra Bingley. In the intervening years, Elizabeth’s opinion of the Master of Pemberley has altered greatly, but has Darcy’s opinion of Elizabeth changed? Will they be able to put their troubled history behind them? When They Fall in Love is set against the background of the greatest city of the Renaissance, a perfect place to start over.

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When They Fall in Love: Darcy and Elizabeth in Italy + Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner: a Pride & Prejudice farce + The Darcys of Derbyshire
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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Quail Creek Publishing, LLC (17 April 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0615790054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615790053
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mary Lydon Simonsen is the author of several Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion re-imaginings. She is also the author of the Patrick Shea mystery series.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story 26 Oct 2013
By Carly
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the first P&P variations I ever read and in my opinion one of the best. The story is believable and sweeps you along. In typical Elizabeth and Darcy style there are a few misunderstandings making you wonder if they'll ever get passed them. Jane is a little different but that is understandable given what she went through, although I felt that her character was not dissimilar to how her original is portrayed.

The only downside was one part of the ending, you'll know what it is when you read it (I'm not going to spoil it).

Overall a beautiful story, which I have read again and again. The different scenery adds to the freshness of the story and sets it apart from other variations.

Read it, you won't be disappointed!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely did not fall in love with the book 24 Aug 2013
By Rita
I don't know how any P&P fan can like this book. It's incredibly boring. The storyline does not make any sense. Mr. Darcy gets married with someone else, never fights to be with Elizabeth, and only once his wife dies and Elizabeth crosses his path once more he decides that she's the one for them. On the other hand, Elizabeth starts looking differently to him only because she's 28 and is miserable with her condition as governess. She envies Jane's life, and the character has nothing to do with the Elizabeth we know. Jane is portrait as someone mean only because having a child has left her sick and suddenly just because she travelled to Italy she's her old self. Also, the descriptions of Italy and France are not that impressive. And I've actually been in those places to know what I'm talking about. Could not like this book.
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Format:Kindle Edition
This is a Pride and Prejudice variation. After the failed Hunsford proposal Darcy believes that Elizabeth will never accept him as a husband and he marries a suitable society bride in haste, on the rebound. Due to his wife's poor health, amongst other reasons, he leaves England and has been living in France and Italy for the past seven years. Darcy is now a widower with a six year old daughter, and he invites the Bingleys (Charles, Jane and their five year old daughter Cassandra) to visit him, along with the unmarried Elizabeth, who has been acting as Cassie's governess.

Elizabeth is a person full of regrets, and now on the brink of spinsterhood. If Darcy had renewed his addresses to her seven years previously she would have been ready to give him a second chance but instead the next time she saw him after Hunsford he was married to a beautiful, talented, well-bred wife who Elizabeth assumes he loved and is now grieving for so when he puts out some feelers to see if her opinion of him has improved she doesn't see it for what it is.

I enjoyed the story being moved to a different location. It was interesting to hear how different travel was abroad, view life in Italy at the time and the description of the artworks that Elizabeth and Darcy saw in Florence. i liked Jane in this book. Often Jane is portrayed as quite bland and Jane in this had quite a bit of character and a sense of humour too. There was also some nice humour between Elizabeth and Darcy as they got to know each other a bit better. One thing which makes this variation a bit unusual is that, because it's set abroad, most of the original characters from P&P are either only mentioned or briefly in the story at the end so there are a number of new characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When they fall in love 7 Sep 2014
By katymay
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A truly magical romantic tale, involving travel and Italian vistas. It was well told mostly although some parts were too complicated especially family connections. But overall a pleasing romantic tale.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traveling and Falling in Love <3 9 April 2013
By BooksHugBack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When They Fall in Love by Mary Lydon Simonsen is yet again another favorite!

After Elizabeth has refused Mr. Darcy, he marries another and is away to Europe. Jane and Mr. Bingley marry, but after the birth of her first child Jane finds herself weak and wanting the benefits of visiting the spas. Elizabeth travels with Charles and Jane across Europe acting as the governess to their daughter, but the group finds themselves in Florence with Mr. Darcy as their host. After losing his wife to illness and raising a daughter of his own, Darcy sees the opportunity to win Elizabeth once and for all.

The settings and history of this novel were a treat and I felt as if I was traveling and in some cases seeing things and experiencing them once again. I was traveling and falling in love all at the same time. What a refreshing read. Researched well and with no errors, the writing was smooth and flawless. At times I wanted to shake Elizabeth by the shoulders and tell her to wake-up each time she misunderstands Darcy! My heart was continually pierced again and again until he spells out his true feelings for her plainly to see. Loved it!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth's 'Pride' Continues 4 April 2013
By Angie Kroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Bennet, dismayed by her ill words to Fitzwilliam Darcy after his disastrous proposal at Hunsford, has reluctantly accepted her lot in life for her refusal of him. She's serving as a governess/aunt to Jane and Charles Bingley's daughter, Cassandra - and she's not happy about it. Realizing that Charlotte's practicality in marriage was valid, Elizabeth is grateful (and a bit bitter) that she is dependent on her sister and brother-in-law for survival. While in France, the Bingleys are invited by a widowed Darcy to visit Italy. Because of her station, Elizabeth has no choice but to once again face the man she so arrogantly dismissed. Once in Italy, Elizabeth is reunited with a grieving Darcy and his daughter, Alexa. But, who exactly is he grieving for?

If you are a fan of Mary Simonsen's works like I am, you'll be happy to note that her vivid descriptions of the English countryside transfer seamlessly to the Italian landscape. Simonsen's historical anecdotes serve to provide depth and connection between Austen's innately English characters and a country where, as Jane Bingley puts it, 'people wear their hearts on their sleeves.' Oh, to be witness to the schemes pulled on tourists to Pompeii.

What I found interesting in this novel is the unexpected character transformations that happened when Austen meets the Renaissance. Lizzy, who wants to soak up every morsel of food, art, wine, church and vistas actually holds on to her English pride, much to her detriment. Darcy's proposal taught her very little - she still has made up her mind about everyone around her and knows how they think. "...for an intelligent woman, you get a lot of things wrong." The true metamorphosis actually comes from Jane Bennet. Recovering body and soul from her daughter's traumatic birth, Florence teaches Jane how to live life openly. I just love how Simonsen fleshes out secondary characters.

One thing of note - I know very little about Italian culture and fine art. With the exception of Michaelangelo's works and Titian's painting, most of the works and places referenced in the novel were new to me; I would suggest having Google and Google Earth handy when reading, which I will be doing soon. I want to be able to see the vistas Elizabeth saw climbing all of those steps!

Molto Bene!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh P&P Re-Imagining 6 April 2013
By M&M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of Mary Simonsen's other Pride and Prejudice re-imaginings (e.g., The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, A Wife for Mr. Darcy, Becoming Elizabeth Darcy, Darcy on the Hudson, Mr. Darcy's Bite - to name a few of my favorites), I think you'll be delighted by her latest. I'll leave summarizing what happens in the story to some other reviewer. Instead I'll just say it's about second chances and the power of a love that doesn't diminish with time. This fresh take on Pride and Prejudice (with a bit of Persuasion thrown in) made me fall in love all over again with Darcy and Elizabeth. After all, isn't that why we read this type of story?
The descriptions of the Italian countryside and the art Elizabeth saw in Florence made me want to go out and immediately book a trip to Italy.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just couldn't deal with him as a husband and a father... 24 April 2013
By Candace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm sorry, I just couldn't accept that Darcy had married a beautiful, accomplished woman within a few months of the ill-fated Hunsford proposal, then fathered a child who grows to look just like the wife--all while Elizabeth becomes an aging innocent with no prospects. Darcy may have pined for Elizabeth over the years (though I'm not certain how much I believe that), but the fact that he was intimate with another woman and had built an entire life with her was a real problem for me. There's actually a conversation toward the end of the story *spoiler alert* in which Darcy tells Elizabeth that, as a healthy man, he was very "unsettled" by the fact that he could no longer have sexual relations with his wife because of her health problems. That discussion creeped me out, to be blunt. The story didn't seem like a great Darcy-Elizabeth romance. Rather, I grew to pity Elizabeth because others around her married, had children, and experienced all that's required for that, while she sat on the sidelines. It just didn't seem very "Elizabeth."

Positives...I did like the way the author treated Jane, and Bingley also, and the writing was good. The author is clearly well-versed in history, geography, etc., though it did sometimes feel like a forced march through history class. I wish I had more positive things to say...I'm sure that if I could abide by the overall premise of the book I would.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Circuitous Route . . . Through Italy 10 April 2013
By Sheryl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a romantic story, but it takes a while to figure out where the romance begins. More initial travelogue than plot illustrates the author's deep love and knowledge of the sites and histories of Italy that are the main focus. The vivid and lengthy descriptions, sadly, overwhelm the book. There is a plot that becomes evident after a few chapters. Our beloved heroine is a third wheel, relegated to governess, by a beloved sister on a grandiose tour across the continent. The backstory is slowly presented, and intriguing, but the depth of devotion between characters is hard to discern. Lizzy is stubbornly blind to Darcy's obscure attentions so it's not difficult to explain the missed signals and opportunities. Sister Jane's character is inexplicable in this version and though she is suffering from physical and mental postpartum affects, she is the only player to see clearly. It's almost like the author left out whole chapters of parallel action, things referred to, but never finalized that would have added to the story and the characters. If you love Italy, and want to relive your last sojourn, this is the book for you. If you're looking for raging romance, book a different itinerary: this one could have been an interesting alternative sequel but it gets too caught up in the scenery.
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