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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
I was a little sceptical at first as it was very little money to buy. However I have been quite impressed. It starts after the first proposal. Darcy is devastated and Elizabeth a little regretful. Instead of meeting again in Pemberley, they meet instead in Paris, and there starts their adventure, firstly to escape France, as a war has been declared and then to hide the secret of their relationship once they arrive home. Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship is deeply passionate without being too explicit, Wickham is even more dastardly than in the original and the less said about Lady Catherine, the better. The book definitely centres on the main two characters and there are no sub plots. A really enjoyable read, completed in two sittings and worth every penny!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a Pride and Prejudice variation that picks up some weeks after the Hunsford proposal. Darcy is in London and he is miserable. He has come to the conclusion that Miss Elizabeth Bennet was correct to refuse his arrogant proposal. He is tortured by regretful thoughts, and the only way he can get a full night’s sleep is to drink heavily. He believes that he has hidden his excesses from Georgiana, but he is mistaken. She has called for reinforcements, and in a very touching scene, Colonel Fitzwilliam forces his confidence. The Colonel convinces Darcy to try a change of scenery to try and raise his spirits. Since a ceasefire has been called with France, Colonel Fitzwilliam and some friends are taking the opportunity to visit Paris, and he badgers Darcy into coming along.

While in Paris, Darcy is convinced to go to a ball. There he sees somebody familiar – Elizabeth has also travelled to Paris, in the company of the Gardiners, as Mr Gardiner has business in France. Darcy decides to make the best of this opportunity to try and change Elizabeth’s view of him. Elizabeth is sorry for her previous misjudgements of Darcy and is eager to be on good terms, but Darcy soon makes it clear to her that his feelings toward her haven’t changed. She is unsure over whether she would want to encourage him in this way. She feels attracted to him, but is unsure of whether she would want to be married to him, particularly as she is unsure of whether he is the proud man she met in Hertfordshire or the more charming and eager to please Darcy that she sees now.

The Gardiners had planned to move on from Paris within a few days of the time they encountered Darcy. Seeing such an eligible suitor showing interest in their niece they arrange to leave Elizabeth under the guardianship of the acquaintance that they have been staying with, just for a short time while they travel to another area for Mr Gardiner’s business. However, after they leave Darcy receives the news that the ceasefire is over. It is imperative for English people to leave France as soon as possible. Colonel Fitzwilliam wastes no time, as an army officer he would be all the more hated, and he leaves straight away with friends. Darcy goes to Elizabeth to offer to escort her out of Paris. They attempt to take a maid as chaperone, but due to the scarcity of carriages they are only able to obtain a small carriage which means the maid gets left behind. However, they are not able to escape France as quickly as they’d hoped because Elizabeth falls gravely ill. Once they are safely back on English soil Darcy and Elizabeth have some news for their families, but it is not the most opportune time to tell either family due to other events, and therefore the secret must be kept for longer, leading to some misinterpretations.

I was a little surprised with how quickly their courtship seemed to progress, but when I considered it, once Elizabeth had got over her misconceptions of Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice she actually falls in love with him fairly quickly. I really liked the idea of a new setting, and Darcy and Elizabeth’s escape from France was pretty exciting reading. My main quibble with this book was the secret keeping. To me, it didn’t make sense. It went on for too long, and it made things look much, much worse than they really were and was the catalyst for some quite unpleasant events that needn’t have occurred. But neither of them seemed to see this. I am sure that letting the truth out so late in the day would have caused quite a bit of talk, and made things seem more scandalous than they would have been if they’d told the truth from the outset. The secret wasn’t shameful, but in my opinion the omission would have made the truth less believable.

Also, as the story progressed the escape from France wasn’t their only adventure, and it stretched credibility more. It was fun reading, but pretty unlikely, and personally I prefer more believable variations, but if you like excitement there is plenty of it here!

Another thing I was a little unsure of was the portrayal of our starring couple. I know it’s a variation, so deviations from Pride & Prejudice’s characters can be part of the change, but neither of them felt quite right to me. For example, a few times Darcy lost his temper and immediately started shouting at people, which is something that seems out of character to me – to me, one of Darcy’s most notable characteristics is his self-control. Also, Lizzy reacted in quite a laid-back way at things which I think would have shocked a young lady of limited experience, which she was. I have been puzzling over what it was that was not hitting all the right notes for me, and I think it is that, for me, they behaved and reacted with a more modern mindset than I feel would have been likely. I think self-control is less valued now than in the past, so Darcy losing his temper and hollering didn’t seem classy enough for my view of him (it wouldn’t seem classy enough for my view of him now, but particularly in a historical variation). Similarly, a wider world view would work well for a modern woman, but I don’t see that somebody of Elizabeth’s class at that time would have had that. There were also some instances of language use that I found a bit incongruous, some American terms, sidewalks etc. However, this book has some excellent reviews so I’m obviously in the minority with my quibbles! It’s an action-packed variation with some lovely romance, particularly when Darcy first sets out to woo his lady.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
Great book. Great story and writing too. This is definitely one of the better re-tellings out there and am so glad I read it. Slight spoiler in that it does get a bit silly when they come back to England but never mind: it was still absolutely brilliant and I really hope Ms Kincaid is inspired to write more!
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on 20 April 2014
Well this book was a lot of fun! This was another very far fetched variation, but I have found those are the ones I enjoy the most, and it was the same with this story. It was a very fast paced, adventure filled story and I really rather enjoyed it! I wish there was an option for half stars as I want to rate this 4.5!

We join the story at a familiar place, when Elizabeth runs into Darcy, accidentally, many months after she has read that ever so important letter - the only difference is that this doesn't happen in the garden's at Pemberley, but at a ball... in France! And here the similarity plot wise ends - although the outcome as a result of this accidental meeting is the same, there is an extremely different route to get to that outcome in this variation!

Right, first things first, let's start with the writing style. On the whole, I thought it was very well written. The dialogue was great and the author was very good at description - particularly describing the inner feelings of both Darcy and Elizabeth throughout the story.

Lets get my small negative out the way; the little problem I had was with the americanisms I noticed (when I see a "couch" or a mention of the "fall" it does slightly irritate me - but not for long!) and there were a few editing issues and mistakes, but I know how hard it can be to catch them all, and as I got more and more drawn into the action filled story I found these little mistakes and typos didn't distract from the story at all! And that is my only criticism!

The writing flowed well and I was easily wrapped up in the story. I enjoyed the fast pace to the book as it was never dull and never dragged! We had everything from near death experiences to almost imprisonment, from kidnappings to elopements (and that's not just Lydia I am talking about here!)

So, onto the most important characters, Elizabeth and Darcy. As I mentioned above, the inner thoughts and feelings of these two were very well described throughout the story, and boy do these two go through a lot together! After meeting in France, things seem to be improving between the two, as we know it does, but then, most inconveniently, the Napoleonic War starts up again! (A little aside here - the bits of historical detail about the war I found very intriguing to read about.)

Things don't go smoothly for these two as they try to escape France, english visitors no longer being welcome! I found it really interesting to see how these to react to each other in the face of danger and in such unusual circumstances! As you can imagine, rules of property and proper manners all have to go out the window as the only thing which matters is escaping France, alive. The relationship between them really builds through this time and you really see a different side to Darcy as he is doing all he can to protect Elizabeth and get her safely back to England.

During their trouble filled escape attempt Elizabeth falls terribly ill and so doctor Darcy jumps into action! He was such a sweetheart while she was poorly, caring for her and doing all he possibly could for he. You really had to feel sorry for him as you could really tell how stricken with worry he was. Things had started to look better between him and Elizabeth and he had been given a second chance, but now it seems she to be taken from him forever! *pause for dramatic effect*

Ok *(slight) SPOILER ALERT* I never like to give away any spoilers but for what I want to say, I need to carry on past this point as it happens relatively early on in the plot! (And finding out will not ruin the story for you in my opinion - I think it would make you want to read it even more!) Anyway, you have been warned!

I don't think it would come as a surprise to know that although it gets rather close, of course Elizabeth pulls it back - well she couldn't die now could she! After this near death experience, Elizabeth sees her life in a new perspective and for various reasons of both a romantic and practical nature (of which I shall let you read for yourself!) Darcy and Elizabeth end up marrying before they leave France - how you wonder? A quick explanation... the house Darcy takes the ailing Elizabeth to is of an old school friend who moved to France and who just happens to be a clergyman! (You can't deny that marrying in France without anyone knowing has its advantages - no Mrs Bennet or Lady Catherine to contend with!)

Eventually the now married couple escape from France, and this is where the matter of their marriage becomes rather interesting to the story and events which take place, but also difficult at times and often amusing at others! As I said, this is a very fast moving story which is full of drama and many problems! What was really different and nice to see was that because they had married in France, all the problems they face upon returning home - Lydia's elopement, family problems for Darcy etc - they face together, as a married couple. It is a real test for their relationship and marriage, but it also shows the strength of attachment between the two of them. It was lovely to see them being so much more open with each other during all these problems - well, they were married after all.

More and more problems arise which result in more and more delays before they can announce their marriage. Now aside from physical problems to test their marriage thanks to their 'friends' and relations, they also face emotional struggles; they are a newly married couple, passionately in love, after all, who had a very unusual courtship where none of the usual restraints between men and woman applied, and now they have to revert back to acting as mere acquaintances when really they know each other much more intimately! I really felt for them, trying to steal private moments together when no one was looking! Or they thought no one was looking; a few people had to be let in on their secret if they weren't to accuse Darcy of some rather scandalous and ungentlemanly behaviour towards Elizabeth! Of course, a happy ending is eventually reached and the secret can be revealed, meaning they can finally live and act as the married couple that they are, and have been for many months!

Darcy and Elizabeth really go through a lot, and the moments of intimacy and romance between the two are very sweet and highly romantic (while the story remains clean.) I enjoyed these parts of the book and it was nice for them to reach an understanding and marry so much earlier in the book, as it meant that rather than the ups and downs and problems in the story keeping them from marrying (as is the case in many variations), the problems merely kept them from announcing their marriage. It was an interesting and enjoyable change.

I mustn't forget all the other characters, but this review will never end if I talk of them all so I shall pick my favourites!

We get to see more of Colonel Fitzwilliam (who is just as teasing, but caring, of Darcy as we would expect!) which I always love and we also get to know Georgiana more which is always nice, especially when we see her relationship with her new sister Elizabeth grow, even though she doesn't know she's got a new sister!

I felt sorry for Mr Bennet who had a lot to deal with through this story, and it was interesting to see his feelings more and the pain caused by Lydia's elopement. Hearing of his favourite daughters very dangerous - and unchaperoned - escape from France with Darcy doesn't help matters for the poor man either!

Lord and Lady Matlock come into the story which was nice as it is always interesting to see more of Darcy's family - although due to certain circumstances they add to the delay and continued concealment of the marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth. As does Lady Catherine, surprise surprise. The famous confrontation between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth was fun to read as Darcy is also present when it takes place in this story! Lady Catherine goes to extraordinary lengths to cause the couple problems - I think you would be surprised at how far! You see a different and determined side to Lady Catherine - but I shall say no more on this matter!

Fear not, the scoundrel Wickham still makes his appearance and causes his own problems for poor Darcy and Elizabeth, and not just because of his actions with Lydia. But again, you must read it yourself to see what other mischief he gets up to!

And good old Caroline pops up every now and then and causes great amusement. I suppose you could pity her a little as she continually flirts with and flatters Darcy - shame she doesn't know he's married! She even warns Elizabeth that even though Darcy seems to be paying Elizabeth special attention to not to get her hopes up for he would never marry her - too bad Caroline, for he already has! Seeing Elizabeth hold her own against these attacks was great.

And finally, thanks to two new characters, we get to see a jealous side to Darcy! Responsible for this is, first, a dashing Lord Lennox who rather takes a fancy to Lizzy in France, and secondly, a Mr Fenton - or as I like to call him, Mr Collins mark 2! Mr Fenton really was such a comedy character. He needs to marry. Jane is almost taken, or so Mrs Bennet believes due to Bingley's recent return to Netherfield, and so Elizabeth it is. If possible, his proposal of marriage is even worse than Mr Collins was! And just like Mr Collins, Mr Fenton will not take no for an answer - it would have silenced him, I should think, had Lizzy been able to refuse him due to the rather problematic fact that she was already married and would not become a bigamist!

I will wrap things up here, but one last thing... Let me assure you that although the story is full of drama and can be quite serious, it is not without it's humour thanks to characters such as Caroline and this Mr Fenton. I laughed many times while I was reading this!

If you like a fast moving story, full to the brim of drama and adventure, with some brilliant humour and beautiful romance thrown in then this is the story for you!
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on 10 August 2014
I've read quite a few P&P variations and this is certainly one of the good ones. It begins at the point where Darcy, whose proposal of marriage has been rejected by Elizabeth, is persuaded to go to France with his cousin, Fitzwilliam. There, by chance he meets Elizabeth at a ball and shortly thereafter they both get caught up in the resumption of war with Napoleon. The story then centres on their escape from France and eventual return to England and having to relate their story - or as much as they dare - to their families. It all makes for an interesting read which I would certainly recommended to anyone who enjoys tales about Elizabeth and Darcy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this variation; it was well written and well paced story. And the ending didn't go on and on with a chronicle of who did what with whom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2014
Exciting tale, bad grammar and spelling mistakes a little distracting, but certainly a variation! Not too sexual so believable romance for that period.
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on 8 May 2014
The 4 stars are for the excellent storyline and the originality of the plot, however I felt that the last few chapters appeared rushed and less believable, which prevents me from awarding 5th star.
Without being a spoiler I would recommend the book for lovers of Darcy and Elizabeth variations, because it does have a slightly different take on the original.
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on 10 September 2014
Mildly pleasing. Found the need to keep things secret a little ridiculous. Too many Americanisms, for instance: a block away from the park. Sidewalk! Additionally,the characters lacked the reserve expected from this time period.However, the plot holds the readers attention.
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on 8 July 2014
I'm such an Austen fan and Pride & Prejudice is probably my most favourite story. Victoria Kincaid has written a lively and credible D'arcy & Elizabeth variation of the genre - and I've read quite a few. This is by far one of the best.
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