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Mr. Darcy's Undoing: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Audio Download – Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Format: Paperback
'Without Reserve' is a variation on Pride and Prejudice which explores what might have happened if Elizabeth had accepted another man's proposal before seeing Darcy again after he proposed to her. It is another interesting variation on P&P, well written and often a convincing imitation of Austen's style.

Where the plot falls down, and this for me is a failing of all of Reynolds' P&P variations (with the possible exception of 'Impulse and Initiative'), is the continual resort to sexual content. After a while it becomes irritating that such a talented writer feels the need to embellish every story with graphic adult scenes when in my opinion the stories would stand up well without them- indeed, I believe this story would have been improved without such scenes. After all P&P has stood the test of time without anything like that!

That said, I would still recommend this book and all Reynolds' others- I read them one after another and enjoyed all of them. I just wish she would do herself justice and write one where the chemistry between Darcy and Elizabeth is implied rather than made explicit.
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Format: Paperback
Taken as just a romantic tale, Without Reserve is a very satisfying read.
But, readers of Pride and Prejudice will find this to be a very original and satisfying variation. The idea of Darcy faced with another suitor for Elizabeth's hand makes an excellent story, and provides a look at some of the social customs of the time. It also provides some heart-wrenching moments as well as some beautifully romantic scenes. The interactions between the main characters, Darcy and Elizabeth are beautifully evocative. The use of Blake's poetry serves to complement the story and helps to frame the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth.

I love this story - I've read it over and over again. It keeps your interest throughout, and should appeal to a wide range of readers.
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Format: Paperback
My initial reaction to this novel and the entire Pemberley Variation series was two-fold: first, strong recoil from Reynolds' microcosm, a place very far removed in certain significant aspects from Regency England's "clearly delineated world" of rules which "Men and women flaunt...at their peril" (cf. Laudermilk and Hamlin's "Regency Companion")and of which Jane Austen wrote, and second, fascination by the author's depiction of Austen's Elizabeth and Darcy. Once I bought in to Reynold's "what if" principle and concentrated on her characterizations, I enjoyed "Without Reserve" and its companion novels and have re-read each several times. Reflecting on this novel as well as the others in the series returned me right back to Austen's P & P and to discovery of bases therein for the thoughts and actions Reynolds expresses so explicitly. I do not refer to Reynolds' graphically passionate sex scenes, but to what Reynolds has transpire inside her Darcy and Elizabeth's heads and hearts.
Though Jane Austen herself frequently reveals exactly what Elizabeth is thinking and feeling, she much more subtly conveys what is going on in Darcy's mind. To wit: Jane Austen's reference to Darcy's reaction after their first dance, which has left both "on each side dissatisfied, though not to an equal degree, for in Darcy's breast there was a tolerable powerful feeling toward her, which soon procured her pardon, and directed all his anger against another [Wickham]."(JA's P&P, Vol.1, Chapter XVIII)

The foregoing reference to Darcy's thoughts recalls to my mind a Sicilian expression for the sudden onset of an intense, passionate attraction. Reynolds has Elizabeth experience such a feeling for Darcy commencing in Chapter 2 of "Without Reserve".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this five stars as it see ed at the beginning that Darcy would lose Elizabeth to another. It was a pleasant story of an alternative tale of love and sorrow. It was well written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would have no problem in recommending it to all readers of Pride and Prejudice.
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Format: Paperback
It's difficult to blame Elizabeth to accept the courtship of someone amiable, well linked, respected, kind and generous over Darcy. Didn't we, at some points in our lives, settle for less than pursue our grand passion? And Elizabeth accepted the man's courtship when she was not yet violently in love with Darcy. But Abigail Reynolds' story set up an extremely high tension "what if" situation for Darcy. He had a true rival who though had less fortune than him, was more aimable and civil than him. His pain and anger were so deep. But his stubborn attitude towards the love of his life was commendable. The road to true happiness and love was a difficult and yet exhilarating.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book at the Jane Austen festival in Bath this year and the author signed it for me so I was certainly hoping for a great read.

The beginning seemed very promising. The book is well-written and at times funny. But I could not get over this version of Darcy who seems obsessed with Lizzy and does not care for her reputation.

He was either imagining doing wicked things to her or actually doing them. This is not the Mr. Darcy that Jane Austen wrote about! I do not much care for smutty romances and this is what P&P has been turned into here.

SPOILER. The book also includes premarital sex and I can't imagine Lizzy being as reckless as Lydia yet that is how she is portrayed in this book. Darcy just seduces her so how is he any better than Wickham? Oh right. He does marry her. But it this really the way to go about it? I doubt it.

Don't think I'll be reading another book by this author. I want romance, not smut.
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