Thursday, February 25, 2016

Darcy's Duel by Rosalie Hammond - 3 stars - Sweet and short

Darcy's Duel: Pride and Prejudice VariationDarcy's Duel: Pride and Prejudice Variation by Rosalie Hammond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet little story with a couple of giggles. After the Hunsford proposal, Darcy is so angry he decides to confront Wickham and obtain satisfaction. At least, this is what the people of Meryton hear, and they quickly spread the word the two men are going to duel. However, they have no intention of doing so with weapons, they plan for fisticuffs. But, this misunderstanding sets up several others.

Nothing really special here, but I would not say it is not worth reading. It is cute, and there are some fun conversations. The entire story is fairly short.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Threat of Scandal by Ayr Bray

Threat of ScandalThreat of Scandal by Ayr Bray
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I put this in my I won't finish shelf. I have always enjoyed Ayr Bray's books, but I read half of this one and did not enjoy it. There were two major reasons.

1. Georgiana is falling in love with a Duke and is told to forget him because he is too high above her socially. Really? My understanding was she was the granddaughter of an Earl. The Darcys are described as being in the very top circle of the ton. This just didn't make sense to me that she was hurting her and the Darcy name by overreaching for a Duke. Am I wrong?

2. I really did not like either Elizabeth or Darcy in their reaction to her budding relationship with the Duke. I found them very unsympathetic and even cruel telling her he would never consider her as a wife and to recognize he was only being nice to her to avoid the scandal. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! And, they were so worried about their and Georgiana's social standing. This just did not seem like the couple I knew from P&P who risked society's wrath with their own marriage.

This was just too out of character for me. The story was interesting, but when Georgiana's angst came from the Darcys, I had to call it a day.

Not recommended.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Accusing Elizabeth by Jennifer Joy - Twist of a mystery provides a satisfying read 5 stars

Accusing Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Accusing Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Jennifer Joy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this was a fun read! I started reading it at work yesterday, read all evening, and finished it this morning. What made this P&P variation so compelling was the mystery to be solved that threatened our dear couple.

Elizabeth is visiting at Hunsford, per canon, and has refused Darcy's proposal, also per canon. However, Colonel Fitzwilliam begs Darcy to stay at Rosings a couple more days as he has some unfinished business. Darcy reluctantly agrees, hoping time spend with Elizabeth will be minimal, as he wishes to avoid that embarrassment. However, something occurs that causes them to indefinitely postpone their departure; a very valuable set of diamond earrings has been stolen from Miss Anne de Bourgh.

This very interesting premise of a "who dunnit" prevented me from putting down my Kindle. So many suspects! Maria Lucas had convinced Elizabeth to make use of Lady Catherine's offer to practice the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson's room. So, they had opportunity, being in the vicinity. Colonel Fitzwilliam has been hiding a very serious financial problem which provides him a strong motive, and he is definitely keeping a secret from Darcy. What about Mrs. Jenkinson or Anne herself? Could either of them have a motive. Darcy wonders even about Lady Catherine. Has she taken the earrings in an attempt, once again, to bring Darcy together with Anne?

Darcy is above suspicion, so is given the task to find the answer to the question of who stole the earrings, if, in fact, they have actually been stolen. He has an ulterior motive, however, as he wishes to clear Elizabeth from suspicion while attempting to prove himself to be a better man than the one who proposed to her so horribly only days before.

Our two questions then stand; can Darcy improve Elizabeth's opinion and can he discover the true story of the missing diamond earrings? Well, we all know Darcy is capable of both, but the solution came as a surprise to me. Of course, this is JAFF, so we are pretty confident there will be a HEA for our dear couple. But, the mystery of the earrings, and the secrets all of our characters are keeping, makes for a very satisfying, and original read.

I think this will be up there as one of my favorite P&P variations. All characters are true to their canon personas. No sex, no violence, but just good clean fun, and a surprising solution. Very satisfying and highly recommended to P&P JAFF lovers.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J. Marie Croft - Lively and Funny from Darcy's Point of View

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J. Marie Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this lively and inventive JAFF variation of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy and Bingley have returned to Hertfordshire after Lydia and Wickham have married. However, there is another assembly and our heroes head there to win their ladies fair.

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities is told completely in first person by Darcy. Apparently, our very taciturn gentleman finds it difficult to converse, but that is possibly because his mind is going a mile a minute. Croft makes a note in the introduction that Darcy even attempts to use words of four syllables when just thinking.

The humor of our story is in the way poor Mr. Darcy takes himself to task over every single step he takes. He is very nervous and reluctant to say or do the wrong thing, which of course leads him to say and do the wrong thing. Darcy reminds himself to smile, and frightens bystanders.

Elizabeth is, of course, his objective for the evening as he so wants to impress her with his changes. He wishes to dance with her and sweep her off her feet. To help improve her impression of him, Darcy asks several women to dance, and just seems to keep missing our dear girl. Since we hear the story only from Darcy's thoughts, we don't know what Elizabeth is thinking. However, I am sure she is finding him amusing and frustrating.

Being inside Darcy's mind for the evening definitely helps us to see some of the self-conscious boy behind the Master of Pemberley, and this boy is charmingly desperate to woo and win Elizabeth. I am certain I ruin nothing by saying we have our Happily Ever After at the conclusion, and we are relieved for our dear boy.

Very funny, although sometimes you want to just smack the guy. Very sweet and silly and definitely recommended for JAFF lovers.

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