Sunday, February 5, 2017

Never So Bewitched By Any Woman - Isabelle Mayfair 3 Stars - okay

Never So Bewitched By Any Woman: A Pride And Prejudice VariationNever So Bewitched By Any Woman: A Pride And Prejudice Variation by Isabelle Mayfair

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have liked to have given this a higher rating, but to me it was sweet, but really just okay. The bottom line - it didn't feel like I got the whole picture.

There are many typos in the story, which is too common these days. I find it jarring when I read a letter from Miss Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet that starts: Dear Miss Darcy. But, this is just a pet peeve.

The story starts really well. Georgiana Darcy did not meet Mr. Wickham in Ramsgate. She is now in London with her companion, Miss Younge, and Wickham seeks her out there. At the same time, Elizabeth is visiting her aunt and uncle near Cheapside, and meets Mr. Wickham regularly at various parties and events. There are many details left out about Wickham, but Elizabeth meets him at the home of Lieutenant Denny prior to their militia unit moving to Meryton. He gives her his usual song and dance about being denied the living by Darcy. Elizabeth finds him a very interesting young man, but is cautioned by her aunt to not let her heart rule her head. She follows this advice and starts to notice some things about Wickham that are a bit less than ideal.

At the same time Elizabeth is running into Wickham at various gatherings, she has also become friends with Georgiana Darcy. She confides in Elizabeth that she is in love, but does not name the man. He wants her to elope in order to prevent Mr. Darcy from stopping the marriage. Elizabeth starts to believe Georgiana is in danger and encourages her to contact Mr. Darcy. She realizes the man in question is Wickham and tries to stop the elopement. Georgiana is, of course, saved, and Elizabeth and Darcy start to become close. But, is this just an infatuation? How can they determine if it is real love?

The story has a great beginning, but I don't really feel the author finished up the story quite as well. We lose touch with Elizabeth's friendship with Georgiana when Darcy runs away from Elizabeth. Yet, he indicates when he returns that he knows they have been in touch by letter. I would like to have known what was being communicated here. Maybe this could have been one way for Darcy and Elizabeth to know what the other is up to? Instead, we have several months of blank.

The resolution of the relationship with our dear couple is really, really fast and I did not find it believable at all, nor did I find it very satisfying. Elizabeth feels Darcy has fully explained himself? She isn't the least bit hurt, disappointed or angry? There is nothing the two have to resolve? Their relationship has gotten to the point already - they know each other that well? I guess I honestly felt half the story was missing.

Many authors recently have been writing shorter variations on P&P and that is absolutely fine. But, making it novella length because the story is not complete is something I am seeing more and more. I have determined I will lower the ratings on these stories to match my disappointment. Although this is a sweet read, I cannot recommend it very highly because it does not feel complete. It has a happy ending for D&E, but I can't say exactly why.

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  1. I enjoyed getting your thoughts on the book and why it wasn't quite up to snuff, Barb. I don't mind novella-length either, but I do mind if the story isn't developed so that actions of the characters and their romance makes sense.

  2. Sounds like it could have used some polishing. I like shorter variations from time to time, but it's hard to find one that leaves you feeling satisfied. My favorites are by Maria Grace.