Only Mr. Darcy Will Do by Kara Louise
Publication Date: March 2011
Genre: Jane Austen Inspired Fiction
(Received for review on Sourcebooks)
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Kara Louise on the WEB: Website, Blog, Facebook
Synopsis (Book Blub):
Her worst fears come true...
After her father's death, Elizabeth Bennet goes to work as a governess. Little does she know, the Willstones are social acquaintances of the Bingleys and the Darcys, and Elizabeth finds herself once again drawn into Mr. Darcy's orbit. To make matters worse, Mrs. Willstone's sister sets her sights on Mr. Darcy. With Elizabeth's social status even lower than it was before, she knows she must abandon all hope of Darcy renewing his proposals, even as she begins to see him in a completely different light...
Originally titled "Something Like Regret", Kara Louise's latest title, "Only Mr. Darcy Will Do" is a prime example of an Austen variation. Readers will enjoy a different take on Austen's masterpiece, "Pride and Prejudice," as Louise, spins a tale beginning after Darcy's ill-fated proposal to Elizabeth. Fans of Austen have many variations, prequels, sequels and mash-ups to choose from in Austen inspired fiction. Kara Louise sets herself apart by bringing readers the same heartwarming characters, along with new and exciting circumstances.
Elizabeth Bennet finds herself in difficult circumstances after the death of her father. The Bennet home is now in the hands of Mr. Collins and Elizabeth must find a way to support herself. Both she and Jane find work in London as governesses. Elizabeth begins work for the Willstone family determined to improve her position. When she finds out that the Willstone's are acquaintances of both the Bingleys and the Darcys she is once again thrown into Mr. Darcy's path. Elizabeth has not seen Darcy since she refused his proposal or since he learned the real situation between Darcy and Wickham. The Willstone's are determined to marry Darcy off to Mrs. Willstone's unmarried sister and Elizabeth knows that she must give up her attraction to Darcy since her social status is even lower than before. But can she do it? Will Darcy be able to deny his feelings for her any longer?
This is a wonderful retelling of "Pride and Prejudice." I think the author does Austen's original justice in this novel. She gives readers the characters they know and love and doesn't try to change them drastically as some variations do. Elizabeth is still the same intelligent and headstrong young woman and Darcy is still the honorable and loyal man readers have come to expect. Louise's work does not need detailed sex scenes or unnecessary characters to bring Elizabeth and Darcy's story new life. She stays true to Austen's vision for her book gives the reader a novel that is full of amazing descriptions and beautifully written prose.
I liked the way the author chose to give Elizabeth the job of governess. Should the circumstances of played out in this way, it would be logical to assume that she would be suited for this line of work. It was also an ingenious way to put Elizabeth and Jane back in the same social circle that would lead them back to Bingley and Darcy. I liked the addition of Darcy's cousin and thought he brought humor and a lighter mood to the book. I also loved the way that Darcy just can't seem to get over Elizabeth and how is so drawn to her. I think that is one of the reasons "Pride and Prejudice" was so popular in the first place. There are just some people you can't seem to get out of your system. It 's a situation that many people can identify with and lends a certain authenticity to the book.
Austen inspired fiction readers have so much to choose from these days that is important for authors to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd. Kara Louise does this by staying true to Austen and giving readers a great what if scenario. What if Elizabeth had not gone with her Aunt and Uncle to Pemberley? What if her father had died unexpectedly before any of the Bennet girls were married? What would have happened to them? Louise does a great job answering these questions and giving readers one possibility of what could have happened.
Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out 5 apples from my book bag!