Monday, June 02, 2014
Mr Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview - with giveaway!
I was very pleased when I was asked if I would review Mr Darcy's Pledge (Volume I) for the lovely Monica Fairview. (I was provided with a review copy but this is my honest, unbiased opinion.) And I was not disappointed as I really, really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the second volume to be published so I can see how this story is going to resolve! How I hate cliff hangers!
"Torn between his heart and his mind… Mr. Darcy must make a choice.
Fitzwilliam Darcy has always been able to keep his emotions under control. That is, until he falls under the spell of Elizabeth Bennet and surprises himself by blurting out a proposal to her like a moonstruck youth. Stung to the quick by her rejection, his pride in tatters, and left with no possibility that she will ever return his regard, Darcy determines to put all thoughts of Elizabeth behind him. But not even Town with its boundless opportunities for amusement can keep the image of Elizabeth Bennet from pursuing him everywhere he goes.
By the time Darcy leaves Town to travel up to Pemberley, he has learned one thing. There is only one way of overcoming Miss Bennet’s bewitching hold over him and Darcy is desperate enough to try it. The solution is to get married. And this time, he is not going to choose a wife by allowing his emotions to lead him by the nose.
His choice will be entirely rational…
In Volume I of this Pride and Prejudice variation, Monica Fairview traces Mr. Darcy’s journey as he struggles to come to terms with the upheaval Elizabeth Bennet has caused in his life…and his heart."
First off, this was another very well written variation. The writing style was excellent; it was easy reading, flowed very well and the language was very good. Another thing which I loved about her writing was her talent for description and painting the picture of the surroundings and the scene, creating a really strong image of what's going on - it is perfect for readers who see the story play out like a film in their head as they read, like I do! So for me it was so much fun to read, for with the brilliant descriptions it made the images even stronger! (She also made Pemberley sound even more idyllic than it already was to me, if that is possible!)
As you can probably guess from the blurb, this story is going to have some angst and will most likely annoy you at times! It did me - Darcy can't give up on Elizabeth and go after ANOTHER WOMAN?! But although frustrating at times, it was a fun story.
Elizabeth's blunt rejection of Darcy has hit him hard. Really hard. As he comments himself, "he had been unlucky enough to fall in love with one of the least practical woman in England." As a result, Darcy reverts back to head over heart attitude, not allowing his actions to be ruled by passion. He realises he needs a wife, and he will find one, and go about finding one in the most business-like manner he can - he even starts writing lists of what he requires in a wife! He WILL be organised and make a rational choice, for being controlled by his romantic impulses in the past didn't go well...
Seeing Darcy in this state and truly seeing into his thoughts after the rejection was heart breaking! I felt so sorry for him and I wanted to jump into the book and hug him! (There were also times when, because of his decision to try and forget Elizabeth, I wanted to jump into the book to either shake him or slap him round the face!) I am finding that the more and more variations I read, the more we see into his thoughts, and I pity him and love him more and more! But this was particularly true with this book, as the description of his inner turmoil was so powerfully written! He is so sweet and so very confused as he struggles with the battle of his head vs. his heart!
I really, really fell for Darcy all over again in this variation. As well as seeing him in his dejected state and watching his bumbled attempts to move on and his search for a suitable, appropriate wife, we also get some sweet glimpses into his past and I loved hearing of Darcy's childhood antics! (He also has a great valet, Briggs, who is a forward, but funny and cheeky, servant and has a good relationship with his master, even if Darcy has to throw a cushion at him to keep him in check sometimes! I always love what I call Darcy 'behind the scenes' moments, when he abandons his master of Pemberley mask.)
We are also privy to the journey he experiences after the painful rejection as Elizabeth's words really start to sink in and the humbling and realisation begins. This is also sad to read as he reviews his past behaviour and replays Lizzy's harsh comments in his head over and over and starts to see that she was right.
Another reason why I fell for Darcy in this book was thanks to Georgiana. This book is written completely from the Darcys point of views, and it switches between both Darcy and Georgiana throughout which I really, really enjoyed. It meant we got to know both Darcy and Georgiana really well, as well as see plenty of them together, and I always love to see more of their strong brother and sister relationship which we see glimpses of in the original.
Before I talk more about the siblings together, let me start with Georgiana. She has always been one of my favourite secondary characters so it was very nice to read the sections where we see her thoughts and feelings. We really get to know her well and she goes on her own journey in this story, as she grows more confident (and even teasing, especially of her brother!) and it's fantastic to see. She really made me smile through the story, and there were many times when I was willing her on as she battled certain unwanted visitors - but I won't ruin it for you!
Back to Darcy and Georgiana. I think their relationship was my favourite thing about this book. We really get to see just how close these two are and it was delightful, and really touching. They are just how I imagine them to be; Georgiana running to the window when she hears what she hopes is her brothers carriage, Darcy giving her a real brotherly welcome and swinging her around (picture the scene in the 2005 film!). Their bond is just brilliant. There are many instances throughout with sweet scenes between the pair, as Darcy begins to involve his sister in his search for a wife. It really was fantastic.
Unsurprisingly, as this is only the first part of the story, Elizabeth doesn't come back into it until after half way through. But I didn't find this a problem as I thought I might (as I love to see Darcy and Lizzy together) because Georgiana and Darcy were just brilliant together and could really hold the story and my interest in it without the need for Elizabeth. But, she does come back into things and it is sweet when she does, for then comes the charming and gallant Darcy! There are some fun, cute - and slightly awkward! - scenes (including a wet shirt scene!) which take place during Elizabeth's time at Pemberley (why she ends up having to stay there I will not reveal!) and I cannot wait to see them more in company in the next volume. Georgiana and Elizabeth also get on very well, as would be expected, and I look forward to seeing their relationship develop too.
A few other interesting relationships to read about, as it is from Darcy or Georgiana's point of view, was that between the Darcys and the Bingleys.
Caroline shows up, of course, her sights still set on Darcy, but as I said earlier, Miss Marshall makes her seem the better option and I even felt sorry for Caroline at one point - unheard of I know!
There are some tense moments between Darcy and Bingley as the issue of the separation of him and Jane has to be sorted, but also some funny scenes and a nice insight into their relationship as good friends, as well as heartbroken, disappointed lovers!
All I can say is, when is the next instalment coming out!? I really cannot wait to read the next volume to see how it will all resolve, for of course the story leaves you with a few cliff hangers and unanswered questions! The ending was brilliant though, as you learn just why the book is called Mr Darcy's Pledge!
I am completely drawn into this wonderful story and will be reading volume II as soon as it comes out!
I am very lucky to be able to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of this story (internationally)!
To enter please leave a comment below and include your email address so that I can contact the randomly selected winner and which format you would like if you are the winner.
The giveaway will end on the 8th of June.
I wish Monica all the best with this story and with the final touches for volume II, as well as any other stories in the future!
Your affectionate friend,