Sunday, July 06, 2014

A Father's Sins by Joy King - with giveaway!


I was very pleased when I was asked if I would review A Father's Sins for the lovely Joy King.(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! It was perhaps a more serious variation than I usually would choose, however it was very unique and a very interesting idea to explore.
Joy was a guest on my blog a little while ago where she gave us an insight into the character of Miss Bingley in her story, as well as a very funny extract! Follow this link to read it!

"How do Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet overcome the consequences of poor decisions made by their fathers when Darcy and Elizabeth were young?

In A Father's Sins, Mr. George Darcy, father of an illegitimate child raised by his steward, Mr. Wickham, agreed with his wife, Anne, that the firstborn son of their marriage would be heir to Pemberley. However, Mr. Darcy loved his eldest son, George Wickham, and indulged him by bringing him to Pemberley to live after the death of his wife. His heir, Fitzwilliam Darcy, paid a heavy price for this decision.

Mr. Thomas Bennet, an educated gentleman and father of five daughters, favored his second born, Elizabeth. Unexpectedly, his wife gave birth to a son and heir. Mr. Bennet, at the persistent urging of his wife, chose not to have his youngest children vaccinated for smallpox. When the plague hit Longbourn it devastated their family. Elizabeth paid the heaviest price for this decision of her father.

What happens when Darcy and Elizabeth meet? Will they be able to overcome the consequences of the choices their fathers made? When George Wickham, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. William Collins, and the Fitzwilliam family arrive in Meryton, how will that impact their growing attraction? How does the same decision by Mr. Bennet influence the relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley? Will love have a chance?"
 
 

I found the writing in this book to be very good, especially being this author's debut novel. The language seemed appropriate and it flowed well as I read. There was a good balance between dialogue and passages of internal thoughts or description as well.

As I said, the story and theme of the book - how a father's bad choices or actions can affect the children and even the grandchildren - was quite serious and very sad at times because of seeing the effects on the children, most prominently on Elizabeth and Darcy. It was a really interesting route to explore and very cleverly done, I felt.  As well as Elizabeth and Darcy, there are other characters that have been affected by the decisions of their fathers and the theme really was masterfully weaved through the story. What was also interesting was that to begin with, the story happens very much in canon to the original - Jane falling ill at Netherfield, Mr Collins coming to visit etc - but Lizzy is in a very different situation!

As well as the serious side to this tale, it was also very drama filled and fast moving! Joy certainly knows how to capture the reader’s attention from the very start! I was hooked into this story from very early on and it stayed that way until the end! It was very powerful and intense at times, but completely compelling and captivating - it resulted in a late night as I just had to race to the end to see how it would resolve!

As well as the drama and the sadness caused by the seriousness of the story, there is also some humour which lightens the mood, so don't worry that this is a story with no laughs - I certainly laughed quite a bit!  And of course, unsurprisingly, there is a lovely, romantic and satisfying happy ending!

Both Elizabeth and Darcy are very much characters to be admired in this story, particularly Elizabeth, after what they have been through as a result of their fathers.  Beginning with Darcy; Wickham actually is his half-brother in this variation and Wickham is the favoured son. And Darcy pays heavily for this favouritism, and subsequent bitterness from Wickham when he doesn’t receive what he believes is his due, being the eldest son.

We see a different Darcy in this story, thanks to a brief meeting between him and Elizabeth quite a few years before the rest of the story is set. They happen to meet each other in a book shop, and both are impressed by the other. When they meet again years later, thanks to the much more favourable first impression from all those years ago, they get on much better! Darcy is charming and polite to Elizabeth from the off, and we also get to see his brotherly nature and love of his sister much sooner which again is lovely.

Let alone the difficulties of the past, Darcy has a hard time of it through this story; due to an incident, which I shall not give away the details of, Darcy ends up injured for quite a bit of this book. Things change when illness occurs and we see a new side to Darcy. As well as some fun, fever induced conversations, we get to see a rather vulnerable Darcy. And who doesn’t like a Darcy who needs to be taken care of for a while? (I would have loved to be Elizabeth caring for him!) We get to see his true nature much faster – for it is rather hard to keep up the ‘master of Pemberley’ act while in a fever!

As I said, Elizabeth really is one to admire in this story. Her problems with her father and her past are really shocking and you can’t help but feel sorry for her. However, she still is recognisable as the Elizabeth we know and love as she takes her misfortunes and tries to make the most of them and enjoy her life regardless of the past. She has such a strong and determined spirit. We see her caring side as she nurses Darcy through his illness, her comforting side as she helps Georgiana to cope with all that is happening and her powerful side as she deals with some challenging situations and confrontations.

Due to the similar situations regarding problems with their fathers, I think the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth get off to a much better start and have a good relationship from the beginning is perfect. Through all the problems facing them from other people, they at least don’t have problems with one and other, and instead have each other to turn to and find comfort.  There is no previous pride or prejudice getting in the way and they are open with each other. Elizabeth is so caring of Darcy when he is ill, and they really become close during this time. I really loved them in this story and the way their relationship develops in the different and most unusual circumstances.

Aside from Darcy and Elizabeth, my other favourite character in this story was Georgiana. As I said earlier, she is in the story from the very beginning so we really get to know her and she is lovely! I love the journey she has through this story; she grows and matures and flourishes thanks to the friendship of Elizabeth. You see an interesting side to Georgiana as well, again due to Darcy’s illness, watching her trying to cope and deal with what is happening.

Elizabeth and Georgiana really get on well in this story. I always think Georgiana and Elizabeth would be great friends, and so it is lovely to see them spend so much time together in this tale. Elizabeth is a real comfort and a wonderful role model for Georgiana and she really helps to bring her out of shell and to mature into a strong young woman. As well as Elizabeth and Georgiana, when Darcy is with these two as well the scenes are just wonderful. The three of them complement each other perfectly and have such a brilliant relationship. They all, in turn, comfort each other through a variety of trying situations.


Now to a less pleasant subject... Mr Bennet. As you can see from the blurb, the fathers in this story are not nice, and I am afraid the Mr Bennet we know and many of us love is a monster in this story. He is very different and be prepared to not like him, at all. But do not fear – he is very easy to separate from the Mr Bennet we know and love in Pride and Prejudice!  Mrs Bennet is also not much better, and even Jane is slightly changed as a result of the influence of her father and being away from Lizzy for 5 years. But, this is a variation and changes are to be expected, and I did enjoy these changes and this new and unique twist on the Bennet family as a change. It is not all bad for Elizabeth; while Lizzy’s own family is not kind to her, the Gardiners are very sweet and caring to her throughout!

Where would we be without Wickham causing trouble? He causes plenty of problems and grief for poor Darcy in this story! He is a real menace and because of the twist with his connection to the Darcy family, you will hate him even more and feel even sorrier for Darcy - I did anyway! (Although I will also admit that I did actually feel a little sorry for Wickham at times - but only slightly!)

Who could forget the Bingleys! Mr Bingley is just as sweet and affable and Caroline is just as jealous and determined to become the Mistress of Pemberley as ever. Bingley really grows from a slightly na├»ve young man into a mature gentleman through this story and it was nice to see this development. (I can't wait for his own story which Joy is currently working on!) Caroline, on the other hand, is still a pain but she gets her comeuppance which is hilarious -  you can read about this here in the guest post Joy posted a little while ago.

I love Colonel Fitzwilliam, and it is always great to see more of him in these variations. And I was not disappointed with the Colonel in this story! He is brilliant; funny and loveable as we know him to be. Again, because of Darcy’s illness, we get to see his caring side which was a lovely change. (I can't wait for his story either which will be written after Mr Bingley!)

A wonderful addition is the Matlock family, and I love them! The relationship and obvious love of their niece and nephew is touching. They also are quickly pleased with and impressed by Elizabeth, and are kind and really respect her. Lord and Lady Matlock are both very strong characters and I defy anyone who doesn’t love them to bits by the end of the book! It really was interesting to see the family behind the wonderful Colonel Fitzwilliam.

How could we have a story without some interference from Lady Catherine? She turns up to cause problems, and plenty of them! Lady Catherine is just as horrid and scheming as we expect from her. Anne, however, is rather changed from how we know her and this was a lot of fun to read!  One of my favourite Lady Catherine scenes was the iconic confrontation between her and Lizzy, however this time it is Darcy holding his own... “She is the daughter of a gentleman, as I am the son of a gentleman. In that, we are equals.”

To end this drama filled story there was a particularly lovely epilogue. I do love it when there is an epilogue tying up any loose ends and letting us know what happens to all the characters!

As you can probably see, I really enjoyed this story. It was unique and different. This is a much more serious variation than I usually read, but it was an interesting and enjoyable change. I particularly loved the more positive start to Lizzy and Darcy’s relationship as well as the friendship between those two and Georgiana. Also, the addition of the Matlock family was wonderful! The story was very dramatic and fast paced but had romance and humour - a perfect mix! Joy really is a talented author and I can’t wait for more!


**GIVEAWAY - ends Wednesday, 16th July **

Joy has provided me with yet another giveaway!  Three lucky winners will receive an ebook copy of A Father's Sins. This giveaway is open internationally. 

To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.

Please leave your email address and which format you would like for the ebook. If you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Joy who will be in touch.

Good luck!

Thank you again to Joy for this giveaway! I wish you all the best with this story as well as the future ones!

Your affectionate friend,
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47 comments:

  1. Oh, what a lovely review, Sophie! =) The more I read about A Father's Sins, the more I want to read this book. So many interesting spins on the story here.
    Thanks for the giveaway, ladies! =)
    jakki36 AT yahoo DOT com
    And if I win, I will gladly take a Kindle copy. Thanks! =)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Jakki. I hope you get a chance to read it soon and best wishes for the giveaway. Isn't Sophie sweetness itself?

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    2. Aww thanks Jakki! You really have to read this story! Good luck!

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  2. I just finished reading this myself and I agree with your assessment of the story. I enjoyed it so very much and the changes to the characters made sense for the story. I am looking forward to more of her variation stories.
    Julie R

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    1. How kind you are, Julie. Thank you!!! If you are drawn for one of the copies please know that I will gift it to the person of your choice. Best wishes!

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    2. I am glad we agree! It is brilliant isn't it?! I can't wait for her next stories either! Thanks for commenting :)

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    3. Julie, Kindle or PDF version?

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  3. The winners have the choice of Kindle or pdf file as it is not yet out as a Nook file. I am so sorry if this is an inconvenience. Thank you again for your comments. I am temporarily distracted from typing Mr. Bingley (I needed a break after finishing another chapter.)

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    1. I will go and add that to the post about being either kindle or PDF :) I am glad my review pleased and thank you for this book! And get writing - I want to read Mr Bingley please! ;)

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  4. I would love to read this book after reading this review! well done!
    dramaqueen4ever96@gmail.com
    pdf format

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    1. I am glad I caught your attention! Good luck!

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  5. Thank you, Lydia. By chance are you Elizabeth's youngest sister? If you are chosen, PDF it will be. I'm so happy you stopped by.

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  6. I have this on my Kindle wish list! The review makes it look like I will have to get it if I don't win it, but I will try...nirmal07@hotmail.com, Kindle copy

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    1. Mine is on my Kindle too in English and Spanish. Best wishes with the giveaway. I hope you get to read it soon.

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  7. Wonderful review, Sophie, for a wonderful book! I too cannot wait to read more from J Dawn King and am looking forward with anticipation for her next book! Please do not enter me in the giveaway as I have have the book and very much enjoyed it! I agree completely with your thoughts! :)

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    1. You are so kind, Janet. I am typing away. Already have eight more pages today. It's still buzzing around in my mind so will type more later. Mr. Bingley is really coming together. Yippee! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Thank you Janet! It is a brilliant book!

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  8. As Joy already knows I absolutely loved this book & even though I have a long TBR I will reread it soon. Wonderful story! I already have the eBook so please do not enter me in the give away.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I deeply appreciate your support and encouragement, Debbie. Two thumbs up for you!!!

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    2. Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy it!

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  9. Austen authors are so generous with all of us obsessed with Jane's novels! I'm glad they are so good to us :) I've already told in all of my other comments (I have a feeling I'm a stalker :) in a positive way, of course!) that this book intrigues me a lot and I can't wait to read it, so I'll just say thank you so much for this giveaway!!

    newyorkgirl82(at)gmail(dot)com If I win, I'd love the kindle format

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    1. Maria, would you need Kindle or PDF? I feel like a stalker too when I follow blogs - but we are not. It thrills an author to know that readers want to read her book. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. You're welcome! I'm happy to know that you love our comments! Kindle for me, Joy :)

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    3. You're welcome! I'm happy you love our comments :) Kindle for me.

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    4. Good luck Maria! Thank you for following my posts so well!

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  10. Another giveaway-- that is so neat! Luckily, kindle's have a ton of space, so you can have limitless Austen fic!

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    1. I love your thinking, Stacie. Best wishes for the giveaway and I hope you get to read A Father's Sins soon.

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  11. More i read about this book, more I think it need to be put higher on my TBR.
    Thanks for the giveaway,
    adavittoria(at)email(dot)it if i win kindle for me

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment. I did hope you get to read it soon. Best wishes for the giveaway.

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    2. It is brilliant! Good luck!

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  12. I have this on my amazon Kindle wish wish...Would love to read it.
    tack2jibe(at)yahoo(dot)com Would love the kindle version. Lisa D.

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    1. I hope that you get the opportunity, Lisa. Thank you for your comment and best wishes for the giveaway.

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    2. I hope you enjoy it! Good luck!

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    3. Thank You...so excited...

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  13. A great big THANK YOU to all of those that commented. The giveaway is now over and I think that it is time to announce the winners, don't you?

    Everyone who commented will win either a Kindle version, a pdf version, or, if they already have a copy of my book, a gift card to purchase another book of their choice.

    Thank you again for taking the time to express your thoughts about Sophie's review of A Father's Sins. Enjoy your reading!

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  14. Thank you do much for your generosity Joy. :-)

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  15. I think that I have gifted everyone who entered EXCEPT Julie R. Please contact either Sophie or myself at: jdawnking@gmail.com and I will get your gift card to you.

    Thanks to all and YOU ARE WELCOME!!

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    1. I still have not received my ebook

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    2. Joy has sent some emails to the provided email. Have they not come through? Could you type you email again for us? Or check your junk mail box incase?

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  16. Isn't Joy the sweetest!? Thank you for being so kind and making everyone winners! I think I may have found Julie R in Facebook and will just wait for her response!

    Enjoy the book everyone!!

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  18. I sent an email to both Euridice and Stacie who have not yet claimed their books. Of course, if I have their emails wrong they will not get these either will they? Please let me know if they respond to you please.

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    1. I never receive any email. My email is adavittoria (at) email (dot) it

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    2. My apologies. Please send me an email so I can forward it to Amazon. I can't use your message here. My email is: jdawnking@gmail.com. Thank you for letting us know. How frustrating!

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    3. We are having trouble. If you could email Joy (or myself s.j.andrews@hotmail.co.uk) I have emailed that email again myself this morning if you got it?

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