Mr. Darcy's Refuge
by Abigail Reynolds
Genre: Romance / Austenesque / Pride and Prejudice Re-telling / Historical Fiction
Ages: 16 and up
Mr. Darcy's Refuge is the latest of Ms. Reynolds' Pemberley Variations, which can be read in any order and are all lovely. Here are some others I have reviewed: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, Mr. Darcy's Obsession, and her collection of mini variations, A Pemberley Medley.
I received an advance e-copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. (Thank you, Abigail!!!)
Trapped for three days by a flood, and trapped forever by society because of it….
It is a proverbial dark and stormy night when Mr. Darcy proposes to
Elizabeth Bennet in the most insulting manner. Just as she begins her
famous refusal, a crack of thunder presages the pounding at the door as
the residents of the flooded village of Hunsford seek refuge from the
storm at the parsonage atop the hill. Even worse, the flood has washed
out the only bridge leading to Rosings Park, leaving Darcy stranded with
Elizabeth at the parsonage. The river isn’t the only thing that
overflows in Hunsford when Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to work
together to deal with the crisis under the worst possible circumstances.
And it may already be too late to redeem Elizabeth’s reputation….
In this Pride & Prejudice variation, the lane dividing
the Hunsford parsonage from Rosings Park has been replaced by one of the
flood-prone Kentish rivers. The storms are real – the spring of 1811
was remarkable for numerous thunderstorms in Southeast England.
This latest Pemberly Variation was simply delightful, rife with humor and drama. I alternated between laughing, sighing and tearing my hair out in exasperation.Poor Darcy and Elizabeth are trapped at the Hunsford parsonage when the river overflows after being interrupted in the midst of Darcy's dreadful proposal. Once the hullabaloo dies down a little, Darcy is under the misapprehension that Elizabeth had been on the verge of saying yes, which makes things a little awkward. When she sets him straight, things get a little tense...and that's before it gets really interesting.
I love how you see a great deal more of Col. Fitzwilliam in this story that usual. Caught between Elizabeth and Darcy, then Darcy and Mr. Bennet...as well as between some other people I won't mention for fear of spoilers, you feel rather sorry for the poor man. Other favorites of mine were Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, both of whom managed to be quite devious and lovable. You get to see a harsher side to Mr. Bennet and, surprisingly, to Mr. Bingley, which I found quite interesting.
My only very small complaint is that this book should have been longer. The beginning was just a trifle rushed, but mostly I just didn't want it to end so soon. I would have been very happy with another 200-300 pages so I could just wallow in the delicious romance.
Anyone who loves Austenesque re-tellings will love Mr. Darcy's Refuge. Sweet, funny, and absolutely lovely, I can foresee reading this again and again, just as I do most of Abigail Reynolds' books. This is not to be missed.
Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).
I rate it a 2.10 for some very mild swearing.
I give it a 7.10 for a fairly descriptive scene, a fadaway and some references.
I rate it a 2.10 for references to child abuse and bullying as well as several threats.