Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Mr. Darcy's Refuge by Abigail Reynolds

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In this Pride & Prejudice variation, the lane dividing the Hunsford parsonage from Rosings Park has been replaced by one of the flood-prone Kentish rivers.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.

My Thoughts:

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. 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.

                                    Lieder Madchen


  1. Thank you for the lovely review, Natalie! I'm so glad you liked it!

  2. hahahahaha that awkward moment when you get stuck with a guy you are saying 'no' to his proposal of marriage due to a storm. lol Poor Elizabeth, poor Darcy. That must have been rather awkward. :D Great review! A possible read for me.

  3. Hey,
    I just joined your blog and I think your website is pretty awesome. Like you, I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's P&P as well as Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. I am also totally into various adaptations and spin offs of these Austen books. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for spin offs of Pride and Prejudice that you have really enjoyed. Thanks so much!

  4. @Abigail Always a pleasure!

    @Carole Rae Oh, yes, awkwardness beautifully abounds in this book!

    @Heather Thank you so much for stopping by and deciding to follow! Lovely to meet you. :) Other than this book, I would really recommend Abigail Reynolds' Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World and Mr. Darcy's Obsession, as those are two of my favorites. Last Man in the World is actually the first book I ever reviewed and a good portion of my reason for starting this blog!

    Others I love are Only Mr. Darcy Will Do and Mr. Darcy's Voyage by Kara Louise; she has a wonderful writing style. I also like just about anything by Mary Lydon Simonsen. If you like modern variations, Fitzwilliam Darcy: Rock Star by Heather Rigaud was a lot of fun, and Abigail Reynolds' The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice, aka Pemberley by the Sea.

    If you like sequels I would start with Marsha Altman. Her series is amazing! Sharon Lathan is also very, very good.

    I could go on about this all day and I have many more favorites, so if you need more suggestions just send me an e-mail; you can find my address at the bottom of my Review Policy page. :)

    I hope to see you again!