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 love him, 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.
Monica Fairview begins her Darcy Novel series with Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, a diversion from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In this vision of the story, we catch up with Fitzwilliam Darcy not long after his dreadful marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Acting on emotion, impulse and with little planning, Darcy brought to the object of his affection a pitiful proposition indeed. Elizabeth is nothing short of insulted, and despite his elevated position in society, wisely and firmly declines his offer. Darcy returns home licking his wounds, determined to hide away his heart and make a rational decision when next choosing a future bride. He almost makes a pledge to himself, resolving to “marry sensibly and not to allow emotion to dictate his future”.
This line of thinking leads him to craft an unusual document, a list of attributes for the ideal Mistress of Pemberley. As he encounters a number of possible candidates, he edits the list accordingly, adding desirable and distasteful qualities—women to be on the lookout for, and women to avoid. I found this device to smack of immaturity somewhat, and it garnered too many lines of text in my opinion. I understood the point of the list, but after a while I tired of its use. That is just a minor criticism, however.
Fairview stays very true to the characters Austen created, and much of the focus is on Darcy’s inner turmoil. In her vision, he is somewhat self-conscious and insecure, but you would never perceive this in the manner in which he carries himself. As in the original work, he is somewhat stiff and can come across as snobbish. He sometimes has trouble relating and communicating to others, and this brings him no end of frustration as he deals with his relatives and acquaintances. Not only are members of society angling to snare him as a husband, but others are also working to find his sister Georgiana a mate as well. He spends much time in frustration over his choices, pining for Elizabeth, and directing matchmakers away from Georgiana.
I felt that Mr. Darcy’s Pledge was a pleasant, family-friendly start to a delightful series. As it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, we will need to continue on to Mr. Darcy’s Challenge to determine how the story progresses. On its own, Mr. Darcy’s Pledge is a fun diversion from Pride and Prejudice, with moments of excitement as well as humor. There was one scene with Darcy’s valet and a cravat that had me laughing out loud, in fact. At 200 pages and with Monica’s brisk writing, you’ll be flying through the twenty chapters in no time. This was a fun read, and I look forward to the next volume in the series!
Giveaway: Mr. Darcy's Pledge Ebook!
Monica Fairview has graciously offered to give away an ebook copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below to win. This is a fun start to the series, and I know you'll be hooked into wanting to read the whole trilogy after reading this one. Giveaway period ends on July 16th at 12am EST. Good luck to all the entrants!
About the Author
Monica Fairview is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen's wit. She loves to laugh, and she is convinced that her cats can understand everything she says. She is the author of several Austenesque novels: two traditional Jane Austen sequels, one post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen spin-off, one multi-author novel THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring Mr. Darcy’s rakish brother Theo, and now the trilogy, THE DARCY NOVELS. She has also written a Regency Christmas novel, A VERY MERRY CHASE, which was published as part of The Regency Quintet anthology and will be coming out soon on Amazon.
Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager, in the days when it was faded and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH & SOUTH in her blood.
Monica lived in the USA for many years, where she taught literature to captive victims. She has lived in Illinois, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington State, Oregon, and Massachusetts. By some quirk of fate, she now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area, within a stone's throw of Jane Austen's picnic spot in EMMA, Box Hill. She loves visiting historical properties when it isn’t raining.
Connect with Author Monica Fairview
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