How will an engagement between Darcy and a young widow affect his chances for lifelong happiness?
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Source: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.
“How to Mend a Broken Heart” is a story that I was anticipating reading for several weeks because I love when Darcy or Elizabeth are romantically involved with another person and they struggle to find a way to be with each other. These types of stories tend to demonstrate the strength of their love, be creative in their storylines and reinforce the belief that against all odds, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet do in fact belong together.
From the earliest pages, we learn that Darcy and Elizabeth’s earlier relationship ended in a rather abrupt and upsetting manner. Unable to save Lydia, and along with her, Elizabeth and her family, Darcy doesn’t return to Hertfordshire to propose to Elizabeth. Now, three years later, his life is filled with the shadows of remorse and the slow-burning embers of melancholy. In an effort to forge a new direction in his life and provide the necessary heir for Pemberley, Darcy decides to propose marriage to his deceased classmate’s widow, Virginia Wagstaff, a woman he eagerly attempted to court several years prior in his life. However, after he announces his engagement, his family’s reception towards his decision is a bit cooler than he expected.
Elizabeth has also moved on with her own life. Her own living situation was dramatically altered after her father’s passing when her father’s cousin, Lady Webberley, decided to invite Elizabeth to live with her as her lady’s companion. When Lady Webberley passes away, she leaves Elizabeth a generous inheritance on the condition that she participates in a London season under the care and guidance of Darcy’s aunt, the Dowager Lady Matlock. So, when Darcy arrives in London as a newly engaged man, he finds himself facing Elizabeth once again, and before long, sparks of passion tinged with regret and uncertainty fly between them.
Known as a man committed to upholding his honor and his duty, Darcy knows that no matter what he feels for Elizabeth, she can no longer be the source of mending his broken heart. As he spends more time with Virginia and observes her actions and feelings towards him, he finds himself questioning the wisdom of his engagement. Or is being in Elizabeth’s presence just playing tricks on his mind?
With all of this said, this was a book that I couldn’t put down because I needed to learn how Darcy and Elizabeth could resolve their issues and hopefully find a way back to each other. I enjoyed the scenes where they were together, either talking or flirting with each other, sharing their private concerns and secrets with one another and expressing their purest affections to each other.
I loved the Dowager Lady Matlock and the way she acted as a surrogate parent for both Darcy and Elizabeth. While she wants the best for Darcy and Elizabeth, she will not allow them to make reckless decisions regarding their futures. I also enjoyed the way Ms. Parsons developed her secondary characters, especially with the storylines that she created for Charles Bingley and Georgiana Darcy.
Although I have read many JAFF books, and I consider myself pretty open-minded when I read mature adult scenes, I was disappointed that I found a few of these scenes to be more gratuitous than romantic in nature and that a couple of these scenes made me feel a bit uncomfortable while I was reading them. I don’t enjoy reading mature adult scenes that involve one person acting alone by him/herself and in a story that takes place during the Regency era, these types of scenes are even less appealing to my senses. This is a personal preference, but one that stood out as significant to me while I read this story.
This story would have been closer to a 5-star read for me without these scenes. However, I enjoyed the original storyline and Ms. Parson’s writing style, specifically regarding the story’s steady pacing, the relationships she built between her characters, and the inner and external angst woven throughout this story. I would certainly read another book by L.S. Parsons, especially since I enjoyed her imaginative storyline and the development of her characters, and yet I hope a more conservative approach is taken when she is writing her future mature adult scenes.
From the pages of “How to Mend a Broken Heart”
Three years after Mr. Darcy’s disastrous marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, they meet again. Due to an unexpected twist of fate, Elizabeth finds herself a guest in the home of the Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the Dowager Lady Matlock. Long believing Elizabeth lost to him, Darcy has recently proposed marriage to an old flame, the widow of his friend. Now newly engaged Darcy encounters Elizabeth again and realizes she still owns his heart.
Although bound by honor to another, Darcy sets out to improve Elizabeth’s opinion of him. Tension mounts between Darcy and Elizabeth in that pursuit and Darcy’s betrothed begins to see Elizabeth as a threat to her upcoming marriage. How will Darcy and Elizabeth ever reach their happily ever after?
How to Mend a Broken Heart is a non-canon variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and is intended for mature readers.
L.S. Parsons recently retired from a major computer company where she was employed as an Information Technology Specialist. She lives with her husband of 30 + years in the DFW area of Texas. They have one dog. She has been writing Pride and Prejudice fan fiction for over ten years, mainly as a hobby.
To connect with L.S. Parsons, check out the following links:
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How to Mend a Broken HeartBlog Tour Schedule
3/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
3/22: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
3/23: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
3/24: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
3/25: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
3/26: Review at From Milton to Pemberley
3/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
3/27: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of A Bookworm
3/28: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
3/29: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
3/30: Review at Just Jane 1813
3/31: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
4/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
4/1: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
4/2: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
4/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Jennifer Vido
4/4: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
I’d like to thank Jakki Leatherberry and Meryton Press for allowing me to share this blog tour with my readers. I hope you will visit the other posts on this tour because Jakki, along with Meryton Press, certainly organize a great blog tour for their publications!