How would Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet’s relationship bloom if Elizabeth Bennet provided Mr. Darcy with sufficient encouragement in regards to their own budding relationship?
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Source: I received an ARC of this book from the author for a fair and honest review.
While staying at Netherfield Park, Elizabeth accidentally hears Mr. Darcy claim that he harbors an attraction towards her physical features. Shocked and confused, Elizabeth is uncertain about how to proceed regarding her relationship with Mr. Darcy. If she’s cold and indifferent, he may convince Charles Bingley that a match with her family is in poor taste. After all, he’s witnessed their interactions, and when he adds that to her family’s connections in trade, can she blame him for discouraging his friend Charles Bingley in his pursuit of a match between himself and the oldest Bennet sister?
Yet, if she wants to encourage Mr. Darcy to help foster and encourage a match between Bingley and Jane, while also allowing Darcy to remain hopeful in his suit towards her, how should she proceed in her actions towards him? Can she bear to act more cordially than she wishes towards Darcy and provide him with sufficient encouragement through her behaviors without compromising her own values?
As Darcy struggles with his growing regard for Elizabeth, he remains open to the possibilities between them, if Elizabeth gives him reasons to believe she returns his feelings. During her stay at Netherfield, they strike up a friendship, and Darcy finds himself inviting Jane and Elizabeth to correspond with his sister, Georgiana. As the eldest Bennet sisters correspond with Miss Darcy, a special friendship develops between the ladies. Will Georgiana be able to see things between Darcy and Elizabeth that they are both blind to within each other’s presence?
As the militia comes to town, George Wickham, along with Denny and some other officers, soon find themselves frequently spending time playing games with Mr. Bennet, in his library at Longbourn. Do these visits have anything to do with Mr. Bennet’s altered demeanor as of late? Naturally, readers come to suspect that George Wickham has a new scheme in place for his unsuspecting victims, but how will his plans affect Darcy and Elizabeth’s evolving relationship? I had mixed feelings about Wickham’s storyline, especially because I found it hard to accept that Mr. Bennet would spend a substantial amount of time in this man’s company.
I enjoyed that Ms. Fairbanks incorporated the rebellions of the Luddites in Northern England into this story. The Luddite movement culminated in a region-wide rebellion in Northwestern England that required a massive deployment of military force to suppress, Wikipedia. Bingley and Darcy’s investments have ties to industry that are affected by these events, adding an interesting twist towards the end of this story. Yet, I would have liked to have seen this storyline become more of a focus a bit earlier in the book because I felt there was room for further exploration within this storyline. These events may have also helped the story move at a steadier pace since I found the story to be a slower read from what I typically prefer.
The supporting romantic relationships were interesting and offered a taste of what’s to come in this series. Just when Darcy’s aunt thinks she’s found the perfect match for him, events take an interesting turn in a new direction. Colonel Fitzwilliam, whose earlier romantic relationship have also negatively impacted Darcy’s outlook on future romantic attachments, winds up making a match that will be further explored in Rose’s next book in this series, “Renewed Hope.”
Colonel Fitzwilliam’s brother, James Fitzwilliam, whose title is Viscount Arlington, is another supporting character I enjoyed spending time with due to the nature of his relationship with Darcy. Similar to his brother, he has also experienced the bitter side of love in his younger years. After making a foolish proposal of marriage to a “suitable” lady of his acquaintance, he decides to obey the wishes of his family by agreeing to marry the woman his family has selected as his future bride. These two relationships will take center stage in “Renewed Hope,” which I look forward to reading this summer.
“Sufficient Encouragement” is a promising start to a series that will revolve around several romantic relationships. For readers who have ever wondered how Elizabeth may have reacted if she overheard Darcy’s compliments about her earlier in their acquaintance, this story will be a pleasant diversion.
About the When Love Blooms Series …
“Love is like a flower, for it is well worth the toil to cultivate it.” She shrugged her shoulders, “Love is beautiful.”
Take a stroll in the garden of love and enjoy the unique blooms of the intersecting lives of the Bennet, Darcy, Fitzwilliam, de Bourgh and Bingley families. Sufficient Encouragement follows Darcy and Elizabeth as they fight to save their love from an unexpected frost while Jane and Bingley’s love grows strong roots. The companion story, Renewed Hope, adds depth to the bouquet with the love stories of Darcy’s cousins and Miss Bingley. The third book in the series, Extraordinary Devotion, follows Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage while their younger sisters experience a London Season.
Rose Fairbanks hears book characters talk in her head. They whisper to her of a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. More than having a love story for the ages, these characters face struggles inspired by historical events such as market crashes, Napoleon, embargoes, Luddites, the Year Without a Summer and more. Merging historical research with the timelessness of Jane Austen, Rose currently has ten Pride and Prejudice variations published with several releases planned for 2016 as well as an original Regency Romance series in the works.
Rose proudly admits her Darcy obsession and addictions to reading, chocolate, and sweet tea. Always in the mood for a healthy debate, she also dearly loves to laugh. Having completed a BA in history in 2008, she plans to complete her master’s studies…someday. At the moment, having a career combining her life-long interest in history and research with her love for Jane Austen and the Regency Era consumes all of her professional time. When not writing or reading, Rose runs after her two young children, ignores housework, and profusely thanks her husband for doing all the dishes and laundry.
4/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Stories from the Past
4/17: Excerpt at My Jane Austen Book Club
4/18: Excerpt & Review at The Ardent Reader
4/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric
4/20: Interview & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
4/21: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
4/22: Guest Post at Babblings of a Bookworm
4/25: Review at Just Jane 1813
4/26: Guest Post at More Agreeably Engaged
4/28: Guest Post & Review at From Pemberley to Milton
4/29: Guest post at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
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