How will their travels to Northern England possibly compromise Darcy and Elizabeth’s future?
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Source: I received an ARC of this story from the author for a fair and honest review.
When I started reading JAFF, I had no clue about how to navigate my way through learning all of the authors and titles within this subgenre. Hence, I spent an exhaustive amount of hours combing through websites and on Amazon, reading everything I could find in an attempt to gain some sort of basic understanding about how to locate well-written and widely-praised titles.
The one name that seemed to be everywhere that I searched for these stories was Abigail Reynolds. Initially, I thought everything in JAFF was somehow related to her because nearly every Google search I did would somehow bring me to a list of her books. Add to that the fact that some of her books have been republished under different titles, and I was just utterly confused! This made me determined to learn who Abigail Reynolds was and uncover a complete list of her books.
Naturally, there are good reasons that she has played a prominent role in the JAFF community for several years. Throughout her writing career, she has penned numerous JAFF books, most set during the Regency era and some even set during modern times. She has taken our dear couple through more twists and turns than most JAFF authors and the fact that she’s still writing such fast-paced and engaging stories really speaks to her staying power!
“Mr. Darcy’s Journey,” her latest release, is poised to become as well-received by JAFF readers as any of her most popular stories. Filled with suspense, some emotionally charged moments of sexual tension and a story set against an interesting historical backdrop, this story takes our dear couple on quite a unique journey.
Starting with a Twelfth Night ball at the home of the Lucas family, Elizabeth suffers a significant disappointment when she is slighted by a suitor that she had found herself developing romantic feelings towards. In an effort to comfort her forlorn sister Jane in London and to escape the gossips of Meryton, she soon finds herself in London. Meanwhile, Darcy is also in London helping his cousin Frederica restore her reputation after she’s been publicly jilted by a former suitor. After a visit to a circulating library finds Elizabeth once again in the company of Mr. Darcy, she attempts to make sense of his actions in an effort to forgive the man who may have contributed to her sister’s latest struggles of depression?
A short time later, Darcy and Elizabeth meet up again at Rosings; she is there to visit her friend Charlotte Collins and Darcy is there during a visit with the Fitzwilliam family. Throughout this visit, Elizabeth is becoming acquainted with the Fitzwilliam family, when a strange turn of events reveal that the man who has appeared at Rosings claiming to be a friend of Darcy’s is also connected to Elizabeth and Frederica. Before long, Elizabeth is on her way to Northern England to support Frederica as the Fitzwilliam clan travels together to help Darcy’s friend through a dangerous situation. How will Elizabeth endure spending all of this time in Mr. Darcy’s presence when he continues to insult her family and acts like the self-absorbed man that she dislikes so much?
“Mr. Darcy’s Journey” is a JAFF story set within the historical background of the Luddite uprisings throughout Northern England. The challenges faced by the men and women of different stations during this time are sketched throughout the story, demonstrating how even still today, progress is not typically something that occurs because of one person. It really takes the collective efforts of many people pushing forward with small, thoughtful efforts to bring about important changes in laws and in the norms of a well-established culture. I enjoyed reading about how these events could have shaped Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives, especially with Elizabeth having an uncle in trade during this time, along with how these events would possibly affect the lives of the landed gentry.
Mrs. Reynold’s writing is engaging and creates quite an adventure for her characters. There’s action, a bit of mystery and suspense, combined with a few romantic relationships brewing throughout the story. Since Darcy and Elizabeth are in each other’s company throughout their travels, they are able to examine one another in a different light, allowing them to open themselves up to new possibilities. When they are “forced” to get a bit closer than usual with each, new and confusing feelings emerge, leading them both to wonder if perhaps there is more to their relationship than what meets their eyes. Add to this a bit of calamity and chaos, and you have a book that readers will find themselves gladly absorbed in for several hours.
The Fitzwilliam clan plays a prominent role in this story and are crucial to the twists and turns of the events in this story. While they were often entertaining in their interactions, I did find myself questioning whether or not such a distinguished family would act the way that they did towards one another and if they would really engage in some of the actions they took part of within this story. There were places in the story where they came across as a bit too casual for my liking, and even though from canon we can’t assume a lot about them, I often imagine them as a rather proper and traditional type of noble family.
I expect that JAFF readers will receive Mrs. Reynold’s latest story with all of the enthusiasm and praise that she has earned from them throughout her career. In “Mr. Darcy’s Journey” she has given her readers another reason to admire her storytelling abilities while writing a story set within the important historical events that were unfolding as Ms. Austen was publishing “Pride and Prejudice.” Readers will enjoy her notes at the end of the book, which provides new questions to ponder about how the timing of the publication of “Pride and Prejudice” and the events taking place in Northern England may have caused Austen to revise her story in quite a new direction. I will always think of this story when I read about Elizabeth’s infamous journey to Derbyshire.
From the pages of “Mr. Darcy’s Journey”
Mr. Darcy is at his wits’ end. Elizabeth Bennet, the woman he can’t live without, overhears him insulting her family. Now she won’t even listen to his apologies. Then his old friend Sir Anthony Duxbury tells him two of their friends are in terrible danger. If Darcy wants to help them, they have to leave for Yorkshire immediately.
But something doesn’t add up. Elizabeth claims to know Sir Anthony, too – but by a different name. What game is his old friend playing? And is it dangerous? Even Sir Anthony says the trip is dangerous. The Luddite rebels are on the verge of armed revolt – and he should know because he’s one of them. Darcy’s cousin Lady Frederica decides she’s going with them anyway, and insists on bringing Elizabeth. Could this be Darcy’s chance to earn Elizabeth’s forgiveness and her love?
Elizabeth would rather face a squad of Napoleon’s soldiers than spend three days trapped in a carriage with Darcy and his headstrong cousin, but she has her own reason for agreeing to come. If she can just manage to keep her temper, she may be able to rescue her uncle from financial ruin.
But when a Luddite riot erupts around them, it’s Darcy and Elizabeth who need rescuing – from each other.
We would like to offer my Just Jane 1813 readers a chance to win an ebook of “Mr. Darcy’s Journey.” Please leave a comment on this blog by midnight ET on June 19th. The winner will be announced on this blog on June 20, 2016. I’d love to hear about your favorite books by Abigail Reynolds and your plans for reading this new book!
Thank you to Mrs. Reynolds for writing a new JAFF story with an interesting historical background. I believe that you are already working on your next book, which I know your fans will be thrilled to hear!
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