Published by Meryton Press on August 2016
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Once, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet were foes, then tenuous friends. After Elizabeth discovers Darcy is engaged to another woman, she flees to Boston to seek solace with her cousin, the brash and worldly Emeline Poston.
When she returns to England after years spent abroad, Elizabeth must face the man who shattered her heart, and she is shocked to find the proud man she once knew drastically altered. Does she have the courage to seek out the man with whom she fell in love—whatever the cost?
Fitzwilliam Darcy has spent his days regretting what might have been and his nights being tormented by the decisions he has made. His life in tatters, he can barely face the once-respectable man in his mirror or the baby girl in Pemberley’s nursery. Now that Elizabeth has returned, will he atone for his mistakes and win her heart for good?
This alternate path reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is recommended for adult readers.
“She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Does absence truly make the heart grow any fonder when Darcy and Elizabeth are given a second chance to revise their first impressions of each other?
Source: I was given an eARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Amy George’s debut Meryton Press novella, Second Impressions, takes us across the pond and back again, where we mingle with some new and familiar characters in this latest release from Meryton Press. As I settled in to read this book in one sitting, I was immediately drawn into its original premise and Ms. George’s precise and engaging writing style. In Second Impressions, she has created for her readers a story that centers around Darcy and Elizabeth reuniting with one another a few years after Lydia and Wickham’s wedding, when Fitzwilliam Darcy made the fateful decision to forgo returning to Longbourn and leave behind him a heartbroken and remorseful Elizabeth Bennet.
In between the space of these two years, our dear couple has often regretted their past actions and yearned to find a way to reunite with one other. In the past two years, that’s been impossible, since Elizabeth moved from England and across the Atlantic Ocean to Boston, MA, to live with her cousin, Emeline, and Darcy decided to marry another woman. But when news travels from England to Elizabeth that Jane and Charles are expecting another child, Elizabeth must decide if she’s willing to miss another one of her sister’s confinements in an attempt to stay away from the only man she’s ever truly loved.
When Elizabeth returns to England and finds herself living near Darcy, she comes to realize that more has changed during her absence than she ever anticipated. Not only is Darcy a severely altered man, her presence doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to him. As she becomes reacquainted with her friends and family, she realizes Darcy’s past may continue to haunt him forever. Is she really willing to open up old wounds at the risk of injuring more than their pride?
I was impressed with the way that Ms. George created an intriguing storyline that included not only Darcy and Elizabeth, but also a small cast of new characters that I also connected with in this story. Elizabeth’s American cousin, Emeline, is an independent, wealthy and very “spirited” young lady, which makes her rather enticing to Jack Dalton, an infamous rake she meets while she’s visiting Lambton. Once Jane introduces the couple to one another, sparks fly and the reader just knows that another passionate couple has connected in Derbyshire. But will a secret from Emeline’s past unexpectedly resurface in her life and drive her apart from everyone that she loves?
Jane and Bingley are a delight to see as a married couple. It’s obvious that marriage has been very good to them; they’ve both developed a manner of confidence and assertiveness that fits them both well. Jane now serves as a matchmaking mama in her own regard, and to everyone’s delight, her sisters have greatly benefitted from her newly acquired skills. Will she have the same kind of success as she attempts to reconnect Elizabeth with Darcy?
Second Impressions is a book that delivers a lot of action and drama in a 153-page novella. It’s well-written and maintains a steady pace throughout the entire story. It has plenty of romantic tension and offers a new twist to Darcy and Elizabeth’s not-so-happily-ever-after. However, I believe that this story would have been an even more indulgent and pleasurable read had the main storylines been developed even further into a full-length novel. I found myself a little frustrated with some of the gaps in the storyline that left unresolved questions about important events in the story, including more details regarding what occurred in Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives during their time apart and why they made certain decisions in their lives during this time period.
It’s great that Meryton Press has added Amy George to their list of new authors. I believe she has the ability to bring fresh new JAFF variations to the JAFF community and I hope we see more stories from her in the near-future, because as cliché as it is for me to say, her Second Impressions has left me with a favorable first impression. I think that readers who enjoy JAFF variations that veer away a bit from canon will find themselves enjoying this novella.
Meet Amy George
Amy George is a middle-aged woman who hates her “old lady/grown-up” car and refuses to listen to its radio at a reasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a town in the middle of the country where the county fair is one of the biggest social events of the season and everything is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a cat, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.
She has been writing since she was a child and was a frequent contributor to the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.
Connect with her at the following places:
8/15: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
8/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaway
8/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
8/18: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
8/19: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
8/20: Review at Liz’s Reading Life
8/22: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
8/23: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
8/23: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
8/24: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
8/25: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
8/26: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
8/27: Review at Just Jane 1813
8/28: Author Interview & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
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