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Resentment or love, anger or passion, guilt or hope—which will win?
How does a man with faults and a resentful temper act when the woman he ardently loves fiercely rejects his marriage proposal and accepts no explanation from him? How does he react when she finds him again in London four months later, asks for his help, and places all her hopes in him?
And what does he do if she is in a position to help him in return?
Their lives—and those of the people around them—are changed in ways they could never imagine. Happiness and peace seem lost forever, but Fate has other plans and propels them on a journey—difficult and romantic, tender and painful—in pursuit of their happily ever after.
Warning: There are several scenes better suited for Mature audience. The final chapter contains an explicit sex scene, but it can be avoided without affecting the plotline.
Can Darcy and Elizabeth put their pasts behind them in order to help their families?
This is a story I have longed to read and even though it’s taken me awhile to write a review, make no mistake… I devoured this story the moment it was published and loaded on my Kindle! Give me a darker Darcy any day and when you add Lory Lilian’s skilled storytelling abilities, you get a story that delivers a long and winding, angst-filled journey for our dear couple.
The story opens after a significant amount of time has passed since Darcy’s proposal in Hunsford, where Elizabeth, who held some cards of her own at the time, soundly refused to marry Darcy. Yet, things haven’t gone well for either of them since that time in Kent. Darcy is not only heartbroken and angry over Elizabeth, he’s struggling to help Georgiana regain any sense of self-worth after her near elopement with Wickham.
But now Elizabeth is also in London and in the midst of her own dark and disturbing family situation. After her family’s efforts have failed to resolve their current situation, Elizabeth takes the situation in her own hands and approaches the only person she can think to ask for help; the same person who also happens to be the last man she could have been prevailed upon to marry. What a situation she is dealing with! It’s even more of a risk for her to go to Mr. Darcy because Elizabeth was so hot with anger when Darcy gave her his letter in Kent, that she actually didn’t read the letter; therefore, she doesn’t know all of the things she learns in canon from his letter.
It’s difficult to describe what occurs from this point on without giving away many of the twists and turns that make this book such an interesting read. I will say that the chain of events that do unfold place Darcy and Elizabeth within each other’s company quite often throughout the story, which I absolutely loved. They both struggle to work through their first and last impressions of each other to get to the heart of how they truly feel towards one another. Can Darcy really see the tremendous effect that Elizabeth has on Georgiana without also imagining himself as the recipient of her kind heart and tender warmth?
For Elizabeth, Darcy becomes a close study of his complex character. Dark and brooding one moment, gentle and unguarded the next, Elizabeth also struggles to perceive the effect Darcy has on her heart until she realizes she may be completely smitten with him too. But their past has a way of creeping into their present lives and memories of their former feelings sometimes get in their way, such as during this exchange:
“You are very considerate, sir,” she replied, flustered. “I have no doubt that all the views are wonderful at Pemberley, though. That would certainly make my choice even more difficult. It is a tragedy, indeed, to be forced to choose between several versions of perfection. I am afraid I will become quite spoiled,” she joked.
“You should take this opportunity to make your choice, Miss Bennet, while Darcy offers it to you. It will rarely happen again. As I mentioned several months ago during our lovely walks at Rosings, Darcy arranges things just as he pleases,” the colonel teased his cousin.
Darcy’s countenance remained serious, and Elizabeth became uneasy at the prospect of his believing she had gossiped with the colonel at his expense. It was not entirely untrue, but she wondered that the colonel mentioned it. It happened at another place, another time, with another Elizabeth…
Lory Lilian also delivers a story that’s complete with great new supporting characters, such as Darcy’s and Georgiana’s aunt, Lady Amelia Hardwick, who I loved for her polite, yet direct frankness and for the way that she helps bring the characters closer to each other through both her words and her actions. Altogether, this story takes us on a terrific journey for our dear couple.
I’ve been a fan of Ms. Lilian’s stories for several years now and this is my new favorite JAFF story by her. You may be asking if she’s resigned her title as the reigning “Queen of Hot Mush.” Readers, do not despair! Lory brings on the hot mush in all the right places. Dare I say that even after reading this long story, I still wanted more of her Darcy and Elizabeth? This passage shows you some of that intense desire she brings to her characters:
But, while his heart desperately begged for a deeper meaning to her gestures, his reason knew it was foolish to imagine more than it was. Just as he had repeated to Georgiana, if not for those dangerous circumstances that threatened her life and her gratitude for the man who offered her support and warmth, such intimacy never would have occurred. And he promised his sister that it never would again.
But every fibre of his body yearned for her touch and craved more— much more. He said last April that he loved her ardently, but every time he was near her, he discovered new and deeper meanings of that
His desire and passion shadowed his reasoning so that he could not— dared not— discover the truth behind her gestures. If any other woman had been in his arms and touched him the way she did, he would have been certain of what she wanted and expected from him. But with her, everything was different. She was different.
What would happen the next morning when they all met at breakfast? What would happen in the next weeks? How long would they be in such unbearable confines? Would she be desirous to leave? Would Georgiana prefer not to prolong a situation that had become so odious to them all?
I love the way Lory Lilian creates these moments where we can feel the enormity of Darcy’s struggles and the intensity of his desires for Elizabeth. Ms. Lilian creates an emotional and fulfilling journey for JAFF readers in this delicious new story. She takes a “man with faults” and turns him into utter perfection!
I look forward to reading more angst-filled plots by Ms. Lilian, as well as her signature romances between Austen’s favorite couple! You can read this post written by Lory Lilian, along with an excerpt from the story, where Ms. Lilian describes the process she went through to write this story.
It’s Giveaway Time!
Ms. Lilian would like to offer two Just Jane 1813 readers an opportunity to win their choice of an eBook from Lory Lilian. Please leave a comment below this post by July 9th and the winners of these giveaways will be announced on this blog on July 10, 2017.
I’d like to thank Ms. Lilian for this generous giveaway offer, which I know my readers always appreciate and mostly, thank her for writing this dark, angsty story for JAFF readers!
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