Eligible (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld

Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought
Hardback: 528 pages
Publisher:  The Borough Press
Publication date: 21 April 2016
ISBN: 978-0743291361

First Line - "Well before his arrival in Cincinnati, everyone knew that Chip Bingley was looking for a wife"
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
I'd been seeing this book everywhere, both online and in real life and had no idea it was a JAFF book.  I thought it was some historical story about a waitress in the 1920's, bahahahaha!  No lie!
Turns out it's a modern retelling and as soon as I found that out I
was all over it and bought it on the spot.

Duty and Desire (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #2) by Pamela Aidan

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Bought
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher:  Touchstone
Publication date: 04 June 2007
ISBN: 978-0743291361

First Line - "Darcy recited the collect for the first Sunday in Advent, his prayer book closed upon his thumb as he stood alone in his family's pew in St, _ _ _'s"
When Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in Oxford in an attempt to shake Elizabeth from his mind, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and ne'er-do-well friends from his university days, all with designs on him -- some for good and some for ill. He and his sartorial genius of a valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the curious Lady Sylvanie.
This is the second part in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan and I'm not sure what to make of it.  I had read several reviews for this one before I actually got to it and all I really took away from those was that it was thought best to skip this second one and go straight to number three.  Everyone has a lot to say about this one but I didn't want to miss anything so I fell straight into it.

It's a bit strange, it's true, but it's entertaining too and although I can't imagine Darcy getting up to most of what goes on in the pages
it was a fun read.  It takes place between the Netherfield ball and Rosings and in the original we don't see Darcy as he's gone to London with Bingley.  Here we see what he gets up to and it all seems very far fetched and strange. 

An Assembly Such as This (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #1) by Pamela Aidan

Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher:  Touchstone
Publication date: 06 June 2006
ISBN: 978-0743291347

First Line - "Fitzwilliam George Alexander Darcy rose from his seat in the Bingley carriage and reluctantly descended to earth before the assembly hall above the only inn to which the small market town of Meryton could lay claim."
She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen's classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy? In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows - as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham. Setting the story vividly against the colorful historical and political background of the Regency, Aidan writes in a style comfortably at home with Austen but with a wit and humor very much her own. Aidan adds her own cast of fascinating characters to those in Austen's original, weaving a rich tapestry from Darcy's past and present. Austen fans and newcomers alike will love this new chapter of the most famous romance of all time.
I was really interested to read this story as it's more or less the first part of P&P as it was when Jane Austen wrote it, except told from Darcy's point of view. How exciting! 

Mr Darcy in this one started out as I remember him but things took a turn and he seemed quite...weak isn't really the word I'm looking for but I can't find the right one... Wet? Mooney? Pathetic...? He takes to carrying around a little keepsake of Elizabeth's and
continually strokes and fiddles with it and just generally comes across as a lovesick puppy.

The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams

Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher:  Createspace
Publication date: 08 May 2014
ISBN: 978-1492318743

First Line - "Dearest brother, all is well here and I have quite recovered from my bout of cold"
When Georgiana Darcy travels to Netherfield to visit her brother, she becomes friends with a neighbor, Elizabeth Bennet. After Miss Darcy returns to town, she invites her new friend to stay with her at the Darcy home in London while her brother is away. Mr. Darcy returns unexpectedly and is trapped under the same roof with Elizabeth Bennet for three weeks. Will this change in circumstances lead to a change in affections? Can Elizabeth see past his hauteur to the man underneath? Filled with familiar faces and new characters, you will fall in love with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy all over again.
Well, the blurb was right, I did fall in love with Elizabeth and Mr Darcy all over again!  I feel I'm going to give all my JAFF books a glowing review as I'm just loving being back in the P&P world, no matter what the circumstances of the story.  That might all change,
obviously, as I venture further into what's available but so far (and to be fair I've only read two, including this one) I'm hooked.

Mr Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds

Rating: 5 our of 5
Source: Bought
Paperback: 368 pages 
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc 
Publication date: 29 Oct 2010 
ISBN: 978-1402240928

First Line - "MISSED, DAMN IT!" 

The more he tries to stay away from her, the more his obsession grows… What if… Elizabeth Bennet was more unsuitable for Mr. Darcy than ever… Mr. Darcy is determined to find a more suitable bride. But then he learns that Elizabeth is living in London in reduced circumstances, after her father’s death robs her of her family home… What if… Mr. Darcy can’t help himself from seeking her out… He just wants to make sure she’s alright. But once he’s seen her, he feels compelled to talk to her, and from there he’s unable to fight the overwhelming desire to be near her, or the ever-growing mutual attraction that is between them… What if… Mr. Darcy’s intentions were shockingly dishonorable…

I'm a recent fan but I am so obsessed by Pride & Prejudice that I'm of the belief that I could happily read anything that even hints at being a retelling, variation, vagary, etc. since the original was over too soon.

It's fitting that my first adventure into the world of P&P fanfiction (I'm not quite sure what to call it yet...does it have a special name, I wonder?) is titled Mr Darcy's Obsession and is authored by Abigail Reynolds.

What a book!  I loved it.  Slightly different from the original as they fork apart around the time of the Rosing's meeting but the
beloved characters were just as I remembered them with a few new names thrown in for good measure.  I'm not really familiar with the sub-genres yet but I think this one might be a 'What-if' and the story follows what would happen if Darcy had never been able to propose and Elizabeth's father had died, scattering the sisters and their mother to cope as best they can.

Pride & Prejudice - Where it all began...


A while back though I took a notion to read Pride & Prejudice for the first time.   I'm a big kindle fan but for this book I wanted my first time to be special :P

I hunted down and bought a very nice vintage hardback, complete with gilt trim and (faux) leather and settled down to read...then I laid it aside and had an attack of doubt.  What if I hated it?  EVERYONE else seems to love it and the pressure to get sucked in
by it felt huge.  I decided to delay reading it until I felt I was in the right mood for it to grab me.  Eventually I decided that even if I hated it I'd just say I loved it so that nobody would think I was stupid :D

Mkay, now where did that fancy book go?  *sigh*  Nowhere to be found.  It's like the thing has vanished into thin air.  Ah well, never mind, my kindle is special too, I suppose.

Nope, two chapters into the kindle edition and I'm not feeling it.  I really need this one in paper.

So, fast forward a few weeks spent checking charity shops for any copy I could lay my hands on without any success and I take myself online. 


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