Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020 (J.W. Garrett)
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –Roald Dahl
I love that photo on the cover: Warning: this review may contain *** SPOILERS *** As stated in the title, this is a Pride and Prejudice alternate universe… which means anything goes. And so, it does. Wow! Magic abounded in France and when the Terror hit, those that managed to escape brought it to the British shores. RATING: MA: listen carefully… I said MA and that means MATURE audience and no one… no one should read this who has not reached a certain age. I’m not sure I should be reading it. I blushed to the roots of my hair. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a bodice-ripper but it seemed close to me. It was graphic and descriptive and I don’t think virgins would do… what they did… the first time. I mean, seriously. OK, enough of that. TRIGGER WARNING: there are a few violent scenes that might be hard to read for some. One in particular involves a kidnapping, bondage, and a rape attempt [unsuccessful]. Just saying.
What I liked: I love a Large-And-In-Charge Darcy. OMG! Was he ever? My heart skipped a beat when he entered a scene. Lizzy was right behind him only we didn’t have a clear picture of her. The author doled out bits and pieces of her story all throughout the book and she didn’t come into all her glory until the very end. Again… OMG!! You’ll have to wait for it but it is well worth it. We have a big surprise with another of my favorite characters… our dear Colonel Fitzwilliam. This man was beyond any JAFF description I’ve read of him. Oh MY! My heart skipped another beat. I’ve got to stop drinking Mt Dew before I read a story. Whew! Take Austen’s male P&P characters, who were strong, to begin with, and add powers to them and it will take your breath away. It seems the author was surprising me on every page. ICNPID, seriously, I could not put it down. It was 2:00 a.m. when I finally crashed and burned. And that was from the story and not because I was tired. Whew! I’m too old for this.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” –W.B. Yeats
There were surprises galore. I was constantly trying to close my mouth because something jaw-dropping was happening every few pages. Caroline Bingley, the superior sister, has always denigrated the Bennet sisters as being below her… well, let me tell you… oh, that would be a spoiler. I can’t say. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet both have a surprise reveal that made me catch my breath… again… jaw-dropping. Who are these people? OMG! Like canon, Collins notified Lady Catherine of the betrothal of his unworthy cousin to her nephew Darcy and she arrived under a full head of steam. The biggest surprise was when she asked about Lizzy’s relations… ‘but who’s your mother?’ Jaw-dropping… and that part of the story immediately turned-on-a-dime into something completely out of this world. Nothing was the same from here on.
Wickham: I need something stronger than SBRB… I mean… seriously, this guy was evil incarnate. He was the devil’s spawn and gleefully mistreated ODC. La! I nearly had a fainting spell when he was working his dirty magic and brought out the twins, Tweedledee and Tweedledum and… I can’t say. I’m not even going to mention Lydia… that girl.
What I didn’t like: Oh, I hate to say it… but I became a bit bogged down with the lineage of ODC, their family histories, the nobility, all the titles, [Caroline would have another cow, for sure, if only she knew], the different societies, their powers, and the abilities of each. Read slowly at this point so you don’t miss something important. Also, **** SPOILER**** I never like to read where ODC anticipates their vows. This just seemed like an excuse to have a sex scene. **** End Spoiler ****
I love a good epilogue but felt like a few threads were left dangling. Maybe my wanting more was the goal. If that was the case… it worked as I have questions. 9-14-20 I borrowed this through the KU program. I highly recommend this for those who love something completely different.