Thursday, 4 August 2011


While reading Jane Austen, you know  that any passion or surge of desire will be strictly hidden behind the cold rules of propriety and decorum. Good manners rule  her world. But you also know that  a great deal of the Austen fan fiction that has been written and is still being  written is to compensate that  lack. Abigail Reynolds 's work is  a mine of thirilling sensations and steamy scenes. Her skillful narration make the reader shiver  and sigh at Mr Darcy’s unrestrainable passion. A PEMBERLEY MEDLEY  is a collection of five "what – if  " short stories, inspired by the characters and plot of Pride and Prejudice. A quick , totally enjoyable, romantic read!  

Georgiana overcomes her extraordinary shyness and makes up her mind to take part in the wedding party at Netherfield all alone.  Mr Bingley and his lovely bride, Jane Bennet, invited his brother, Fitzwilliam,  but he has been leading a solitary, melancholic life recently and refused to go there with an excuse. It is clear he’s suffering and desperately in love with a lady, but Georgiana doesn’t know who she is. She bravely face her timidity and, though she doesn’t know anybody there, she is at Netherfield to find that out and help her madly in love brother. Who is this  Elizabeth , whose name he once called out,  unaware she was listening? Is she already married? She must be, because if only her brother proposed, he wouldn't  be refused …


Charlotte Lucas may have married a foolish man but she is not easily fooled. She noticed Mr Darcy’s interest in Elizabeth and saw beyond his inexplicable  behaviour. Elizabeth should have known that, yet she ignores Charlotte more than once when her friend suggests that Mr. Darcy is partial to her. What would have happened if Elizabeth had believed her? The action in this story takes place between Hunsford Parsonage  and Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s residence at Rosings, with some key scenes in the grove.  Lots of delightful verbal skermishes between Elizabeth and Darcy filled with Austen unforgettable quotes. 


 Maybe it is because this is just an extract from a longer story, but I felt this is the weakest what-if scenario.  Darcy and Elizabeth are engaged to be married and deeply in love  with each other, Darcy's passion makes it difficult to be separated from Elizabeth even for a few hours. They are together at Pemberley, Elizabeth chaperonned by her aunt and uncle Gardiner, when  dramatic news come from Longbourn: Lydia has eloped with Wickham. Mr Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam joined the two lovers in search for a solution. What's Wickham's aim at doing this? Money or revenge? Suddenly the best option to fight against him seems to be to anticipate the marriage between the betrothed.     

(If you would read more of The Rule of Reason, you can find at


Elizabeth must be really desperate to break all the rules of decorum to visit alone Mr Darcy in his house in London. She must be totally out of control if she is ready to accept his proposal ,which she refused just a couple of weeks before. She needs her help and , if he accepts to help her, she will be his.  Lydia has eloped with Wickham, Mr Bennet died leaving the house to Mr Collins and his wife, Mr Collins wants to send Mrs Bennet and her daughters away  after the scandal. Will Darcy accept Elizabeth's proposal? 
This novella in three parts features a very hot Darcy, engaged in a passionate interlude  with an extremely compliant Elizabeth. 


I just love the great tension the author manages to create in this very short story, with very simple devices. My favourite one with the first, Intermezzo. Nothing worst that inclement weather conditions prevent the happiness of the loving couple. Mr Darcy feels the urge to speak with Elizabeth alone and to renew his proposal but ... the right occasion seems  never  to come. Then a new ball at Netherfield helps them to find their way to heavenly joy. 

What a flirt is Mr Darcy in these short stories as passionate and as dangerously sexy as you have ever dared to imagine. Abigail Reynolds wrote them in different moments of her writing career but decided to self-publish them in paperback and e-book format for her readers only now. Could I resist reading the book with my avatar (Portrait of Kitty Packe -nee Hart- by sir William Beeechey) on its cover? Many thanks to Abigail Reynolds for providing me the review copy.

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