Impulse and Initiative (Pride and Prejudice Variation Series)

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Overview

What readers are saying:

"A very happy read!"
"A lustful and very romantic story."
"Introduces us to another side of Darcy that Jane Austen didn't show."
"A really lovely spin on the original story."
"A wonderful ride through Jane Austen's world."
"Refreshing!"
"Funny, smart, and makes a great story unto itself."
"Fantastic book."

In Jane Austen's classic Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy gives up on winning ...

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Overview

What readers are saying:

"A very happy read!"
"A lustful and very romantic story."
"Introduces us to another side of Darcy that Jane Austen didn't show."
"A really lovely spin on the original story."
"A wonderful ride through Jane Austen's world."
"Refreshing!"
"Funny, smart, and makes a great story unto itself."
"Fantastic book."

In Jane Austen's classic Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy gives up on winning the woman he loves after she refuses him.

What if ...
Instead of disappearing from Elizabeth Bennet's life after she refused his offer of marriage, Mr. Darcy had stayed and tried to change her mind?

What if ...
Lizzy, as she gets to know Darcy, finds him undeniably attractive and her impulses win out over her sense of propriety?

What if ...
Madly in love and mutually on fire, their passion anticipates their wedding? In Impulse & Initiative, instead of avoiding Elizabeth after his ill-fated marriage proposal, Mr. Darcy follows her back to her home in Hertfordshire, planning to prove to her he is a changed man and worthy of her love. And little by little, Elizabeth begins to find the man she despised becoming irresistible...

Exploring the roads not taken in Pride and Prejudice, Abigail Reynolds picks up from a pivotal point in Pride and Prejudice - Mr. Darcy's botched marriage proposal - and imagines lively plot twists and ecstatically happy endings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"She has creatively blended a classic love story with a saucy romance novel..." - Austenprose

"All in all, I think it is a very good read. If you love Pride and Prejudice, but always longed for Mr. Darcy to up and sweep Elizabeth off her feet (I did!), then this is your book!" - I Just Finished Reviews

"The style and wit of Ms. Austen are compellingly replicated and the dichotomy of the early 19th-century eloquence with 21st-century romance is spellbinding. Kudos to Ms. Reynolds!" - A Reader's Respite

"Fans of Pride & Prejudice will enjoy reading this book. It shows a different side of Darcy, a bold side unafraid of going after what he wants." - Hollywood Today

"Sweet... funny with witty banter and good writing." - The Book Smugglers

"The main characters, in addition to the myriad of supporting cast, have distinct personalities and make the book so interesting." - The Romance Studio

"Abigail Reynolds is coming into her own as a writer." - AustenBlog

"Impulse and Initiative is highly entertaining and amusing. It is a perfect addition to any Austen library!" - In the Library Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615147499
  • Publisher: Intertidal Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Series: Pride and Prejudice Variation Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Abigail Reynolds (Madison, WI) is a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast and a physician. She began writing The Pemberley Variations series in 2001 and encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking 'What if...?' She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1

It was nearing noon on a hot June day when Colonel Fitzwilliam stepped out of the stuffy coach into the raucous noise of London. Since it was only a short distance to Darcy's house, he decided to take the opportunity to stretch his legs after the long ride rather than hire a carriage. Paying a boy to cart his luggage for him, he set off at a quick pace.

He sincerely hoped that his cousin would prove to be in town.
He could not be certain, since Darcy had been such a poor-in fact non-existent-correspondent since their trip to Rosings. Georgiana's last letter had not indicated any planned travels, so presumably she would be there. He would prefer to see Darcy, though, so that he could at least attempt to resolve whatever it was he had said or done that had offended his cousin.

Darcy had clearly been angry and upset when they left Rosings, but had been unwilling to discuss his concerns. At the time, knowing that Lady Catherine had called Darcy in for a private conference just before their departure, Colonel Fitzwilliam had assumed that his mood was related to that event, and that she must have finally overstepped the boundaries regarding Darcy's supposed engagement to her daughter. But now, after nearly two months of uncharacteristic silence from Darcy, and despite several letters sent to him, he could only conclude that Darcy's anger must have been directed towards him. Try as he might, he could not recollect anything more offensive in his behaviour than the usual teasing he engaged in with his cousin. Well, he would just have to jolly Darcy out of his sulk and find out what was on his mind.

He rapped sharply on the front door and was admitted by a servant who knew him well enough not to comment on his unexpected arrival. He was informed that Darcy was out, but Miss Georgiana was at home and would receive him in her sitting room. Disregarding the offer to show him in, Colonel Fitzwilliam strode down the hall and walked in. "Cousin Richard!" Georgiana said delightedly. "What a lovely surprise! I thought you were still in Newcastle!" He kissed her cheek in greeting. "Sorry to disappoint you, sweetheart. His Lordship decided that Major General Bradford needs to discuss certain matters with me immediately, so there I was, sent off post-haste to London with nary a chance even to tell you I was coming. Can you put up your poor wandering cousin for a few nights while I suffer the slings and arrows of the Major General?"

Georgiana smiled. "Oh, Richard, of course. Why else would we keep your room available?"
He bowed slightly. "Let me excuse myself then to make myself presentable for the company of a lady, which, after roasting for two days in the most uncomfortable coach in England, I assure you that I am not."

"Of course. I will be here when you are ready. And, Richard," she added, her voice becoming serious, "I am glad you are here. I need to talk to you about William."
"So something is up in that quarter. I suspected as much. I shall be interested to hear all about it."

In his room he was grateful to shrug out of his sweaty uniform while one of the menservants vainly tried to unwrinkle the garments he had packed hurriedly in Newcastle. "Well, they will just have to do for today," Colonel Fitzwilliam told him. "Perhaps you could spruce up the rest for tomorrow." A knock came at the door as he was buttoning his waistcoat. Philips, Darcy's long-time butler, was on the other side. Colonel Fitzwilliam waved him in.

"Welcome to London, Colonel." Philips looked unwontedly nervous. "I know you have just arrived, but I wondered if I might be so bold as to beg a moment of your time."
"Of course," he said amiably. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, sir, I hope you will not think this excessively forward of me, but when I heard you were here, I thought perhaps ... I should take the opportunity to speak with you about a concern that I have, that is to say that the staff in general have, but we have been at a loss as to whom to approach about it."

"Well, I'll be happy to hear you out, but surely if this is a staff concern, would Darcy not be the one to address?"
"Yes, sir, of course, but you see, the concern is, well, about
Mr. Darcy, sir. He just hasn't been himself of late."
The colonel held his chin up as the valet began tying his cravat. He was quite surprised that the loyal and reticent Philips would approach him about Darcy at all, much less with a concern.
"Not himself? What do you mean?"

"He seems very, well, withdrawn, I would say, for lack of a better word. He spends most of his time alone in his study, and we, the staff that is, have noticed that he often seems to be, well, in some distress. He goes out most evenings, although he doesn't seem to look forward to it, but then when his friends come calling, he isn't at home to them, not even Mr. Bingley. Mr. Darcy has never been what I would call a man of many words, sir, but now we don't hear much of anything out of him beyond requests and thank yous, even his valet. And, well, there are other things, but I'm sure you see the problem."

"What other things, Philips?" Now he was truly concerned.
"Well, sir, he's been short with Miss Georgiana a few times. And he has taken to staying up half the night, sometimes reading, but sometimes pacing or just staring off into space. And, begging your pardon, sir but as you know Mr. Darcy has never been one for excessive imbibing, as it were, but there have been several occasions when he has gone through more than a bottle on his own, though Cook says it is a challenge to tempt him to eat much of anything. I don't mean to complain, sir, he has been no trouble to us, but, well, we are worried. I don't know what he would say if he knew I was talking to you about him like this, sir."

"You were quite right to bring this to me, Philips, and you may be certain that I will keep this conversation to myself."
"Thank you, sir. If there is anything I can do to help, anything at all, please say the word." He bowed and left the room.
The colonel turned to the valet. "What do you have to say about all this? Do you agree with Philips?"
The young man snorted. "He's not telling you the half of it, sir, and that's all I'll say about that. I value my position here."

A few minutes later Georgiana was warming to the same theme. "He has not been the same since the two of you came back from Kent. He is abstracted, and sometimes I find that he is paying no attention to what I say. But the worst is when I come upon him when he is not expecting to see me, and he looks so bleak. I have tried talking to him, asking him if something is wrong, but he says that everything is fine, and it is so obviously not fine that I have no idea what to say. All I can think is that it must be something to do with me. It's been rather frightening. I haven't known who to turn to."

Colonel Fitzwilliam shook his head. "Do you have any idea what this may be about?"

She hesitated. "I know of nothing that can have caused such a change. I cannot think of anything that I would expect to bother him this much, anything new, that is, only the old things. There is no trouble with his friends, in fact he has been being rather unusually sociable, though he hardly seems to enjoy it. And I assume that there is not any financial trouble, because you would know about that, would you not? The kitchen talk is that there is a woman involved, but I cannot see what would upset him so much about that either." She paused, then added in a softer voice, "I have wondered if it has anything to do with last summer."
"I am quite sure it has nothing to do with that," he said reassuringly.
"Not to worry, sweetheart; I will worm it out of him somehow. We shall get to the bottom of this."

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2008

    Darcy & Lizzy get amorous

    In this retelling of Jane Austen¿s novel Pride and Prejudice, author Abigail Reynolds re-imagines the famous plot and asks these burning questions. What if after Elizabeth Bennet¿s refusal of Mr. Darcy¿s first proposal at Hunsford, he does not disappear from her life, but arrives at her home at Longbourn determined to change her mind? What if Elizabeth seduced by his ardent attentions sets aside all propriety giving way to her base impulses? What if their mutual passion can not be abated, anticipating their wedding night? Ms. Reynolds then proceeds to creatively answer each of these questions with her spin on the retelling of Pride and Prejudice that might require some readers to suspend their disbelief and burning objections of altering one of the most cherished works in English literature, and just let go and let it happen. The story opens with the arrival of Colonel Fitzwilliam at the Darcy townhouse in London. It is the summer of 1803 and two months have passed since he and his cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy had visited their aunt Lady Catherine de Borough at Rosings in Kent. He is immediately informed by concerned servants and Georgina Darcy that Mr. Darcy is not quite himself, sullen and short tempered to the point of alarm. Darcy shortly reveals to him the cause of his misery - the rejection of his marriage proposal by the woman that he loves, Elizabeth Bennet, and the reasons why she so flatly refused him. Colonel Fitzwilliam is not surprised by his attraction to the lovely Miss Bennet, only that she would refuse such an advantageous offer and Darcy¿s reasons for separating his friend Charles Bingley from Elizabeth¿s sister Jane. Inspired by Colonel Fitzwilliam¿s advice he convinces Charles Bingley to return to his estate at Netherfield Park to renew his attentions to Jane Bennet with the ulterior motive of seeing Elizabeth and winning her heart and hand. Readers of Pride and Prejudice will remember that after Elizabeth refuses Mr. Darcy¿s first proposal that she returns home to her family at Longbourn and Mr. Darcy disappears from her life only to be re-introduced by a chance meeting at his estate of Pemberley when she is touring Derbyshire on holiday with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. In this scenario, instead of leaving their meeting to chance, Mr. Darcy has become the aggressor, taking the initiative to reconnect with Elizabeth and pursue her affections by ingratiating himself to her family, her friends and herself, first by gentlemanly means with little results, then by the Wickham school of charm and seduction which eventually breaks Elizabeth¿s resolve, giving way to her passionate desires. Impulse & Initiative offers Pride and Prejudice fans the opportunity to explore yet another avenue of a story that we all just can not seem to get enough of as evidenced by the many prequels, sequels, retellings and pastiches available. It is creative and clever in theory, but do the `what if¿ questions really need to be asked and answered? Possibly, but at times while reading Impulse & Initiative I felt like I was privy to a creative writing assignment where students were asked to take a story from classic literature and believably alter the plot and characters to the opposite intention of the original author. In this case, the results can at times be both believable and baffling, but unfortunately not at the same time leaving the reader in a bit of a quandary. Abigail Reynolds has taken a huge risk in her choice of changing a classic story that is quite delightful to begin with, and whose hero and heroine Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy may be the most iconic romantic couple in popular culture short of Shakespeare¿s Romeo and Juliet. She might have succeeded if she had allowed the characters integrity to continue from Austen¿s original concept. Instead we are asked to suspend our disbelief beyond equal measure and accept well known characters acting in a manner that does not constitute their happiness or ours. Reyn

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    My favorite of all her variations. Very Austen like romance plus

    My favorite of all her variations. Very Austen like romance plus a bit of physical intimacy I believe was missing from the original.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Not likely, but at least she wrote a book!

    Darcy basically seduces Elizabeth who doesn't know how she feels about him, even after he kisses her. Later they tell other people that they did it before they were married. Just wouldn't have happened. But at least this writer actually finished writing a book and got it published, so good for her!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    This is a good read, however, I caution any purchasers to avoid

    This is a good read, however, I caution any purchasers to avoid purchasing Ms. Reynold's "To Conquer Mr. Darcy" which was published in 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca. It is the same book as "Impulse and Initiative." Different title, different cover, different book size, different publisher. Same story. My duplicate copy is going back to Barnes and Noble for a full refund. Very poor on everyone's part in this shell game.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AKA: To Conquer Mr. Darcy

    I really enjoyed this book and felt that the characters were well developed and that this book did a really good job of displaying both an emotional and physical attraction between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Haven't you ever wondered, "What if ..." about your favorite characters?

    This was a really fun variation on the events in "Pride and Prejudice." I loved the author's writing style; the voices of the characters were true to form and sparkled with wit. I laughed out loud through the book and that made it all the more enjoyable. While I was not completely sure about the actions of Lizzy and Darcy, I reminded myself that this was a variation, a "what if" scenario played out in the mind of the author, and I could accept the storylines. As I said, with great writing and conversations, especially between Elizabeth, Darcy and Georgiana, the book comes alive and is a pleasure to read throughout. I liked how events from the true P&P still came into this version, albeit at different times in the narrative, as it made everything connect even more closely with the original side players (like Lydia and Wickham), and also made you feel that much more like this might have happened if Jane Austen herself had allowed herself to wonder, "What if?"

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Impulse and Initiative is another Abigail Reynolds masterpiece!

    In this "what if" Reynolds original, what if Mr. Darcy had persisted immediately in the wake of Elizabeth Bennet's first refusal? Persuaded by his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, to snap out of the funk he's been in since Elizabeth turned down his marriage proposal, Darcy, along with Mr. Bingley, returns to Netherfield to try to woo the woman who has captivated him completely. Elizibeth at first is reluctant to change her opinion of Darcy, but later realizes her true feelings of love and accepts his hand. A must have for true P&P enthusiasts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    FANTASTIC!!!!!!

    the writing makes you want to read more and the character's remain true to jane austins original writing.it's a fun,exciting,highly refreshing book.If you loved pride and prejudice you'll adore this!!I highly reccomend it to all :)

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    Posted August 15, 2010

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    Posted August 10, 2011

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    Posted March 30, 2009

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    Posted July 21, 2011

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