Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

3.8 85
by Abigail Reynolds
     
 

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In this sexy Jane Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal, answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered

Abigail Reynolds is a physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast. She began writing The Pride and Prejudice Variations series in 2001, and encouragement from fellow Austen fans

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Overview

In this sexy Jane Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal, answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered

Abigail Reynolds is a physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast. She began writing The Pride and Prejudice 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally self-published as a “Pride and Prejudice Variation,” Reynolds (From Lambton to Longborn) introduces a few twists to the Austen classic, a project that purists will surely abhor, but which should prove a pleasing diversion for more casual fans. In this spin on events, Reynolds excises Elizabeth Bennet's famous rejection of Fitzwilliam Darcy's initial proposal (“the last man on earth” she'd marry), instead putting them together from the get-go (despite Elizabeth's lingering doubts). This romantic trifle is marred by occasionally hysterical sentiment (Darcy: “But ardent love will not be denied. I can no longer imagine a future without you by my side”) and the incongruous notion that Austen's willful proto-feminist would feel constrained by a kiss, however public. If romantics can overlook the subversion, they should enjoy witnessing Elizabeth as an industrious and caring wife, administering to Pemberley's tenants, learning how to be an equestrian and growing to love that perplexing Darcy; characteristic trepidations, setbacks and miscommunications stick close to the spirit of Austen. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"I will definitely read another of Abigail Reynolds' books in the future." - Virginie Barbeau

" I would recommend Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy for anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice and can't get enough of these characters." - PopSynidcate.com

"What a beautiful story Abigail Reynolds has brought to the many devoted Jane Austen fans." - A Bibliophile's Bookshelf

"Abigail Reynolds delivers again!" - Love Romance Passion

"Thought-provoking and extremely sensual." - Readaholic

" I believe Reynolds did a nice job of making these characters her own, while not sacrificing Austen's intent." - Palmer's Picks for Reading

"Absolutely fabulous... I can't wait to read Abigail Reynolds' other books and will read any further sequel she writes." - Books Like Breathing

"A very talented and gifted author that clearly loves Jane Austen and "Pride and Prejudice" with a passion! " - Austenesque Reviews

"Reynolds' spin on the love story reads like a classic. " - Savvy Verse & Wit

"A great novel to add to your Austen sequel collection." - Okbo Lover

"Ccompelling and quite a page-turner. Reading this book reminded me again of what a hopeless romantic I am." - Good Clean Reads

"This is a story to make any reader who ever loved Darcy love him even more." - Apprentice Writer

"Abigail Reynolds tells a terrific story. " - Virginie Barbeau

"Reynolds succeeds in delivering a passionate Pride and Prejudice detour that is entertaining and honest. " - Bookworm's Dinner

"An exceptional read." - Once Upon a Romance

"An entertaining romance" - The Epic Rat

"Fresh and unique while staying true to the Darcy and Elizabeth I know and love." - Diary of an Eccentric

"If you love Austen fiction, don't hesitate to pick this one up." - Write Meg

"Abigail's love of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice shines through." - He Followed Me Home

"Thoroughly likeable. I enjoyed the ups and downs of their love story and its satisfying conclusion." - Starting Fresh

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402246289
Publisher:
Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Series:
Pride and Prejudice Variation Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
131,164
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One:

"In a moment, when we leave the trees, you will be able to see the house," said Mr. Darcy. "There it is, across the valley—Pemberley House."

Elizabeth smiled at him dutifully, then looked out the window of the carriage to where he was pointing. The house was large and handsome, even at this distance, and its situation on a rising hill above the water was lovely. Of course, she had expected as much, having heard its praises sung by Miss Bingley as well as Darcy himself. In other circumstances, she might have been delighted by it.

She became aware that his eyes were upon her awaiting her response. Obediently, she turned to him and said, "It is lovely, sir. I do not believe I have ever seen a house more fortunately situated."

His face warmed with pleasure, and Elizabeth hurriedly looked out the window again, pretending to examine the nearer aspects of the house as they drove along a stream which wound its way downhill. There was no denying the beauty of the park. It would be some consolation to have such fine-looking grounds to wander through whenever she wished.

The driver called out to the horses as they pulled up in front of the house. Darcy stepped out immediately, then turned to offer his hand to Elizabeth. She placed her own upon it, accepting his support as she stepped down, then allowed him to bring her hand to his lips for an intimate caress.

There was no point, after all, in pretending he did not have the right or that he had not spent the previous night taking every imaginable liberty with her body. She had no reason to complain; he had been kind and gentle, but after a second long day of travel, her spirits were flagging, and she found the pretence of happiness more difficult to sustain.

He did not release her hand, and eventually she glanced up at him to find a slight smile upon his lips. "Welcome to Pemberley, Mrs. Darcy," he said with evident satisfaction. To Elizabeth's relief, the rooms and furnishings of Pemberley house showed more restraint and true elegance than she had expected. She had tried to imagine living in an even grander and ore ostentatious version of Rosings; at least her surroundings would be more pleasant than that. It demonstrated more good taste on Mr. Darcy's part than she would have anticipated. In all fairness, she had to admit there had been no reason to think he lacked taste beyond the garishness of his aunt's residence. Nothing about his appearance, from his frock coats to his horses, was ever lacking. She schooled herself to remember how little she knew this man who was her husband. It was imperative that she learn to grant him the benefit of the doubt if they were not both to be unhappy.

She was greeted respectfully by the housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds. The household appeared to be excellently managed; she could have no complaints in that regard. The servants were deferential without being obsequious, and Darcy appeared genuinely glad to see some of them.

Finally, he asked if she would like to see her rooms. Hoping for the chance to refresh herself, she agreed and followed him through a maze of corridors to a large, well-lit suite. Darcy closed the door behind them and took her into his arms. It was something she had become accustomed to, and in general it no longer made her uncomfortable, but after the intimacies of the previous night, it felt like an intrusion. She would learn to bear it.

If only she could have a few minutes to herself! She had barely been out of his company since she walked into the church the previous day. It was a long time to play the role of the contented wife without an intermission.

Finally, in desperation, she suggested to him that she needed a little rest, and he reluctantly departed, promising to see her shortly at dinner. As the door closed, leaving her alone at last, her façade visibly collapsed, her shoulders slumping in despair. Surely this would become easier with time. She lay down on the bed—larger than any she had ever slept in before—to which she was supposed to welcome her new husband. Tears of loneliness and fatigue slipped down her face.

How had her life come to this? If only she had paid more attention to Darcy's puzzling behaviour when they first met and then later at Rosings, perhaps she might have prevented it. But that was useless speculation. There was nothing left but to make the best of it.

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