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Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman

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When Elizabeth Bennet refuses his hand, Darcy is devastated and makes it his mission to change. By every civility in his power, Darcy slowly tries to win her affections, but Elizabeth is not easily swayed. Darcy vows to unlock the secrets that will make her his. He curses himself for his social awkwardness and appearance of pride, and sets out to right the wrongs he's done her family.

Elizabeth's family and friends misunderstand his intentions, and being in Elizabeth's presence proves to be both excruciating for the shy Darcy-and a dream come true. For the first time in his life, he must please a woman worth having, and the transformation leads him to a depth of understanding and love that he never could have imagined.

446 pages, Paperback

Published May 1, 2011

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Maria Hamilton

10 books20 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 131 reviews
Profile Image for Sheila Majczan.
2,352 reviews153 followers
March 25, 2016
When Meredith published her Top 10 P&P variations from 2007 to 2011 and this novel was the only one I had not read…well, I had to correct that omission. I read most of the other longer reviews and found some points with which I have to agree.

First, I have to say that even without finding this criticism in the one review the fact that Darcy kept apologizing over and over again was a little too much for my tastes. And then on top of that we have the fact that those remarks kept being followed by, “Oh, but you misunderstood me”, from Elizabeth.

Yes, Darcy decides to go back to Hertfordshire to ascertain if Jane continues to favor Bingley, as stated by Elizabeth in her refusal of Darcy’s Hunsford proposal. He does try to convince Bingley to come along but Bingley cannot be persuaded. So Darcy goes off on his own and in his attempts to talk to Jane alone: 1.) To try to explain his interference and 2.) To hear from Jane as to whether or not she will receive attentions from Bingley favorably, Mrs. Bennet comes to believe he is courting Jane. Yes, knowing Mrs. Bennet, the reader is not surprised that she brags about this even better prospect for Jane.

I admired Jane’s response to Darcy in saying she was not going to give him a response because she now knows how Bingley’s sisters feel about her, her family and her lack of a dowry. If Bingley cares enough he will take control and show for himself what is important. Jane is not going to force him to choose, she tells Darcy, but his actions will show his decision. He will get no guarantee from her as to where her affections lie or if they if they no longer exist.

Elizabeth gradually comes to realize that Darcy has not come back to force his attentions on her and now adds positive thoughts to Her already changed opinion about Wickham due to revelations in the letter she received from Darcy explaining himself after the failed proposal. So he has addressed two of the three major negative points she held against him. Now we get to “The Secret of Becoming a Gentleman” and Darcy has many a stumble on that path. But as we read his POV he does keep thoughts of her words to the forefront, i.e., how he refused to dance with any ladies at the assembly, how he held her family and other of the Meryton society in disdain. He falters but gets right back in the game.

There are several little subplots, i.e., John Lucas deciding to court Elizabeth, or missing subplots, i.e., Wickham’s eloping with Lydia but generally the book loosely follows canon. Caroline’s devious conniving and her poisonous tongue are in action but there her plan to expose the Mrs. Bennet and her younger daughters to the censure of society during a night at the opera fizzled into omission in this story. We never hear if or how badly that contingent of ladies acted to embarrass themselves and their new associates.

Darcy’s, “how ardently I admire and love you” phrase comes to prominence in his thoughts many times. He has no qualms about how he wants to proceed with Elizabeth and you will love his second proposal. Teasing, teasing Elizabeth.

But I, too, thought the scene in which Elizabeth shows up in his bedroom was not well done. Other stories have them meet in the library or even in a drawing room by accident which leads to anticipating their wedding night but this Elizabeth was just a little too forward for my tastes. And nothing is said about “the sheets” after that night?

A complaint by others and with which I will agree is that the POV would switch with no warning. It took a sentence or two and then a re-read to figure out that the person doing the thinking had changed or even that this was a flashback in the person’s mind.

There were many sweet moments and both came to know the other so much better as we read through this story. Although I have to say Darcy has it all over Elizabeth in observing her likes and dislikes. Well done, Darcy.

Darcy’s asking Mr. Bennet for his permission and his blessing was a well written episode but then also was his retort upon Caroline’s remark to Elizabeth as to her motivations for marrying Darcy – how her mother must have been educating Elizabeth and her sisters on their duties to marry men of good fortunes, etc.

This was another well done variation…an in depth look at a man willing to change and a woman recognizing his efforts. Now this is a true gentleman!
Profile Image for J. W. Garrett.
1,480 reviews99 followers
January 17, 2017
The story picks up as Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are leaving Kent after his disastrous proposal. Knowing his cousin as he does, Colonel Fitzwilliam questions Darcy until he gets him to reveal what is bothering him. They discuss the issue and conclude that Darcy must go to Bingley and find out if his feelings still favor Miss Bennet, then Darcy needs to find out if Miss Bennet is still favorable toward Mr. Bingley, and then try to get them back to together.

It is a comedy of errors as Darcy apologizes to everyone on the landscape. This title to this book should have been Mr. Darcy Apologizes. As stated in previous reviews, Darcy spends the entire book apologizing to Bingley, Jane Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgina, his valet, his steward, his dog, his cat…etc. It became humiliating to watch him reduced to such a mess.

The real fun began when Lady Catherine, misunderstanding the rumors, headed to Longbourn, thinking Darcy was enthralled with Jane Bennet. When she can’t confront Jane, she lashed out in a tirade at Mrs. Bennet. Now you have two mamma cougars coming to the rescue of their cubs, Lady Catherine, in defense of Anne’s familial betrothal to Darcy, and Mrs. Bennet, in defense of Jane’s right to be considered by Darcy. It was awesome to watch them verbally slug it out. I realize it was not characteristic of Mrs. Bennet with her nerves; however, a mother coming to the aide of her child is a force to be reckoned with.

I was glad to see Mr. Bennet taking time to hear and consider what Mr. Darcy had to say regarding his dealings with Wickham. That set things in motion that prevented the seduction of Lydia from happening. It also allowed Mr. Bennet to realize that he needed to become more involved with his daughters and their lives changed for the better because of it.

Caroline Bingley was wonderfully depicted as her usual selfish self-serving self. I would have liked Charles to have handled her behavior more quickly. She was dealt with on one occasion; however, she was soon back to her old self and causing problems for our H&h that could have had serious ramifications.

Finally, when things began to clear up and misunderstandings were settled, you have Bingley with Jane, and Darcy with Elizabeth.

As stated in previous reviews, the last chapter felt rushed, and the juxtaposition of time was a jolt to the senses. To do a flashback and then jump forward, and then flashback again is simply too hard to follow. Another point of contention I have is…why did the author Earlier in the book, she didn’t feel right going to Netherfield to meet Georgina because it was a bachelor residence…why would she agree to go to Darcy’s townhouse? Also, in the beginning Darcy’s notes/letters to Elizabeth were cute and romantic…then they became maudlin and finally creepy with self-doubt and questioning of his actions, feelings and emotions. Where was his character that we love so well? He was a psychotic mess.
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,230 followers
June 1, 2012
Hmmm... Wrote this review last year but somehow missed posting it here. So:

This one is kind of an odd one for me because I'm really torn.  On the one hand, there were times when I was completely in the flow of things and enjoying it.  It was pleasant and I liked the story and where Hamilton was going with it - even though it is not at all what I thought it was going to be.  I settled in prepared (purely based on the title and my own preconceptions) for the story of Darcy's time away from Lizzie after his disastrous proposal.  I thought it was going to be a fill-in-the-blanks story that took us into Darcy's mind during their time apart, when he has his (seemingly miraculous, unexpected) transformation from arrogant ass to thoughtful heartthrob.  I didn't think it was going to be a "variations" type tale that would take the story to a point and then branch off into a different direction, which is what happened.  So I wasn't prepared for the story that was presented, and though I was able to adjust my thinking to that and go with it, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't getting the story I had prepared myself for.

But that was a tangent; sorry.  As I was saying, I was able to go with the story Hamilton set out, and enjoy it most of the time.  But what held me back - and really had me actually considering setting the book aside, despite the fact that I liked it most of the time - was that there was an incredible amount of dialogue.  It was endless.  They talked and talked and talked, and talked about talking before they talked some more.  I wanted to trim away so much of it.  It was unnecessary and unskillful, with so many things placed in people's mouths rather than exposition, where they should have been.   Darcy is very reserved, and Lizzie, though outspoken, doesn't necessarily wear her heart on her sleeve, so to hear both characters (and every other) spilling their guts and blathering on about every thing, all the while dancing around each other in formal Regency politeness - needless to say, it's not something I have a taste for. 

I wanted so very badly for some of it to be internalized or shown through actions and subtle non-verbal cues, which Austen does so very well.  Not to mention that it always sends up a red flag when any character gets to speak uninterrupted for 1/2 a page or more.  That's not realistic in any setting, but especially not in a close-lipped, reserved Regency setting.  Add to this the characters didn't seem to speak like themselves, and it really knocked me out of the story.

There was a shifting back and forth between characters, too, that didn't really work for me.  I wanted Darcy's story and would have preferred to see things only filtered through his eyes, or to have action only happen when he's onstage, and everything else be relayed (much as generally is with Austen, only centering around a female).  This swung back and forth between a multitude of characters, and though I could see there was a good attempt at making the transitions as smooth as possible, it would have been better not to be in everyone's heads.  If you don't know what other characters are thinking, but simply have to really on conjecture based on their words and actions, there is room left for an element of doubt and tension, which is always good. 

Also, even though I could tell effort was made at smoothly transitioning, sometimes the transitions would be out of left field and leave me baffled.  One sentence would take you days, weeks or months in advance of the present action, only to have the character "remembering" right back to where you just left off, so that the scene could be finished.  It was weird and unnecessary.

So those are two huge negatives, and they make me hesitant to give this a hearty recommendation.  And that's where this gets tricky, because there were times when I really, truly did enjoy this and felt the take on the tale and the characters was an interesting one.  I guess in the end, whether you decide to read this or not is really going to come down to personal preference.  If you enjoy a lot of dialogue in which everything is laid out and ground is well covered, and if you like shifting perspectives, then the things that bothered me probably aren't going to bother you, in which case you should pick it up.  If you dislike those things, or they are particular pet peeves, you should probably avoid this.  I find myself somewhere in the middle, liking it but wanting more.
Profile Image for Namratha.
1,070 reviews233 followers
November 10, 2014
Mr.Fitzwilliam Darcy had it all. Brooding good looks, great wealth and some serious 19th century swag. He could have anything and anyone he wanted. Or so he believed.

When the spirited, opinionated and undeniably lovely Miss.Elizabeth Bennet rejects his proposal, Darcy's legendary pride takes quite a whopping. He realizes that it's time to make some serious amends in his actions and some decided changes in his demeanor.

Mr.Darcy and the Secret of Becoming A Gentleman tells the tale of one of fiction's most beloved heroes as he sets out to wrestle with his innate nature and win the hand of his one true (but oh so aggravating) love.

Darcy fans will love this peek into his mind. I am quite the Darcy fangirl myself. Enamored by the gorgeous cover and the promise of Darcy's POV, I bought and devoured the book. It starts off beautifully, has a delicious middle but a rather long-winded ending. It is nice to read Darcy's range of emotions ranging from hopelessness, anger, humiliation, jealousy, helpless longing to shining delight as he woos Lizzy. But I felt that towards the end, his constant need to apologize for his supposed slights was a bit jarring.

An essential part of Mr.Darcy's chemical makeup is that he is a proud, haughty man. It is not a pride lit with cruelty but a pride shielding an essentially shy soul. And that's what made him so endearing. But watching him act like a yes-man fiance as he kept worrying that he had offended Lizzie in some or the other way was rather tedious.

I am done with the book and while it was mildly engaging, I have to state that as always, nothing beats the original.
Profile Image for E Brookhouse.
168 reviews5 followers
October 30, 2017
4 1/2

I have realized my personal rating system is somewhat unconventional, due to my desire to never discourage an author with promise. A ‘1’ for me means it wasn’t what it said (but since there is no zero, I feel my system is justified). I wish there were a ‘6’ for the books that I especially Love, because I hate giving less than a 5 to a book that was good in all respects, except that I didn’t Love it Especially since half star ratings don’t appear that way ‘on the record’

This is one of my 5s, a well-written and executes story. I liked the characters and the plot line, but I’m not head over heels for it. That’s just a personal preference though, and as we know ‘there’s no accounting for taste’.
Profile Image for Katherine.
447 reviews32 followers
June 16, 2011
I loved 90% of the book. I was disappointed when it came to the final few chapters but to me mr.darcy stops being a gentlemen when he succumbs for his desire for Elizabeth before they are married. If you are looking for a clean romance, this isn't it in the last few chapters. If you took out the one scene of desire... it would have been perfect! but that ruined it for me.
Profile Image for Sophie.
Author 3 books24 followers
September 2, 2013
I was really intrigued by this story and it was one of the ones I was most interested in reading as I always wondered how the story could have panned out had Darcy taken more steps towards showing Elizabeth his true nature, instead of acting upon it when the chance encounter at Pemberley brings them together, or at least act upon some of the criticisms Elizabeth lists off to him in the ill-fated proposal, such as the relations between Bingley and Jane, and I was not disappointed by this story!

This story really made me feel for Darcy; the way his feelings and emotions were described really made me pity him. You could really feel how much Lizzy’s criticisms of his character and behaviour when he was rejected affected him, hearing her rebukes over and over in his thoughts. Seeing into his innermost thoughts and feelings really opened up his character, more than in all other variations I have read. Given that the story was told predominantly from Darcy’s point of view, there was also quite a lot of background given to Darcy and a few tales told about his childhood and his time at Cambridge which gave depth to his character. I also felt I understood him more and the reasons behind his behaviour.

Once Darcy has decided to begin making amends for his actions, a rather unique relationship builds up between him and Jane, as he takes it upon himself to admit to Jane all his involvement with their separation and his wish to bring them back together. It was interesting to see those two talking at such length (giving Mrs Bennet the wrong impression which was rather amusing), as they do not speak much in the original story. You could feel how sorry Darcy felt as he was telling Jane how he accepts the blame for everything that has happened involving Jane and Bingley.

Once Darcy has explained to Jane, he then returns to explain himself to Bingley. For Bingley to completely understand, a full explanation, including his relations with Lizzy, was needed. I really enjoyed hearing his side of the story of the events leading up to the proposal.

Many times through the story, the authoress brought to my attention aspects of the story and to characters which I had never thought about before. I won’t give away all of these observations but a few favourites... It was interesting when Elizabeth started to think about Darcy more closely, realising that they do in fact have many things in common, many which I had never thought about before, for example how both Darcy and Lizzy felt familial obligations to marry for convenience and material considerations, perhaps Darcy more strongly than Lizzy (but then again, actually maybe not) but how neither will give into the pressure of these obligations as they would both wish to marry for love. I had never thought about it before in that way...

My favourite new aspect to a character was undoubtedly Bingley. In many variations he is portrayed a rather simple-minded character and in some adaptations I have seen he seems even a little (I am sorry to say) pathetic. I will admit that when I first read Pride and Prejudice I thought Bingley was a little simple and not a strong character, mainly down him being so easily persuaded by Darcy and his sisters in regards to Jane. But this story threw a whole new light on the situation and while Darcy and Bingley were discussing all that had passed involving Jane, I came to realise why Bingley was so easily persuaded and it made him seem a much stronger character. I think my new opinion on Bingley is summed up in this wonderful quote spoken by Darcy to Bingley: "It is a good thing that you are so friendly and good-natured. It fools most people into thinking that you are simpleminded. It allows you to observe the world unencumbered. Very little gets by you, though, and most people never recognise it." I think that is a perfect quote and I really enjoyed this new way of viewing Bingley’s character.

Towards the middle of the story there is a perfect scene set in the library at Netherfield, as well as being a very romantic scene between him and Lizzy, it also gives even more insight into Darcy’s character; he is working through his correspondents which need seeing to and it makes you think about the weight of responsibilities he has upon him and at such a young age. You are also shown more into the way he handles his tenants and how he really is the best landlord and the best master, as Mrs Reynolds describes him.

As Lizzy and Darcy begin to build up a friendship, you see more and more of how those two do have dispositions which really do suit each other. Some of their conversations are very funny and witty and even teasing at times. Theirs is, understandably, a peculiar friendship but no less amicable all the same.

Mr Bennet is portrayed in almost a bad light, or rather (for a change) his faults, which he does have, are highlighted and are in fact contrasted and compared to Darcy, which was very interesting to read. (An example being how Darcy solves all the problems which he is told about from his tenants as soon and as fairly as possible, whereas, Lizzy observes, Mr Bennet ignores such problems in the hope that they will just solve themselves or go away.)

For once in a ‘what if’ variation the story does not end with Lizzy and Darcy coming to an understanding, getting married and then a short epilogue showing a a glimpse into their future lives, all happening in about 20 pages. In this story they reach and understanding with still 150 or so pages to go. This allows for some very sweet conversations between the couple about their wedding plans as well as some wonderfully romantic scenes where they manage to steal a few secret kisses and intimate conversations. Although they have come to an understanding it was wonderful to see how their relationship still developed further once they were engaged, Lizzy taking on the role of mistress and taking care of Darcy as a wife would do. Their openness with each other is touching but also assures you (if you need assurance!) that their marriage is going to be a very happy and successful one.

(I will say here though that the only thing which bothered me about the whole story was that in the last 150 pages after they are engaged their behaviour becomes a little more intimate and eventually results in premarital relations. This would normally bother me a great deal but it did, in a way, fit with the story line and there was nothing too explicit so it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story.)

There is an epilogue to this story, which I always enjoy reading, and for once it was based entirely around Lizzy and Darcy instead feeling the need to resolve the stories of all the characters in the book. This epilogue gave a wonderful insight into glimpses of their marriage as well as the preceding weeks after (which I personally prefer rather than skipping to 5 or 10 years later), providing every assurance that they will be completely happy together.

Overall this was a fantastic read, mostly because of the depth of character the story gave to Darcy as well as the new insights which the authoress explored, resulting in new ways for me to consider certain behaviour, actions and aspects of a character. It was wonderfully romantic, very funny at times and an extremely interesting take on my favourite novel.

Profile Image for Becky R..
458 reviews82 followers
May 26, 2011
Overall, Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman was a fun departure from the original story, asking the reader to consider "what if" Darcy decided to change from that first tongue lashing by Elizabeth? Could he have changed and won her over by showing her who he really was? These questions fuel this new story line as Darcy works to show Elizabeth that he isn't the pompous rich guy she has come to believe him. He ends up showing back up at her home to interact with her family and to try to be more social.

With these twists, some other story lines drop out from the original. I won't give away which ones those might be, but you can imagine who might or might not show up in the story if Darcy stuck around. One interesting change is in Mrs. Bennet, who soon recognizes that Darcy might be a better match for her Jane than she originally thought. He quite wins her over with his charm and pocket change! Not only does he win her over, but he also fuels the gossip mongers who all think he has eyes for Jane. That, of course, makes Elizabeth slightly jealous and confused. Her intrigue leads her to consider this man she wrote off, to wonder if she made a big mistake in jilting him.

Romance is all over in this retelling of Pride and Prejudice. For the most part it is all good, clean romance, with some later interludes that make for a dramatic departure from the story we all know and love! I wouldn't say it's salacious in any way, but might be shocking. At times I'll admit to being annoyed by the miscommunication and constant fact checking Darcy and Elizabeth demonstrated; they just seemed so unsure of what the other meant, that they were constantly self conscious of everything they said or did. Eventually, the "I'm sorry, that's not what I meant..." felt overdone at times. I do get that this added extra tension and work to Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship forced them to draw together more. I guess I just didn't want them to have to always feel so insecure.

The "what if" story between Darcy and Elizabeth is a relaxing continuation of sorts, for anyone who enjoys Pride and Prejudice and likes to read other retellings. The story is romantic and filled with human missteps that keep the story moving in a new direction, and although the outcome isn't surprising, the journey is different and new.
Profile Image for Meredith (Austenesque Reviews).
939 reviews314 followers
May 4, 2011
What if Mr. Darcy, feeling intense despair and heartache over Elizabeth's unceremonious refusal, focused all his energy on repairing the damage he caused to Bingley's relationship with Jane Bennet? Darcy, realizing he was wrong, knows he must now do what is right, otherwise Elizabeth's poor opinion of him will be validated. However, reuniting Bingley with Jane Bennet, means Darcy must return to Meryton and once again encounter Elizabeth Bennet! Unfortunately, Darcy is unsuccessful in persuading Bingley to join him and must travel to Meryton alone. While trying to determine Jane's feelings towards Bingley, Darcy pays her some attention and the whole town mistakenly assumes that he intends to marry her! The rumors reach the ears of Lady Catherine, who takes it upon herself to travel to Longbourn and demand an interview with, no, not Elizabeth Bennet, but Jane Bennet!

In her debut novel, Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman, author Maria Hamilton, shows her readers what would happen if Darcy were to return to Elizabeth's life a lot sooner. Would Elizabeth despise him more? Appreciate his efforts of her sister's behalf? Would she regret her decision? Her words? How long does it take for Darcy to earn Elizabeth's forgiveness? Her respect? Her love? In this splendid and wonderfully well-crafted variation we witness Darcy's tentative yet indefatigable courtship of Elizabeth Bennet. “Fasten your seatbelts!”

To continue reading, go to: http://janeaustenreviews.blogspot.com...
146 reviews8 followers
November 10, 2012
This book felt rather modern to be. Their behavior was more 21st century than Pride and Prejudice. I was enjoying the book even with the modern feel but I had a hard time feeling like it was Elizabeth and Darcy. Strangely the way I can tell if I feel they are true to the original characters is if I can hear a british accent in my head when reading. I kept hearing an american accent when I hit half way through the book.

Some of the dialogue between also got very long and unnecessary and I wanted to skip over little parts because of it. I was enjoying the book until I got the almost the very end (99th percent of the book) When they had three weeks until their wedding and The decide to have premarital relations. Kind of ruined the entire book for me because I don't read Darcy and Elizabeth to see what most people engaged or less do nowadays, I read them to escape to a more innocent time in courtships and engagements to see the fairy tale story of Darcy and Elizabeth.

so be warned they have premarital relations right at the end. If thats going to spoil it for you don't read this book.
19 reviews
May 20, 2012
No, no, no! This is not for Pride and Prejudice fans, but rather for bodice-ripper fans. I enjoyed the scenes she imagined to show how Elizabeth got to know Darcy - but felt up-chukky when Elizabeth reveled in "the taut planes of his back" and he spent his time "cupping" various parts of her body. Not even well-written sex. Yuk!
Profile Image for Talia.
869 reviews5 followers
April 11, 2021
Ok but nothing special. I can't say this stood out for me but it was well written.

Reread: I liked it a lot. Good solid JAFF.

Reread: I think that Bingley and Jane are the heroes in this book.
Profile Image for Bath Book Shop.
47 reviews3 followers
May 25, 2011
The Adventures of Chelsea and Her Pride and Prejudice Sequels/Retellings (working title) is long and a bit of a downer. (Want the full story? All my reviews, lots of them scathing, are at my "Jane Austen" shelf.) But this one! This one is good!

I knew there were a couple good P&P retellings, simply because of the volume of titles out there. But they are few and far between, and most fall into the "painfully awkward exposition" or "just because you use the same names doesn't mean they're the same characters if you write them wrong" categories.

Hamilton keeps her characters believable and true to Austen's, her story interesting but melodrama-free, and her writing refreshingly free of either random French phrases (*cough*Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife*cough*) or anachronistic speech patterns.

A must read for P&P devotees, even the ones who are a bit jaded by all the failed attempts they've already sat through.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
678 reviews211 followers
May 15, 2011
I keep waiting for my Pride and Prejudice spell to break, and instead it keeps coming back stronger. Usually a P&P sequel or retelling will be enough to tamp it down for a while, and not in the "satisfied my Darcy craving" way, either. Let's be honest: most P&P retellings/sequels/updates are awful.

This one was quite good.

It's a different take on Mr. Darcy's reformation - what if he decided he needed, first and foremost, to make amends to Jane and Bingley? He determines that the best way to make that happen is to head to Netherfield and talk to Jane herself.

Out of this simple premise a wonderful "alternate" P&P is born. No awkward exposition. No random French. No previously-unmentioned cousins. No melodrama. No wildly out-of-character behavior.

Just a solidly written, quite engaging, and altogether satisfying look at the characters I'm already crazy about.

Two thumbs way up, Ms. Hamilton.
Profile Image for Marie.
1,087 reviews70 followers
May 14, 2021
I know I joined the JAFF party late but I still don’t know how I didn’t see this book before now. A brilliantly-written story filled with page-turning dialogue that focuses almost entirely on Darcy and Elizabeth. Since my “purist” notions have evolved over time, I didn’t even mind the fall from propriety. Definitely recommend. Contains mature, but not overly graphic situations. I would love to see more from this author.
Profile Image for Faustine.
704 reviews7 followers
May 29, 2021
Intelligent plot, smart characters. I very much enjoyed this variation.
I just thought it was overly complex towards the end (last 20%) percent, but it was still very good.
I’m interested in reading other stories by the same author.
Profile Image for Bethany.
671 reviews5 followers
January 30, 2020
Not a bad P&P variation! I think it was a little long winded at parts, and there were a few time jumps that were hard to follow. Still a nice story, and I enjoyed the authors characterizations.
Profile Image for Staci.
1,403 reviews20 followers
May 28, 2011
My Thoughts: This is what I look for when I want a stellar P&P variation. The story was tender, sweet, funny, original and also had that vibe of Jane Austen running within the pages. To me it is vital that the characters ring true as Austen wrote them...and this author did a fabulous job. I loved all of the roadblocks that Darcy encountered as he tried to make Elizabeth view him in a better light. I thought the author did a great job of bringing in minor characters from the original story and giving them more stage time, which to me really enhanced the story. If you're one of those people (like me) who are always looking for a great story that continues to keep Darcy and Elizabeth alive and vibrant, then you need to add this to your list of books!!!
Profile Image for Amber.
246 reviews
January 19, 2012
So disappointed with this book. It was ok at the beginning, got pretty good in the middle, then totally disgusted me at the end. Mr. Darcy turned out to not be a gentleman and poor Jane Austin has got to be turning in her grave. I'll have to read "Pride and Predjudice" soon to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
54 reviews1 follower
December 5, 2011
It was hard to get into but picked up with action about half way through.
I don't think Jane "Austin" would like the 20th century morallyity of
this tail. It left me feeling that was Elizabeth was no lady.
Profile Image for Susan.
5,640 reviews53 followers
March 16, 2016
After the Hunsford proposal and its rejection Darcy begins to rethink his actions and attitude, starting with Bingley and Jane. But does he make the situation worse, will he and Elizabeth every come to an understanding. There is a lot of dialogue in this story but it kept my interest.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
116 reviews7 followers
May 24, 2011
Another enjoyable read. The author captures the spirit of the characters quite well, and I can't wait to see this one adorning my bookshelf. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Madenna U.
1,831 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2016
A road of self discovery for Darcy who eventually wins the girl of course. He gets the girl half way through the book. Not quite all happily ever after, but no conflict.
Profile Image for Carol Perrin.
607 reviews23 followers
April 16, 2015
Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman

I loved the portrayal of Darcy in this variation of Pride and Prejudice. Once he reflected on his Hunsford proposal, he immediately started to see what Elizabeth Bennet said about him. He has made himself a solemn vow, he will change his ways and win Elizabeth. Bingley has nothing compared to Darcy in the besotted arena. Luckily his letter explaining his two most severe y strikes against his character, begin to change Elizabeth's opinion of Darcy. But meanwhile, Darcy is convinced that he needs to change. Upon seeing Bingley, Darcy cannot seem to convince him to go back to Netherfield. Darcy decides to go and admit to Jane that he was in error. Of course, his whole demeanor is quite polite to Mrs. Bennet which surprises Elizabeth. Darcy continues to carry on his discussion with Mrs. Bennet when the topic of what to take back from Meryton for his sister. Mrs. Bennet gives him many suggestions, and when Darcy asks Jane to accompany him, Elizabeth is stunned, and Mrs. Bennet has him married to Jane before they are out the door. Well, we all know Mrs. Bennet and her need to brag. Darcy stays for the next Meryton Assembly and discusses Jane's answer about accepting Bingley's attentions again. Doesn't really give a definite answer, but realizes he must earn this second chance his friend is being given. The night of the dance, Darcy talks with John Lucas. Finding out that Lucas prefers Elizabeth, he is jolted into realizing he may lose Elizabeth. He cannot come to terms with this. Spreading this choice but of information around the neighborhood, obviously the Lucas family relayed this bit of news to the Collins home in Hunsford. From Hunsford to Rosings, Mr. Collins did travel with the latest news. Lady Catherine being involved in everyone's life decisions, is carried in her eloquent carriage to confront this impossible rumor. Mrs. Bennet is quite forceful in her responses to Lady Catherine's disapproval of her daughter. All the while, Elizabeth is mortified by her mother's insistence that Jane's betrothal to Darcy will soon be announced. Not appeased by her visit, Lady Catherine is on to London to confront Darcy. Bingley is visiting Darcy when Lady Catherine's one sided discussion begins. Bingley hearing that Darcy is engaged to Jane Bennet wants to kill him, well not really, but needless to say, Bingley is upset. Darcy moves him to another room while he confronts his aunt. He tells her that he is not nor ever will be betrothed to Jane Bennet, but also told her he would not be asking Anne to marry him. Lady Catherine was seriously displeased by his announcement. Now all he had to do is smooth over Bingley's anger. Only Darcy could get himself into a mess that he himself created. Tells Bingley all and why he interfered last November. Upon returning to Netherfield, both Bingley and Darcy are in the Bennet's dining room. Mrs. Bennet wants Jane to pay attention to Darcy, but has no such luck. Darcy asks Elizabeth to show him the garden. Bingley and Jane are happy to accompany them outside. Bingley has visited Longbourn every day after arriving at Netherfield. Darcy has not. Hoping to see Elizabeth at church, Darcy waits to the last minute to enter. Darcy laments her absence, but is enjoying the sermon. Somehow his words feel like they're aimed at him. So engrossed in the vicar's words, he doesn't realize Elizabeth is behind him. When they stand to sign, Darcy recognises her voice. When he turns to look, she has slipped out and reenters through the side door and falls in with her family. As Darcy continues to meet and speak with Elizabeth, her feelings for him take a drastic turn. The day she and Jane came to have tea with Caroline and Louisa, she was sad to find out that he had gone back to London. When Caroline invites Jane to see the master/mistress rooms for redecorating, Elizabeth decides to hang back. Stepping into the first room with its door open, she encounters Darcy. Happy to see him, and him her, they have a chance to speak to one another. Hearing Caroline's whiney voice, they no longer have an opportunity to talk, but he suggests that billiard room be redecorated to be appropriate for both sexes. When she and Jane came a few days later, Bingley, Jane, and Elizabeth take a walk in the garden. Caroline told them that Darcy was unavailable. She decides to give the betrothed couple some time alone, and wants a book. Bingley tells her that she should go through the double glass doors. Coming into the dark room from the bright light, she doesn't see Darcy in the library. Seeing that he is busy, she starts to go, and he begs her to stay. She does and helps him with his correspondence flooding the top of the desk. He is so thrilled, because he's always pictured her as his help mate in life. When they are looking at the map, they are in very close proximity, when Caroline interrupts again. Angry that Elizabeth is in the library with Darcy, she promises that she will not let her roam the halls of Netherfield again. How any one woman could be so clueless is amazing. The next day, Darcy rides over to find she and John Lucas walking in the garden. Jealousy hits him big time, but he cannot call off dinner at Longbourn. With the help of Caroline's big mouth, and Mrs. Bennet's over imagination, Caroline and Mrs. Bennet are assured that Lucas will ask Lizzy to marry him. To be part of that dinner party to knock that smug look off Caroline's face would give me pleasure. Seeing the hurt look of despair on Darcy's face, Lizzy reaches under the table and grabs his hands to lace her fingers through his. Shocked, then pleasantly surprised, he does not relinquish her hand until she reminds him that during the next course, they must cut their meat. Through their teasing, they agree to meet in the morning for a walk. Darcy took his mother's ring, but didn't know if today was the day. He stammered out he wanted to court her, but Elizabeth told him, why would you ask me to marry you when you weren't sure, but to court when you were sure. Stunned, he looked at her, blurted out the courting was over, will you marry me. The fact that he gets so tongue tied with Elizabeth is so cute and makes him even more adorable. Darcy invites them all to Darcy House. Elizabeth and Jane staying at his house, the rest staying at the Gardiners. Attending church before they left for London the next day, Caroline overhears Mrs. Bennet bragging about Elizabeth's betrothal. When Darcy walks up thinking it is John Lucas, she in her usual hateful remarks that congratulations are in order for Eliza and John Lucas. Both look at her strangely, but she pipes up that she heard Mrs. Bennet say she's wearing his ring. Darcy informs her that it is his ring she's wearing. To say she was shocked is putting it mildly. Before leaving for London, Darcy gifts Elizabeth with a new saddle to put on her new horse. Having to give her riding lessons gives them time to be together. Waiting five weeks to marry is causing problems for both of them. Both are wanting more. Caroline Bingley in one more effort to discredit Elizabeth, makes the remark that Elizabeth married for money. Darcy who has sat quietly for the most part can stand it no more. He puts Caroline in her place quickly and stuns the rest of the table with his statements. Off to London, Mrs. Bennet's objective is to look at every piece of material and lace that can be found. Working to hard, Darcy gets sick. Elizabeth is determined to take care of him. Even though they still have three weeks before they're married, they both feel like husband and wife already. Enjoying the freedom to getting to know each other better, Elizabeth comes to his bedroom again.
Elizabeth and Darcy are truly in love and together they will let no one forget this.
Profile Image for Audrye Glosson.
69 reviews4 followers
October 3, 2019
Before I start this review I just want to say that Goodreads is for readers not for the authors. I mean nothing personal or disrespectful about Maria Hamilton in this review. To be fair this book is not what I expected when a friend suggested I read it. The style, point of views, and plot line tripped me up for a while. Even so, I feel like 2 stars may be generous for this book.

1. The plot line: I like an Austen off-shoot as much as the next girl but really, if you are going to change everything but the character names please just don’t. Leave it to the fanfic section of watt pad.

2. The dialogue: I’ve always thought that I wanted to read/write a book where the characters spoke like people do in real life; with the “um” “er” “ands” and all. But I will say it now, I was wrong. The dialogue was long, weighty, awkward and extremely repetitive. And what they didn’t converse to ad nauseam, they thought through repeatedly. I found myself skipping several pages only still to be in the same conversation with little headway made.

3. The Characters: Mr. Darcy’s guide to being gentlemen? No. Mr. Darcy’s guide to swaying in between confident and self assured to sniveling, winning pansy. And Elizabeth was the most selfish and self absorbed character. I won’t get into the most unfortunate ending of this book, others have done well to recategorize it as a smut book.

If this is what Jane Austen spin-offs are like, call me a purist and never put another on my tbr pile.

Profile Image for Boipoka.
239 reviews2 followers
April 24, 2022
I enjoyed this better than the other Pride and Prejudice fan fiction I read this weekend - mostly because folks behaved rather more in-character here. There was still way more pre-wedding maks out sessions than is believable for an in-universe Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth - but at least it was less blatant, and at least Darcy earned his redemption here. He makes amends in the best way he can think of, and he doesn't assume or demand anything from Elizabeth after her refusal. He doesn't always get it right, but at least no one can fault his motives. It was a fun enough read (& it helped that the original was rarely, if ever, quoted).

I realised this weekend that I am way more into the redemption arc (and the angst) of the original story, than the romantic aspects. And really, I should just re-read the book ...
Profile Image for M Patterson.
24 reviews
August 15, 2022
Spoiler alerts.

I am struggling with this one. I love anything P & P. However, this book was very odd. The beginning is truly what I was looking for and expected. Then it takes a weird turn of “changing” the original story. It’s not just Darcy’s POV, it’s also Elizabeth’s.

The last couple of chapters are also weirdly “thrown in” like she wanted some gratuitous sexy scenes. Although there was no sex through the whole book. It felt a little odd. Last chapter also had weird flashbacks that were confusing.

She literally leaves out all of Lydia and Wickham’s shenanigans which I feel like is an integral part to their love story. So strange.

Overall though, I love a different perspective and continuation of P & P. I’d recommend for Austen lovers, but just be prepared.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Merrie Boland .
6 reviews1 follower
June 10, 2018
Very good...but disappointed by the ending. Spoiler alert!

After a mostly sweet and clean retelling, inexplicably, Elizabeth and Darcy anticipate their vows. I felt it was out of character for them both and an unneeded evidence of their obvious passion for each other. After guarding their characters and reputations for so long, in a complete about-face, Elizabeth gives herself to Darcy. I was disappointed in the author's decision to compromise both of their integrity in that way. Other than the ending, I really enjoyed the book.
Profile Image for T.
1,014 reviews
December 21, 2018
FYI this is a variation and not, as I think the blurb suggests, Darcy’s POV between Huntsford and the second proposal.

Mixed. Some excellent scenes ~ Darcy’s put down of Caroline B was brilliant. Quite amusing in parts, especially Darcy trying to navigate around both Mr & Mrs B. Some not so great parts. At times the writing slipped into Americanisms or modern terms. Sometimes the interactions didn’t quite ring true. The last couple of chapters let the book down, particularly the epilogue which was very strangely done in a kind of a flash back to the missing bits of the previous chapter and had a rushed, disjointed feel.
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