Beth's Reviews > Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer

Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski
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Feb 14, 2011

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Read in February, 2011

This was a surprising little book. It's cleverly written, at times frustrating, with unexpected bits of humor throughout. There is a decidedly masculine feel to the narrative, a dramatic, soap-opera-esque plot, and a few characters are sort of turned on their heads. Caroline Bingley is a villanous tramp, Lady Catherine is more of an eccentric, amusing matriarch rather than the pompus, overbearing relation who so abused our Lizzie. I loved Darcy's loving/antagonistic relationship with his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam (a fanfic favorite of mine, I don't think I could ever read enough books about the Colonel). They are more like brothers than cousins, even to the point of calling each other childish names, "brat" by the Colonel and "Old Bastard" by Darcy. Even Lady Catherine proves to have an irreverent wit, once teasing Colonel Fitzwilliam about one of her elderly maids:

"We often speak of you, you know," Catherine continued, nodding for the wine to be poured. "Yes. When I assure her you will probably one day be hanged, well, it just seems to cheer her so."

The things I didn't like about this book is how hysterical and unbalanced our formerly level-headed Elizabeth is. Granted, being married to and (spoiler alert) impregnated by a man as pig-headed as Darcy has got to be frustrating at times, but I still don't see Elizabeth as the vase-and-trinket-smashing lunatic this book makes her out to be. Poor thing. Darcy might love her, but he's still Darcy, and damn if I would want to be married to him. At least this incarnation of him.

This book probably gave me my favorite portrayal of Colonel Fitzwilliam, painting him as a war hero and celebrity, he masks his dissatisfaction with life and painful memories with a razor-sharp humor and unapologetic sexuality. He's described as a bear, a beast, not handsome like Darcy but an object of desire nonetheless. In fact both Darcy and Fitzwilliam seem to be giving off waves of masculine sensualtiy in every page, like when Fitzwillaim comes to a hotel where he has been "hiding out" so to speak, and is surprised to find that his resourcesful cousin has managed to track him down:

"About halfway into the room, the crowd finally parted, and he beheld the tall, dark, and exceptionally handsome English gentleman, his long legs crossed, his chanpange-buffed black riding boots brilliantly reflecting the flames from the hearth. The dark green superfine coat and subded checkered waistcoat set off his brilliantly white shirt and cravat. One elbow was draped casually actoss the back of his chair while the other hand sensuously stroked the stem of a wine glass resting on the table before him. His eyes never left Fitwilliam's face. He was the very essence of stylish nonchalance.

Except for his eyes. His eyes were the very black depths of hell."

Woah. Did the room just suddenly get super warm? Yes, brace yourself. There is sex in this book, a good deal of it. Normally this puts me off in a Jane Austen spinoff, but not here. It's so well-done, not overly graphic or unplausible, and since this book is centered on men, it feels fitting. I have to take my hat off to the author on that score. If only all romance writers could write sex so well.

If you're a fan of Jane Austen fanfic, I would definitely recommend this book. Parts of it will make you incredibly angry, the epiloge will probably make you roll your eyes a lot, but otherwise it's a great, fun, well-paced read.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kara (new)

Kara why did you give it one star?

message 2: by B.B. (new)

B.B. Shepherd You seemed to like this book more than dislike it...why only one star?

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