Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Lover's Meeting by Catherine Lodge
Published by Quills & Quartos Publishing on February 1, 2021
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publicity team
IT IS A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED that the disastrous first meeting of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly provided each with a ready-made set of prejudices to apply to the other. But when a horrific rural accident reveals Darcy to be a man of active, intelligent benevolence, and Elizabeth, in the absence of her appalling family, to be an extraordinary lady of courage and decision—then surely the course of true love will run smoothly.
BUT ALAS, THE LOVERS' MEETING is not the end but a new beginning. For though they have found each other, a seeming multitude of complications—a catastrophic flood, the last wishes of a dying friend, Lydia’s misfortunes, a dastardly Member of Parliament, and even their own fears— contrives to come between them and their journey’s end.
What if Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy met under different, more favorable circumstances? A new journey of love awaits this pair and those around them, but there is still enough of his pride and her prejudice to add a bit of spice to the story.
This is my second encounter with a Catherine Lodge Pride and Prejudice variation and I enjoy the tone of her writing, the development of her characters, and the sometimes exciting, suspenseful moments she infuses her mostly heartwarming and gently building historical romances.
Elizabeth is an intrepid young woman who is determined to marry for love. She is part confident and part vulnerable, which is how I enjoy a heroine. Fitzwilliam Darcy confuses her because he is also not only one or the other. He is capable of great generosity and protects those who depend on him while also, at times, acting arrogantly above it all. At first, she isn’t interested in why, but she can’t get the man out of her thoughts especially when they constantly encounter each other. She can’t deny the attraction even when she is disgusted with his superior attitude.
Darcy was going through a huge identity crisis when the book starts out trying desperately to be exactly like his father. An old, dying friend is the one to make him really stop and think- one, that it isn’t possible to be someone else and he needed to live his own life and not his father’s, but, two, should he even try to emulate a man who had some deep flaws in the way he treated others. I loved seeing his road of discovery to be himself and to be a better man than he has been. This is the man who is able to win the love of a woman like Elizabeth, but he does have a few roadblocks even after he gets on the right path.
I loved the whole story, but I confess I felt the pace and intensity slacken somewhat in the latter half until closer to the end when it picked up again. I liked that late sudden conflict that flared up and had to be resolved.
All in all, it was a sweet, well-developed historical romance variation on a classic. It read quickly and charmingly. I would recommend it to sweet historical romance lovers and those who enjoy stories based on classics.
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