Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rainy Days by Lory Lilian

Before the Netherfileld ball Mr Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves confined to Mr Bennet's fishing cabin, following a storm. These opening scenes are so intense, that I had not realised I was holding my breath until panic set in! As a result of this confinement they start to work through some of Elizabeth's dislike of Mr Darcy and he is made privy to the fact that Wickham has been tarnishing his name. 
Following this change of events the Netherfield ball becomes quite a different affair to the original, complete with high drama and action! Wickham is present and stirring trouble and Darcy is enlightened to Mr Collins intentions towards Elizabeth. Most surprisingly what I liked about this was that Mr Bennet and Darcy had a chance to get to know one another including a full explanation of Mr Wickham's misdeeds.
The departure from Netherfield still takes place but for different reasons, although Caroline still writes her ill fated letter concluding that they are not to return. We follow both Elizabeth and Jane to London and I am sure you will guess the rest. 

Now, here they were together, alone — dangerously alone. He followed her, watching from behind. Her hair was in great disorder and soaking wet. Her dark curls had escaped their hairpins and lay in heavy waves about her shoulders and back. Her dress and shoes were mud-soaked, and yet he was sure she had never looked more beautiful. What a simpleton I am! While I tried to conceal my preference for her, I was never in any danger of raising expectations; she simply hates me - L.Lilian

Lory always creates a standout character in her books and Lady Matlock is brilliant in this. She makes it her business to see that Elizabeth holds her own among the ton. I loved these little details, for instance Lady Matlock hosts a ball and makes sure that Elizabeth outshines everyone, starting with the most important thing the dress! When Elizabeth enters on Darcy's arm I felt like one of the guests, my head turned and my jaw dropped open, capital!

She turned majestically and, before leaving, threw her husband a last glance over her shoulder. “And, Lord Matlock, if you decide to remain in this house, I strongly advise you to change your manner of addressing us and never again raise your voice to such an unacceptable level, or upon my word, I shall call you ‘Lady Catherine’ for the rest of your life.” - L.Lilian

I think it is really funny that couples as powerful as the Matlocks appear on the outside as a typical patriarchal family, but in truth, underneath the surface, it is very much a matriarchal family. It certainly made for a entertaining read. I Loved Elizabeth's influence on Georgiana and their interactions were sweet to witness. Darcy is lovely, while at the same time he is still an imposing figure, who's authority commands attention. He is most demanding of his respect, so it was funny to see both him and his uncle Lord Matlock brought down a peg or too by the women! This book was my first introduction to lory lilian and she is becoming a fast favourite! I look forward to more great stories form this author.

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