What if instead of being five Bennet daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet would have been blessed with five Bennet sons? If you are interested, just read Love at First Slight by J. Marie Croft.
I have really enjoyed reading this upside-down of Pride and Prejudice. If you are reading this entry and you have not read Pride and Prejudice, I will recommend you to read it before hand as you may not understand everything I comment here.
The writing is really good and I have enjoyed reading a lot of Shakespeare within the book. From my humble opinion, I believe the author has been dutiful on following Jane Austen’s tone while emulating the whole story, from Netherfield is let at last to the wedding. Yes, sorry for the little spoiler but there is a happy ending as it happens in P&P. However, I will tell you a bit more about it.
Let me introduce the Bennet Brothers:
(images created with dolldivine.com – Regency Hero Doll)
Martin Bennet is the heir, Charles the second son, William the third son and the twins Christopher and Laurence. If you know Pride and Prejudice you can relate the names to the girls: Martin (Mary), Charles (Jane), William (Elizabeth), Christopher a.k.a. Kit (Kitty) and Laurence (Lydia).
As you may be thinking, this family is not so worried about the future of these five gentlemen but you are mistaken there! Mrs. Bennet does not care but Mr. Benner, he is nervousness itself, he wants his sons to be married as soon as possible and with wealthy women. Benjamin Bennet is extremely happy when a widow, Mrs. Jane Devonport comes to her state, Netherfield. Mr. Bennet is sure that the lady will want to remarry and who is better than his second and handsome second son, Charles?
“What a fine thing for our sons!” In a flutter, Benjamin Bennet relayed the news to his wife.
Jane arrives with his two brothers and sister-in-law, and joining the party, her best friend Miss Elizabeth Darcy.
Mr. Bennet was happy to meet the party at the Meryton assembly. However, he had to check his neighbour’s attention to the newcomers as he was sure that his neighbour wanted his two sons to be the suitors to the widow.
A man’s world might be, but women had the almighty power of refusal, and Benjamin was determined to further his sons’ chances against all other suitors.
Mr. Charles Bennet believed Mrs. Devonport to be an angel. However, there was someone on that assembly that was not observed as an angel, just the opposite, her friend Miss Darcy was soon considered an ill-mannered haughty lady after she slighted Mr. William Bennet:
“Miss Darcy, if you are not otherwise engaged, may I request the honour of sharing the next set with you?”
“I thank you, but no,” said she. “I would rather not.”
She then made a comment about him being tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt her. That though changed quite quickly on the same night.
The main interaction or the main time together for Miss Darcy and the third Bennet son is when William goes to Netherfield to take care of Charles, who fell ill after a downpour. Those days makes William dislike her even more and those days makes her to be more interested in his “smouldering eyes”.
Mrs. Devonport, as amiable as she was, wanted to host a ball at Netherfield. Just a few days before the ball, the Bennet brothers met a charming girl that came with Mr. and Mrs. Foster and the militia, Miss Felicity Wickham. She singled out William Bennet and he was glad to have the attention of such a lovely and beautiful lady, when another lady did not find him tolerable enough. Miss Wickham told him all her sorrows and difficulties she has to endure due to the mistreatment that she declares has been done to her by Miss Darcy. *roll eyes*
During the Netherfield Ball, William expected to dance with Miss Wickham and he was disappointed when he discovered she was absent as she wanted to avoid Miss Darcy. William did not know exactly how but he eventually danced with Miss Darcy and the conversation was not very adequate to a ballroom. Sparks were flying around them when talking or even when silent but maybe not the appropriate sparks.
Just after the ball, all the Netherfield party left to London, not to come back as a letter from Casper Bingley sent to Charles Bennet declared. (Yes, Casper, that is the name of Jane’s unmarried brother, yes Casper, like the ghost! but he is not nice.) Charles was heartbroken. William though the fault was Jane’s brothers and he encouraged his brother to go to town with their uncle and aunt and maybe encounter her. Charles went as he preferred to work in business with his uncle instead of carr yon with the profession of law.
I am not explaining some scenes that are better read in the book that read on a review but I will just mention that William and Elizabeth met again in Rosings Park, the state of Lizzy’s uncle whose priest is William’s cousin. Something very important happens there and I will just give you a teaser of it:
By God! She slapped me! “Ouch.” The sharp, stinging sensation brought him to his senses. Bloody well deserved. I’ve been a monster. (William Bennet)
What if the twins are wild and bring shame to their family? What if Miss Wickham is not as charming as William believes when he meets her? What if Jane does not love Charles? What if William and Elizabeth meet in a very “funny” situation? What if William is a rake in the eyes of a peer? What if hide and seek is a very entertaining game?
You need to grab this book in order to answer all those what ifs, and discover how the happy ending reaches our main characters.
“We are both guilty of forming mistaken first impressions.”
There are funny moments, a few jokes, a lot of alliteration and a great deal of new situations that will make you keep reading even if it is 2am *smile*
Let me introduce you to Miss Elizabeth Darcy, the background, where she is, is not a random one *chuckle*. I could not find a necklace with a pendant that describes her own but the two jewels she has at the end, the necklace may not be the most important one.
(image created with dolldivine.com – Dress up a Regency Bella)
If you want to read this book or other books by J. Marie Croft, go to Amazon US or Amazon UK. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.