I read Ardently last month and I hadn’t read anything this good for a long time.
In fact, the book is so good that I could not stop reading it. I read in one day and once it was finished I could not go to bed; I had to write this review, because I could not stop thinking about the book and what it made me feel.
What if Lizzie does go to the Lake District instead of Derbyshire?
What if she never sees Pemberley or meets Mr. Darcy there?
What if Darcy marries Anne a few years later?
What if they meet in Bath 4 years after the Hunsford proposal?
Fear not with these what ifs! Anne dies a few months after the marriage and there are no children from that marriage (I can not conceive the idea of Mr. Darcy having children from someone other than Elizabeth). The romance and the love they feel for each other is not spoiled by this marriage, by the contrary, their past life is vital for them to see the strength of their love 🙂
In Ardently Mr. Bennet has a sister who is trying to re-establish a relationship with him, and after her husband dies, she asks for one of her nieces to keep her company. Elizabeth Bennet is the one choosen to keep her aunt company and when she makes her acquaintance, she discovers her aunt Mrs. Mountford is a clever, witty and educated woman with some very respectful connections acquired by her marriage.
The story starts 4 years after the Hunsford Proposal, a fact that I absolutely adored because we are presented with more mature characters. By this time, Mr. Darcy had married Anne and Elizabeth has been living with her aunt whom she adores. They meet in Bath and this is where the entire story will take place. I adore when stories are placed in Bath! It is such a romantic, magical and idyllic place that any book whose story occurs in Bath makes me dream immediately. But as I was saying, they meet in Bath and 4 years later they are slightly different people, more mature and with the weight of the last 4 years on their shoulders.
Mr. Darcy is absolutely charming! And Lizzie is an upgraded version of Jane Austen’s character. I absolutely loved how Caitlin Williams developed these characters.
Mr. Darcy realises he never forgot Elizabeth Bennet, and that she still is the ideal woman for him. Elizabeth also falls in love with Mr. Darcy and suffers with fear he will not correspond that love. I must confess this is one of the things I most love in JAFF. I love that Elizabeth Bennet is fully aware of her love for Mr. Darcy, and I love that she fears he will not love her back.
But of course…he does and the ending of the book is just delicious.
This book is witty, well written, with great dialogues between Elizabeth and Darcy, intense, interesting and the characters are very true to themselves. The new characters are also very captivating and a plus to the story.
I sure hope this author writes more JAFF books.
Ardently is available at:
Amazon.com – Ardently
Amazon.co.uk – Ardently: A Pride and Prejudice Variation