It is very common to see books mentioning matchmaking mamas, but I never saw one where the main characters were a pair of matchmaking Papas! Plots, Ploys and the Art of Matchmaking is a very original and funny story that I do not hesitate to recommend to those looking for a good time spent in the realm of Pride and Prejudice.
In this book, Mr. Bennet and Lord Matlock met at school and remained very close friends through out the years. Their families share a special bond and everyone is very used to their pranks and bets, however, when they get together in Hertfordshire, and decide Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth must fall in love and get married, some family members start to realize they need a lesson of their own. These gentleman may like to have some sport at the cost of their families and neighbours, but they will certainly get what they deserve as well.
Plots, Ploys and the Art of Matchmaking is told from the point of view of various characters and combines humour with some romance, as the main characters find themselves more often than not, trapped in a closed space together.
I appreciated the different tone I found in this book and consider it very refreshing. As mentioned above, we still have some romance in this book, especially towards the end of the story, but it is not the usual austenesque romance because of its humoristic approach. I laughed out loud in some parts with Mr. Bennet and Lord Matlock’s pranks towards one another, with their ineffective matchmaking efforts, and was also pleased to see their influence on Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as they started to orchestrate pranks of their own.
Elizabeth’s dry humour and response to the gentleman’s ploys was one of my favourite aspects of her personality, and also one of the reasons Mr. Darcy found her so confounding. I loved her resignation towards her father’s antics and her practical approach to all of their plots. As to Mr. Darcy, he proved to have a sense of humour Elizabeth was unaware of, and to be the perfect gentleman and hero in every single situation. If you think these plots and ploys take place only in libraries and carriages, as we are led to believe in the beginning of the story, you are very wrong. Our dear couple will face some challenges and dangers during this story and Mr. Darcy raises to the occasion! I bet you will never see his love declaration coming, and never imagined he would do it in such a circumstance.
For a long time, it appeared Mr. Bennet and Lord Matlock’s ploys were ineffective towards Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, but they are very good at the art of matchmaking, and I laughed and loved all the couples that came out of their pranks.
Another aspect I loved about in this book was the difference in Mrs. Bennet’s character and the close connection both families have. Of course Mr. Darcy cannot be as prejudiced towards the Bennet’s when they are close friends to the Earl’s family, but Sarah Courtney found a way to have him antagonise Elizabeth so that the story is appealing to the reader from the beginning to the end.
The entire book has a very light feeling and the perfect length to read during a lazy weekend. If you are looking for a humorous story that will make you laugh along with the characters from Pride and Prejudice, I recommend Plots, Ploys and the Art of Matchmaking. This book was certainly different and I loved it!
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