For shame! I've had this book, From Lambton to Longbourn by Abigail Reynolds, sitting on my nightstand since summer. I am finally trying to reclaim some of my reading time and frankly, I needed an Austen fix.
Part of the author's Pride and Prejudice Variations series that explores "roads not taken in P&P," FLtL takes the P&P story from when Lizzy receives Jane's letter while at the Lambton inn and changes what happens at the inn. Rather than leaving quite abrubtly, Darcy stays to comfort Lizzy and takes some small liberties in comforting her (a pat of a hand, a possible hug and then a kiss). Lizzy, while enjoying Darcy's embrace, isn't quite sure of her feelings for Darcy as he is for her. In walk the Gardiners and you can imagine their suprise! Mr. Gardiner has every right to force them to marry, but realizes that might not be the best option given Lizzy's temperament. He also urges Darcy to keep up his attempts to win Lizzy's heart. They go their separate ways, but are thus entwined into a romance aided by Georgiana's correspondance with Lizzy, the Gardiner's encouragement and Jane & Bingley's engagement (which happens much more quickly than in the book due to Darcy owning up more quickly to Bingley).
FLtL was an entertaining read, but again (as in Impusle & Initiative) Ms. Reynolds leaves all sense of propriety behind. Darcy and Lizzy sneak kisses and caresses left and right (still remaining fairly PG, mind you) but it irked me. Yep, we all know D & L were full of passion. Who would not agree to that? But this time 'round, in this story, it didn't feel quite genuine enough for me. I feel that I&I , while again, forgetting all sense of 19th C. propriety, was more genuine to D & L's characters and character development. This one felt too lovey dovey--a bit too forces for me. Since I gave I&I 3 bonnets, I therefore, I give FLtL 2 bonnets, but with lace because it was still a fun, quick read.