First sentence: Elizabeth Bennet stood stunned.
Premise/plot: Darcy's Hope: Beauty from Ashes is a Pride and Prejudice variation set during World War I--largely in France. Elizabeth is a nurse hoping to gain valuable experience in the medical field. (She wants to be a doctor--or surgeon.) Captain Darcy is a soldier on a secret mission--to find the spy--or group of spies--at the field hospital where Elizabeth happens to work.
My thoughts: Who would enjoy this one? Readers who enjoy P&P variations should definitely pick this one up. Not every single reader of P&P is a fan of variations--retellings, sequels, etc. And that is okay. Just because you love the original doesn't mean you are bound to love every variation of it. Readers who enjoy World War I fiction may also find this one appealing. Though it doesn't really match up to Testament of Youth. (It would be hard for any fiction novel to match a nonfiction memoir of a nurse.)
The interaction between Darcy and Elizabeth was good. And I think that is the most important test for any P&P inspired novel. It was less convincing in other aspects--trying to translate the original details into this new setting. (In terms of how Elizabeth's family fit into this one. Or Bingley or Caroline.)
Did it work as a romance? I think the answer is yes! Did it work as a mystery? I'm a little more hesitant. It's hard to say just looking at the first half! There were clues I picked up on that have me guessing the direction this one is going. I can't be sure I'm right until I read the second half, of course! Did it work as historical fiction? For the most part. First and foremost this one is Pride and Prejudice inspired. That is the framework of this one. That is where the focus is.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews