Elizabeth approached the couple and directed her ire towards the gentleman. “How dare you speak so callously about my mother? You know nothing about her!”
Standing there with an air that proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse, Darcy said, “I know enough about her to know that she failed to teach you proper decorum. How dare you remark on a conversation clearly not intended for your hearing?”
(from “A Tender Moment”)
Quick summary: “A Tender Moment” is the third installment in P.O. Dixon’s Darcy & Elizabeth Short Stories series of standalone Pride and Prejudice variations. This particular story is set at the party at Lucas Lodge, where Elizabeth Bennet overhears Mr. Darcy make a rude comment about her mother to Caroline Bingley. Elizabeth immediately confronts him, and a heated argument ensues. After being fiercely scolded, Darcy takes stock of his feelings for Elizabeth, how she continually misunderstands him and how it is possible that he really has been ungentlemanly toward her. When Darcy overhears her speaking of her dislike of him, he is more determined than ever to set things right.
Why I wanted to read it: I wanted to read it for the Pride and Prejudice connection, of course, but I’ve been so pressed for time lately that I also was in the mood for something that could be read in one sitting. I also enjoyed Dixon’s A Lasting Love Affair, and I wanted to read more of her work.
What I liked: “A Tender Moment” is a sweet story about misunderstandings and new beginnings. Dixon lets readers into the minds of Darcy and Elizabeth, putting on display their uncertainties, their misconceptions, their desire and willingness to change, the stirrings of attraction, and the promise of something more. The story is a just a moment in a bigger story — just enough to satisfy readers’ desire to catch up with Elizabeth and Darcy without the commitment of a novel.
What I disliked: There was little description; it was mostly internal dialogue. However, I was able to overlook that because “A Tender Moment” is meant to be just that: one moment between Elizabeth and Darcy, a turning point of sorts. Still, it felt like it ended just as the story was beginning.
Final thoughts: “A Tender Moment” is a worthwhile read for fans of Austen variations who are looking for something short and sweet, a story to distract them for a half hour or so.
Disclosure: I received “A Tender Moment” from the author for review.
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