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Posts Tagged ‘l.l. diamond’

Source: Purchased

A modern-day Pride and Prejudice-inspired Christmas story? Check. Cute cover? Yes! So of course I had to add Unwrapping Mr. Darcy to my list of Christmas reads for this year, and I wasn’t disappointed! L.L. Diamond’s novel is funny, sweet, sexy, and a complete page-turner.

Elizabeth Bennet takes a job as a lawyer at Darcy Holdings. She is excited about the job, until she overhears her boss, William Darcy, being a complete jerk on her first day. Her sister’s boyfriend, Charlie Bingley, convinces her to stay. It’s not long before William realizes his mistake, but he doesn’t know how to apologize.

A simple “I’m sorry” isn’t good enough for William, and he takes his job as Elizabeth’s Secret Santa up so many notches that Elizabeth begins to wonder whether she has a stalker. One gift at the office party doesn’t say “I’m sorry and am mad about you” as well as 25 thoughtfully planned gifts in an Advent calendar fashion. Meanwhile, he tries to convince her that he’s not the person he seemed on her first day at the office, but Elizabeth can hardly stand to be in the same room with him. Is that because he intimidates her, or is it because of her attraction to him?

In true Pride and Prejudice fashion, Unwrapping Mr. Darcy is filled with misunderstandings, awkward interactions, and heated conversations. Elizabeth’s personal assistant, Charlotte, provides plenty of comic relief, and Elizabeth’s cat, Grunt, provides plenty of mischief. I liked that Diamond gave some complexity to William’s character, but there were times that I thought Elizabeth went a little overboard in her reactions toward him (like running out of the room instead of talking to him, even if she didn’t necessarily want to), but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. I especially enjoyed William’s take on Secret Santa; that he truly listened to her and got to know her, that he put so much thought into each gift, and that he gave her the gifts not to impress her but to bring her joy warmed my heart.

Unwrapping Mr. Darcy is a lighthearted romance, with just a touch of angst, and is a delightful escapist read for the busy holiday season. It was the perfect way for me to spend a chilly day, curled up in my chair with a cup of coffee, a hot Mr. Darcy, and a troublemaking cat for some laughs.

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a matter of chance

Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★★☆

“Okay, I know he’s been an ass to you, but I think he’s closed himself off to everyone for so long…”

“Don’t go making excuses for him,” said Lizzy, parking the car. “Yes, I feel bad about what happened with his family and that it’s just him, but it doesn’t excuse the way he behaves. He’s not a child, and he should know common courtesy.” She turned off the engine and pulled out the key, pausing before she got out of the car. “I don’t want to argue with you about him. He’s Charles’ friend, and yours as well, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like him.”

(from A Matter of Chance)

A Matter of Chance is a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. L.L. Diamond puts the characters in the U.S. South, turning Longbourn into an Antebellum home. Lizzy Gardiner — having cut ties with the Bennets — inherited the home from her great aunt and lives alone with her two-year-old daughter and overprotective dog, Bear. She teaches art at a local college and prides herself in not depending on anyone for anything — not since she showed up at her sister and brother-in-law’s home two years ago after fleeing her abusive husband, Greg Wickham.

Things aren’t easy for her, but life gets more complicated when she meets her brother-in-law Charles Bingley’s best friend, William Darcy, the CEO of a multi-million-dollar conglomerate who has returned to Mertyon after running to England three years ago following the accident that killed his father and sister. He is immediately drawn to Lizzy, but his intense stares, arrogant attitude, and thoughtless remarks make her uncomfortable and ultimately angry. As William begins to move on after his loss and let Lizzy into his heart, she is determined not to allow him to help her. Her fierce independence could prevent her from finding happiness, and the past catching up to her could destroy them both.

This was my first L.L. Diamond book, but it definitely won’t be the last. (And I sincerely apologize to her for taking so long to read and review this book!) She does an amazing job bringing Darcy and Elizabeth into the present and into a different setting. The characters are beautifully flawed, their losses and their fears making them hesitant. I loved how Diamond turned the Bennets (aside from Jane, of course) into such obnoxious, shockingly bad people and Mrs. Reynolds into the kindest, most generous lady ever. I enjoyed watching Will and Lizzy’s relationship evolve. Lizzy’s daughter, Melanie, is a sweetheart, and her bond with Will is melt-your-heart adorable. At times I felt the progression of their relationship could’ve been tightened up and more time could’ve been spent on Lizzy’s ex, Greg, and Will’s stalker, Caroline Bingley. But none of that interfered with my enjoyment of the novel, as Diamond does a fantastic job throwing obstacles in Will and Lizzy’s path and making them work for the strength to overcome them.

A Matter of Chance is a well-written retelling of Austen’s beloved novel, and while it could stand on its own without the connection to Darcy and Elizabeth, I was delighted to follow them into another place and time. Diamond captures the essence of Pride and Prejudice in these pages, showing how timeless the plot and characters truly are.

Disclosure: I received A Matter of Chance from the author for review.

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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