Assumed Engagement by Kara Louise

assumed-engagementFiction — print. Heartworks Publications, 2006. 180 pgs. Purchased.

What would have happened if Mr. Darcy had written his sister, Georgiana, to inform her that he was going to ask for Elizabeth Bennet’s hand in marriage? She would have likely, but erroneously, assumed that Elizabeth would accept. This story picks up after Chapter 36 in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. On his return trip to Pemberley from Rosings after being refused by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy’s carriage overturns and he is rendered unconscious. Georgiana, thinking they are engaged, writes to Elizabeth, begging her to come to Pemberley, thinking she may be able to help draw him out.

I ordered Assumed Engagement after reading the first two chapters off of Louise’s website. Her variation of Pride and Prejudice sounded so interesting, and when I was able to fly through the first two chapters without any issues with the plot line, Louise’s portrayal of Darcy and Elizabeth, or the writing, I ordered the book offline.

I’m not going to say I wish I hadn’t because the story was very diverting — the perfect read on a very dismal and dreary rainy day. But Elizabeth and Darcy they certainly were not. Several occasions in which the pair where thrown together by Louise had them saying and behaving in manners I did not think Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth would have if Miss Austen had written the variation. And Louise’s Darcy and Elizabeth are out of character one minute, then back in character another, then out of character, and back again.

Plus, the writing isn’t all the great. There were a lot of typos — enough to distract me, the queen of typos — and whole paragraphs in which “he did this and this” over and over again. The writing gets better as it goes, but it’s almost the first ninety pages before I stopped being bugged by the writing.

I think if a reader was to approach Assumed Engagement without Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth in mind and rather read the story as characters unknown to them (Louise’s  Elizabeth and Darcy decided to refer to one another as Lizbeth and Will), it would be enjoyable. It’s not the worst piece of publish Pride and Prejudice fanfiction I’ve read, but it’s certainly not the best.

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