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While readers of Pride and Prejudice variations are familiar with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, it is the supporting characters of How to Mend a Broken Heart I wish to talk about here. There are some new characters and some characters from the novel whose roles have been expanded or presented in a different light.
Let me begin with a new character that is central to this story: Mrs. Virginia Bartleby Wagstaff. She is the lady who has enticed Mr. Darcy into asking for her hand in marriage. Mr. Darcy courted her in her debut Season but was called home before he could decide whether to make an offer for her. This left his friend, Lemuel Wagstaff, to win her hand. As the story unfolds, the reader learns that Virginia may not be the person she presents herself to be—an amiable, gregarious lady who enjoys the company of others, especially men. She hides many secrets, ones that Darcy would find appalling, should he ever be made privy to them. While her friend, Julia Fitzwilliam, the current Lady Matlock, is aware of Virginia’s sexual past, she does not know all of Virginia’s peccadillos. Virginia is seductive and manipulative and an extremely sexual being. Her outward persona hides her secrets and the depths to which she is willing to go to reach her goal.
Edward and Julia Fitzwilliam are the current Lord and Lady Matlock. They are both in love and in lust with each other, and until the death of Edward’s father, they remained cloistered at their estate with their children. Now it is time for Julia to assert herself as the new Lady Matlock by sponsoring her cousin, Georgiana Darcy, during her debut Season. However, she finds herself pregnant again, and Edward fears that the stress of the London Season in her condition might be too much for her. Julia enlists her old friend, Virginia Wagstaff, to help her.
The Dowager Lady Matlock is not a character in Pride and Prejudice nor is she much mentioned in the movies based on the novel. Other authors have defined her in different ways, but I hope I have given her a humanity of which you, the readers, will approve. We meet the dowager countess, Suzan Fitzwilliam, at the beginning of the book when she agrees to mentor Elizabeth Bennet at the behest of their mutual cousin. At first, we see the dowager countess as damaged and grieving her husband who has been deceased well over a year. It is Elizabeth Bennet who brings her back to the land of the living. Suzan proves to be a strong influence not only in the life of Elizabeth Bennet, but in the lives her sons, Edward and Richard. However, it is Darcy with whom she has the most influence, as she considers him another son.
General Richard Fitzwilliam has been promoted and is no longer the colonel. While we do not learn much about him in either the book or the movies, in How to Mend a Broken Heart, Richard is a bit of a rake. He eschews marriage because he has numerous lovers, and he sees no need to settle on just one. He is also a close friend with Darcy and seeks to help his cousin find a way out of his engagement. The general has an important role to play in getting Elizabeth and Darcy together.
In this story, we come to know a different side of sweet and gentle Charles Bingley. Yes, he is still sweet, but he also a man who has sexual desires awakened. With the knowledge that Jane Bennet, the lady he has been pining after for the past few years, is married, Charles sets out to discover if his ambitions are worth achieving without Jane. It does not take long for him to decide on a lady who will help him realize his dreams and satisfy his new appetites for life.
Darcy’s younger sister Georgiana sheds her shyness. The timid, reticent young lady becomes a temptress in pursuit of the gentleman she has fallen in love and wishes to marry. She does not like her brother’s choice of bride and hopes to have little or nothing to do with Mrs. Wagstaff. She hopes to secure a life removed from her brother’s household.
I hope you find these new and expanded characters entertaining. This novel is a non-canon variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and is meant for mature audiences.
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Three years after Mr. Darcy’s disastrous marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, they meet again. Due to an unexpected twist of fate, Elizabeth finds herself a guest in the home of the Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the Dowager Lady Matlock. Long believing Elizabeth lost to him, Darcy has recently proposed marriage to an old flame, the widow of his friend. Now newly engaged Darcy encounters Elizabeth again and realizes she still owns his heart.
Although bound by honour to another, Darcy sets out to improve Elizabeth’s opinion of him. Tension mounts between Darcy and Elizabeth in that pursuit, and Darcy’s betrothed begins to see Elizabeth as a threat to her upcoming marriage. How will Darcy and Elizabeth ever reach their happily ever after?
How to Mend a Broken Heart is a non-canon variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and is intended for mature readers.
L.S. Parsons recently retired from a major computer company where she was employed as an Information Technology Specialist. She lives with her husband of 30 + years in the DFW area of Texas. They have one dog. She has been writing Pride and Prejudice fan fiction for over ten years, mainly as a hobby.
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If you'd like to find out more about this book there are other stops on the blog tour where you can read reviews of the novel, read excerpts and read guest posts and interviews from the author. Check out the other stops listed below!
21/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
22/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
23/3: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
24/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
25/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
26/3: Review at From Milton to Pemberley
26/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
27/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of A Bookworm
28/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
29/3: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
30/3: Review at Just Jane 1813
31/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
1/4: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
1/4: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
2/4: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
3/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at Jennifer Vido4/4: Review at Diary of an Eccentric