Pride and Proposals: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Victoria Kincaid – A Review

Pride and Proposals by Victoria Kincaid 2015 x 200From the desk of Monica Perry:

Readers of Pride and Prejudice retellings know that sometimes it’s a great thing when Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennet gets interrupted. It isn’t his best moment and perhaps if it’s averted, the universe will realign in his favor, giving him time to learn of her disdain for him and correct his behavior before she hands him his heart on a stick. In Victoria Kincaid’s Pride and Proposals, Darcy doesn’t get the chance to propose, yet he still has his heart broken, as he arrives at the parsonage just in time to learn his lady love just got engaged to his best friend and cousin, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. What can he do? Richard is kind and honorable, and they seem to be very happy. If Darcy can’t have her, she could do far worse in a spouse. Can he risk embarrassing himself and harming his relationship with Richard by admitting his feelings? Does she truly love Richard or is she marrying for convenience? Colonel Fitzwilliam is such a beloved personage in Pride and Prejudice stories; in a world without Mr. Darcy, he and Elizabeth could be quite well- suited for each other. I wanted to know if Ms. Kincaid could possibly get Darcy and Elizabeth to a happy ending without breaking Richard’s heart in the process.

Unwilling to rock the boat, Darcy is forced to swallow his emotions and pretend to be happy for the couple. His life is further complicated when his sister Georgiana and Elizabeth form a close friendship in London, throwing them into each other’s company frequently. Richard knows that Elizabeth doesn’t like Darcy; naturally, he wants his best friend and his betrothed to like each other and seeks to improve her opinion.

Darcy’s torn – does he stay and continue to suffer in silence and pray he doesn’t betray his feelings, or does he avoid her and escape as far away as he can get? Unrequited love can be masochistic and as much as it torments him to be around her, he craves it, and hates himself for it. While traveling abroad with Georgiana, Elizabeth and Richard’s relationship ends and she finds herself with an ususual sort of independence. Richard is no longer in the picture and his family never supported his relationship with Elizabeth; other than Georgiana and some of Richard’s friends that still call on her occasionally, she has few friends and feels very lonely in London. Darcy doesn’t want to see her return to Hertfordshire and begins spending more time with her, being the friend she needs and standing up for her to the Fitzwilliams. Their interactions are not always placid and Elizabeth is utterly confused about her feelings for him and why he’s always ruffling her feathers. Darcy is convinced he can never measure up to Richard in Elizabeth’s heart and they both harbor a lot of guilt. Darcy isn’t her only admirer in town, and as gentlemen begin sniffing around, he’s desperate to win her before he loses her again to another man. Will he get his proposal right this time?

I felt so bad for Darcy throughout. So much anguish and awkwardness; being in love and feeling forever relegated to the “friend zone”! There are only so many ways a love triangle can be resolved –no one wishes to see characters they love jilted or killed off, and I’ve tried not to spoil the solution for anyone. Some might be upset at the route Ms. Kincaid chose; while I thought it was unfortunate, it was also realistic enough. Darcy and Elizabeth do eventually find their way to happiness with Richard’s blessing.

There was one aspect of the story I was skeptical about, regarding the length of Elizabeth and Richard’s engagement. I can speculate why the author wrote it that way but I didn’t find Elizabeth’s reasoning particularly plausible. As amiable as Richard is, it seemed unlikely to me that he would’ve gone along with it so easily. For those who may be wary of such things, there are no mature scenes and no infidelity. Elizabeth does knowingly flaunt propriety at times, but that didn’t bother me much under the circumstances. It isn’t integral to the plot, but I’d have liked to hear a little about the Darcys’ travels, too.

I really enjoyed this poignant story of love and loss, loyalty, friendship and passion. The relationships among Darcy, Elizabeth and Richard are heartwarming, and the angst was offset by an underlying dry sense of humor that kept it from being too overwhelming.

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

Pride and Proposals: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Victoria Kincaid
Victoria Kincaid (2015)
Trade paperback and eBook (210) pages
ISBN:  978-0991668120

Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads

Additional Reviews

Book cover image courtesy of  Victoria Kincaid © 2015; text Monica Perry © 2015, Austenprose.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

18 thoughts on “Pride and Proposals: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Victoria Kincaid – A Review

  1. I LOVE Col. Fitzwilliam, but I never thought of him as a potential suitor for Elizabeth–what a unique retelling of this story! And I am so intrigued with the ending of their relationship, and Darcy worrying if he can measure up. All in all, this book has piqued my interest and I’ll be adding it to my TBR stack, to be sure! Thanks for such a great review~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Austen doesn’t tell us too much about the good colonel but what we do know makes him seem very likeable. Even if he had some money, he’s still the son of an Earl, so he may not have found Elizabeth eligible enough. But I tend to think he would. :)

      Like

      • Thank you for your interest! Austen hints more than once that the Colonel might be interested in Elizabeth, but he warns her that he has to marry an heiress. So, I thought it would be interesting to see what happened if that obstacle was removed.

        Like

  2. Thanks for the brilliant review but sadly this is a book I just could not bring myself to read. Too much angst and do not like the premise of Elizabeth being engaged to Colonel Fitzwilliam (although I do really really like the Colonel) and then for something to happen between Elizabeth and the Colonel and she ends up with Mr. Darcy!! Definitely not for me!

    Like

    • We respect your honesty Michelle. Not every books will appeal to everyone – and that is why we encourage all of our readers to explore different opinions through the additional reviews links. There is so much Austenesque fiction out there now that the selection is incredible. I’m sure you will find another Austen-inspired novel to enjoy.

      Like

    • Thank you. I understand completely. There are some premises that I’m more likely to avoid than others. I’ve noticed that my tastes have changed a bit over the years of reading JAFF; don’t know what that says about me! Lol I think I’m somewhat less affected by angst than I used to be.

      Like

      • I totally understand. There are some premises that worry me too! Michelle, you might like my next book, Mr. Darcy to the Rescue, which has Elizabeth engaged to Mr. Collins. But the tone is much lighter since Mr. C. is so funny. It’s good for my readers who didn’t like the angst in Pride and Proposals.

        Like

  3. Thank you for sharing this detailed review with us. It makes me sad that things don’t work out for Colonel Fitzwilliam because he is a beloved character, but how can we imagine an attachment of Elizabeth to anyone else but Mr. Darcy in the end? Sounds like I could give Pride & Proposals a shot to see how the writer accomplishes this feat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful review, Monica! You did a good job of describing the tone of the book without giving spoilers (unfortunately, someone already did that for me so I know what happens). I like a variety in my stories so a tough fought romance between Darcy and Lizzy has appeal. Looking forward to this one.

    Like

  5. I also enjoyed your review Monica! I feel much as Michele expressed regarding Colonel Fitzwilliam situation, but I just love the beautiful cover on the book, so may have to get it and try it! She is a lovely Elizabeth in a pretty setting, but it looks more formal than Pemberley… Is it to depict the Colonel’s home?

    Like

Comments are closed.