Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ardently: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Paperback – June 12, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
One of my favorite things about this book is that Jane doesn't end up with Bingley but still have a great love story. I loved the following quote when Elizabeth comments on Jane's husband character. ----
“I think,” Elizabeth said finally, after the room had been silent for a while, “that there are many ways in which a man’s worth might be measured. Mr Turner applied three times to my father for Jane’s hand before he was successful. On the first occasion my father flatly refused. On the second, he told Mr Turner not to return until he was able to prove himself capable of supporting a wife and family. On the third he came armed with his proof and they were married within six months. Determination, perseverance and ingenuity can be found in all walks of life. ---
Jane made a better match than expected while her husband was not a gentleman. There is another story, in FanFiction where Jane doesn't wait for Mr. a Bingley and she ends up with a better husband (Fate makes changes) and it ends up affecting the entire family, loved it!
Miss Bingley is still Miss Bingley and Georgiana has grown up but still close to canon. The characters have not stray too far from the original and that is one thing I like very much.
One of my favorite parts is when Mr. Darcy asked for Elizabeth's father permission and blessings and Mr. Bennet introduces his grandchild, Jane's daughter.
Here is my updated review found on Just Jane 1813 at Justjane1813.com:
Can love once lost, truly ever be rekindled in one's own heart?
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I love finding new treasures within the sea of JAFF published each and every month. Sometimes, that JAFF book is highly anticipated, as readers buzz online about the book well before its publication date. Sometimes, you're just lucky enough to have a JAFF friend who searches websites, such as Amazon, browsing for the next great JAFF read and she shares her great discoveries with you. I was fortunate that this was the case for me when Sheila, my reading friend, recommended "Ardently," after she found it online.
To say I was swept away into the storyline may be an understatement. I think I stopped everything I was doing, as I found myself sitting across the breakfast table from Mr. Bennet and his daughters, as they discussed the recent events in the newspaper. A very startling moment occurred next, when I found out that you-know-who was married to someone else. Sigh... how could this have happened? It just couldn't be! Next thing I knew, my bags were packed, and I was off to visit Mr. Bennet's sister, Mrs. Mountford, in Staffordshire, where I figured I could spend some time with Elizabeth Bennet, and work through my, err, our heartache and despair.
A few years later, and I found us all together in Bath, taking in the scenes and the sights alongside Bath's distinguished guests. Looking through the arrivals book, I was able to glance at the names of the visitors, who had descended upon the city in an effort to rub shoulders and be seen amongst the members of England's first circles. I never expected any of our Netherfield friends gathered here, or did I? And now that they had seen us as well, would we be forced to spend time in each other's company once again?
"Ardently" is the story of love found, lost and rediscovered again, several years after Mr. Darcy's botched marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet in Kent. Here in "Ardently," Darcy and Elizabeth have never met at Pemberley, and they both have taken vastly different paths into their futures. This is not a scenario frequently explored in JAFF books, so I felt compelled to find out how the storyline would unfold in this book. I found myself immediately drawn in by the humor and clever dialogue between Elizabeth and Mrs. Mountford, as well as the lively friendship shared between these two women. Here we have two strong, intelligent, and outspoken women, who serve as each other's companions throughout the story. Mrs. Mountford is a welcome change from the serene character of Jane Bennet and the overly boisterous Mrs. Bennet. Her observations and insights about Elizabeth felt spot-on and rounded out Elizabeth's character in a way that only their intimate knowledge of each other during the past four years could within this story.
As soon as Darcy and Elizabeth meet at the theatre, there's an unspoken connection between them that neither one is willing to divulge to other people. Difficult memories and bittersweet feelings about their time together four years ago in Kent hang in the air, as thick and cloudy as the steam from the Roman baths. Elizabeth finds herself searching for the right words to learn more about Darcy's marriage and Darcy finds himself raging with conflicting emotions towards this older, more mature Elizabeth Bennet. Each one taunts him/herself developing theories and ideas about each other, while their struggles remain mostly elusive to those around them, as they find themselves thrown into each other's company throughout their visit to Bath.
Elizabeth's life seems to take a promising turn toward matrimony when she meets the handsome, eligible bachelor, Mr. Yorke, who is besotted with Elizabeth from the very first moment he sees her at the theater. He's also somewhat familiar with Darcy, and has two sisters who are longing to meet the dark and brooding Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth decides to pursue her own decided attraction to Mr. Yorke, while she develops a friendship with his sisters. Throughout this process, she becomes conflicted regarding her intentions and her very own heart. Are both men who they seem to be and can she handle the idea that her future may become something she hadn't planned for herself?
Caitlin Williams does a gorgeous job painting for us a picture of a mature and tender love story, set against the backdrop of the city of Bath in South West England; a city founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans, who used the natural hot springs as a thermal spa. It was during the 18th century, under the reign of George I, II and III, that Bath was developed into an elegant spa city and to this day, is rich in historic details, including public buildings regarded for their Neo-classical style of architecture throughout the city. As the characters meet and mingle throughout the numerous settings and streets within Bath, readers get a real sense for the city's luxurious setting and the indulgent lifestyles of those who are there to savor its pleasures. I found this setting both romantic and fitting for the context of this story.
I loved how Ms. Williams slowly revealed significant details about her character's lives, in an effort to keep the plot suspenseful and somewhat mysterious throughout the story. Each time one of these details was revealed, often through well-crafted dialogue or the events being shared about the characters lives during the past four years since "Pride and Prejudice," it felt like important pieces of the puzzle were being provided to help the reader navigate his/her own feelings and reactions towards the characters and the events unfolding in the book. This story was such a page-turner, and the more I read, the more I felt compelled to keep reading, because I needed to know how the characters would fare within the plot. The book is about 200 pages long, so the story is short enough to read in one long sitting, yet long enough to feel pleasantly submersed into its events and lively setting.
Some readers have cited a tone found in "Ardently" that is similar to "Austen's popular book, "Persuasion." I agree that the similarities between the stories are certainly there for me, as well. Ms. William does a wonderful job giving us a look into how a more mature and more reflective Darcy and Elizabeth may have fared if they had both decided to part ways after Kent and then, accidentally reconnected with each other several years later. Does absence and time make the heart grow fonder or does it allow a deep bitterness to develop that changes the very core of our deepest feelings?
I loved witnessing how their own self-awareness evolved, leading them both to become even more conflicted at times in this story and how the little things they soon discovered about each other and their relationship, really helped change their perceptions and feelings for each other. Poor Elizabeth, worried after hearing a comment, that she's lost her bloom at 24 years old. Is she to follow the fate of our very own Jane Austen, and become a spinster. Can one hope for love and happiness through a maze of misunderstandings and remorse?
After 95 reviews on Amazon, "Ardently" can claim having 95% four (19%) and five star (76%) reviews. That is quite a success for a debut JAFF author, who I believe promises to become a popular name in this genre. With a story that gripped at my heart until the very final pages, I highly recommend "Ardently" to JAFF fans. For those who love "Persuasion," this may be an even more compelling read for you. Either way, readers will be swept up into this glorious, ancient city, savoring a clever and romantic "Pride and Prejudice" variation that made my heart and mind race with an intensity that I loved.
Caitlin Williams has written a Christmas story based on "Ardently," titled, "Even More Ardently," at the link below:
In this variation, we find Darcy and Lizzy 4 years after the events of the original. Lizzy went to the Lake District with the Gardiners, so she and Darcy never had their chance to reconnect at Pemberley. As a result, Lydia is married to Denny, Jane to a Mr. Turner, and the other girls settled to respectable gentlemen. Lizzy has been living with Mr. Bennett's sister, Mrs. Mountford, a hilarious fictitious aunt created just for this variation. Lizzy and Mrs. Mountford travel to Bath and attend a concert, where Darcy immediately recognizes Lizzy and realizes that she's lovelier than ever. Darcy is recently widowed but has never forgotten Lizzy and her fine eyes. They are thrown together time and again in Bath, and Darcy is determined to make her his. Unfortunately, he has competition for Lizzy with the charming and rich Mr. Yorke.
The book blurb says that this is a blend of P&P, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey, but I detected a little Emma in the picnic and dance scenes. There were so many parts that I reread time and again, and so many parts that had me laughing out loud. Mrs. Mountford is a gem and her interactions with Ms. Bingley are absolutely wonderful to read! The scenes at the picnic... *sigh* I wish hats were still in fashion!
Five enthusiastic stars for this wonderful variation and a guaranteed reader for anything Caitlin Williams writes in the future. Please please consider making these available as audiobooks!
Most recent customer reviews
Prejudice variations. The characters have depth and the writing is well done. I highly recommend this book.