on September 21, 2017
Last summer I had the pleasure to read and review the first book in this series by L.L. Diamond, Particular Intentions. After listening to the requests of her numerous readers, this year she is back with the second book in this series, Particular Attachments, where the focus of her story is now on Georgiana Darcy and the events of her life several years after the marriage between her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
I have to say this is one of the best alternate character JAFF stories that I have read based on the character of Georgiana Darcy. This is because I not only loved the way Leslie focuses on Georgiana’s story, I also adored the new supporting characters she created for this story as well as the way her plot unfolded throughout the entire story.
As Georgiana attempts to move her life in a new direction after a few years of being secluded at Pemberley with Darcy, Elizabeth, and their adorable young son, William, she heads to London with the Darcy’s to help her decide if she wants to spend a season in London making her debut in society. Prior to emerging on the London social scene, Georgiana has been resolved in her decision to forgo marriage and brings along the one person who not only offers her companionship in London, but who also understands many of the desires and concerns she shares at this age: Lydia Bennet.
Yes, I said Lydia Bennet! Lydia and Georgiana have become close confidantes as a result of Lydia growing into a more mature, thoughtful, and more refined person and Georgiana feels safe in having Lydia near her throughout her time in London. As they head to London together, Georgiana believes she will stay single, while Lydia is determined to meet an eligible suitor since Meryton holds no matrimonial promises for her. Of course, once they settle into their daily lives in London, their best-laid plans go a bit off course and take readers on a really fun ride!
After many years, the Darcy family reconnects with the Lindsay family, who were very close friends of Lady Anne and George Darcy. As young children, Lord Sele always pestered Georgiana Darcy with his pranks and his teasing ways. Believing that Lord Sele meant to only cause her dismay, Georgiana is hesitant when he displays a new side to himself to her. Is there more to this handsome, grown man who seems to only have eyes for Georgiana and is she willing to overcome whatever is holding her back to give him a chance to prove any attachment her may have to her? The answer to this question becomes the major obstacle for these characters to overcome throughout this story.
Thank goodness Lord Sele knows how to court a lady in a more swoon-worthy manner than Fitzwilliam Darcy! Not only is he handsome, eligible, and yes, a wealthy and titled gentleman, Lord Sele has two parents who support his intentions and who want to help him make a match with the beautiful girl they’ve known since she was a little girl. Lady Lindsay not only is a champion of her son’s hopes for the future, she also becomes key in helping Georgiana face the demons that are haunting her own past. I just adored her relationship with Georgiana because I’ve always had a soft spot for the fact that Georgiana lost her mother at such a young age.
The gradual way that Leslie builds the romantic tension between Lord Sele and Georgiana is done thoughtfully and through the uses of many of our senses. A meaningful glance, and soft, yet thrilling touch, and a shared love for beautiful music makes readers feel as though they too are part of their courtship journey. I really want to believe that a Lord Sele exists for every woman after finishing this story!
I also loved the way Leslie wove her supporting stories based on our other favorite characters into this story. Colonel Fitzwilliam plays a role in supporting Georgiana is London, while finding his own path to happiness. Readers also spend some time with Darcy, Elizabeth and their precocious son, Will, as they handle some personal challenges in their own lives. As a fan of Pride & Prejudice sequels, I enjoy spending time with the Darcys and witnessing their delightful banter again.
Yet, the biggest surprise character in this story for me was Lydia Bennet because she’s a more mature and ladylike character and these traits are established in a believable manner because Lydia still retains some of the younger and more impetuous aspects of her character too. I love when an author can actually get me to empathize and root for a character I normally dislike from canon.
Readers will be swiftly turning pages to learn what dreadful secrets Georgiana is harboring from her past and how these secrets have the ability to come back to plague her future too. My heart really felt for her throughout her trials, and even though I hoped she would have a future filled with happiness and love, I wasn’t sure how her past secrets would be received by others once they were revealed to them. Leslie did a good job keeping this part of the story suspenseful without making it drag along.
The structure of the story also really allowed me to easily relate to Georgiana’s thoughts and feelings because numerous entries in Georgiana’s journal are interwoven throughout the narrative. I really enjoyed these shifting perspectives and I found myself looking forward to reading Georgiana’s inner thoughts and musings on various events and situations. I also thought that Leslie shaped this main storyline in a way that kept me eagerly engaged throughout the story because I felt it was handled with the right amount of angst and romantic tension and the way Georgiana personally came to face her demons made me cheer for her happiness even more!
Particular Attachments is a delightful read and one I highly recommend for JAFF readers. This is a very strong addition to this series and when an author can make me empathize with Lydia Bennet and find ways for me to enjoy spending time with her character, I am pleasantly surprised. By the time readers turn the final pages of this story, they will be completely enamored with Lord Sele and find him to be a worthy and charming match for Fitzwilliam Darcy’s little sister!