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on January 25, 2015
Mature audience only. Modern day variation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is a judge in San Francisco ., and Elizabeth is a defense attorney. Heated arguments bounce back and forth between them making Lizzy hate him more and more while he is more attracted each time they are in court. While at a Halloween costume party, he's not expecting to see her, and she is drawn to him the entire evening. Dressed as a race car drive, he never removes the helmet, raise the face mask, or speaks because she would recognize him immediately. She calls him speed racer and tries to get his name from Bingley who's too drunk to remember who dressed as a race car driver. After many court battles literally, Darcy decides to take a vacation to his home in England, Pemberley, and invites Bingley and Jane to accompany him. He wants to get to know Jane to make sure it's not Bingley's money she's after. Jane requested to bring a friend. Well guess who travels with Jane and Bingley? Right, Lizzy is along for a vacation to get away from Judge Darcy. Surprise, surprise, surprise. After finding out that this is Darcy's home, Lizzy insists on going to a hotel. Truce is called, they start over, and the bedroom romps begin. Both agree that things go back to normal when the vacation is over. Nice on paper maybe, but in reality neither of them planned to fall in love. Both go their own way, but they are miserable, and the courtroom erupts in contempt. Problems between a judge and his court lawyer prohibits them from being together so when Darcy approaches her boss for help solving the dilemma, Lizzy is moved to the new office in San Diego. This sets off a new set of problems that must be solved before they can move on. Eventually everything works out love wise and work wise. More sex before they finally get married, but just as in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, ends happily ever after. Nice thing about this variation is there was no Wickham type character. Caroline was there, but not too much more of a problem than usual. Remember this is a modern variation; therefore, the consensual sex between two adults seems to be the norm today so I read it with that in mind.
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on April 7, 2015
4.5 stars

I have very mixed and conflicting feelings about this book. If I look at it as a stand-alone romance novel - I loved it. But if I consider it as a variation on Pride and Prejudice there are shortcomings. I have stated in other recent reviews I have posted that I don't usually read modern variations of P&P but have had recommended to me more than a few by people I trust recently. I read them and enjoyed those modern tales, but have now come to the conclusion that one must realize and emphasize that modern variations are going to reflect 21st century morals and culture, i.e., a gay community in the open, drug usage, women in professions, one-night stands, friends with benefits, etc. This book is definitely rated R. I have read many books with sex scenes so that is not a negative but a statement to those reading this review to expect very graphic sex scenes. And the F-bomb among other words is dropped a few times.

There are some surprises in this book. And there is a lot of humor...ROFL for me at times. I found it difficult to imagine a certain matron being given cannabis by her husband to keep her calm. Just too funny. My cheeks are hurting from the ear-to-ear grin here. And Lou Hurst!!!! Hold onto your sensibilities. For me it was a stretch to not only imagine a gay male BFF going into the dressing room while Lizzie tries on lingerie but also physically demonstrating a technique he recommends she use in her relationship with Darcy.

Elizabeth is a tease in this book. She comes across very proper in the courtroom but take her to a karaoke bar and put her on stage, or set her in a boring conference next to a man she has just realized she wants to entice into her bed, or send her miles away to work so that she has to come up with a way of sending Darcy reminders of what he is missing. Wow! Lizzy is not the woman we thought we knew.

Caroline is another surprise and I do mean SURPRISE. I have a problem here because I don’t want to write a SPOILER but just know that she does not follow the character in canon except that she does want Darcy and that she goes out of her way to stick like glue to him in public places.

Much of Darcy seems in character with canon: he puts up his own excuses not to seek a relationship with Ms. Bennet. He is very rich: has his Pemberley in England as well as a penthouse in California. Loved that he shows up at the bar and watches her “Hot Stuff” performance and leaves without her realizing he saw the “spank it” part. Then there is his participation in a certain auction. We don’t have the rejected proposal scene but a parallel offer to collaborate in a paper for a law journal is presented.

About 72% into the book on kindle we read of Darcy saying, “I can’t explain it, it just is. I like Elizabeth. Everything about her. The way she smells, her hair, her jokes, the way she moves, the way she laughs. All her imperfections, to me, combine into one perfect whole. I feel like I’m missing something when she’s not here, like I’ve forgotten my wallet. Something isn’t right without her.” Who does he say this to? No, it is not a letter to Lizzie ala the Wentworth letter but he does say some things that touch one’s romantic side.

The sex scenes fit well in this story but I do think we could have had just a little less. The scenes are imaginative and detailed: every touch, every sensation and every electric pulse. Lizzie’s outfits (think red stiletto heels, etc.), with Lou’s help, are well described and add a lot to setting the scene and pushing Darcy into a state of uncontrolled lust. And his decision to stay in costume as a mute Speed Racer at the Halloween party is a golden touch. Lizzy is floored when she realizes who it is she has been seeking…not in a million years would she imagine he is the "old" man with eyeglasses and gelled hair sitting on the bench in front of her and giving her a very difficult time in her daily legal work.

Part of the misunderstandings in this book have to do, not with class separations or scandalous family behaviors but, with who is going to sacrifice what or not to make their relationship workable or the keeping of a pact made to pretend they have no relationship now nor have they had any in the recent past.

This book has been around for a while but in noting the date it was published I realize I was planning first one then the other of two of my own children’s weddings. So this was not in my field of awareness.

I read it over two days and it kept my attention. We expect our HEA but the trip there was full of angst and longings and, again, misunderstandings.
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on August 8, 2014
This is a funny story where the author use the characters of Pride and Prejudice to tell a modern story. That is as far as it goes. The story does not reflect anything else to Jane Austen story. I am writing this evaluation because I want people to know about the book. I read the hard copy of this book several years ago and liked it. I wanted to read it again and couldn't find it so I got the Kindle copy of it. To my surprise the Kindle copy is different than the hard copy. The hard copy is way more entertainming.
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on May 6, 2017
This book was great with no one running off with someone's teenage sister. It was nice to have Lizzy and Will being kept apart by only their own silly pride. I was also glad some characters I rather hate were kept to a bare minimum.
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VINE VOICEon February 28, 2008
(This new review for the Sourcebook publication of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy is dated October 4, 2009. My original review for the self-published work was Jan 2008.)

Many modern versions of Jane Austen's works fail to hit the mark because the author forces a "rewrite" of the original, altogether forgetting that some scenarios and mores from the Regency era make no sense in the modern day world. Or worse yet, the author fails to deliver any character development - depending almost wholly on the expectation that the reader will be familiar with Miss Austen's originals. Fortunately, author Sara Angelini's The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy is invigorating, yet somewhat comforting, as we meet our old friends in an entirely new setting. Like Bridget Jones' Diary, the popular 1996 novel by Helen Fielding, The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy has flavorings of the original Pride and Prejudice: an aloof, handsome, and rather stuffy, Fitzwilliam Darcy from an ancient line of British aristocracy meets and goes toe to toe with fresh-faced, independent, and spunky Elizabeth Bennet. And yes, there is still the great estate of Pemberley in England and a cast of familiar names. But beyond that, this story is refreshingly new, and stands quite on its own.

As the title eludes, our Fitzwilliam Darcy is a judge and Elizabeth Bennet is the clever attorney who frequently appears before him in court. Following the usual P&P adaptation formula, an unintentional, off-handed comment by Judge Darcy is over heard by Elizabeth that only adds to the manifest of other qualities she already detests about him. Do not expect all of the characters from the original novel in this modern re-imagining, nor are they used in the same capacity as in Austen's work. Exhibit one: you will not find Darcy's arch nemesis Mr. Wickham running off with his younger sister Georgiana. Exhibits two and three: there are none of Lady Catherine's high-handed antics, or even an unwelcome marriage proposal by Mr. Collins. However, there are fleeting "walk on" roles by some of the aforementioned characters but none are a driving force to the plot. I particularly enjoyed how Angelini has also cleverly enhanced Caroline Bingley's roll as competition to Elizabeth, and confidant to Darcy. My eyebrows did wrinkle concerning some of the refurbished characterizations of Elizabeth's best friend Louis Hurst because in all honestly, I did not believe Jane Austen's Louisa Hurst was ever intended to be a gay male. But I soon got over myself, and found this quirky reinterpretation to be a favorite, a most-endearing character. I especially love how Angelini has given many of Austen's famous lines to Lou, even channeling our beloved Mrs. & Mr. Bennet.

A real-life attorney, Angelini has a very realistic grasp on the legalese. In addition, her understanding and interpretations of dynamic relationships and dialogue is descriptive and believable - although the f-bomb is frequently dropped. I often found myself laughing out loud and shaking my head at the plucky dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth as well as some amusing antics. Be forewarned, however, the extremely graphic and passionate love scenes will leave you breathless. So delicious, they will leave you craving for more!

I confess I have been a fan of this particular adaptation of Pride and Prejudice since Angelini first self-publication it in 2008. When I heard that Sourcebooks had picked it up, I was somewhat apprehensive regarding what possible cuts and changes might entail. But my fears were for naught as the edits and stronger back-story only proved to make it a more cohesive and realistic tale. Thankfully, none of my original favorite scenes were deleted and some new scenes were added as well. Nice!

Although this novel was inspired by Jane Austen's original and Angelini's own admission of "Colin Firth's smoldering haughtiness," one need not have read Pride and Prejudice (or seen the BBC mini-series for that matter!) to enjoy it. But if you are already a fan, then this telling will be an excessively diverting entertainment you won't want to miss. In conclusion, my factual assertion as witness merits, The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy is 5 stars.
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on August 10, 2017
It's Pride and Prejudice told in the modern era. It keeps you interested in their dilemma and to see how they can untangle their situation in the modern day.
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on November 8, 2014
I love this combination of romance, humor, and sexy people. I love "Pride and Prejudice" and this modern version is great.
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on April 26, 2008
I loved this modern day depiction of Pride and Prejudice, loosely speaking. I was fine with the characters not adhering faithfully to P&P, since it is such as different era. It was really fun to read about Darcy and Elizabeth, who were well developed characters. The author did an excellent job of depicting the depth of their feeling for each other, the challenges they both had in admitting their love, and developing the relationship. The book was edgy, hot, romantic, and moving. I enjoyed the Northern California setting, too! Thanks for the endearing story and funny scenes.
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on May 19, 2017
Love the book and the writer
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on June 21, 2011
This gets your blood flowing! A great "what if" that I enjoyed and read a second time right after the first. I wasn't interested in reading it at first because it was modern. I though it wouldn't be that same story. Even though Wickham doesn't make an appearence, the book and lots of drama. He's a judge and she is a lawyer that apears before him. The laws prevents their relationship. Sex scenes are explicit and the "F" word appears several times.
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