Austen lovers beware. This is NOTHING like Jane Austen. In fact, there's no story in this story. If you like reading about sexual encounters in every way, shape and form this book's for you.
Don't get me wrong - I like a good juicy sex scene in a book. Maybe two or three. However, the characters in this book are nothing like our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth. They've been reduced to characters in a soft porn film. Let me give you an example: Shortly before a ball during which Elizabeth is to be introduced as the wife of Darcy at Pemberly, Darcy enters her dressing room and gives Elizabeth a fine diamond necklace. Immediately after her expression of gratitude, he picks her up by the armpits, plops her on the dressing table and has his quickie. His sweet nothing in her ear is something to the effect of "Do not bath yourself. I want to know that when I look at you, my seed is trickling down your leg." Her only thought is to wonder how sticky the dancing will be.
I got about 1/4 of the way through the book, before giving up on it (I had hoped for improvement). If I took the time to count the sexual encounters between the Darcy's within those few pages it would probably add up to about 15. (Her second after her wedding night has Elizabeth straddling him like a horse in their private carriage on the way to Pemberly. Not bloody likely in Austen's world!)
Lastly, I would like to comment on the vocabulary throughout the book. If I were paid a dollar for every "herwith" and "betwixt" I'd be rich. The authur said it took her four years to research this book. I imagine it took her one year to write it in modern English and three years of scouring through dictionaries and thesaurus' to convert 99 percent of the words to 18th Century English. How's this one for you - "devirginate." According to Rogert's, its main word association is "rape" meaning "assualt." According to Dictionary.com it is c.1470 - a little to early for Austen's time. This was used to describe the recently wedded "devirginated females" Jane and Elizabeth.
Shame on Berdoll. She should stick to bodice rippers in the cheapest sense and leave literature to the truly talented.
Oh how I wish that somebody had torn the first 200 pages out of this book! They were just trash and should have been tossed directly into the recycle bin. It really is such a shame, because the rest of the book was (mostly) well written and very enjoyable! How many people gave up (and rightly so!) too soon and did not get to enjoy the rest of Berdoll's tale? I almost did! But I finished the darn thing. It's not that I'm against sexy stories... in fact I want to see Elizabeth and Darcy have a wonderful and loving marriage... it's just that I don't want Elizabeth turned into a whore, and Darcy a sex maniac! Within the first 24 hours of their marriage, the couple have 7 (!) sexual encounters, one of them with Elizabeth mounting her new husband in the carriage as they drive home. Come on! The author finds in necessary to say that Darcy kindly offers Elizabeth a pillow for her tender rear-end after the 6th encounter... but really she would need more than a pillow, she would need chap-stick! It was WAY over the top!
This book was hideous!!! The characters are nothing like the originals. The writing is awful... the grammer and vocabulary suck. It sounds like someone got ahold of theasaurus and just went to town without regard to rhythm or flow. I've read reviews on here saying that it is "written in the style" of Jane Austen... I assure you, she is spinning in her grave at that. The style of this book is smut using big words with no regard for character or plot development. Whether you are looking at the characters, conversation, or environment, there is NO beauty in this book. Jane Austen knew what it was to draw the reader in and make them want to learn more about her characters and see them develop. Berdoll only knows how to make you keep turning the pages to see how many more times your favorite characters can be turned into sex-craved idiots. Or worse, simple-minded women (like she turns Jane into) and cheating husbands (as she does to Bingley). AWFUL!!!
*EDIT: Okay, I just picked this book up again after 6 months of being distracted by other books. Every single page I read, I felt like saying to the author, "Lady, step AWAY from the thesaurus!" To wit:
"Even as her umbrageous aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, had suffered a rather vociferous conniption (one that was but partially vented by throwing both shoes and an empty pint of Geneva at the parlour-maid) over teh match, to Georgiana, her brother and his opinions were infallible. Above and beyond that, Elizabeth's obvious adoration of Darcy was reason enough to inflate Georgiana's esteem of her to the seraphic." (p. 175)
Honestly, it's like Mr. Collins took up a quill and tried to vent an ongoing crush on cousin Lizzy by writing a romance novel about her married life.
I'd like to think Jane Austen would have giggled, then said something appropriately witty and cutting about this book.
One star for effort, and amusement factor.
I absolutely hated what was done to the original story. I had hoped it would be a story that kept with the spirit of the original, but all that happens is that we get an insight into EVERY bedroom thought that the book's characters have. Don't get me wrong, I love eroticism in books, but just not this one. It just doesn't fit with the world Miss Austen created and then this Berdoll person bastardizes. Maybe the story gets better, but I am not going to waste my time finding out when there are books out there that are interesting within the first ten pages. I'm not going to wade through trash to get to some mediocre ending. Austen lovers beware!