Review and Giveaway: Particular Intentions by L. L. Diamond

particularintentions-coverJust finished reading Particular Intentions by L.L. Diamond, staying up two nights to read: first to start it and again to finish it. That’s how compelling I found the story and the writing; I had to know what happened next! From the exquisite cover to the final “Welcome to Pemberley, my love,” it is a most enjoyable read. I don’t think I’ve presented you with a spoiler here; other than the movie Lost in Austen, every JAFF variation I’ve seen has its Darcy-and-Lizzy happily-ever-after ending. As does Particular Intentions.

The story is a departure from canon; Darcy and Elizabeth get on quite well almost from the start, which I liked very much, and they are betrothed within the first hundred pages. As you might expect, however, the course of true love does not run smoothly for our dear couple. The obstacles and angst that separate them simply take place a little further on in their relationship.

And if you must have your Hunsford proposal, you will be disappointed. I did not miss it.

Perhaps this would be a good juncture to interject my own opinion of Elizabeth Bennet’s character, which I realize is not shared by most Janeites. I first read P&P when I was a young teenager and could not yet appreciate the story or the writing. When I revisited Jane Austen as an adult, my first reaction to Elizabeth was “Why is she listening to this stranger’s gossip, and why is she passing it along to others? Yeah, the guy dissed her, but – yuck. And why do she and her father claim she has such excellent insight into reading other people? She’s practically a blind beetle!” When I saw the 1995 film version, I wanted to punch her in her “fine eyes” several times. The dance at the Netherfield Ball, when she kept pulling faces, summed up her character for me. What arrogance! What sanctimoniousness! How judgmental! Pride and prejudice? Yes! Both terms described Elizabeth to a T!

This gives you an idea of how I read any P&P variation. I am always surprised, and usually pleased, when Elizabeth is drawn without these negative qualities.

leslie-diamond
Author L. L. Diamond

In Particular Intentions, the angst begins at the Netherfield Ball, when they are already betrothed, with Elizabeth overhearing part of a conversation and immediately drawing the wrong conclusion, then over-reacting with typical stubbornness and self-righteousness – which nearly brings her idyllic situation with Mr Darcy to an untimely end. Fortunately, with a little help from her loved ones, she admits her mistake, and humbly returns to Mr Darcy.

Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly clear that someone – or some ones – wish ill to both Mr Darcy and his betrothed. Who are they and what are their intentions? As the wedding day approaches, the threat becomes more imminent. A surprise attack on the couple in the middle of London leaves them both injured and their families shocked. Now it is up to Mr Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam to discover who was behind the assaults, and whether they need to prepare for further attacks or can catch the person or persons responsible before they send their goons out to strike again.

What I liked most: Elizabeth acting like a love-struck teenager; it is most endearing! Colonel Fitzwilliam coming to the rescue when danger touches his cousin. The humour, especially in the portrayal of the wedding night. No, no, it’s not what you think; their wedding takes place after the assault. Their intimate moments described with the suggestion of what takes place between them. I confess that I do not care for detailed descriptions of their marital (and sometimes extra-marital) relations contained in some JAFF; I prefer not to be a fly on their bedroom wall. This story went into just enough detail to get the reader’s imagination working!

I also liked the happy, although unexpected, outcome for a character who was under-served in the original.

And the story hit my own “must-haves” for successful JAFF: there must be sufficient face-time for Colonel Fitzwilliam, and I must fall in love with Mr Darcy all over again. Otherwise why read JAFF?

What I liked least: Although I enjoyed the writing and the story itself, there were a couple of instances of group discussions that included no “said-isms.” This made it difficult to keep track of who was speaking. By the end of the discussions it became clear who had said what, but I would have preferred clarification while I was reading it.

In short: A well-thought-out and well-written story that I enjoyed very much. If I had to give it a star rating, it would be 4.75 out of 5.0 (just a bit taken off for the slightly short supply of said-isms).

Purchase Particular Intentions at amazon or your favourite book/ebook dealer.

(I received an e-ARC in return for an honest review.)

The giveaway: The author is offering a Jane Austen gift pack to one lucky reader. There are no residency restrictions.

leslie-diamond-giveaway

Included in the prize:

  • One Pride and Prejudice Journal
  • S&S postcard
  • Persuasion postcard
  • Fashion plate postcard
  • Fashion plate note card
  • Pack of 5 JA quote & fashion plate note cards
  • Austen Variations bookmark

To enter: Comment on this review by Sunday, November 27. The winner will be announced here on Monday, November 28, 2016. The Comments link is at the top-left of this post.

Good luck!

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Review and Giveaway: Particular Intentions by L. L. Diamond

  1. I have not read this yet, but have enjoyed L.L. Diamond’s writing style and variations in An Unwavering Trust and Rain and Retribution…very enjoyable. After this review it is on the TBR stack!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very thoughtful review. Your concern about Elizabeth’s character is most illuminating. I think this is part of why JA’s writing is so phenomenal. Which 20 year old doesn’t have times when they are completely irrational, immature and stubborn? I love how much self-knowledge Elizabeth admits she still needs near the end of the book. This looks like a really good read!

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  3. From your review, I am intrigued and would like to read this story. I have not read any of Ms. Diamond’s works as yet. Perhaps this will be the first. As to your opinion of Elizabeth, I could not disagree more, but it IS your blog! lol … I think in most instances her judgement of character is spot on. It is only with Darcy (who prejudiced her with his initial insult when she had first found him attractive) that she dons stubborn blinders and refuses to see any good in him. And she wears the same blinders, just reversed, with Wickham, who has endeared himself to her not just through compliments but by sharing her opinion. And you must admit, he had fooled much more worldly people than herself. How you could develop enough animosity towards her to want to punch her is beyond me, as her lightness and charm in delivering even unfair insults make it hard to dislike her. Now, the Kiera Knightly Elizabeth is absolutely bitchy, so that one I can understand wanting to punch. But Austen’s Elizabeth? Oh dear! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bonnie, thank you for visiting Every Savage Can Dance, and for your comments. Perhaps I should explain. I consider gossiping to be one of the lowest forms of human behaviour. As Socrates observed: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” And my own Mother would remind us whenever necessary that “Anyone who is talking *to* you about other people is most assuredly talking to other people *about* you.” Gossiping comprises not only the talking but also the listening and encouraging the speaker. This is what formed my antipathy to Elizabeth in canon, along with the fact that altho’ she prided herself on her insight into people, she clearly misjudged not only Darcy and Wickham, but even her own best friend Charlotte. Certainly I cannot impute the portrayal of Elizabeth in films to Austen. The very lush and otherwise enjoyable P&P-1995 has a grossly miscast Elizabeth, and *that* is the Elizabeth whose lights I want to punch out. (One of my first posts when I started this blog, “Pride and Prejudice on film and video,” https://everysavagecandance.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/pp-on-film-and-video/, addressed this topic.) To Jane’s Elizabeth I would like to give a stern talking-to about gossip-mongering and jumping to conclusions!

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  4. Loved the book and since the first time read I have re-read it at least 2 more times and it is still on my kindle to have it on hand so I can read it again and again

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leslie’s book sounds fascinating. Thank you for your review Janis and it’s lack of spoilers. I’m rather fond of tales where Elizabeth and Darcy come to an early agreement about their feelings, even though circumstances follow that conspire to keep them apart. This sounds as though it would suit me very well. The giveaway is a very generous one, thank you Leslie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a bit of a problem replying to everyone individually, so I’d like to thank everyone who has commented. If you have read the book and loved it, I’m so pleased! If you have added it to your TBR list or bought it, then I hope you love it! Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to confess that everytime I watch the 1995 miniseries, I wonder how on earth can Mr Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth, because I find her conceited, outspoken and making all those strange faces and giving him the oddest looks. To me, it lacks the lightness, the playfulness, the gentleness and the warmth of the original character.

    This said, I read Particular Intentions over the week-end and enjoyed it very much. Thank you for an excellent review.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the well-written and thoughtful review, Janis! I love this book, and you captured the essence of it well. The giveaway is cool. It includes a fave picture that inspired a blog post I wrote about a year ago! Best of luck on your review site and best of luck to Leslie with the new book!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely review and I must admit to agreeing with your thoughts on Elizabeth in the original P&P although luckily I have read any number of variations where she is not as bad as that. I read this lovely book when it came out as I do love Leslie’s work and this certainly didn’t disappoint. (well again Elizabeth did disappoint a little but maybe that will teach her not to eavesdrop! 😃)

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