In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy learns of the debacle involving Elizabeth Bennet's sister several months after he was rejected by Elizabeth, and volunteers to help find her sister, of his own accord. But what if Miss Elizabeth had requested Mr. Darcy's aid in just a few days after the disastrous proposal at Hunsford, and he was still very angry with her refusal? What if he decided to be ungentlemanly, and demanded a very particular reward from her in exchange for his assistance? This steamy, funny Pride and Prejudice what-if short story explores that scenario with wit, emotion and intriguing plot twists that take this perennial favorite to another direction.
Ok guys. Seriously I have to ask... Why didn't anyone clue me in to Pride and Prejudice and it's fan fiction sooner? After I read, reviewed and LOVED Enid Wilson's hot, hot book In Quest of Theta Magic in April (read my review) she contacted me about reviewing Bargain with the Devil. Enid described it as a P&P what if story and I was intrigued.
I started with Pride and Prejuice by Jane Austen and then moved on to the movie starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen (when Mr. Darcy flexed his hand after helping Elizabeth into the carriage my heart broke!) and wrapped it up with Bargain with the Devil. I devoured it in one sitting and then went to Enid's website Steamy Darcy (rated NC-17) and zoomed through all of the short P&P stories in the HOT POOL there. But don't despair she also has a Cool Room for those who like a little less spice.
I found my new favorite fictional male character in Mr. Darcy (move over Rourke from J.D. Robb's In Death series) and in Bargain with the Devil he is certainly a scoundrel but Enid did a wonderful job on this what if story. I especially liked the unfortunate circumstances of Miss Bingley. I'm sure that Enid had lots of fun writing this book because it shows. This is a must read if you love Pride and Prejudice. Download your own copy from Lulu for just $4.20!!
Here's a small prequel tease to Bargain with the Devil:
Why am I angry with Elizabeth? - diary entries by Mr. Darcy
Monday thirteenth of April 1812
Two days after my return from Kent.
Three days after HER rejection and what a long day this has been!
I should not have gone to Lady Worcester’s soiree.
Every woman I saw, I could not help comparing them to HER.
But in vain have I struggled. None of them would do. None of them can mend my hurting heart.
Miss Warwick’s eyes are dull, nothing compared to HER sparkling fine eyes.
Lady Blackmore’s form is awkward, not like HERS, light and pleasing.
Miss Eton’s singing was technical, and did not possess the emotion SHE has.
And Lady Worcester, what a simpleton!
How much money had her father paid for her education? How could she confuse Shakespeare’s poem with Wordsworth’s?
My Elizabeth did not benefit from the teaching of a governess and yet she could quote poets and philosophers without fail or error.
That is not true. Elizabeth Bennet of Hertfordshire, the only woman I thought would spend the rest of my life with and to bear my children, was indeed a simpleton as well.
She was ignorant of everything concerning Wickham. But then on the other hand – detection could not be in her power, and suspicion certainly not in her inclination.
How could she take such an eager interest in that rake's concerns?
How could she reply to the honour I bestowed upon her with so little endeavour at civility?
“I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”
Oh how angry and hurt I feel toward HER!
How could she expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of her connections? - to congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?
“Your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others”
But then what did she really know about me? To my own detriment I hid my feelings from her.
After all I assumed every one would know I am the best landlord in Derbyshire, the best master and the best brother.
I wish to never set eyes on her again.
“Had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner"
But if I ever do see Miss Elizabeth Bennet again, I shall show her just how ungentlemanly I can really be.
Diary by Fitzwilliam Darcy
Prequel to Bargain with the Devil
And now on to the goodies!! Enid has graciously provided a copy of Bargain with the Devil and a cool Aussie gift for two lucky readers.
The best part of this giveaway is that it is open worldwide so everyone has a chance to win this fun book. The two winners will be selected on August 20th and will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner will be selected. GOOD LUCK!