Throwback Thursday Review: Mr. Darcy's Reverie: A Sensual Pride and Prejudice Variation

Mr. Darcy's Reverie: A Sensual Pride and Prejudice Variation audiobook cover. A close-up view of a handsome man's face in a high regency ruffled collar and cravat. Mr. Darcy's Reverie: A Sensual Pride and Prejudice Variation by Emma Hawke.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duration: 35 mins.
🔥Steamy content!🔥

Mr Darcy's Reverie is a sensual short story which ‘reinvents’ Jane Austen’s most famous leading man, and what he might have gotten up to in the privacy of his own bedchamber…

This was my first time listening to a Pride and Prejudice vagary of this kind, as I love the original and wasn’t keen on others treading on Austen’s toes and subverting the intended tone, as so many of the self-styled spinoffs have been rather lacklustre. This one, however, was a very pleasant surprise! As fanfiction goes it was an admirable attempt, and as the story progressed I felt myself increasingly able to picture Darcy’s discomfiture, and being drawn further in to believing these thoughts to be those of a very familiar character. As it began to heat up, both Darcy and Elizabeth were believable re-imaginings, and their union was great fun.

I liked the references to the original novel , and found thy were enough for me to suspend disbelief and imagine it is Austen’s Darcy whose thoughts we are hearing, though the author sometimes quotes complete phrases which feels a little heavy-handed. It would have been subtler to use similar phrasing and key words to link this story to the original.

The only drawback, for me, was the feeling that a good editor would have been able to tighten up some of the phrasing and encourage the author away from the clumsy repetition of certain words and phrases (‘tendrils’, ‘rendered’, ‘perfect symmetry’ etc). It wasn’t enough to ruin the story, but it was a shame, as a little more polish would have given this story the flair it deserved.

There was a moment when Darcy’s musings became a more specific fantasy when it felt very much as if this were two stories that had been retrofitted to work together, and was a little jarring, but then it found its momentum once more and settled back in.

The narrator, J K Mannion, read the story pleasantly, capturing Darcy’s reserve, his intensity and his well-spoken manner as he begins to be undone by his desire. That passion and desperation slowly makes its way into his performance as the story builds.

Though the haughtiness associated with the original was somewhat lacking, perhaps that is a matter of perception, as it was often others who felt Darcy to be “proud and disagreeable” and he did not share that opinion of himself, so it would arguably not be present in his private reflections.

I did slow the speed down to 0.95x on Audible, which I felt much improved the performance. It made it more sensual, deepened the narrator’s voice very slightly, and was more in-keeping with how I imagine Darcy to speak. A tiny change, but one which I felt made a significant difference to my enjoyment of the audiobook.

I’d definitely read more from this author, and this narrator, especially upon the same subject as it was good, silly. steamy fun.

I’d recommend it to fans of Pride and Prejudice and romantic erotica who are happy to suspend their disbelief long enough to imagine Darcy’s blood – and other things – beginning to rise…

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

view on audible.co.uk
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