A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes
About the Book
In Volume I: Disappointed Hopes, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London following his rejection by Elizabeth Bennet a devastated and humbled man. The lady, meanwhile, is battling the unprecedented feelings stirred by having endured an innocent but intimate encounter with the gentleman in the aftermath of his proposal. Soon on her way to Town herself for an unanticipated stay, she is comforted by the presence of an old family friend, one Nicholas Harington – the son of a wealthy family whose position in society rivals that of the Darcys of Pemberley.
Circumstance soon throws Darcy back into the company of Elizabeth, much to their mutual consternation, and also introduces him to Harington who has emerged as a potential suitor for Elizabeth’s hand, a union that is viewed as a fair prospect by all – except, perhaps, Darcy himself.
Disappointed Hopes is an alternate version of Pride and Prejudice, beginning with Darcy's botched proposal. I loved this new path for Darcy and Elizabeth! They don't get the time and space they need to forgive each other - instead they're thrown back together almost immediately, and the conflict is truly enjoyable.
There are some changes to canon, like the Gardiners not having children, but I thought Grafton did very well at keeping everyone in character. There's also a nice balance between drama and humor, which makes for an entertaining read. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam have a great relationship, and the awkward tension between Darcy and Elizabeth is everything you could hope for.
While it's a little slow in the beginning, with Darcy and Elizabeth wrapped up in their own thoughts, it quickly picks up and hurtles toward the end. As soon as I hit the last page, I couldn't wait to read the second of the trilogy!