Published by Meryton Press Genres: JAFF, Pride and Prejudice, Historical Romance
We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself.
But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?
Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Mr. Darcy has the privilege of being the first son of a wealthy gentleman. But have you imagined what he would be if he was the second son? Would he be a member of the clergy or a military man like Colonel Fitzwilliam? In Fair Stands the Wind, the people of Hertfordshire do not meet a Mr. Darcy of Pemberley, but they do meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy.
(So, kind of like Captain Frederick Wentworth, another Austen favorite. ❤️ Their profession, success at sea, and swoon-worthiness are the only similarities though)
Darcy is not the only one living a different life. The Bennet ladies—especially the two eldest daughters—are in more desperate need of a husband since Mr. Bennet is terribly ill and might die sooner than they are prepared. Jane is more resigned to her mama’s matchmaking schemes, and Elizabeth has accepted the fact she might marry Mr. Collins once he proposes.
There is no “she is not handsome enough to tempt me…” statement thrown so casually, but there are whispers of Captain Darcy’s drinking habits and ways of a sailor that make Elizabeth cautious of him, although time spent at Netherfield when Jane was sick is enough to appease those fears/apprehensions.
Marriage is not in Captain Darcy’s sights, but circumstances involving his younger sister’s guardianship makes him need it, even more so now that he has to go back to sea. When Elizabeth was in Netherfield taking care of Jane, Darcy saw it first hand what a kind, compassionate, and a lady of good sense she was, and upon hearing about their circumstances, believed they could enter a marriage of convenience to help each other. It was not what Elizabeth imagined, but it was much better than marrying Mr. Collins, and so the two wed.
The two are separated shortly after they are married and only have the chance to get to know each other more through letters. It is easy to see their affection growing even when they’re apart, and it made me anticipate their reunion with each page!
It is certainly a different take on Pride and Prejudice, but it’s still gripping and sweet. Darcy is just as giving and selfless. He will do anything for those he loves, even letting them go if he thinks it would be better for them. It’s not surprising I fell for Captain Darcy. He’s so sweet in his own way.
The story is more focused on Captain Darcy and Elizabeth, but there are familiar faces here and there, although they don’t impact the story as much as the original. There are a few new characters here, mostly Captain Darcy’s crew, but they’re fun, endearing, and protective of Elizabeth and Georgiana.
I would have loved to read more scenes where these two are together, to see their love grow more when they’re reunited. Although the epilogue was absolutely adorable! If you enjoy what-if stories of Pride and Prejudice, you might enjoy Fair Stands the Wind as much as I did.
It is not an easy happily ever after for Captain Darcy and Elizabeth, but it was a pleasure to read their journey into finding it.
Tropes: Marriage of Convenience
POV: Third Person, Female POV
Order your copy of Fair Stands the Wind
(e-book to follow)
The e-book version of Fair Stands the Wind is not yet available, so Ms. Lodge is sharing a wonderful excerpt for the readers at Of Pens and Pages!
The ball was set for the full moon on Saturday, and the family coach and horses were prepared. To everyone’s dismay, Mr. Collins had recovered from his indisposition and squeezed his way amongst his “fair cousins,” for as he said, “Lady Catherine says that dancing in respectable company is a perfectly acceptable activity for a clergyman, being both healthful and tending to restrain the company from light speech and overly high spirits.” As they were removing their wraps in the withdrawing room at Netherfield, Elizabeth remarked to Jane that he gave one a very clear picture of the entertainments countenanced by that august lady.
Mr. Bingley immediately solicited Jane’s hand for the first dance, and they opened the proceedings in fine style. Elizabeth looked round for the captain and Miss Darcy, and she was eventually reduced to asking Miss Bingley.
“The captain is about somewhere, but he thinks his sister too young to be out.” Unfortunately, at that moment Lydia and Kitty could be heard roaring with laughter in a group of young officers, and Miss Bingley’s expression said everything she was perhaps still too well brought up to say aloud.
Elizabeth said nothing. She was about to go and attempt to restrain her sisters when Mr. Collins arrived and asked to be her partner in the next set. There was no way she could avoid the invitation, and so did her best to accept politely. To her horror, he seemed to be adopting an almost proprietary manner towards her. Her mother had begun, over the past few days, to speculate whether he would get round to choosing one of her daughters and had taken it upon herself to warn him away from Jane. Elizabeth wondered whether Mrs. Bennet had finally decided it was her duty to nudge him in Elizabeth’s direction.
While they stood waiting for the next set to begin, Mr. Collins favoured Elizabeth with his views of the current state of the war and the political situation, interspersed with awkward compliments to herself and her family. She did her best to listen politely, but her attention kept wandering, and she had to prevent herself from looking around for the captain.
Mr. Collins could not dance, which was bad enough, but what was worse was that he could not accept direction without apologising at length, which sent him further astray in the set. Elizabeth could see Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley, heads together, enjoying her predicament, so she set her teeth, held her head high, and did her best to carry the situation off with an air. During one evolution of the dance in which Mr. Collins, having led with the wrong hand, had then gone the wrong way up the set and had to be called back, she saw her mother and Lady Lucas sitting together, her mother looking extremely pleased with herself, and she knew that, to Mrs. Bennet at least, her marriage was as good as made. Since Mrs. Bennet’s wishes soon became Mrs. Bennet’s facts, Elizabeth had no doubt that the neighbourhood were all being told that the Bennets’ fortunes had been saved. A slightly soiled glove met hers, and she suppressed a shudder.
Down the dance, she saw the captain standing near the fireplace, talking, or at least listening, to Sir William. The captain was wearing his green spectacles again, and she could not see his eyes, which was a pity for they were quite his most striking feature. She hoped he was not unwell. She would have liked a word with him, but Mr. Collins seemed determined to monopolise her company. As she stood up with him for the next dance, she had to listen to his breathless comparisons between Netherfield and Lady Catherine’s seat, Rosings. “For although the pictures here are very fine, they are nothing compared to those at Rosings. The portrait of the late Sir Lewis de Bourgh cost over three hundred guineas and…”
There was much more of this. Every time the pattern brought them back together, he seemed to have another comment to the detriment of Netherfield and the aggrandisement of Rosings. There were more candles than she had ever seen in one place, and the room grew increasingly hot. Frantically, she tried to form an excuse to get away from her cousin. The set was coming to an end, and she knew that, if she did not think of something, she would be unable to avoid his company for supper as well. The music ended, the couples exchanged bows and curtsies, and she had thought of nothing. She saw her cousin open his mouth, but to her utmost relief, she heard a familiar deep voice at her side.
“May I have the pleasure of the next set, Miss Elizabeth?” It was Captain Darcy, looking composed and elegant.
Something unknotted in her chest, and she dropped him a grateful curtsey. “I should be delighted, sir,” she said.
Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebook of Fair Stands the Wind. Commenting and entering through the Rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you for a chance to win. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
This blog tour would not be possible without Meryton Press, Janet Taylor, and Catherine Lodge. Thank you for inviting me and introducing me to another lovely Pride and Prejudice variation!
08/30 Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post or Vignette, GA
08/31 My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA
09/01 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/02 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/03 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA
09/04 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Vignette
09/05 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA (this is me!)
09/06 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Vignette, Giveaway
09/07 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/08 So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/09 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, GA
09/10 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, GA
09/11 My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA
09/12 Just Jane 1813; Review, GA