What would it be like to wake up from a severe head injury to realize you have lost eleven years of your life? Elizabeth Darcy is now married and has children with the last man in the world she could ever be prevailed upon to marry. Darcy, her children, her servants, and her family all quietly work to help restore her memories and sense of self. It was fascinating, moving, and heartwarming to see this woman find herself and see her husband and family through new eyes.
I have read many amnesia romances and like what they did to a story, but this was unique because it was one of the few that I read for an after the happily ever after situation. It was like a middle-aged woman was getting a re-set right in the middle of a full life. The last memories she has of the man she calls husband is that she can’t stand him and now he is her husband, father of her children, and she is pregnant with his child. Elizabeth must figure out how and why while trying to continue on with a life that she cannot remember. She is a mistress of a grand estate, a mother, and a wife. Though she has no feelings for this world and these people, she bravely decides to do her best and go forward.
The story is all from her perspective. It is like a mystery of sorts as she figures out her own life. Her biggest mystery is why did she marry Fitzwilliam Darcy? Darcy is taciturn and circumspect. She has to observe him carefully to see that her memory loss is his own deep loss. Slowly she figures out that the arrogant, hateful man she thought he was eleven years before was so very much in the wrong. It is his selfless acts, surprising kindnesses, and obvious love of herself and their children that slowly work on her.
This is a bittersweet tale in that it is a slow go and sad as Elizabeth has to learn to love her children and like and respect let alone love her husband. Nothing is easily discovered even if she questions her ladies’ maid, her parents, her sister, her children, and her husband. It was a long road back and I found that as she found her way, I was really cheering her on.
It was a gently-paced story that had an authentic feel to the times. Propriety, language, taste, and activities were all just as would be for the time. It was a picture of family life for a wealthy landed family of Regency times.
Elizabeth is the central figure, but her family and staff were well-drawn. There are several scenes with her children. However, it is the growing romance with her husband that captured my attention most. Darcy is patient with her, but his love and passion are there smoldering and waiting.
So, this was a unique story that I found amazing and sweet. My first time with this author, but I doubt it will be my last. I would recommend this to sweet historical romance, historical fiction, and Austenesque fans quite easily.
My thanks to Meryton Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #179 HR
New to Me #72 author
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