impulsePhew. I’m glad I had received this one from my hold list at the same time as the last one. Much better. In fact, it’s almost insulting to Ms. Reynolds to merely say: “Much Better”.

True confession: I have read this one before (but never with the ease of curling up on my couch with printed pages–I’ve only ever had to curl up with my laptop!.  In fact, I’ve read all of Ms. Reynold’s sequels and what ifs. I find her to be a tremendously talented writer and I can say in all honesty that I owe my current obsession with Jane Austen sequels to her.  All that being said though, this is not one of my more favorite stories of hers.  I find when people dislike this story, it is because they cannot wrap their minds around the Austen characters departing from anything that doesn’t resemble staunch Victorian morality.

Impulse and Initiative picks up after the disastrous Hunsford proposal and has as its plot-line: what if Darcy set out to actively (instead of accidentally as in the original story) pursue Elizabeth? What if, indeed and why not? The result is a story of the strengths and weaknesses of both Darcy and Elizabeth. One of my favorite lines from this sequel is when Darcy says Elizabeth’s failing is to tell no one of anything of importance. I’ve often thought that when reading the original. We know that she confides in Jane about the proposal, but we also know that she never told Jane of Darcy’s interference with her relationship with Bingley.  Because of the silliness and total disregad for reality both of her parents indulged in, I’ve often wondered if she didn’t just internalize her struggles.  Austen clearly painted Elizabeth as having a sharp mind and keen wit; it is highly unlikely that Elizabeth didn’t clearly see the conditions of her household and wish for better (not necessarily richer, just making her home life more ideal).

My library put this put in the Young Adult section, and I will be submitting a note with this to the cataloger when I return it; most assuredly it is NOT for young adults. Part of the development of the story is that lust does and can move some realationships along. It’s an interesting position for a Regency piece. They anticipate their wedding vows and have to deal with the ramifications of that. That’s really my only critique of this story: they get away with it all too easily.  I would have liked to see some consequences given the time period.

It is a well-written book. No plot lines are introduced and later forgotten only to leave the reader confused and unfulfilled. I don’t give this book the enthusiasm that I have for her others simply because I have a harder time buying into the story line. The anticipation I can actually believe, but without there being more that follows it seems to lose a little purpose. Pride and Prejudice sequel addicts, who are of age, will likely enjoy it. It won’t be their favorite, but they will be able to feel like they were inside Pemberley and sititng with Darcy and Elizabeth a bit.