Until now, I had no idea I can enjoy a JAFF book when the story is not about Elizabeth and Darcy. The Earl’s Conquest just showed me I can. The books I’ve read so far kept the love story of Lizzy and Darcy even if not as a main plot. Although they appear here too on the first and the last chapter (and for a few pages between), but there’s no stress on them. The bookcover itself says that it’s a prequel to An Unwavering Trust; where my favourite character was Grandmamma (néé Rebecca Fairchild), Darcy’s grandmother. This book tells her love story with Lord Matlock (who was Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s father). The characters are very well written, especially Rebecca. I’ve enjoyed seeing the little Lady Catherine. She was around 7 in this story and it was good to see. Advantage that she wasn’t ‘overwritten’. I mean we can see she is very formal, cold and soulless, but she doesn’t have an unnecessary scene, namely, she doesn’t cause any problem but at the same time she is herself.
I fell in love with the Earl when Rebecca did. I believe it was mentioned in Unwavering, that Rebecca and Elizabeth has a lot in common. It was well explained, and you can see all the common points. In a subplot we can read about a few (all sorts of) love stories.
We can find quotes from P&P spoken by other characters, for e.g. Lord Matlock got some of Darcy’s lines.
The only thing I didn’t understand is the first chapter indicates Grandma will tell the story in 1st person singular, but it is not. Actually it’s not a problem because I’ve enjoyed it anyway, and it’s eye-catching only at the last sentence of the first chapter and the first sentence of the 2nd chapter.
However I was able to follow the connections, in an appendix there could have been a family tree.
If you doubt you can enjoy a story without Elizabeth and Darcy, start with this!