Thursday, October 15, 2009

The "What If? Genre Part 2: Kara Louise

Kara Louise ( published Assumed Engagement at about the same time as Abigail Reynold's first Pemberley Variation, but as it wasn't until 2008 that she released another "What If?" novel, I have to give Ms. Reynolds credit for pioneering the genre. The concept is that as he leaves Rosings, following his rejected proposal, Darcy is in a carriage accident and falls into a coma. Having been so confident of Elizabeth's acceptance of his proposal, he had already written to Georgiana of his intentions. Georgiana, in all innocence (what woman in her right mind could possibly reject Fitzwilliam Darcy?), writes to Elizabeth asking for her presence at Pemberley while she waits for her brother to recover. Elizabeth, seeing this as an opportunity to reunite Jane and Bingley, does not correct Georgiana's mistaken belief that she is entertaining her future sister until, of course, Darcy wakes up. This is a fun story, good enough that I read the sequel, Assumed Obligation, but I must say that in my opinion Ms. Louise's more recent effort, Something Like Regret, is far superior. In this story Mrs. Bennet's worst fears have some true and Mr. Bennet, sometime after Elizabeth's return from Rosings (but before she would have journeyed to Derbyshire with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner), has past away. We find our poor Lizzy working as a governess, in greatly reduced circumstances. Mr. Darcy does not learn of the Bennet family's trials until he once again journeys to Rosings to visit Lady Catherine for Easter and finds the Collins family has relocated to Longbourn. This is a really fun book. There are some historical errors but its well written and full of suspense. Ms. Louise does a good job of playing upon the sympathies and love we already have for Austen's characters and doesn't portray them in graphic sexual encounters, a relief to those of us who are sometimes offended on Jane's behalf by such depictions.

I must note that my favorite of Kara Louise's books is not a "What If?" story at all but a retelling of Pride & Prejudice from the perspective of Mr. Darcy's faithful dog entitled Master Under Good Regulation. It's really quite well done.

Also, the links for Ms. Louise's books will take you to, not Amazon (where I typically link to). They might be slightly cheaper on Amazon but I believe the author receives larger royalties if the books are sold directly through Lulu. I'm not sure why her books haven't been optioned and wonder if she has intentionally chosen to remain within the self-published realm. Gives me something to think about ...


  1. i just came across this blog - it's always fun (and maybe a little scary) to see a blog written about you and/or your books. I appreciate your kind words, and am so glad you enjoyed "Master Under Good Regulation." It is my favorite, but actually the least popular in terms of sales. I wanted to let you know that I have been picked up by Sourcebooks and in September, 2010, they will publish Pemberley's Promise as "Darcy's Voyage" (in these poor economic times they want the name that sells, and 'Darcy' seems to be it), and then in the Spring of 2011, they will publish "Something Like Regret" (probably entitled something like "Darcy's Regret":) ) They have the option to pick up the others, but I'm sure I'll have to wait and see if they do any more or them all. Thanks again for the review!

  2. Hi Kara! I'm so glad you found me. I am a huge fan of your work. Congratulations on your contract with Sourcebooks - it is well deserved! Please keep my humble blog in mind when you start doing blog tours. I would love to help promote your lovely books - especially Something Like Regret, which is amongst my favorite. I'm sorry they are changing the title, for it is marvelous now, but that seems to be what Sourcebooks does, and having "Darcy" in the title makes for good search results!