Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review: The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy

Title: The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy
Author: Sara Angelini
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 2009

*ARC Review*

From the back cover ~

Their attraction is so hot, it should be against the law...

Judge Fitzwilliam Darcy, a legal expert on both sides of the Atlantic, is ready to hang up his black robe and return to the life of a country gentleman until he meets Elizabeth Bennet, a fresh-faced attorney with a hectic schedule and no time for the sexy but haughty judge.

Tempers and sparks fly in Judge Darcy's courtroom and outside, in a series of chance encounters that give each of them pauses the two match wits and try to fight their overwhelming attraction. When they meet up in England at an international law conference, they embark on a hot, heavy affair. Back in the States, though, ethical considerations intrude, and each is subjected to a torturous period of soul-searching before they can find their way back to each other...

This is Sara Angelini's first book and was originally published in 2007. From the synopsis you can see it's a take on Jane Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice. What Angelini does is give the reader an updated version of the love affair between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Will and Lizzy are very contemporary characters, with Will being a judge and Lizzy an attorney. They both live and work in Meryton, a town outside of San Fransisco. They first meet in Darcy's courtroom. It took me a little bit to get into "Trials". At the beginning Darcy wasn't a very likable character but I did like Lizzy.

When they first meet and during subsequent meetings in the court room, Lizzy finds Judge Darcy to be a real pain in the ass. She doesn't like him at all. He's only 37 years old but he comes off as an uptight, stodgy, by-the-books judge that seems to have lost his ability to have fun. Lizzy is a hard worker but she also knows how to let loose and enjoy herself. Her best friend, Lou is always there to remind Lizzy how to have fun if she does start to get bogged down in her job. Darcy and Lizzy do come to respect each others' intellect when it comes to the law and Darcy can't help but notice how well Lizzy looks but Lizzy doesn't see past Darcy's aloofness until they meet up outside the courtroom at a conference in England.

The obstacle to their relationship is obvious, no matter if they are attracted to each other, they can not have any type of relationship outside of the courtroom since it would be a violation of ethics. But US law doesn't apply in England and what happens in London stays in London. Or so Darcy and Lizzy decide. Things heat up to the boiling point when these two decide to get together. Lizzy brings out the playful side of Darcy and gets him to relax and shake off his stodginess and act his age, not the age he pretends to be when he puts on his judge robe.

Some of the best parts are when Lizzy and Darcy are together in England. They shed their professional suits, if you will, and become more relaxed and just plain more likable, especially Darcy. I felt I got to know him better once he allowed himself to enjoy life.

There is also a secondary romance with Charles Bingley, Darcy's best pal, and Dr. Jane Bennet. They inadvertently helped get Darcy and Lizzy together. Then they're there to help them over the heartache from the fling they had in England. With both Lizzy and Darcy trying to maintain their professionalism once they return to the US and Darcy's courtroom. If that isn't difficult enough, Charlie and Jane are getting married and Lizzy and Will are both having to deal with their feelings of happiness for Charlie and Jane and sadness that they can't be together.

It seemed like the answer to their problems was to have one of them move to another judicial district. And then things become even more complicated when outside influences make changes that force Lizzy and Darcy to decide what they really want and what they are willing to do to get it.

While I liked the story, it did drag at some points. For two very intelligent people it seem to take Darcy and Lizzy and very long time to figure out how they could be together and not compromise their ethics. There were times when I found myself laughing at their banter and other times when I knew that this was definitely not Austen's Lizzy and Darcy. The sex was very hot and certainly not restrained once they gave into their desires. I just wished it had moved along at a faster pace.

Rating: B


  1. Sigh, every time I see someone's take on Pride and Prejudice, it makes me think I should probably read the original first... but then, I don't feel like it ^_^; Hmmm, perhaps reading a modern spin on it will be better? LOL :)

  2. nath ~ if you don't feel like it, don't. LOL

  3. Leslie, you know I think it would be easier for me to read about Darcy & Lizzy in a contemporary setting. Interesting, lol!

    Thanks for the review. :)

  4. Hils ~ thanks! I think the contemporary setting is better if you prefer actual sex scenes. It was very hot. :)