Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: He Taught Me to Hope by P O Dixon

[This review was originally posted on Austen Inspired Fan Fiction]

From the Publisher:
What if Elizabeth is promised to another when she meets Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the one man who captures her heart and imagination like no other? As dire as their chance for "happily ever after" seems, there is a measure of hope by way of a strong and enduring bond between them ...
The legend of King Arthur meets the timelessness of Miss Jane Austen's endearing works in this delightfully entertaining Pride and Prejudice adaptation that takes you back to a magical time of enchantment and romance and lets you fall in love with Darcy and Elizabeth once again.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has been many things, angel, werewolf, rock star, and cowboy, but King Arthur? Yes! King Arthur! P.O. Dixon’s He Taught Me to Hope is a new spin on a most beloved story. And it works! Because knights were noble men of courage, honor, and dignity, they had to be true to their word, and none of these areas finds Darcy lacking.
I love storytelling. I love being transported to another place and time by the vivid pictures the storyteller’s words create. In He Taught Me to Hope, I felt as if I was listening to a fabulous tale where the handsome and charming knight comes to the rescue of his lady love.
At seventeen, having gone against her father’s wishes, Elizabeth Bennet married her first love, Mr. Randall Carlton. Finding herself both widowed and with child within her first year of marriage, Elizabeth returns home, but her return is conditional: she must fulfill her familial duty by marrying Mr. Geoffrey Collins, her cousin to whom Longbourn is entailed. Our fair lady does what she must in order to secure a better future for her son.
Five-year old Ben Carlton, who possesses an eager imagination, imagines himself as Sir Lancelot, a true knight embarking on a quest to defend a lady’s honor and to rescue her from danger. On his quest, he encounters Mr. Darcy. Immediately taken by the young boy, Darcy decides to play along, assuming the role of King Arthur. It is then that Sir Lancelot explains to King Arthur that they must plan their defense against the evil Meleagant (Mr. Collins).
Seeing Elizabeth for the first time, Darcy is lost in her “fine eyes” and wonders where he has seen them before. Learning Elizabeth is engaged to Mr. Geoffrey Collins, Darcy decides that Guinevere (Elizabeth) is well worth the fight and embarks upon the quest of winning her hand and defeating Meleagant. However, Mr. Collins is not the only dragon KingArthur/Darcy needs to slay; Anne de Bourgh refuses to give up Darcy without a fight, telling him it’s not over until she says it’s over.
From the first to the last page, I did not want to put down this book. The plot had just the right pacing and the perfect balance of humor, tension, and hot, chaste passion to keep the reader captivated. The first time Darcy and Elizabeth look into each other’s eyes, a spark is ignited and the heat between the two became palpable.
As with many Pride and Prejudice variations, the author used her creative license and used it well. Georgiana is a bit more outgoing, Darcy is less haughty and disagreeable, and Mr. Bennet does not favor Lizzy and is harsher in his discipline. Jane, who was less forgiving than Austen’s, was the only character whose outcome I was less than pleased with as I would have liked more explanation for some of the choices she made.
One does not need to know or love Arthurian legend to enjoy this story. For those who love Darcy and Elizabeth, the parallels are unique and well-delivered. It’s an enchanting HEA! I will be reading it again, and soon.

*Come back Wednesday for my interview with P O Dixon and GIVEAWAY!*

About the Author:
P O Dixon acknowledges arriving rather late in the game. Her initial exposure to Pride and Prejudice was in 2007. After watching the 2005 film at least two times a day for as many weeks, she determined she needed to know much more of the story's hero. After reading the novel, along with several excellent ‘what-if’ books that told the story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective, she came across a link to the online JAFF community.
Her life has never been quite the same.

He Taught Me to Hope:
Available on Amazon
Available on Barnes and Noble

P O Dixon's blog:
Twitter: @PODixon


  1. I am very intrigued by the King Arthur connection and amazed at all the different ways you can spin their story. Great review!

    1. Yes, Anna! It seems there is no end to the possibilities of D&E's story! This one was great! Thanks! :)

  2. It was a sweet book. I enjoyed Darcy & Ben's interactions.

    1. Thanks, Angie! Darcy & Ben's interactions were so sweet! :D