Story Title: Paying the Price
Author Name: SusanJN (SusanGrace)
Story Url: Story Link 1 – “Adult” Rating
Alternate Url: Story Link 2 – “Mature” Rating
Alternate Url: Story Link 3 – “All” Rating
Story Summary: The story changes as Darcy encounters problems on his way to proposing to Lizzy at Lambton.
This action/adventure fic is one of several I’ve recently read and, as with the others in this sub-genre, it requires some willing suspension of disbelief. But with that in place I easily found this story to be great fun, very exciting and quite suspenseful without being based upon angst from within Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I’m very attracted to stories in which the dramatic tension and suspense comes from forces outside of the romantic relationship rather than from within. This story definitely filled my desires in that regard, as Darcy and Elizabeth have a beautiful relationship, filled with all the hope and faith in one another that was seen during Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley with the Gardiners. In addition, there is a very interesting and well-written approach to Lydia and Wickham which I very much enjoyed. The author’s attention to historical accuracy in the resolution of Lydia’s portion of this story was very admirable.
The story opens up with Elizabeth being kidnapped by very vicious and unpredictable criminals who mistake her for Georgiana while Elizabeth is walking in Lambton with Georgiana’s companion, Mrs. Annesley. The circumstances of Elizabeth’s kidnapping offer a unique way in which Darcy gets to see his wish fulfilled for Elizabeth to exhibit the same sort of sacrificial love for Georgiana that she had shown for Jane at Netherfield. Of course, seeing Mr. Darcy working hard to heroically rescue Elizabeth, all the while coming to a mutual respect and regard for the Gardiners, certainly helps inspire my own inner swooning just as I’m sure it impacted Elizabeth to see Mr. Darcy from this perspective.
The violence portions of this fic are very brief, and there is merely an implied sexual nature to the violence. Nothing of that nature was actually depicted – there were simply hints later in the story that something may have occurred to frighten a character in that regard (not rape, though).
My Only Critique: I must admit I didn’t particularly care for the crossover with Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park which happens in the last few chapters. The author stated that she did so in order to consolidate her writing projects, and I’m afraid that is what it felt like, as opposed to being a natural, planned integration of the three worlds. I think it would have worked better if, after Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage, this story were conclude and the crossover portions were written as a separate story, a sequel. As it was, it just felt rather tacked on and didn’t fit the mood of the rest of this exciting tale. However, having said that, I thought that the way Catherine Morland was introduced into this story was very interesting and I particularly enjoyed the way she was drawn into the Bennets’ and Darcy’s intrigue.