Story: Just For Loving You
Author: Heather F (Quill)
Story URL: Story Link 1
Alternate URL: Story Link 2
Word count: 31,600
Summary: Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself unavoidably drawn into his PA’s personal life when he falls desperately in love.
As is probably obvious from a quick glance at the tags in the sidebar on the right, I generally stick to Regency-era fics in the Pride & Prejudice fandom. However, sometimes an author writes Darcy & Elizabeth so believably, so utterly in-character even in a modern setting, that it’s very easy for me to get sucked in to the story in spite of the lack of corsets and carriages. This is one of those fics. Or, perhaps more accurately, I should say that this is one of those authors; because I’ve found that I just love everything Heather has written.
This story contains some of those elements which seem to be a must in order for me to enjoy a modern JAFF: Mr. Darcy is very wealthy, so there is still that bit of an inequality in their backgrounds and level in society; Elizabeth is a middle-class gal who is witty, impertinent, and seems like someone I would consider a friend; and neither of them is married, unfaithful, or obscenely promiscuous. Yes, yes – I realize it’s not very modern-gal of me. But I really struggle with enjoying the characterizations of either a Darcy or an Elizabeth who is SO modern that they sleep around constantly. There’s something foundational about their characterizations which, for me, requires them to be waiting for the right person and not prone to one night stands. But best of all about this fic – Mr. Darcy gets to play the knight in shining armor, something which I also love in any P&P re-telling, whether modern or regency-era.
Mr. Darcy is the wealthy president of a large company based in Derbyshire, not far from his ancestral estate, Pemberley. His new PA is one Elizabeth Bennet, who manages to quickly become the object of his obsession, as Mr. Darcy’s opening monologue makes clear. Our modern Mr. Darcy has, in some ways, just as much of a social hurdle to overcome as the Regency Mr. Darcy did, because it’s not exactly kosher to hit on one’s employee, particularly given the disparity in their positions. But he quickly overcomes any concerns he has there, and instead focuses on determining Elizabeth’s feelings about him. Unfortunately for Mr. Darcy, he soon realizes that Elizabeth has a boyfriend, at which point we are introduced to the story’s stand-in for George Wickham: Gabriel Ward. Mr. Darcy soon gets to play the role of the hero, with great swoon-worthy effect for the readers, as the beautiful love story unfolds. And best of all, for an angst-wimp such as myself, Heather is quite the proficient at balancing the need for drama and suspense within a narrative, without subjecting us to any needless angst simply to keep the plot from becoming boring. The plot is very dynamic and never dull, but any tears that the reader sheds will be tears of joy.
“Just For Loving You” is told entirely from a first person, present-tense POV, both of which I find hard write. Judging by some disastrous attempts I’ve read within certain Stories Which Shall Not Be Named, I suspect other authors have trouble writing from that perspective and in that verb tense, too. But then, even aside from her gifts as a storyteller, Heather is very skilled in all technical aspects of writing. This is clearly evidenced by the unlikelihood that you will find any goofs in this story, whether POV shifts, typos, or grammatical errors.
My only critique: This isn’t actually a criticism, as I can’t think of a single thing to criticize, but in the spirit of watching for anything that might be a hurdle for others to enjoy this story, be aware that there are references to domestic abuse, although nothing is actually shown “on-screen,” as it were, and the situation is not left unresolved.