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Nefarious: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Narrated by: Harry Frost
Length: 15 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He hates everything about her.
She despises him even more.
So why is his heart so determined to belong to her?

Once trapped by marriage to a woman he loathed, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally free again. Resentful, bewildered, and angry, he is eager to begin his life over - preferably with a woman who is the exact opposite of his wife.

He never imagined a short stay in Hertfordshire would bring him face to face with his worst nightmare; a woman similar in face, form, and name. He certainly never expected her to be so impossible to ignore.

Torn between what he believes he wants and what his heart cannot live without, his dignity begins to unravel. Will his desperation to escape his past drive a wedge into his closest friendship and destroy any hope of a future?

Will Miss Elizabeth Bennet prove to be as nefarious as his wife? Or, will the last woman in the world be his only chance at happiness?

©2019 Nicole Clarkston (P)2019 Nicole Clarkston

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A Gothic Romance Variation on a Classic


A tortured hero and a spirited heroine in a gothic-style variation on an old familiar classic pulled me in from the beginning especially from now fabulous and familiar author and narrator.

Nefarious is a variation on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice that introduces the story with a stormy, bitter Darcy beside his wife's grave. Hating the perfidy she and her family used to manipulate him into marriage and access his wealth (ala Mr. Rochester's in laws from Jane Eyre), he swears he will never trust another Elizabeth. Gasp! Then the man decides to court the sister. Double Gasp!

But, that is only the first of the shocking twists on the original as Darcy endures much at the hands of his enemies and alienates the one woman who is nothing like his wife though she shares the same given name and has an ambitious mother and now counts herself as hostile toward the rude, arrogant man from Derbyshire.

It was full of angst and pushed me to my limits. I'm not generally a fan of that much angst and over the top gothic villainy, but something about the author's writing and the story kept me listening and vested in the story. I had to know how Darcy saw his way through all the plotting against him from all sides it seemed and won Miss Elizabeth's favor and love after he set her against him so strongly. I'm a softy for a wounded, brooding hero who has to overcome so much both character-driven and action-driven conflict and a strong, engaging heroine who has her own flaws to overcome and does.

Surprisingly, it wasn't all doom and gloom. The humor-laced leaven in the lump even during the darker scenes had me smiling and sometimes laughing a little. I was glad to see it there so my emotions got a reprieve and the story felt more balanced.

As this was a Pride & Prejudice variation, I enjoyed seeing familiar characters, dialogues, and key scenes, but they were sometimes creatively mixed about to form this new story. Those who haven't read the classic tale would do all right as a result.

The narration work was fabulous. This was all told from Darcy's point of view and I thought Harry Frost, a now familiar and engaging narrator, captured Darcy so well. He voiced the bitter anger and betrayal as well as the lighter amusement. He did great with gender, age, class, and the various situations. I felt he gave an already solid story more depth and would happily look up more of his work.

All in all, Nefarious was captivating to my senses and had me emotionally vested in the outcome of this tumultuous variation tale of treachery and romance. I would recommend it to historical romance fans who like a bit of the classic gothic feel to their read-listens.

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Brilliant


This book is quite beautiful. I would have never imagined that Mr Darcy could be portrayed thus but I am glad it was so.
I would highly recommend this book to any JAFF enthusiast. I would have liked to know what happened to the villains in the story. All that was summarized towards the end was that there was testimonials against them and some evidence but nothing was revealed afterwards stating if they received their just desserts or not.

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Easy to recommend!

Voice actor Harry Frost really shines, showing his range and imagination. His rich voice and excellent pacing made for the perfect Mr Darcy! He is an enthusiastic narrator, bringing a nuanced, honest performance to each character. His audio production is flawless—no annoying clicking or mouth sounds, no echoey recording to detract from the performance or story.

Easy to recommend this clever, emotive, and even funny “Pride & Prejudice” reimagining from Darcy’s POV. Yes, Darcy is a little more frustratingly flawed than in some other fan fiction but don’t worry—that just adds to the delicious happily-ever-after that we know MUST come. Warning: Block out the time to listen to this one—because once you’ve started, you won’t be able to turn it off.

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  • Lesley Mac
  • 11-28-19

The cursed life of Fitzwilliam Darcy!

I have read (and listened to) all of Nicole's Jane Austen inspired stories and each one is an absolute gem. Her writing is impeccable, her plots draw you in totally, though this plot was not entirely her idea, as you will discover when reading the author's notes at the end.

Parts of this story were difficult for me to read and listen to because it put my favourite fictional hero in a very dark light indeed. At the beginning of the story—which is entirely from Darcy's POV—Darcy is in a very bad headspace, and as unfortunate as this is for our hero, it certainly made for some very entertaining interactions with our favourite JA heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Indeed, Darcy fairly loathes Lizzy, and he feels totally justified in this opinion, but despite all his instincts that urge him to despise her, he cannot help but find himself being brought under her spell. Indeed, he suspects she has bewitched him.

Things go from bad to worse for Darcy throughout the length of this very long work and my heart broke for him on many an occasion, especially after he had seen the light and (mostly) left behind his black Darcy persona. His problems come in the form of some very nasty—evil is not too strong a word— individuals who are a blight on Darcy's life and eventually threaten the happiness he could finally have with Lizzy.

As I said earlier, if Darcy thought his life was cursed at the beginning of this book, it most definitely was towards the end. This was the part I had difficulty listening to even though I more or less remembered what was coming because I have read the book previously. I won't spoil the plot for others, but be aware that you will need great fortitude to read this section. If you managed to read 'These Dreams' without calling for the smelling salts, you will be able to weather this.

I have to mention one of Darcy's dark thoughts because I found it hilarious: Jane and Lizzy have to ask Mr Bingley for the use of his carriage because 'the Bennet carriage cannot be spared for some reason and Darcy suspects the problem is a broken mother!

I happily award five stars for this beautifully written, high angst story. Harry Frosts narration was generally good, but when he was speaking Elizabeth’s dialogue, he talked so very fast, and I found it very off putting. That is the only complaint and I awarded the narrator 4 1/2 stars.