More to Love (My Beloved, My Friend, #1) by Robin M. Helm
Genre: Christian Historical Sweet Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2019
“She is tolerable, I suppose, but there is rather too much of her to tempt me.” Overhearing Mr. Darcy’s rude dismissal of her shocks and mortifies Elizabeth Bennet to the core. She is living her worst fear, and it galvanizes her into action. Soon, the gentleman cannot keep his eyes from her, but can she forgive his thoughtless judgment of her appearance and character? Especially since he faces a worthy competitor for her attention? Who will win the lady’s hand, along with the right to love her through thick or thin?
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This retelling of Pride & Prejudice is less than half the length of the original tome, so of course many of the storylines are not as well fleshed out. Having said that, I enjoyed this short and delightful story of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
With Elizabeth overhearing Mr. Darcy’s insult at the Meryton Assembly, that “there was too much of her to tempt him and that she lacked self-discipline with her repeated trips to the refreshment table,” her self-esteem plummets. She has overheard others comment on her size as well as noticing her clothing getting tight, but hearing the insult from this handsome, intriguing man cuts her to the core. She immediately tries to change her lifestyle and begins walking with her sister and curbing her food intake. As the story progresses there are many similarities as well as differences to the original story, but the main plotline remains. Will Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth be able to move beyond their first impressions and rude comments to fall in love and marry?
I enjoyed the characters of Elizabeth (Lizzie), Jane, Darcy, Mr. Bingley and even Beckett. They were all trying to be honorable and follow the constraints of the times, while trying to get to know each other and move forward with their relationships. Bingley’s sisters were well-written as the snippy, unlikeable characters that were a contrast to the Bennet sisters warmth and kindness. The story moved along as expected, with some storylines touched upon, but not expanded or explained, which might have discouraged some readers. My biggest issue about this book was how easy it was for Elizabeth to decide to exercise and eat less with no setbacks or issues. Being overweight all my life with losses and gains, it is not that simple and I would not want readers to think it is. I was happy that Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth included that he cared for her despite her size and that was only an excuse as he was drawn to her and did not want to be.
I enjoyed Robin Helm’s writing and prose. I also liked the inclusion of the relevant Old and New Testament quotations that preceded each chapter. As I said earlier, if you are a Pride and Prejudice officenado, you might find the story lacking, but I did enjoy this one quite a bit and recommend it to those who enjoy a shorter story with a happy outcome. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, upon my request to participate in a blog tour. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction. Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy (Christian paranormal romance); the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours ( Christian Time Swap romance), and Understanding Elizabeth (Christian Regency romance). She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2, in 2018. New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a stand-alone Christian historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a Christian historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a Christian historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3. She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.
More from Robin
Have you ever been judged on the basis of your appearance – what you weigh, how you dress, how you wear your hair or do your makeup? I am a professional dieter, and I have been on all of them. I lose, and I gain it back. I know the lengths a woman will go to after she overhears remarks about how she looks, so I relate to Elizabeth in More to Love in a way that’s a bit beyond my comfort zone.
Another aspect of this book which is personal is that I chose to base a supporting character on a wonderful, Christian lady at my church (with her permission). Mrs. Donna Bailey has been a constant encouragement to me in regards to my writing. She often gives me beautiful sugar cookies she painstakingly decorates with holiday themes. Mrs. Bailey is the housekeeper and dessert cook at Longbourn, and she helps Elizabeth through thick and thin, so to speak.