Review: Mistaken Premise by Cherith Boardman

Posted May 29, 2024 by Sophia Rose in Reviews Tags: ,

book cover of Mistaken Premise by Cherith BoardmanMistaken Premise
Cherith Boardman
Sophia Rose
Rating: B-

What I’m Talking About:

A seemingly class difference romance variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice turns out to be a darker, more twisting path to love.  Cherith Boardman is a new to me author, and I was intrigued to pick up this book that turned Austen’s story on its ear when Elizabeth turns out to be higher up the social ladder than Fitzwilliam Darcy ever imagined, but wealth and status do not protect her from danger and sorrow.

Mistaken Premise was a door-stopper of a book, and there were times I felt the pages and would get distracted by other reading prospects.  One rarely sees footnoting in fiction stories, and I wouldn’t have minded, but it is pretty extensive in this one. So much so that I skipped it for the sake of the flow of the story.  Another interesting, and actual welcome feature were the epistolary inserts that broke up the narration flow in a good way.  

The plot premise had my attention with Elizabeth turning out to be a Duke’s daughter and fostered in the home of an obscure country gentleman’s household like one of his own daughters with her ducal relation in ill-heath and ceding her physical guardianship to his co-guardian, Mr. Bennet.  Her status is an open secret around Meryton since Elizabeth’s family had an estate in the neighborhood were killed in a fire there, but guests to the neighborhood like the Bingleys and Darcys who frequent London society are kept in the dark.  

Elizabeth is something of a fairy princess-type with her good deeds around the Bennet estate of Longbourn and the broader Meryton neighborhood and her early accomplishments more than the average young lady had. She’s well-liked which is why Darcy’s arrogant words and Caroline’s snide disdain don’t go down well with the family and the neighbors.

After this, when Elizabeth is old enough to be finished and polished for her debut in her rightful status as duke’s daughter, that is when her guardian uncle places her in the hands of an older woman who knows English society well and things go into an emotional, dark period.

Darcy takes a long time getting over his duty to family status and his own belief that he truly is better than his company there in Meryton. He missed several big clues that all was not as what it seemed regarding Elizabeth because he was too dedicated to his snobbery. I was disappointed that he had to discover Elizabeth’s true status before he changed, but he also had to go through a whole lot more to win fair maiden, too- as he was angsty in his remorse and low hopes of recovering from his earlier actions, so there is that.

I wanted to love this darker fairytalesque variation, but there was a ton of repetition fluffing out the pages. Then, some of the plot choices left me confused as to why they had to be that way. I never did get why Elizabeth’s true status had to be a big secret when half the countryside knew the truth anyway. And, later in the book, the darker aspects of the story only would make sense if it was never meant to be a temporary arrangement when Elizabeth would not gain the power and freedom to avenge herself (sorry I’m vague, but don’t wish to spoiler). There are other little nit-picky things that added up for me, too. The really long epilogue that carries their lives far into the future was actually something I enjoyed.

The writing style, the attention to historic backdrop, and the colorful and exciting plot themes with a hard fought romance were engaging. I enjoyed seeing Darcy overcome his worst traits and Elizabeth get past what happened to her along with seeing the side plots wrap up, too. And, so, I’ll pronounce this ponderous tome a like rather than a love.  I’m glad I got to read it and hope the author produces more. Those who enjoy a longer, slow developing fairytale-esque historical romance rich in authentic detail are the target audience.

My Rating: B- Liked It — But I had a few small issues
Sophia Rose

About the Book:

With everything in his favour, ’tis no wonder Fitzwilliam Darcy thinks well of himself. The head of an ancient Norman family, Mr Darcy is the generous and revered master of Pemberley, a respected MP, and a valued friend and neighbour. The powerful Earl of Matlock, his uncle, and his cousin, Viscount Milton, ally with him in Parliament, increasing not only his political influence but his eligibility amongst the most sought-after bachelors of the ton.

Joining his schoolmate at the latter’s leased estate, Darcy knows there will be no one of any consideration in the world in the backwaters of Meryton, Hertfordshire.

But amongst these rustic savages, Darcy discovers a hidden a fine-eyed young lady of kindness and wit. Miss Elizabeth, the second daughter of Longbourn, is as open and amiable as she is graceful and intelligent, caring for the needs of the estate’s tenants and deflecting incivility with smiles and bon mots.

Yet notwithstanding Elizabeth’s many perfections, Darcy leaves her behind, for how can he damage the Darcy heritage by marrying the penniless daughter of an obscure country squire?

But Fitzwilliam Darcy shall soon learn… not everything is as he believes.

Mistaken Premise is a 190,000 word novel using British and historical vocabulary and spelling. TRIGGER WARNING : non-sexual physical and mental abuse is depicted in this story.

Release Date: February 26, 2023
Historical Romance
paperback (519 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author giveaway

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)