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To Refuse Such a Man

A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
Length: 2 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Miss Elizabeth Bennet must decide whether to accept or refuse a proposal from the last man in the world whom she could be prevailed on to marry. At least two unhappy alternatives are also before her: certain scandal and her mother's disapprobation. Is there a path to happily ever after in wake of an alliance born out of such circumstances?

©2015 P. O. Dixon (P)2015 P. O. Dixon
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Profile Image for HeatherY
  • HeatherY
  • 27-05-17

An Innocent Half Hour in Netherfield Library

This Pride & Prejudice novella explores what would have happened if Darcy and Elizabeth had been considered compromised by their silent half hour spent alone in Netherfield library. The story opens during Elizabeth's stay at Netherfield taking care of a sick Jane. Darcy has been struggling to resist her charms and decides it would be wise to ignore her for the rest of her stay. Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves alone in the library. Although they each try to think of a topic to interest the other, they remain silent. Elizabeth returns home, and Darcy is both relieved and saddened to have her stimulating presence gone.

Unfortunately, a servant noticed their time in the library together and reports it to a jealous Miss Bingley. She immediately dismisses the servant in an effort to save Darcy's reputation. Her plan backfires as the dismissal makes it appear as if Darcy and Elizabeth have something to hide. Rumors start to circulate about the couple in Meryton.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth returns home and meets her odious cousin Mr. Collins. A few days later, Elizabeth attends the Netherfield ball and is shocked when the silent Mr. Darcy asks her to dance.

The next morning, Mr. Collins makes his disastrous proposal, with one appalling addition. He threatens that if Elizabeth doesn't accept his proposal, he'll propose to Jane next, and Elizabeth knows that Jane would feel obligated to accept. Elizabeth asks for time to make her decision. While wandering in the garden trying to think of a way out, Elizabeth is approached by a very different gentleman and offered a very different sort of proposal.

I really enjoyed this novella, the romance was steamy in spots and sweet the rest of the time. The character's personalities are a little bit different than in canon. Mr. Collins is conniving and almost evil instead of bumbling and foolish. Darcy is quite rude to Miss Bingley, and Elizabeth insults Lady Catherine almost immediately after meeting her. I also think that Darcy would avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and wouldn't invite a single woman to his room alone to change her clothes. But I really enjoyed reading a variation without Wickham, and Mr. Bennett was hilarious as always.

Pearl Hewitt has a wonderful speaking voice, and it fits this type of novel naturally. She's the perfect narrator for the time period. I've listened to this book twice since I purchased it, and enjoyed it more each time!

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Julie V
  • Julie V
  • 26-03-16

A lovely, thoughful variation

I like alternative stories that stay true to the characters, wit and restraint of the original. I needed to enjoy the goodness in P&P without a lot of angst and this was just right. The romance is romantic and not graphic, which I prefer.

There are several insights into the reasons behind the decisions of characters like Collins, for example, that I felt added to what we know.

The narrator has a talent for taking on the inflections from the version starring Colin Firth which I really enjoyed.

One could find fault but when finished I felt completely satisfied.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Mays Ramirez
  • 14-06-20

Great Short Story

If you want a short happy Darcy and Elizabeth love story this book is for you. The narrator wasn't perfect and I miss some of my favorite characters but overall I was pleased with my purchase

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  • mbp
  • 24-09-19

Filled with steamy underlying passions and a laugh or two

I always love how Dixon writes Darcy’s perspective. As the title says. (Sigh) Such a MAN. His inner monologues are filled with desire and anticipation.
The engagement scenes and Elizabeth’s perspective are worth a laugh out loud.
I have listened to several Dixon books now and am impressed with Pearl Hewitt range of voices keeping all character voices consistent book to book.

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  • bebe
  • 19-07-19

Kept my interest

I enjoyed this short story of an alternate version of how Elizabeth and Darcy found their HEA.

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  • Samantha Clark
  • 21-05-19

Loved it!

Received this free and was so impressed with an audio book! Especially one so well written.

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Profile Image for AW
  • AW
  • 15-06-18

Too short

This could have been a great story if it was longer. After reading the views i just knew I’d love it. The P&P variation is the 7th one i have listened to. For someone to comment that if you are and P&P fan you will this variation is terribly misleading. Also the narration was annoying. She over exaggerated the characters voices and did an awful job with the male ones. I also don’t like how Elizabeth was so quick to accept his proposal. Disappointed, could have been better if it was longer.

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Profile Image for KateB
  • KateB
  • 18-04-17

4.5 stars

What did you love best about To Refuse Such a Man?

Short and sweet, low on angst.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this little story very much. Though it's one of the Netherfield library 'compromise' tale, it had a few unusual and amusing twists. It was well written and low on angst. Wickham didn't have time to poison Lizzy's mind, so ODC got to understand each other much sooner.. I enjoyed their interactions very much.

My only quibble is about some gaps in the timeline, which I wished were filled. It is still a good story for an afternoon of relaxation.

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  • Fabulous Mrs B
  • 01-05-16

Love short story

Well written story. Quite short but it had all a good story needs. Highly recommend it if you like pride and prejudice variations.

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Profile Image for Lynley D CANNON
  • Lynley D CANNON
  • 15-03-16

Delightful

What made the experience of listening to To Refuse Such a Man the most enjoyable?

A lovely, if short, what if Pride and Prejudice variation. The story is as told by Ms Austen to a point with a just a few minor changes, which of course, changes the entire outcome. Lovely and almost angst free, this is a quick listen of just under 3 hours. Great for a day when you need a nice quiet story that satisfies your need for some quality time with our favourite couple