• Against Every Expectation

  • By: Paige Badgett
  • Narrated by: Sarah Groarke
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Against Every Expectation

By: Paige Badgett
Narrated by: Sarah Groarke
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Publisher's Summary

Amid the groves of Rosings Park, with Elizabeth by his side, Darcy had begun to hope for something different for his future than he had previously allowed himself to believe was possible—a partnership, a love match….

Elizabeth Bennet travels to Kent to escape her mother’s histrionics, hopeful to find respite in visiting her oldest friend, Charlotte Collins. Instead of the reprieve she desired, she finds herself trapped and miserable—a direct reflection of Mr. Collins’ peculiar sense of hospitality, justice, and duty. The tension in the parsonage is significant, and her friend is much changed. Elizabeth’s only relief is derived from her morning rambles, where she finds great solace in the strangest of places—walking with Mr. Darcy. His steadiness, kindness, and dependability greatly oppose her previous perceptions of the man, and yet she cannot help but continue to compare his character in Kent with the man she had supposed him to be during their previous acquaintance in Hertfordshire. Could it be that he was now showing his truest self to her?

Just when it seems felicity is near, however, insidious jealousy arises and the betrayal of one close to the two couples threatens their nascent happiness. Elizabeth is pulled away too soon, and Darcy is left to wonder if she ever had feelings for him at all. Can the truth be untangled in time for their course of love to reach its completion?

©2022 Paige Badgett (P)2022 Quills & Quartos Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about Against Every Expectation

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable

Loved this tale. Collins was a nasty piece of work. The courting of Darcy and Elizabeth was sweet. Really appreciated the narrative. Great pacing.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Charlottes marriage changes her

Charlottes marriage to mr collins is truly awful and her misery changes her and she betrays Elizabeth. This is not a happy go lucky story. Charlottes misery is real Elizabeth and Darcy find love during their visit to hunsford. Lady Catherine demands and edict’s are behind charlottes misery and causes Darcy more trouble.
The ending was bittersweet.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Variation

This is a very different story of ODC at Rosings. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you.

The story centers on two couples in particular and delves deeper into the marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte. We also get a glimpse of just how passionate the marriage of ODC would be if they could ever get to their HEA. That being said, are no mature scenes.

The story is well written and the narrator has a soothing voice, almost too soothing at times. My only MINOR negative comment is she occasionally speaks too fast for the “excited” Mrs. Bennet to be understood.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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good story, not amazing, but worth a listen

I liked this story, it is definitely unique, in all the PP variations I've listened to this is the first time for this particular scenario. I didn't love the idea of Charlotte being so nasty, just me! and Mr Collins - WOW he's horrible! There were lots of sweet moments between ODC and lovely sisterly moments. I really like Lydia in this version, she was true to character but also sensible at the same time. I HATED Mr Bennet in this one also, not true to character at all. LOVED Ann, this is one of a handful of PPV's that has really done an outstanding portrayal of Ann.

I think the writing could have been a bit more embellished and expanded upon. There were several moments in the book that I thought, that's all?? why couldn't the author have developed those moments in the story more fully? There were a few too many abrupt story changes. Just my opinion. I think this was a bit more apparent because of the narrator also, While she did a good job, her reading style is a bit flat and she has a really terrible way of transitioning from scene to scene. It was as if she ended on scene and started the next all in the same sentence. It was really annoying. one second you are in Elizabeth's head, the next you are in Charlottes withoout even a pause or a breath between.

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Great Jaff

In this story we have a very bad mr Collins. Very vindictive. But we also have ODC and their HEA. Great Jaff

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Betrayed

Excellent narration and performance by Sarah Groarke. She performs the male voices without extreme exaggeration which provides a more natural execution in the conversations of the characters, yet the fact the character is male is clear to the listener. I really enjoyed her.

Book review:

Charlotte Collins, determined to have a home of her own, hastily and freely accepted the marriage proposal of Mr. Collins very soon after Elizabeth Bennet refused him. She had hoped for contentment and security at the least. Instead, her every expectation turns into the unhappy day-to-day abusive existence of a marriage to Mr. Collins. In her disappointed hopes, she becomes resentful, bitter and spiteful, blaming Elizabeth because she never married him.

“If Elizabeth had not been so self-interested, so painfully self-centred, as to refuse an offer of marriage that would have secured a certain future for her family, Charlotte would not now be living with this loathsome man.”—quote from book

Charlotte! Pot meet kettle! Self-interest indeed. Look into the mirror my girl.

The Charlotte Elizabeth visits at the parsonage is a changed woman—almost a stranger to the dearest friend she once knew in Hertfordshire.

“It appeared Charlotte, once her most reasonable and sensible friend, had been reduced to a bitter woman full of spite.”—quote from book

To escape the Collinses, Elizabeth enjoys her walks and when she and Darcy encounter one another in Rosings woods they renew their acquaintance and become interested in one another even more. The gentle, yet still unacknowledged (between them) courtship was well done with past misunderstandings quickly resolved, allowing them to form a closer attachment. Their private and tender moments were very endearing. I loved this Darcy. However, with the combination of Charlotte’s spitefulness, the hateful, odious, abominable and totally reprehensible man that is Mr. Collins and, a vindictive and controlling Lady Catherine, our dear couple can barely catch a break, especially Elizabeth, who is almost ruined. Her close relationship with Mr. Bennet is also jeopardized. Will it be a friend who ultimately betrays them?

As the story developed, I began to loathe this Charlotte. Yet, by the end of the book I cried with her without condoning her actions. The abuse she endures was mostly the mental/emotional kind, but later in the book physical abuse is also implied (nothing graphic, just mentioned).

This is a very good read and, quite a different character portrayal for our beloved Charlotte which makes it an interesting and somewhat unique storyline. Here, I expected more of a fight from Elizabeth, being the girl whose “courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate“ her, but the loving, loyal and protective Elizabeth came forth instead. She does eventually have her say.

The writing style of this debut writer leans on the narrative side and I have to say I would have enjoyed a bit more dialogue. However, the narrative prose is very good, with situations and events described well. That’s not to say there is no dialogue and the conversations that were had were well articulated. I was immediately drawn into the story because of the atypical premise and felt a medium sense of angst for ODC throughout the book until the HEA. Don’t skip the epilogue.

I highly recommend this full-length novel and look forward to more from the author—with a bit more dialogue, please.

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  • Heidi Bjørn Larsen
  • 11-28-22

A new angle.

This was a surprising but I must say well written new version of events. I do like the stories where Wickam is barely included and is not the vilian. That angle is pretty much overdone by now. But the new antagonist in this story took me a little by surprise even though I could see it coming a ways away. I would recommend this book with ease for someone looking for a new way to enjoy one of our favourite love stories.

Sarah Groarke does a good job narrating and captures the different voices excellently.