In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy fails to inform the populace of Meryton about the danger posed by having a rake such as George Wickham living in their midst. This was done to protect the reputation of his beloved sister; a sister he fortunately prevented from eloping with the man. This failure leads to heartache for him and the family of the woman he loved. In Fate and Consequences, Georgiana Darcy does leave with George Wickham to elope. Darcy finds her in time to prevent the wedding, but not in time to stop the news of her ruin from spreading. Now a humbled man, he must try to find his and his sister's place in society. A twist of fate introduces him at his darkest hour to the woman he otherwise might have resisted loving, and who helps him restore his sister, and his wouded soul.
So this is the second book that I have read by Linda Wells and I am loving her work. The standard characters who are villians are not so much in this book. The general theme is how are relationships effected by a scandal.
The Bennets: The Bennet family has a long missing aunt (Mr. Bennet's sister) due to a pregnancy...Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's reason for marriage is explained. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are welcoming and have a great relationship with Mr. Darcy. In fact my absolute favorite part is when Lady Catherine comes to Longbourn to berate Lizzy, it is in fact Mrs. Bennet who gets into the fray with Lady Catherine...I LOVED it! Lydia doesn't elope with George at all which is wonderful and Mary ends up with Col. Richard Fitzwilliam :D
The Bingley's: I enjoyed Charles in this book more than in Chance Encounters...he is a "playboy" and immature but he has more backbone that the previous story. Mr. and Mrs. Hurst are entirely supportive of Charles and in fact Mr. Hurst has a good part in the story and it is explained that he pretends to sleep and be drunk in order to gain peace from Caroline and gain information due to her disregard of him. Caroline is relatively sedate in this book...she attempts to cause a compromise with Darcy and is truly dismissed and fades into obscurity due to her behavior.
The Lucas': Sir William is a flake as always. Lady Lucas is trying desperately to get Lizzy to marry her son John. Charlotte is so worried about her place in the house and her future she sacrifices her friendship with Lizzy to push the match with John Lucas. John Lucas comes home from his grand tour and assumes that because he's interested in Lizzy she'll fall at his feet - he makes several poor choices including listening to Wickham to ruin Darcy in Lizzy's eyes and gain her favor. He does learn his lesson in the end and comes to a better understanding of what a good man Fitzwilliam Darcy is. But he is the main protagonist in Meryton.
Darcy and Lizzy: Darcy sees Lizzy for the first time the morning after saving Georgiana from Wickham at the inn in Meryton when her bonnet is snatched off her head by a donkey and he is enchanted when she starts to laugh and fuss at the donkey. He later sees her again when they are exiting and she gives Georgiana a hankerchief. This is the catalyst that starts a correspondance and a development of a friendship and later relationship. Mr. Darcy is determined to marry for love now that he's found Lizzy and society can be damned, he won't suffer a marriage of convenience bec he saw how unhappy his own parents were. Darcy and Lizzy face the typical strictures of society together and grow stronger through their battle of wills with John Lucas/Lady Catherine and physical confrontation with George Wickham.
It is a very good story and I highly recommend her Linda's work.