Updated: Sep 1, 2020
The basic premise of any great Pride and Prejudice variation: Darcy falls for Elizabeth because she is unlike any woman he has ever met; she initially thinks he is an arrogant snob, until the day she realizes he is unique among men. The twist in this story: despite their gentry upbringing, both Elizabeth and Darcy have a fondness for mathematics and machinery. Elizabeth, substituting for the son her parents had hoped for, was allowed to play with toys that encouraged her mechanical inclination and later followed her uncle's passion for repairing gears, lathes, and other components of the factory equipment he sold. Darcy, conversely, studied equations and formulae by the hour in the vast libraries at Pemberley, becoming an expert engineer over time.
When Darcy witnesses a grease-stained Elizabeth at work and sees the fire in her eyes, he knows in a flash that he has met his match. But Elizabeth sees nothing but disdain in the piercing stares of the brooding aristocrat. How can Darcy convince her that he finds her quirky hobby and vivacious spirit endearing, especially after he accidentally insults her for her lack of dowry and poor family connections?
I loved the fiery sparks between Elizabeth and Darcy in this variation, and that Elizabeth and Darcy's uncommon intelligence took on new meaning with this characterization of them as mechanics and engineers. A quick read with a satisfying plot and ending. Watch all the gears fall together for Darcy and Elizabeth in Love and Other Machines.