Category Archives: Jane’s Mr. Darcy

Review: Love Letters from Mr. Darcy by Dawn J. King

Love Letters from Mr. Darcy by Dawn J. King is a Pride and Prejudice variation that begins directly after the proposal scene when Darcy hands Elizabeth the letter to read. In this version, she doesn’t read it right away, but instead, they walk the gardens talking.

The Elizabeth in this book is slightly different from other Elizabeth’s we’ve seen. She can’t let issues fester and instead likes to face confrontation head on. She’d rather take a walk and talk it out rather than let months or even a day pass with a misunderstanding between her and another person.

The story takes place primarily at Rosings and the main characters besides our lovely couple are Lady Catherine, Anne De Bourgh, the Collins, and my favorite, Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Some of the highlights (and possible spoilers) are:

Lady Catherine actually blackmailing Darcy.

Darcy and Fitzwilliam’s fun cousin relationship.

The interesting take on the Collins’ relationship.

The story behind Anne’s health problems.

One of my favorite segments is when Anne, being motion sick in a carriage, throws up all over Darcy and Fitzwilliam’s boots. Elizabeth really puts her in her place when Anne asks her to wash her shoes. I love this feisty Elizabeth and her wisdom in all situations. Although she’s not the Elizabeth we’ve come to admire, she is a different sort of woman who still shares the fire of the Elizabeth we enjoy in the original book.

The love story and second proposal is all that we Janites would hope it to be and I love that Darcy writes her so many letters. A truly enjoyable book with some different ideas I really enjoyed exploring.

 

Review: The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy by Victoria Kincaid

The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy by Victoria Kincaid

Just finished reading this awesome Pride and Prejudice variation. From the first sentence of this book I knew it would be enjoyable. It picks up with Darcy and Bingley traveling to Longbourn to propose to their two favorite Bennett girls. The horrid first proposal has taken place and the letter has been read, but the trip to Pemberley with the Gardeners and the Wickham fiasco are yet to take place. I won’t be giving anything away to reveal what this book blurb says: When Darcy and Bingley arrive at Longbourn they discover Elizabeth has died in a ship explosion.

And man, here is where I fell in love with this book. The heartache Darcy feels when he finds out Elizabeth is gone and that there will be no chance for reconciliation is palpable. I actually started crying. Not only his heartache, but Janes, too. That Darcy—one of my most beloved characters—would be deprived of the best love story known to us, killed me.

But this revelation didn’t make me want to put the book down. It pushed me to find out what happened next. Darcy then sets off for France to avenge her death. Now, I did not read the blurb before reading the book and I’m glad because it gives away too much of the book for my liking. I urge you to read the book and not the blurb because the adventure Darcy sets up on is dangerous, exciting, and very fulfilling. It’s also best left a mystery, because this author expertly unfolds a story I adore.

I knew he would somehow find what he was looking for, but the how and the journey is delightful. This is one of those books you hate to stop reading. Real life becomes a burden, set against you continuing the story. This is now one of my favorite variations. Can’t wait to read other varitations from this author.

 

Book Review: Mr. Darcy’s Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Mr. Darcy’s Bite

reviewed by guest Sebastian Grimm

I’m a gentleman of varying tastes. I mostly read horror and classic literature which is a strange combination, but one that I think compliments each other more often than not.

Recently, I came across a Jane Austen variation called Mr. Darcy’s Bite, which by the cover promised a gentleman of Regency times possibly encountering or becoming a wolf. Never one to let a shapeshifter pass me by, I decided to try this, “Forbidden tale of passion in possession,” despite the possibility of it being a romance with no bite whatsoever.

For those of you not “in the know” about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel, Mr. Darcy is a wealthy bachelor who every mother wants to marry her daughter. He falls for Elizabeth, who wants nothing to do with him whatsoever. In Mr. Darcy’s Bite, Mr. Darcy just happens to be a werewolf.

For the Janites out there, Mr. Darcy’s Bite takes place after Jane and Mr. Bingley are married, but before Mr. Darcy’s second proposal.

Now, while I can get behind a werewolf tale and I’m not averse to reading regency novels whether they be romance or not, this story was a little disjointed for me.

First, you have a werewolf tale which was actually very interesting. However, this book also carried on the story way past its ending. There were also strange religious references in this book that I found rather odd because they didn’t seem to make sense in the context. I found myself asking if this author wanted to write a book with bible references, why would she write a werewolf book? And why would she choose these references that really do not make any sense? It came off a little preachy, but not because of what was said, but the way the verses were inserted as if to subliminally teach you bible references? These were rare, but there was at least three times during the read that I had to stop and try to figure out why the reference was used in that way. Pulled me out of the story and ended up not making sense in the long run anyway.

Despite this, I did enjoy the werewolf lore in this book and the actual story about the werewolf and how he loves his woman and courts her was pretty entertaining. As were references to the new world and America which weaved in seamlessly. I even found the details about the werewolf transformation interesting.

There were a few steamy scenes between the two love interests and I believe even the romance was written well and not overly gory given that it’s about werewolves. Those who like romance or are craving more Darcy content will not be disappointed. However, a few loose ends were not tied up such as Georgiana’s relationship with one of the young wolves. Also, the exciting part of the book should have been ended as soon as the climax occurred. Instead, the book went on and on and on well after the excitement died.

Now, because this book went on and on I kept waiting for something more exciting to happen. When it didn’t, I found myself disappointed at every new milestone of mediocrity. I’m just not sure if this author knew how to write a book about werewolves and what horror readers expect. The werewolf transformations were often glossed over or ignored altogether in lieu of werewolf politics and Elizabeth adjusting to the news of Darcy’s disposition.

In conclusion, if you are a werewolf or shape-shift lover, you may enjoy the backstory, transformation story, and full moon occurrences as they are rather well laid out, however no need for you to go past Chapter 30. If you are a Jane Austen lover and simply craving more Mr. Darcy, this book will be good for you however you may find the werewolf nonsense a bit over-the-top for you and you may be disappointed by the non-appearance of certain “villains” you know.

Now, for the stars… The werewolf lore does deserve a high 4 ☆☆☆☆, but the “nothing happening” ending and strange religious references that have no real connection to the story plummet the book to a 2 ☆☆ out of 5 stars for me.

Sebastian Grimm signing off…

Review: Mr. Darcy’s Christmas by Elizabeth Aston

darcyxmasIf there is one character I’d love to see matched up and taken care from the original Pride and Prejudice book, it is Georgiana. Such a sweet and tortured girl deserves someone to love and to love her. Even after all the Wickham nonsense, it’s miraculous that she still believes in love at all.

In Mr. Darcy’s Christmas, Georgiana is at Pemberley, preparing for the festive holiday and knowing it will be the last one with her in household. She’s got herself engaged and in the New Year, will become someone’s wife with a house of her own.

Her fiancé is a good man named Mr. Moresby, whose only fault is having a passing fancy for Caroline Bingley before meeting Georgiana. Although Darcy and Elizabeth have their doubts Mr. Moresby will make her happy, Georgiana knows he will take care of her and keep her safe as Mr. Wickham never could. However, when conniving Miss Bingley arrives for Christmas celebrations, all bets are off. She had Mr. Moresby first and is determined to win him back at all costs.

Will Georgianna survive a cutting attack on her own turf and what part does her childhood friend, Sir Giles Hawkins play in the game?

I absolutely adore this tale. Not only did it star my favorite supporting character, Georgiana, it gave me insight on how she adores the holidays and shows she will stick up for herself if need be. I was also interested to find out what she would do when faced with the whole nasty Wickham affair. I was cheering for Georgiana the entire book.

I have and will always be an Elizabeth Aston fan and finding these little novellas after her death was like a present reserved just for me.

What is your favorite Elizabeth Aston work?

Review: The Painted Fan by Elizabeth Aston

fanThe Painted Fan is another great Pride and Prejudice-inspired short story by Elizabeth Aston.

Anna is a young miss in her first season and she instantly falls for the charming and handsome Mr. Standish. He seems to be really interested in her until one day when the switch is turned off. What did she do? What was he told and why is he suddenly interested in another girl? Maybe his colleague Mr. Vere has something to do with it?

When she over hears a piece of juicy espionage, will Anna be able to use her natural quick wit to not only solve the case, but catch one of the slipperiest traitors to the crown?

I enjoyed the inquisitiveness of Anna and how even though everyone around her dismissed her as a brainless noob to high society and world affairs, she managed to prove she had brains. I was also surprised at a few twists in this book. People weren’t who or what I thought they were and that was fun in a genre flooded with predictable plots.

I have and will always be an Elizabeth Aston fan and finding these little shorts after her death was like a present reserved just for me.

What is your favorite Elizabeth Aston work?

Review: Mr. Darcy’s Drama by Elizabeth Aston

mrddA cute romance set in the home of now married Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s Drama is a novella that takes the best parts of Mansfield Park and mixes it with a new romance between a governess and a charming stranger. The author even manages to add a dash of Northanger Abbey into this one.

When a trunk full of costumes is discovered in the attic of Pemberley, the guests who are trapped indoors by the rain, decide to put on a theatrical. Miss Beckford, their lovely new governess is called to produce a play she wrote years ago for fun family amusement. One of the guests, Mr. Aconbury, is much sought after by the single ladies in the house when it is discovered he’s made a sizable fortune overseas. Even Lady Catherine tolerates the theatrical to get her precious Anne in the mix. But Mr. Aconbury doesn’t want some young maid with eyes only on fortune. He wants a smart woman who likes him for himself. Miss Beckford may be just the one, because she felt for him before she knew about his wealth. Now he is the catch of the county, will he think she is only seeking the freedom he can grant her?

I found this a pleasant, amusing, love story with a smart heroin and not too much conflict sent in to torment us “happily ever after” romance lovers. I have and will always be an Elizabeth Aston fan and finding these little novellas after her death was like a present reserved just for me. They can all be found on Kindle now.

What is your favorite Elizabeth Aston work?

Review: The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo

13095237Although it took me a long time to get into The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo, once it caught me, I couldn’t put it down.

When Kate loses her grandmother, her whole world turns upside down. Because of her mother’s gambling debts, she, her sister, and her mother are throw out on the streets. Kate is determined to make things right and find a home for her family, so she takes a risky magazine article assignment in which she tries to marry a rich man. You can imagine how many things can go wrong.

While chasing after millionaires and spending all of her savings to try to fit the world of the rich, she misses one very big possibility on the marriage front. Griff isn’t rich but he has a stable income and a place to call home. Plus, the chemistry is just there. But Kate needs to provide for her family and is idiotic enough to think marrying someone with money will make her life better. Scott is a millionaire who could make all her dreams come true. Sure, she’s not in love with Scott, but a modern girl has to make tough decisions in this economy.

I won’t tell you who she chooses, but I can say that this book has a lot of Pride and Prejudice moments in it. There’s a lot of grand hotels, snobby socialites, and rich men playing polo. There is also fun to be found in a well-built groomsmen.

I think the reason I had such a hard time getting into this book is because the beginning is rather depressing. Her grandmother dies and other situations in her life seem almost unbearable. If you can make it past the initial gloomy beginning, this is a great tale, especially if you are into fashion. The male lead is yummy enough to keep you hanging on (sort of a grungy Mr. Darcy) and although the lead character is hard to like, all her supporting characters are interesting.

Review: Dancing with Mr. Darcy, Anthology

dancing-with-mr-darcyAs a Jane Austen fan, sometimes you want to read the classics, and sometimes you want to read a new variation. Other times, you just want to sit around and geek out with your friends on your favorite parts and what might happen if you stepped into the novels. Well, if you’re in your geek-out mode, I have the book for you. Dancing with Mr. Darcy is an anthology that includes twenty stories inspired by Jane and Chawton House. Now, these are not variations per se. They are more about Jane or the fans themselves and how her stories effected them.

One of my favorite shorts is the very first one called “Jane Austen Over the Styx” by Victoria Owens, where all of the older women in Jane’s books try to prosecute her for portraying them in a bad light. It’s pretty funny to see Mrs. Bennett, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Ferrars, Mrs. Churchhill, Lady Russell, and Mrs. Norris call Jane out on her unfair ageism.

“…charge: namely that you, Jane Austen between the years 1775 and 1817 did maliciously undercut the respect due for youth to age, in that when you created female characters of advanced years, you willfully portrayed every one of them as a snob, a scold, or a harpy who selfishly or manipulatively interferes with the happiness of an innocent third party.”

To see how she pleads and the hilarious evidence that is brought up against her, you must read the story. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Another story I enjoyed was “Eight Years Later” by Elaine Grotefeld, a modern love story told from a gentleman’s perspective. Chris is a guy who started reading Austen (especially Persuasion) as a child and sees his soulmate at a coffee shop one day, reading his favorite book. They can’t connect then, but years later, he proposes a meet up at Jane’s Chawton House. Will she show? Will she stand him up?

This book is full of little snapshots of Austen fans and is a delightfully different take on all the Austen fandom that we see in books these days. In the tradition of Jane Austen Book Club and Austenland, this little collection was a great break from my usual variation obsession.

Watching Pride and Prejudice with Hubby

During a recent Facebook discussion in Mr. Darcy’s Extensive Readers, started by Janis Barau regarding the “dryness” of Mr. Darcy’s trousers in the after the lake scene (BBC/Firth version circa 1995), I realized I truly do benefit from my husband’s point of view while watching Jane movies.

Sure, there is a lot of smirking and sarcasm involved, but his view can sometimes bring the characters into sharper focus. I consider my husband to have a lot of Mr. Darcy traits, whether he’ll admit it or not. He’s quiet and shy in social situations, almost to the point of being rude. Many times one of my acquaintances has approached me at a gathering and asked whether he was upset with them or if he wasn’t feeling well. My answer is always, “No, he just doesn’t converse easily with strangers.” And it’s surprising how many people can’t fathom what it’s like for him. Being proclaimed a social butterfly from my 5th grade report card-on, it was difficult for me to understand at first, too.

colin-firth-lake-scene-oBut back to Darcy and his dry breeches. As discussion of the lake scene progressed, I shared my husband’s take on the whole jump in the lake scene. From his view point, Darcy had just worked out his aggression from Elizabeth’s denial with his fencing instructor, rode in a fury to Pemberley, and just before he must become Master of Pemberley again, jumps in the lake to have a cry. While the scene is generally questioned by viewers as being necessary or not “period” as Janis points out (she notes he most likely would have been skinny-dipping on his own land) from my husband’s view point, it is a needed transition to allow Darcy to mourn his failure.

As a side note, the fencing scene is one of my hubby’s favorites and he has taken to answering me with “tomorrow week” whenever possible. “When is your appointment?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will the honey-do list be complete?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will it really be done?” “Tomorrow month?” You get the idea.

So although watching JA movies with my hubby is done sometimes begrudgingly and always sarcastically, I’ve found it’s brought me closer to Jane’s characters in a way I wouldn’t have if I didn’t try. Despite him calling Bingley “Willy Wonka” and Jane Bennett “Horseface” and despite him never being able to remember that Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth are two different people, I would much rather have his viewpoint than not.

Have you watched one of the JA movies with someone who opened you up to another insight? Share in the comments! We’d like to hear about it.

A special thank you goes out to all those significant others that suffer through JA movies. Thank you for indulging our obsession. We still enjoy it, no matter how smart aleck you become. 🙂

Review: Love Lasts Longest by Rose Fairbanks

Ylllou know what I love? Austen variations. And you know what I love even more? Finding a book that has a lot of them in short-story form.

Love Lasts Longest is a great short-story anthology of Rose Fairbanks’ what if’s.  I’ve not read such a great combination of variations placed in one book.

So, we all know the Pride and Prejudice story. We really don’t need all the backstory when reading a variation, but when we read a full novel, things must be said to set it up and hopefully your variation author does a good job of outlining the differences (and nothing unneeded) straight away. But sometimes, you just want to sit around and dream of many different variations, or what if’s without all the backstory fluff. We know Darcy and Lizzy and Jane and Bingley like they are members of our own family, so why not just jump right into story?

Rose’s selection in this book ranges from Regency to modern, tame to steamy, couple related, to family related. She did a really great job of giving us a little bit of everything in here. While I love all of the stories, my favorite has to be An Ungentlemanly Manner. I’ve always wanted Darcy to stay and just spit out what he really means in the proposal scene. I hate that they both leave so much unsaid. Of course, it would have made for a much shorter book for Austen, but it’s fun to—just for a moment—pretend he stayed, explained, perhaps showed her his passion. This is just what Rose does in this story and the follow-up An Unladylike Display.

I also really enjoyed the modern variation starting with Forget Me Not State, where Darcy and Lizzy are forced to sleep in the woods in a little tent together. Very enjoyable indeed!

Every one of these stories is entertaining. Find out what would happen if Bingley sprained his ankle in the first set (as Mr. Bennett suggests). Or what if Bingley and Jane have to wed directly because of a compromising position at their first ball?

If Rose is new to you, check out this book to “get your feet wet” in her world. One read and you’ll be hooked. Now…to the Kindle shop so I can choose which of her’s I will read next.