Darcy and Elizabeth: Short Review Style

May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have married and now it’s time for Elizabeth to be introduced to London. Amidst dinner, dancing, and tea Elizabeth must find a way to fit into the social circles that Mr. Darcy has always been a part of. While there are some who shun Elizabeth and some who are simply jealous, she manages to find a friend in the Marchioness of Englebury – a very powerful woman within society. Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride is a great telling of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth settling into marriage.

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride quickly became a favorite among the Pride and Prejudice sequels I’ve read. It is well written and fun and easy to read. The big plus of this book, though, is the characters. Halstead did a fantastic job writing Darcy and Elizabeth. In addition, Kitty Bennett and Georgiana Darcy get their stories here along with a few newer characters who were quite fantastic – the Marchioness of Englebury among them. This one is definitely worth picking up.

Darcy’s Voyage is a bit different than the above book being that it’s a variation, not a sequel.

Elizabeth Bennett has been invited to join her aunt and uncle in America for a time and so she boards a ship to cross the Atlantic. Mr. Darcy allowed his sister to travel to America with her companion, but as she’s fallen ill, Mr. Darcy must travel to America to bring Georgiana back to England. The unlikely couple eventually become friends sharing morning walks among the deck of Pemberley’s Promise. When Mr. Darcy notices that Elizabeth is beginning to fall ill and hears about the illness in steerage he is quick to find a solution. He proposes that the captain marry them so that Elizabeth can take the one open bed on the ship – the one in Darcy’s cabin. The question becomes, after they separate in America, will they ever find each other again?

First, I have to admit that I was cautious going into Darcy’s Voyage. I remember reading something about this that had me going, ‘Ehhh…’ In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when I read this. The author stays true to both Darcy and Elizabeth while changing things up a bit. The story itself proved to be very interesting and moves fairly quickly. Romance, wit, and my favorite love story of all time… Darcy’s Voyage is certainly a great read.

The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy

April 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Synopsis from Barnes & Noble.

If the two of them weren’t so stubborn…

It’s obvious to Georgiana Darcy that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother’s perfect match, but Darcy’s pigheadedness and Elizabeth’s wounded pride are going to keep them both from the loves of their lives.

Georgiana can’t let that happen, so she readily agrees to help her accommodating cousin, Anne de Bourgh, do everything within their power to assure her beloved brother’s happiness.

But the path of matchmaking never runs smoothly…

I am breaking my personal rule of not using the publishers synopsis for this book, well, because there isn’t much I can say. The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy was good, but not the best I have read as far as Pride and Prejudice variations go. The majority this book was exactly what happened in the original, with a few differences.

Anne de Bourgh and Georgiana play a much bigger part in this book, which was actually really neat. In fact, Anne and Elizabeth develop a close friendship and constantly write, and Anne and Colonel Fitzwilliam read right through Darcy, picking up on his love for Elizabeth. When Georgiana sees how her brother is feeling, she too is determined to get him and Elizabeth together again. What really threw me for a loop was the nine Bingley siblings, and the fact that of the six extras, only one actually had any part in the book. I’m not hating on creative liberty here, but why throw in all those new people when only one has any real part in the story? Simonsen also threw in Anne’s inheritance at age 25 and a couple of Darcy’s past lovers as I’ve seen in other variations.

Lady Catherine was still mean, Caroline still made my teeth itch, Wickham was still a scheming ass, Darcy proposed to Elizabeth at Rosings, was rejected, and gave her the letter afterward, and they did meet again at Pemberley being separated by news of Lydia’s suspected elopment. Quite honestly, so much was the same, just in different words, that I found myself skimming – a lot. Much as I’m sure it had something to do with reading this book in the middle of the night during the read-a-thon, I just was not captivated by the story as I have been with some other variations.

Bottom line, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy has both good and bad points and certain parts were enjoyable, but I can’t urge you to put it at the top of your to read list.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After

March 22, 2011 § 6 Comments

 Zombies AND my favorite literary couple of all time? I’m so there!

Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith marks the completion of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy. A fantastic ending, in my opinion!

When Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are walking about Pemberley one evening, a dreadful child gets the drop on the two and Mr. Darcy ends up bitten. While the usual course of action in such a situation is the imminent beheading of the infected individual, Elizabeth, who is not ready to be a widow and knows that there is at least a chance to save her husband is willing to do anything to save him. Elizabeth asks for help from something of an unlikely source, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who agrees to help only under certain circumstances. Elizabeth, along with the help of some of her family members, head to London to do as Lady Catherine has instructed while Lady Catherine brings Darcy back to Rosings. Though it’s obvious Lady Catherine is only looking to further her own interests, Elizabeth goes along with the plan to save her husband.

Throughought Dreadfully Ever After there is plenty of adventure – complete with some pretty awesome fight scenes, the chance to settle old disputes, seeing others true colors, true love living on, and the entrance into a new age. Oh, and we can’t forget kicking zombie ass!

Dreadfully Ever After was simply amazing. I was hooked from the beginning and kept turning pages until that very last one. There was no waiting for things to get started, Hockensmith throws us into the fray from the get-go. I laughed aloud as much from the story itself as the illustrations that add a little something to the book. Hockensmith has stayed true to each of the characters (with the exception of their warrior status) while giving us a great story. This is a great twist to a classic story and I’m sad to see the trilogy end, but I do anticipate that I’ll be revisiting this series in the future.

The bottom line here, read Dreadfully Ever After, enjoy it, laugh a little, have fun with an old classic.

This series:
- Dawn of the Dreadfuls
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- Dreadfully Ever After

*NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Mr. Darcy’s Obsession

October 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

Mr. Darcy’s Obsession is the latest release from Abigail Reynolds, one of my favorite Pride and Prejudice variation authors.

In Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, Mr. Darcy finds out that Miss Elizabeth Bennett is living in London with her uncle since her father passed away. Instantly he needs to know more, and he’s willing to pay anything to find out more about her current situation. One night while passing by her uncle’s neighborhood he finds a young man who has good potential to be his eyes and ears as far as Elizabeth is concerned. So starts Mr. Darcy’s attempt to work his way back into Elizabeth’s life.

Elizabeth has been acting as governess for her aunt and uncle since her father died. Her family was left without a home, and as such her mother and three younger sisters all live with her aunt Philips. Jane on the otherhand has married a local shopkeeper and helps him with his business. One day while on a walk in the park, Elizabeth spots a familiar figure, and it’s Mr. Darcy. The two end up with a regular habit of walking in the park together, getting to know each other better. All the while Mr. Darcy also has his ‘spy’ working to find out all he can about Elizabeth and her family. He just needs to know that they all are, and Elizabeth especially, as comfortable as they can be.

There is in this variation of Pride and Prejudice all of the great things the story needs. Confrontation and misunderstanding between Darcy and Elizabeth is obligatory and definitely in this book. Family misunderstandings, pride, illness, joy, sadness, life, death, and the founding of a more promising future. Everything a good P&P book needs.

The most important things to throw out there is that I really enjoyed this one of Abigail Reynolds variations. I’ve read five others by her and I certainly was not dissapointed this go-around.

The relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth was perfect. They made their mistakes, and then worked past them. That’s how it’s supposed to be for the two. What I think got me the most about it though is how much Darcy invested in Elizabeth’s family to make sure that they were comfortable and provided for. He didn’t even think twice about it, just stepped in to help out, not making it common knowledge of course. He didn’t necessarily like or approve of all their choices but still said, this is the family of the woman I love, let me step up.

Another thing I love about books is when they piss me off. Might sound ridiculous, but when an author writes something that’s able to fire me up the way Darcy’s uncle and cousin did in this one, well mad props to you. So basically the two of them were assssss-holes. Emphasis on the ass. I hated them both. I wanted to scream at characters in a book. Good times.

Some characters were brought back and new ones were introduced. Lydia is of course present and still idiotic. Go her. Bingley. Well I haven’t decided how I feel about him yet. I love him and I hate him, but that goes back to the original P&P, it’s not an Abigail Reynolds thing. Georgiana is finding her way to becoming a strong young woman, and I was a bit shocked at how things were changed around, but that’s the whole point!  The ‘spy’ and Mary were awesome and I love all that Darcy did for them. Oh, and Mary’s a firecracker. You ought to read the book for her shining moment alone then give her a “HELL YEAH!”

Abigail Reynolds has written another fabulous variation of the classic Pride and Prejudice. I’m not let down at all and I hope she keeps it up. I definitely look forward to more of Reynolds’s P&P variations.

Vampire Darcys Desire

July 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Publishers Summary:

In Austen’s original novel, Darcy and Elizabeth are compelled to overcome countless obstacles — but that’s nothing compared to what they face in Vampire Darcy’s Desire. This inventive, action-packed novel tells of a tormented Darcy who comes to “Netherfield” to escape the intense pressure on him to marry. Dispirited by his family’s 200-year curse and his fate as a half-human/half-vampire dampir, Darcy would rather live forever alone than inflict the horrors of a vampire life on a beautiful wife. Destiny has other plans. Darcy meets Elizabeth and finds himself yearning for her as a man and driven to possess her as a vampire. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, their complex relationship forces them to confront their pride and prejudice like never before and to wrestle with the seductive power of forbidden love. Meanwhile, dark forces are at work all around them. Most ominous is the threat from George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, a demon who vows to destroy each generation of Darcys and currently has evil intentions for the vulnerable Georgiana.

My Thoughts:

First, before I get going. When I started writing reviews I said I would never use a publisher’s summary. If I can read the book and tell you what I thought of it, I can come up with a few sentences of my own to give a little hint at what’s going on. However, I read this about 40 books back, but I keep thinking of it, especially after all of the vampire books I’ve downed as of late. So I really want to focus more on my thoughts of the book than summarizing it.

This is not the first Jane Austen variation out of Regina Jeffers, and I knew that going into this book. Though I hadn’t read Darcy’s Passions or Darcy’s Temptation before reading this, I knew that I had only seen positive reviews of Jeffers’s books.

Now to focus on Vampire Darcy’s Desire.

First, this is the first Pride and Prejudice sequel/variation I had read that had any paranormal element to it. I was VERY skeptical going into this book, because honestly, Darcy and Elizabeth just shouldn’t be messed with that way. However, I was able to keep an open mind when it came to Mr. Darcy’s being a half-vampire. And when it comes down to it, I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this book.

It is obvious to any reader that Jeffers put some serious thought into the background of this book. The folklore behind the Darcy family curse, the rituals that Wickham engages in, and the magic that can be used against him isn’t like anything else I’ve read to date. Darcy and Elizabeth do marry in this book, and she actually catches Darcy’s eye by singing a song about his ancestors, the ancestor that caused the family curse in the first place. Later, he finds out that one of the parties involved in the 200 year old curse is an ancestor of the Bennett family, and that is why she has a soft spot for the song, even though its sad. I found that I was really happy that the two married. Darcy was dead set against marriage. He basically just wanted to keep his home going as long as he could and depend on Georgiana to provide heirs for the Darcy legacy. But what fun is all work and no happiness?

Once Darcy opens up more about the curse on his family and his part in everything Elizabeth jumps right in. Elizabeth, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and even Georgiana all help Darcy to do research to find the weaknesses of Wickham. When the time for the final fight comes, both Colonel Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth are there, but they are killing the vampires that Wickham had created to be his backup. It’s hard work, but it is what they can do to ensure Darcy gets a fair chance to win.

The only thing that really bothered me in this book is the whininess of Darcy and Elizabeth not consummating their marriage. Elizabeth wants to, but Darcy refuses lest he pass the curse onto another generation. And even so, it isn’t something that is constantly complained about as it is in other books, Darcy and Elizabeth related and not. So really, I didn’t mind it, it could have been plenty worse, and he could have been holding out for worse reasons.

Basically, I enjoyed this one, surprisingly enough. If anyone out there is looking for a vampire Mr. Darcy that is tolerable, I would suggest to begin here.

Fate & Consequences

June 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

Fate & Consequences is a Pride and Prejudice variation beginning before the actual novel itself. Georgiana Darcy and George Wickham have been discovered by her brother and cousin at an inn in Meryton. Though the two tried to reach her before leaving Ramsgate in order to prevent any word of the elopement spreading they were unsuccessful. The Darcy family is thrown into a scandal and Georgiana is ruined. The next morning, as the Darcy’s and their cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam are preparing to depart, a woman, Elizabeth Bennet, offers a tearful Georgiana a dry handkerchief. That fateful moment forward, a deep relationship between the Darcy’s and Elizabeth develops.

Though I have seen other people say that this particular variation was not as good as others, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were quite a few moments where I found myself going, “Hmm, I never thought of something like that happening,” and I think that’s what had me enjoying the book so much. I really liked how Linda Wells took the relationship of Darcy and Elizabeth, building it up and strengthening them from a moment of weakness to a strong family. However, it is not only them, but so many of Austen’s original characters including Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mary Bennet, and even Anne de Bourgh get a chance to find their places in the world.

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