Lady Catherine, now purple about the gills, opened and closed her mouth like the trout he fished in the Pemberley streams, but before she could utter another word, Fitzwilliam Darcy spoke. ‘There is no more to discuss, except to say that I am willing to forgive and forget, there will be no further reference to the interview that has taken place or to your past misdemeanours if you abide by my rules.’
Without waiting for a further reaction, Mr. Darcy turned on his heel and marched out of the room, aware that his aunt was left flabbergasted, stunned, and for once, quite speechless.
(from Mrs. Darcy’s Diamonds)
Quick summary: Mrs. Darcy’s Diamonds is a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and a Jane Austen Jewel Box Novella by Jane Odiwe. Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have only been married for a few weeks when they invite the Bingleys, the Bennets, and Lady Catherine to Pemberley for Christmas. Their happiness is interrupted when Elizabeth loses a diamond ring that is a Darcy family heirloom, and the Wickhams come around with news of a scandal that could tarnish the Darcy name. With Lydia prancing around the ballroom saying things she shouldn’t, Lady Catherine and Caroline Bingley united in their dislike of the Bennets, and Darcy’s distant and mysterious French cousins Antoine and Louise de Valois becoming fast friends of Georgiana’s, it’s not surprising that Pemberley is in a state of chaos.
Why I wanted to read it: Odiwe is one of my favorite authors of Austen-inspired fiction. I’ve enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read so far: Lydia Bennet’s Story, Mr. Darcy’s Secret, Searching for Captain Wentworth, and Project Darcy.
What I liked: Mrs. Darcy’s Diamonds gives readers a peek into Darcy and Elizabeth’s happily ever after, showing the depths of their passion without getting too steamy and how the strength of their love will enable them to conquer any challenge thrown at them. Odiwe does a great job packing a lot into such a short story so that I was never bored, nor did I feel overwhelmed. I loved that there was a bit of mystery and scandal — and especially that I didn’t figure it out right away. I also enjoyed the original characters, Antoine and Louise, and how secondary characters like Georgiana Darcy and Anne de Bourgh are fleshed out a little more.
What I disliked: I wish the story had been longer, but I was happy to read at the end that another Jewel Box Novella is coming soon!
Final thoughts: Mrs. Darcy’s Diamonds is the perfect short read for a brisk afternoon, with a cup of tea and Christmas on the horizon. Odiwe is one of those authors whose books always make my wish list as soon as I hear about them, and I’ve never been disappointed. I enjoyed watching Elizabeth come into her own as the mistress of Pemberley, forging close bonds with the tenants and softening Darcy’s rough edges. Most of all, I enjoyed Georgiana’s story, seeing her come out of her shell and become more confident in the months since the ordeal with Wickham, and I can’t wait for Odiwe to continue her story.
Disclosure: I received Mrs. Darcy’s Diamonds from the author for review.
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