“Do not play the matchmaker, Mr. Darcy. You have not yet solved the problem of your own marriage let alone trying to solve the problems of others.”
(from Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy)
Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy is the third and final volume in Monica Fairview’s Darcy Novels series of Pride and Prejudice variations. (I would definitely recommend reading Mr. Darcy’s Pledge and Mr. Darcy’s Challenge before reading this one.) Darcy is thrilled to have finally proposed to Elizabeth and been accepted, but events conspire to prevent him from seeking Mr. Bennet’s permission before the family returns to Hertfordshire following the Bingleys’ wedding breakfast. Elizabeth is confused and worried when Darcy does not arrive on time, and when she receives the worst possible news she can’t help but doubt his feelings for her.
Meanwhile, Darcy must contend with a couple of pretty big challenges: Mr. Bennet’s fierce determination to protect Elizabeth from the cruelty and coldness of Darcy’s social circle, and his public engagement to another woman. Darcy is convinced by his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, that a house party at Pemberley is needed to bring both families together to prove Elizabeth’s mettle. But Darcy is unsure whether he can accomplish his goal of securing Elizabeth’s hand with Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet in the same room, young Georgiana Darcy trying to avoid the attentions of an elderly duke, and the husband-hunting Miss Marshall on the prowl.
What a satisfying end to the series! Fairview does a fantastic job throwing even more obstacles in Darcy and Elizabeth’s path to happily ever after, just when you thought everything would be smooth sailing for the pair. The original characters are delightful, from the perceptive and sly Mrs. Fortin to the gossipy, flashy dresser Mr. Travis. I loved that Mr. Bennet had a secret from his past, even if it made him hard-headed and disagreeable, as it made his marriage to Mrs. Bennet more understandable. And his comments to Mrs. Bennet at the end of the novel were so adorably unlike Mr. Bennet that I couldn’t help but chuckle.
Most of all, I loved seeing Darcy, Elizabeth, and their relationship evolve over the course of the trilogy. There is plenty of romance, angst, scandal, and humor within these pages, and Fairview balances them perfectly. I was sorry that the book had to come to an end, but I was pleased with the ride I’d taken with these characters and eagerly anticipate Fairview’s next novel!
If you’re interested in Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy and the Darcy Novels series, Monica Fairview recently stopped by with an excerpt and giveaway, which closes September 11.
Disclosure: I received Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy from the author for review.
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