Posts Tagged ‘beauty and mr. darcy’

Happy New Year, friends! Sorry it’s taken me so long to take stock of last year’s reading, but last year definitely wasn’t a normal one for me…and unfortunately I don’t see a return to normalcy anytime soon. Between working overtime nearly every day, grappling with some health issues and all the associated stress, and losing a beloved pet and having to work through that grief, my reading and writing dramatically dropped off. In fact, after years of reading 50-100 books a year, I only managed to finish 16 in 2020. Of course, quality matters more than quantity, and thankfully, I read some good books last year! Here are my favorites from that list:

What were your favorite books from those you read last year? I’d love to see your lists, so please let me know in the comments!

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Source: Review copy from author

Sarah Courtney’s Beauty and Mr. Darcy merges Pride and Prejudice with several fairy tales, one for each of the Bennet sisters, as well as Charlotte Lucas and Anne de Bourgh. It’s a very creative variation, and I especially loved how Courtney brought Jane Austen’s secondary characters to life. While I enjoyed Elizabeth and Darcy’s story, it was refreshing to see the other women of Pride and Prejudice given their moments to shine.

Courtney does a fantastic job showing how all of the characters grow and evolve over the course of the novel, from Charlotte’s subtle molding of Mr. Collins into someone I couldn’t help but like to Lydia taking a different path in Brighton, one that changes her character for the better. I was impressed by Courtney’s ability to transform Austen’s characters into fairy tale heroines and seamlessly intertwine the stories. Best of all, she gives Wickham a comeuppance that I won’t soon forget in a scene that had me shocked and laughing at the same time.

It’s important to note that Elizabeth and Darcy aren’t given center stage but share it with the other characters. And to be honest, I didn’t miss them being front and center. That’s not to say Elizabeth and Darcy don’t play an important or interesting role in the novel; they do, albeit without as much angst and drama as you might have come to expect in these variations. However, Courtney’s handling of the secondary characters is fresh and clever, and it was nice to see the other women get their happily ever afters. I seriously couldn’t get enough of Kitty’s and Lydia’s stories, and it was great to see Kitty finally get her chance to go to Brighton — especially here, when she has such a love for the sea.

Courtney explains at the end of the book which characters went with which fairy tales, which I appreciated since the stories closely followed but didn’t exactly match the fairy tales. I must say I was proud of myself for figuring out most of the matches on my own. 😉

Having loved Courtney’s previous novel, the modern variation A Good Name, I had high expectations for Beauty and Mr. Darcy, and I wasn’t disappointed. I am anxiously awaiting Courtney’s next novel!

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I am thrilled to welcome Sarah Courtney back to Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate her latest novel, Beauty and Mr. Darcy, which will be released tomorrow, January 31. I absolutely adored Sarah’s modern Pride and Prejudice variation, A Good Name, so I couldn’t wait to dive in and read Beauty and Mr. Darcy. (Stay tuned for my review; I’m enjoying it so far.) Sarah is here to share a little about the book, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway. Please give her a warm welcome!


I absolutely adore fairy tale adaptations and have read a ton of them. Some of my favorite authors are K.M. Shea, Melanie Cellier, and Gail Carson Levine. So it’s not exactly a surprise that it would occur to me to write a fairy tale adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Of course, I couldn’t stick to just one fairy tale. I realized, as I read through the novel for the umpteenth time, that several of the women in the story have characteristics in common with fairy tales. Elizabeth and Darcy’s story has often been compared to Beauty and the Beast, so that was probably the easiest comparison. But there were a few other tales that seemed to fit very naturally with the characters as portrayed in Pride and Prejudice.

I couldn’t help making sure that each of the Bennet sisters (and Charlotte) got a happy ending, though, so I had to find the perfect fairy tale for each, even if I had to get a bit more inventive with some of the connections! To my surprise, Lydia’s story ended up being one of my favorites, and quite a few early readers have told me the same.

Ultimately, Beauty and Mr. Darcy includes six fairy tales (and a hint of one more), all intertwined together. There is no magic, beyond the magic of love, but there are happy endings galore!

In this excerpt from Beauty and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth is growing fatigued of Mr. Darcy staring at her and listening in to her conversations. She decides to have a little fun with him in revenge.

October 1811

Ashworth, home of Mr. and Mrs. Cole


Elizabeth stalked over to where Charlotte Lucas stood near the wall. Charlotte raised an eyebrow. “I see something has got your temper up?”

Elizabeth glanced over her shoulder to see where Mr. Darcy was. Unsurprisingly, he had followed her. Again. He was now standing some few feet away by the mantle giving his best impression of a man who was not staring at Elizabeth Bennet. Or listening to her conversations. As she watched, he glanced over at her, then away again. She huffed.

She turned back to Charlotte, who was smiling broadly. Elizabeth rolled her eyes, then deliberately strove for a light tone.

“Charlotte, you will not believe what I caught my father reading!”

Charlotte’s eyebrows, at this rate, would never drop down to their usual position. “What?”

Stratagems Defeated,” she said triumphantly.

Charlotte’s mouth dropped open. “That drivel?”

Elizabeth nodded eagerly. “That is not all. He said he borrowed it from your father!”

“That . . . does not surprise me as much as you might think. My father has a great appreciation for ridiculous novels. But the idea that he would loan one to your father, and that your father would actually read it . . .”

“But that is the best part! I discovered exactly what my father is about. It is utterly scandalous,” Elizabeth said. With that, she leaned in close and whispered into Charlotte’s ear, “Gasp and pretend to be shocked.”

Charlotte gasped and stared at Elizabeth. Elizabeth rejoiced inwardly when Mr. Darcy almost lost his grip on the mantle, he was leaning so close. The poor man. There was no way he could have overheard the last.

Charlotte grasped Elizabeth’s upper arm and pulled her close to whisper in her ear, “So we are playing games with Mr. Darcy now?”

Elizabeth whispered back, “He will not stop staring and following me around, listening to my conversations. Well, if he is going to listen without joining in like any ordinary person, then he will just have to consign himself to Bedlam with half-heard intriguing conversations and humorous anecdotes that will be missing the apogee.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes, then stepped back. “Our mothers must have no idea!” she exclaimed with false excitement. “Scandalous!”

Elizabeth smiled. Charlotte might be seven years her senior and far more mature in so many ways, but a good prank was a good prank, and she had not grown up with three younger brothers for nothing!

Charlotte nodded towards Mr. Darcy and lowered her voice to say, “Elizabeth, I believe Mr. Darcy likes you.”

Elizabeth gave a rather unladylike snort. “Have you forgotten already that I am merely ‘tolerable’ and ‘lacking in wit’?” She certainly had not.

Charlotte shook her head. “Perhaps he said that and did not mean it, or perhaps he changed his mind soon afterward. A man does not watch a woman constantly and attempt to listen to her conversations without purpose.”

“If there is purpose in it, it is certainly not attraction,” Elizabeth said. She stared at Mr. Darcy until she caught his eye.

He lifted his chin and gave her his haughtiest look, then turned away.

Elizabeth suppressed a laugh. “Tolerable it is!”


About Beauty and Mr. Darcy

Elizabeth Bennet knows that Fitzwilliam Darcy is a beast. At least, that’s what George Wickham tells her, and she is inclined to believe him. Why, then, is it so hard not to find him interesting and attractive? Is she just another young lady intrigued by a rogue?

Jane Bennet was in love once and has never quite recovered. When the object of her affections returns to Meryton, she is thrilled, until she realizes that the same problem that has frightened off all of her other suitors might drive away the man she truly loves.

Mary Bennet’s pedantic pronouncements irritate her sisters and repel the man she longs for. Is there any hope for a happy ending for her?

Kitty and Lydia Bennet’s giggles and foolish ways make the matrons of Meryton shake their heads. Without real parental guidance, they long for attention, even if means risking their reputations and hope for the future.

Charlotte Lucas has long since given up the idea of finding a husband and having the children she longs for. When an unusual suitor arrives in Meryton, she has one last chance to avoid spinsterhood.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice variation in which romance and humor abound! The Bennet sisters’ fairy tales intertwine as they each find their very own happy ending, but there is no fantastical magic in this retelling. This is a full-length novel of about 130,000 words.

Buy on Amazon


About the Author

Sarah Courtney

Sarah Courtney has been addicted to reading since she first learned how. She carried books with her everywhere . . . to sports games (professional sports games required two books!), school, bus rides and car trips, and even when her parents told her to “go outside and play.” She finds time for reading now by doing most of it on her Kindle app, which means that she can read while walking down the stairs, waiting in line, making dinner . . .

Sarah loves to read fantasy and fairy tale interpretations, Agatha Christie’s mysteries, romantic suspense/action, and especially variations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Sarah tried her hand at writing numerous times as a child, but never stuck it out long enough to finish a book. When she discovered that there was an entire fandom dedicated to her favorite author, Jane Austen, she was inspired to write her first novel.

Sarah homeschools her six children, ages two through twelve. She is constantly asked, “How do you find time to write?” The answer is simply that you find the time to do the things you love. Also, getting the laundry put away is highly overrated.

You can find Sarah on Facebook and her blog.



Sarah is offering an ebook copy of Beauty and Mr. Darcy to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, February 7, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Sarah, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new book!

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