Posts Tagged ‘joana starnes’

mbdd-nov-2-cover-reveal-br-ann_edited-2-1I am thrilled to be among the bloggers participating in the cover reveal festivities for Joana Starnes’ latest novel, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, which releases today!

Before I share the stunning cover for what promises to be a fantastic variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, here’s a description of the book to whet your appetite:

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, I’m delighted to introduce Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, featuring the Portrait of Miss Frances Vinicombe by John Opie, a British landscape and portrait artist famous for his paintings of well-known people, including the author Mary Wollstonecraft. Opie’s works also are featured at the Chawton House Library.



International Giveaway

One winner will receive a paperback and two will receive an ebook of Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. The winners also will receive assorted Austen-related mini-gifts.

Also, as a special bonus, all Rafflecopter entrants will receive an exclusive excerpt of the book that will not be included in the Amazon sample. These sample excerpts will be emailed to entrants using their Rafflecopter email addresses. (Please let me know if you have any trouble getting Rafflecopter to accept your entry, and I’ll make sure your email address is sent to the tour host.)

Click here to enter the giveaway. The winners will be announced on November 16. Good luck!


Connect with Joana Starnes


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


Follow the blog tour


November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

November 18/From Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

November 19/Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post

November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 23/Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving

November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes

November 27 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway

November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Miss Darcy's Companion front cover_V4

Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★★★

He consciously ran his fingers through his forelocks to brush them to one side, yet kept the pose nevertheless for Georgiana’s benefit — until he felt compelled to look her way again, merely to discover that his sister was not the only one who kept him under scrutiny. Miss Bennet’s eyes were also steadily fixed on him, her countenance oddly solemn, but before he could wonder why, she dropped her gaze and instantly turned away.

(from Miss Darcy’s Companion)

Miss Darcy’s Companion is the latest Pride and Prejudice variation by Joana Starnes, and it imagines Elizabeth Bennet as a temporary governess for Colonel Fitzwilliam’s nieces and nephew, which is how she meets Mr. Darcy. The Darcys and Richard feel bad for how Lady Stretton treats Elizabeth, and Darcy thinks about how he would feel if his sister, Georgiana, were in her shoes: the daughter of a gentleman thrown out of her home upon the death of her father.

Convinced by Richard that Georgiana needs a companion closer to her age and that, despite her lack of experience, Elizabeth’s liveliness will do her a world of good, Darcy agrees to hire Elizabeth as Georgiana’s companion — and the three settle into a comfortable friendship at Pemberley. That is until Elizabeth becomes withdrawn, and Darcy realizes he wants the love and passion he witnesses between his friend Bingley and his new wife, Elizabeth’s sister Jane. Forced to distance himself from Pemberley to get his feelings under control and make a life-changing decision, Darcy must rush back to Pemberley when a ghost from his past arrives and destroys his hopes for happiness.

In Miss Darcy’s Companion, Starnes puts Darcy and Elizabeth in entirely new situations with entirely different misunderstandings but stays true to Jane Austen’s characters, namely Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s impertinence. She also portrays a Darcy whose true character is known almost immediately by Elizabeth, and a more solemn Elizabeth who is more difficult for Darcy to figure out. I really enjoyed seeing Georgiana blossom under Elizabeth’s watchful eye and Richard relentlessly tease his cousin. There also were plenty of original characters to liven the plot, from the obnoxiously arrogant Lady Stretton to the vicar’s sweet sister, Miss Bradden, to Fitzwilliam’s charming nieces Margaret and Hetty.

Miss Darcy’s Companion is the third Pride and Prejudice variation I’ve read by Starnes, and it’s another winner. (Check out my reviews of The Subsequent Proposal and The Unthinkable Triangle.) Starnes has quickly become one of my favorite authors of Austen-inspired fiction. She never lets me down with her beautiful writing style, tenderly drawn characters, and imaginative plots. I can’t wait to read her next book, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, for the blog tour next month!

Disclosure: I received Miss Darcy’s Companion from the author for review.

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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I am so excited to welcome Joana Starnes back to Diary of an Eccentric today! I became a fan of hers after devouring and absolutely loving The Subsequent Proposal, in which she brilliantly blended Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, and The Unthinkable Triangle, in which she seriously (and again, brilliantly) had me worried about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s happily ever after. Joana is back with Miss Darcy’s Companion, which I will be reviewing here this summer. I can’t wait to read it! Please welcome Joana as she shares an excerpt from the novel and graciously offers a copy to one of my readers.


Miss Darcy's Companion front cover_V4Many thanks, Anna, for welcoming me here today on the blog tour for my latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Miss Darcy’s Companion.

In this story Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s acquaintance does not start at the Meryton assembly with a most ungentlemanly comment. Instead, they come across each other in a fashionable townhouse, where the recently bereaved Miss Elizabeth Bennet is temporarily employed as a governess to Colonel Fitzwilliam’s nieces and nephew. But the children’s mother, Lady Stretton, is about as pleasant as Lady Catherine de Bourgh towards her social inferiors. So what are knights in shining armour to do when faced with a damsel in distress?

Before long, at his cousin’s persuasion, Mr Darcy rather reluctantly agrees to let his dear sister have a say in choosing her companion. Georgiana would much rather not have Mrs Younge. In fact, she would greatly prefer Miss Bennet.

I hope you’ll like the following excerpt. Having been detained by family obligations, Mr Darcy finally joins his sister and her new companion at Pemberley to learn what they have been up to in his absence. Despite Miss Bennet’s young years and obvious inexperience as a lady’s companion, she seems a good choice. She is cheerful, kind and outgoing and might help Georgiana conquer her shyness. But is that all she is? Or is Mr Darcy to discover that he has bitten rather more than he could chew?


“You will find that I have become quite the walker, Brother. Lizzy and I have ventured further than I have ever gone before.”

“Escorted, I hope,” Darcy frowned in expectation, and Miss Bennet promptly reassured him.

“Of course, Sir. I have not seen the need in my Hertfordshire rambles, but here it was a different matter. The paths were unknown to me, and besides I had your sister’s welfare to consider.”

“I appreciate your diligence, Miss Bennet. And I expect this good practice to continue even when you have grown familiar with the area, regardless of whether Georgiana accompanies you or not.”

At that, Miss Bennet’s eyes flashed briefly towards him.

“I am quite accustomed to looking after myself, Sir,” she replied, but for all her civility of manner, Darcy could not fail to detect the mutinous undertones.

Riled in no small measure, he shot back:

“Are you now! Pray tell me, how would you fare if you were to come across ruffians or simply twist your ankle? Self-sufficiency is one thing, Miss Bennet. Recklessness is quite another. You will not leave the formal gardens unescorted, and that is the end of the matter,” he said flatly and reached for his cup of tea.

A heavy silence fell. Miss Bennet’s eyes were trained upon her plate, and Darcy could only wonder if they hid distress, remorse or further rebellion. Across from him Georgiana fidgeted, casting uncomfortable glances from her companion to her brother. This riled him too. For the second time since his arrival he had been cast into the part of the unbending ogre, and he did not appreciate it in the slightest. Which was one of the reasons why he morosely observed, “If we are to go riding, Georgiana, perhaps you ought to go and change.”

His sister required no further prompting and stood to do as bid. Her glance still averted, her companion dabbed her lips in readiness to follow, presumably thinking herself likewise dismissed, but Darcy was quick to disabuse her of that notion.

“Miss Bennet, a word, if you please.”

She kept her seat and her back stiffened, but still did not look up when she was spoken to. This sort of conduct bordered not merely on a level of insubordination he was not accustomed to, but was beginning to skirt the edges of downright incivility.

Darcy took a deep breath to calm himself. In living memory he had not lost his temper with one of his people and, by Jove, a slip of a girl would not provoke him into it today. Lady Stretton might have been a nuisance in so many ways, but perhaps she had the right of the matter in one respect at least. He would have known where he stood with an experienced companion for Georgiana – much more so than with a young lady freshly out of the schoolroom and scarcely accustomed to working for a living. Most certainly he would not have had this sort of trouble from the likes of Mrs Younge. He might have to remedy that error and reconsider Miss Bennet’s employment. But that was for another day. For now, he sought to regulate his voice to deliver sensibly and calmly:

“If we get to know each other better, you will see that I do not seek to rule my household with an iron fist, Miss Bennet. However, I do expect my people to obey sensible requests. And also to look at me when spoken to.”

She did as bid at last, only to shock him into momentary silence. Unshed tears glimmered in her eyes and it was Darcy’s turn to look away, caught between embarrassment and exasperation. Heavens, what now? Was she distressed by his forceful manner or were they tears of indignation at being ordered about? She must have reflected, with either sadness or vexation, that she would not have had to bend to a stranger’s will, had her father been alive. The notion struck a chord, because of Georgiana. How would she have fared, had she found herself dislodged from her place in the world, deprived of protection, forced to earn her keep? It did not bear thinking and, thank goodness, it would never happen; the Darcy name and fortune would always be her shelter, come what may. The young woman before him had none of those advantages. And only the likes of Lady Stretton would blame her if she still struggled to adjust to a very different way of life. Darcy cleared his voice.

“Forgive me for distressing you with my forthrightness, Miss Bennet. I only had your safety in mind. I should not wish to be forced to write to your pa–… your relations that you have been harmed whilst your welfare was my responsibility,” he offered mildly, and was pleased to see that the altered manner had the desired effect and her strained countenance softened.

“‘Tis I who should beg your pardon, Mr Darcy. I fear that my upbringing has had a major flaw, in that it has not taught me the virtues of unquestioning obedience, but rather the opposite. It does not serve me well under the circumstances,” she concluded with a conscious smile, which Darcy mirrored.

“I suppose I should find it in me to be grateful for the practice. A time might come when Georgiana’s mind is different from my own. But let us not hasten that day if we could help it and, for the sake of household harmony, pray do not make a habit of questioning my requests. With some degree of effort, I might be able to disguise some of them as suggestions, but that would not apply to all by any means,” he added, only partly in jest.

Her earnest reply showed she had grasped his meaning: not just light-hearted repartee, but a structuring for the future.

“I thank you for your understanding patience. All I can say, and it is not in my defence, quite the contrary, is that in your welcoming household I found it all too easy to remember how it felt to be my father’s daughter. Lady Stretton had never allowed such licence. Not everyone would.”

“Not everyone has a young sister whom they would not wish to imagine in trying circumstances,” Darcy owned candidly, then stood. “Speaking of which, I should not keep Georgiana waiting any longer. Pray find yourself a cheerful way to pass the time, Miss Bennet, and I urge you to consider allowing one of my grooms to help you overcome your reservations about riding. Derbyshire is best seen on horseback and someday you might find pleasure in joining us.”

“I would only slow you down, I fear. In my most sanguine hopes I cannot imagine mastering anything faster than a canter. Enjoy your ride, Mr Darcy and, once again, I thank you,” she added softly and was gone, leaving him in a far better frame of mind than he had been but a half-hour ago.

So much so that when he found Georgiana by the stables, already in her riding habit and waiting for him, he met her troubled glance with a light chuckle.

“Do not look so concerned, sweetling, I have not devoured your Miss Lizzy for breakfast. She is safe and well, awaiting your return.”

Georgiana’s brows shot up at the uncharacteristic levity but she made no reply, presumably because a groom was by then approaching with their mounts. With a nod of thanks to the man, Darcy helped his sister into the saddle, then leisurely swung into his.

“So… all is well?” Georgiana tentatively asked as they took to the road together.

“All is well. But pray tell me, is she always so wilful?”

“Not that I have noticed,” his sister laughed lightly in response. “But then I am nowhere near as strong-willed as you, so there was little risk of our tempers clashing.”

He conceded her the point, although that brought a different reason for concern. Of course, Georgiana could benefit from the good example of a more outgoing nature, but if she was led by a stronger character, all manner of mischief could brew should she be led in the wrong direction.

Darcy snorted. He had hoped to share the responsibility of his sister’s welfare with a female companion engaged for the purpose, yet there he was instead, in charge of not one but two young ladies of a trying age. His aunt Malvern might have had the right of it. Everything would be a great deal easier if he married.

He snorted again, less audibly this time, lest he should attract Georgiana’s notice. The matchmaking matrons of the ton would laugh themselves into a stupor if he, who had so far resisted all their concerted efforts, should be brought down by a couple of young lasses. Heaven help him if Georgiana and her companion should try his patience enough to goad him into matrimony!

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and that you’ll like the full story. Please leave a comment with your email address by Sunday, June 5 for the chance to win a Kindle copy of Miss Darcy’s Companion, available internationally. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Thanks for stopping by and many thanks again, Anna, for the lovely welcome at Diary of an Eccentric, you’re so kind to have me as your guest!


About the author:

Joana Starnes lives in the South of England with her family. She has published six Austen-related novels:

  • From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley ~ A Pride & Prejudice sequel
  • The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion
  • The Second Chance ~ A Pride & Prejudice – Sense & Sensibility Variation
  • The Falmouth Connection ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation set in Poldark territory
  • The Unthinkable Triangle ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation, where loyalty comes at loggerheads with love
  • Miss Darcy’s Companion ~ A Pride & Prejudice Variation

They are available on all Amazon sites.

Books by Joana Starnes at Amazon.com
Books by Joana Starnes at Amazon.co.uk

You can connect with Joana Starnes on

Or visit ‘All Roads Lead to Pemberley’ on Facebook, for places, events and titbits that have inspired her novels.

Click the banner below to follow the blog tour for Miss Darcy’s Companion!

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© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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the unthinkable triangle

Source: Review copy from author Rating: ★★★★★

Eyes tightly shut against the horrifying future, Darcy dug his fingers in his hair, his temples pressed hard between cold palms as though to force out thoughts that tore and slashed and hounded him into a world so dark that, by comparison, insanity seemed a generous blessing. Yet, as he knew full well, there was worse to come.

(from The Unthinkable Triangle)

Quick summary: Joana Starnes’ latest novel, The Unthinkable Triangle, is a variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that imagines what could have happened if Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy’s beloved cousin, proposed to Elizabeth Bennet first and was accepted. Can Darcy put aside his feelings for her for his cousin’s sake, especially when events conspire to ensure they frequently cross paths?

Why I wanted to read it: I’ve been a fan of Starnes’ writing since The Subsequent Proposal, her clever mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

What I liked: I loved The Unthinkable Triangle from start to finish. Starnes is not afraid to shake things up, and she certainly isn’t afraid to torture poor Darcy! She infuses so much emotion into these pages, yet it never feels overdone. She makes the premise completely believable and made me truly worried about how it was all going to play out. But most of all, I loved getting into the heads of these characters, feeling their joys and their sorrows. Starnes puts Darcy and Elizabeth through new trials, lets readers get to know secondary characters like Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana better, and introduces intriguing original characters, some sweet and some filled with malice.

What I disliked: Absolutely nothing! It has the perfect mixture of passion and despair.

Final thoughts: The Unthinkable Triangle is another winner for Starnes, and again she made me believe that another outcome could be possible. Her writing is beautiful, seemingly effortlessly moving from hope to regret to despondency and back again and taking readers along for the tumultuous ride. The Unthinkable Triangle is a contender for my Best of 2015 list and easily makes my list of all-time favorite Pride and Prejudice variations.

Disclosure: I received The Unthinkable Triangle from the author for review.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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the unthinkable triangleThank you, Anna, for having me as your guest today to talk about my latest release, The Unthinkable Triangle.

But firstly, may I speak of Mrs. Bennet? I must admit that I am rather fond of her. Partly because I am fast approaching the age I think she would have been in the original novel. Married very young and presumably pregnant with Jane almost immediately, she must have been in her late forties when Pride and Prejudice started to unfold. I am also rather fond of her because I simply cannot see her as an evil, scheming mother selling her daughters to the highest bidder, but rather as a realist. Of course her daughters needed to get married, preferably soon and hopefully well. What choices other than marriage or genteel poverty were open to them, should the worst happen and they lose their father and their home?

Lastly, as an author, I am very fond of her, and also of Lydia, because they are wonderful plot devices. A pair of blabbermouths can be extremely useful in moving the plot along, or having the main characters learn of details they would not yet dare disclose to each other – or would not have the crassness to mention themselves.

For instance, in The Falmouth Connection, my last book but one, Lydia makes Elizabeth see that Mr. Darcy might be in love with her. In my latest, The Unthinkable Triangle, Mrs. Bennet orchestrates a journey north that would allow Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to finally reach their understanding. Moreover, it is thanks to her that Elizabeth finds herself travelling in Mr. Darcy’s carriage, along with her sister Mary, with Georgiana – and with the gentleman himself.

These days it takes mere hours to drive from Hertfordshire to some place or another in the vicinity of ‘Pemberley’. Not so 200 years ago, when a gentleman travelling with his own equipage and a large party of family and friends would take to the Great North Road with the expectation of covering roughly 50 miles in a day, weather permitting. They would have to frequently stop at coaching inns along the way to rest the horses and have them fed and watered, as the travellers partook of their own refreshments.

And then they would proceed at a stately pace again, and spend many hours in the close confines of a carriage. During those hours, in The Unthinkable Triangle, Elizabeth must confront her recently discovered feelings – a daunting task, in such close proximity, as the following excerpt shows.

* * * *

Coaching InnThe Unthinkable Triangle

Excerpt from Chapter 14

Meryton was far behind now, as the swaying carriages proceeded at a stately pace along the Great North Road.

In the first there was silence. Fed and content, the babe was sleeping in her mother’s arms, and the three other occupants were keen to prolong that desirable state of affairs for as long as they could.

In the second there was a mayhem of Lydia’s, Kitty’s and Mrs. Bennet’s making, which would cease for some ten minutes or so whenever Mr. Bennet determined he could not tolerate it any longer and threatened with bidding the coachman make an about-turn and head back home to Longbourn.

In the third there was no mayhem but, despite appearances, there was precious little peace. One of the seats was taken by the readers – Mary and Mr. Darcy. Presumably mortified by her father’s injunction, Mary took it to heart and forbore to say a word, devoting her full attention to Mr. Gibbon’s History of the Roman Empire. Mr. Darcy’s reading matter, although less ponderous, still lacked the power to engross him fully, and now and then he would close his book and leave it in his lap, his finger holding his place between the pages, until he would tire of staring out of the carriage window and take up reading again, with infrequent glances at the seat before him, where Elizabeth and Georgiana were maintaining a cheerful conversation.

Truth be told, the cheer was all on Georgiana’s side. Elizabeth’s sole contribution was to skilfully drop the necessary words here and there, that would encourage her young friend to share more tales of town and Derbyshire. No one could doubt Georgiana’s excitement and her delight with the company and the travel plans. She was chattier than ever, which was a surprise but no less of a blessing, for otherwise the carriage ride would have been mostly spent in awkward silence.

Elizabeth clasped her gloved fingers in her lap and smiled to Georgiana as she declared her intention to visit the Lakes in the very near future, thus providing the young girl with another topic that would bear lengthy and elaborate descriptions, and giving her leisure to cast a surreptitious glance towards her friend’s brother. She longed to speak to him – she did not dare – and her own unprecedented shyness vexed her beyond endurance.

He was intent upon his book, so she allowed her glance to linger. Dark tousled hair, a few long, wavy forelocks falling over the wide brow. Eyes cast down, lidded as though closed, with only the flicker of dark lashes to prove it was not so. Lips pressed together, presumably in concentration, making the chin jut ever so slightly forward. Strong jaw above the neckcloth and the pointed corners of the collar, no longer perfectly aligned, as they had been this morning. Cheeks vaguely shadowed. A very straight nose, the nostrils widening all of a sudden, with a deep intake of air. And then the lips again. Perfectly formed. Still tightened.

Did he kiss Miss Wyatt when he had offered for her?

She had no answer to that question. Likewise to another: what alerted people when they were being watched? A sixth sense, or whatever else it might have been, prompted Mr. Darcy to glance up so suddenly that he caught her staring. Someone who had nothing to hide might have met his eyes squarely. Those who still had their wits about them would have looked away casually and slowly, as if their mind was elsewhere and they were simply staring blankly into space. Sadly, the sensible alternatives occurred to her when it was all too late. When her cheeks were already flaming as though set on fire, and her eyes had darted in panic from his face.

She did not look his way again, not for a long time, and Georgiana was surprised to note that she was getting monosyllabic or rather odd answers to her questions. Across from them, Mr. Darcy turned to stare at the Bedfordshire countryside again.

There was at least another hour and a half till their next stop. And to their destination – one hundred and twenty-two gruelling miles.

* * * *

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. There is an international giveaway of a Kindle copy if you would like to find out more – just leave a comment for the chance to win. The giveaway ends on Sunday, October 18.

Best of luck, thank you for visiting and many thanks again, Anna, for welcoming me as your guest.

* * * *

Thanks, Joana! It was a pleasure having you on the blog today!

Stay tuned for my review of The Unthinkable Triangle. In the meantime, check out my 5-star review of one of Joana’s previous novels, The Subsequent Proposal. You can also connect with Joana here:


© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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the subsequent proposal

Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★★★

The fact that she had seen fit to accept him did bring a measure of surprise, particularly in view of her stilted disclosures about her broken heart — but also brought some sort of mild contentment, at the full knowledge that, in Miss Elliot’s kind and capable hands, Georgiana’s future would be safe and well guarded.

And so was Pemberley’s.  And perhaps his own.

(from The Subsequent Proposal, page 23)

Quick summary: In The Subsequent Proposal, Joana Starnes deftly brings together characters from two of Jane Austen’s novels: Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.  Reeling from his rejection at the hands of Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy meets Anne Elliot through his Fitzwilliam relations, and they forge a bond based on friendship and their mutual understanding of lost love and heartache.  Mr. Darcy sees how Anne is treated by her family and vows to give her a better life, even if he can never give her his heart.  After Anne accepts his proposal, Mr. Darcy must go to Hertfordshire in support of his best friend.  When he finds that Elizabeth has caught the eye of a certain naval captain, he begins to rethink the decisions he made in the midst of his pain.

Why I wanted to read it: I wanted to see how the characters from two of my all-time favorite novels would interact with one another.

What I liked: Starnes tells the story through Darcy’s eyes, and she does an excellent job showing the roller coaster of emotions he rode after Elizabeth spurned his insulting marriage proposal.  Readers see the depth of his love and his despair at the thought of her not being in his life.  I loved watching Darcy and Captain Wentworth — two of my favorite literary heroes — in a competition of sorts.  But most of all, I loved that Starnes created a world where I could accept that Darcy and Anne would make a sensible match, even if she lacks Elizabeth’s liveliness and wit.

What I disliked: I honestly didn’t find anything to dislike in this novel, but at times I wished I could’ve seen some of the events through the eyes of Captain Wentworth.

Final thoughts: The Subsequent Proposal makes it seem as though the characters of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion were meant to be together.  I love it when Austen-inspired fiction shakes things up a bit, and Starnes certainly does that!  I enjoyed the many sides of Darcy that she presents throughout the novel, and I was delighted to see him go toe-to-toe with Captain Wentworth, Sir Walter Elliot, and Lady Russell.  This was the first novel by Starnes that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last!

Disclosure: I received The Subsequent Proposal from the author for review.

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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