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Mr Darcy%27s Pride and Joy Cover MEDIUM WEB

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

“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.

© 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’m thrilled to welcome Monica Fairview to Diary of an Eccentric today with an excerpt of her latest novel, Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy. It’s the third and final installment of the Darcy Novels series, following Mr. Darcy’s Pledge and Mr. Darcy’s Challenge, both of which I really enjoyed. Look for my review of Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy soon, and stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this post!

Mr Darcy%27s Pride and Joy Cover MEDIUM WEBPlease give a warm welcome to Monica Fairview:

It is with pleasure that I am visiting Diary of an Eccentric with the inexhaustible Anna, who has kindly hosted me many times over the years. This time, I’m here with an excerpt from the last book in my Darcy Novels series, Mr. Darcy’s Pride and Joy. I’m also giving away one e-book copy of the Darcy Novel of your choice, so I can accommodate those who are new to the series as well those who have already picked the earlier novels.

This excerpt is from Chapter 7 of Mr. Darcy’s Pride and Joy. It’s a moment of insight for Mr. Darcy when he journeys back to Meryton.

***

Darcy did not know how much time had passed when he was brought to awareness by the slowing of the carriage, but he was glad to see he was now in familiar territory. The houses belonging to the village of Meryton were before him, evoking memories of his first encounter with Elizabeth. The rain had stopped entirely by now, so he opened the window to catch a glimpse of the Assembly Rooms where he had first encountered Elizabeth Bennet. Little had he known when Bingley had dragged him to that fateful dance that his life was about to be changed so completely. As they drew level with the building, Darcy knocked twice for the coachman to stop. Ignoring the protests of Briggs, Darcy opened the door and leapt down into the street.

There it was. The Georgian building with its unassuming brick facade looked too humble to be the source of so much trouble. Darcy walked to the door and pulled at the handle, expecting it to be closed, but to his surprise, it opened easily. There were workmen inside, putting up decorations, and he realized that they were preparing for the next Assembly. His heart quickened as he decided he would bring Elizabeth there and would announce their engagement to the whole neighborhood by dancing with her three times. The thought made him smile and he stepped inside.

The interior was branded in his memory, even though he had not known at the time that it would be significant to him. Perhaps he had been bored enough that he had really noticed the details, or perhaps he had somehow remembered them later. There, above, was the musician’s gallery. The floor was marble and he now remembered his feet moving across the patterned tiles. He had danced with Mrs. Hurst and with Caroline that night and no one else. How perfectly tedious of him! If only he had known it, then he would have made the most of every moment he could have spent with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Instead, he had insulted her within her hearing.

It was hardly surprising that the assembled guests had thought him a snob. He was a snob, or at least, he had been one until Elizabeth cured him of it once and for all. It was hard to believe that he had preferred the company of Caroline Bingley at the time to that of dearest Elizabeth! Georgiana had been right to reprimand him for giving the wrong impression to Bingley’s sister.

No wonder Caroline had thought he had singled her out for special attention. He had not known it at the time, but he had been using her for his own selfish reasons. She was the means by which he fobbed off the attentions of ambitious young ladies and their matchmaking mamas. He had never given Caroline herself much consideration. She was his friend’s sister and he had known her almost as long as he had known Bingley – it had never occurred to him that she had reached certain conclusions and had been building upon them.

He had danced with her and her sister at the Assembly for other reasons as well. She was familiar and he did not need to make any effort with her. He remembered, too, that he had thought her fashionable London clothes far superior to the clumsy fashions the provincial seamstresses provided. In short, he had considered himself and his party above everyone else attending, even Sir William Lucas, who had attracted his contempt with his self-important boasting about his acquaintance with the Prince Regent. He had considered Sir William, with his new baronetcy, far beneath the Darcys whose ancestry could be traced back to the Norman court.

Suddenly he wondered if his excessive pride in his ancestry had originated in his father’s sense of inferiority to Lady Anne, his mother. After all, she had a title and his father did not, and knowing the inherent arrogance of the Fitzwilliams, his father must have felt he needed to prove himself. The thought startled him, as it had never occurred to him before. Perhaps that was why his given name was Fitzwilliam, after all. Darcy sighed. If a member of the prestigious Darcy family such as his father, whose illustrious heritage went back centuries, had felt the need to prove himself, how would an Elizabeth Bennet, who was a virtual nobody, even if her father was a gentleman, feel about being admitted to such a haughty family? The Earl of Matlock and his wife thought nothing less than a duke was good enough for Georgiana. How would they react when they knew he had stooped, in their eyes, to marry someone so insignificant? He had thought of this before, of course, and had said as much to Elizabeth in his first proposal, but he had been thinking of it only from his own perspective.

She had made him think differently. She had forced him to acknowledge that such thinking was a recipe for unhappiness. His eye turned to the spot where she had first stood when he had been introduced to her, right there under the columns. That was where she had been when Bingley had pointed her out and ordered him to dance with her, and that was the spot where he had stood when he had pronounced those fateful words, the words that Elizabeth had overheard. What was it he had said, exactly? Something to the order of her not being handsome enough to tempt him?

He had not cared at the time if she heard him. His arrogance had known no bounds. To him she was nothing more than a provincial nobody, a young lady whose mother was blatantly trying to reel in a husband for her daughters. Little did he know at that moment how significant that encounter would be, and how much he would come to regret those careless words he had spoken.

“May I help you, sir? Do you wish to hire the room?”

Darcy turned to find the foreman overseeing the repairs hovering next to him. He came to himself with a start. What was he doing standing there, gawping into empty space?

“No,” he replied. Then, because he did not wish to appear arrogant, he added with a quick smile, “Thank you. I was merely looking around.”

He turned on his heel. Enough day dreaming. It was time for action. The long and painful journey that had started in this room was about to reach its final fruition. 

***

About Mr. Darcy’s Pride & Joy

A Jane Austen “what-if” novel.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are engaged at last, and Mr. Darcy is preparing to take out a special license to get married quickly. But, just when everything seems to be going just right, he encounters opposition from an unexpected quarter. Then, when his engagement is announced – to someone else – Elizabeth, understandably, begins to doubt his sincerity.

Perhaps their love is doomed after all…

Buy: Amazon | Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, tablets

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About the author

Fairview-image

Monica Fairview is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s wit. She loves to laugh, and she is convinced that her cats can understand everything she says. She is the author of several Austenesque novels: two traditional Jane Austen sequels, one post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen spin-off, one multi-author novel THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring Mr. Darcy’s rakish brother Theo, and now the trilogy, THE DARCY NOVELS. She has also written a Regency Christmas novel, A VERY MERRY CHASE, which was published as part of The Regency Quintet anthology and will be coming out soon on Amazon.

Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager, in the days when it was faded and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH & SOUTH in her blood.

Monica lived in the USA for many years, where she taught literature to captive victims. She has lived in Illinois, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington State, Oregon, and Massachusetts. By some quirk of fate, she now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area, within a stone’s throw of Jane Austen’s picnic spot in EMMA, Box Hill. She loves visiting historical properties when it isn’t raining.

Connect with Monica: website | blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Giveaway

Monica is generously offering one lucky reader an e-book copy of the Darcy Novel of their choice. This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address about what intrigues you most about the Darcy Novels and which book you’d like to win. The giveaway will close Sunday, September 11. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

© 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 darcy brothers

Source: Review copy from authors
Rating: ★★★★☆

“They really are — I can see why they hold your attention…” his head lolled forward for a second and Darcy feared he had lapsed into unconsciousness and grabbed his good arm to steady him, but then Theo shook his head again and raised it to meet his brother’s confused gaze.

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.  She has — do you not think, she has the finest pair of…”

“Theo!”

Theo blinked; then, he fixed Darcy with a stern look.  “If you would only let me finish, Brother!  She has the finest pair of eyes I have ever seen on a woman.”

(from The Darcy Brothers)

Quick summary: The Darcy Brothers is a collaborative retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks, and Abigail Reynolds.  Fitzwilliam and Theophilus Darcy barely tolerate one another but embark on a trip together to visit their Aunt Catherine at Rosings, at the same time that Elizabeth Bennet is visiting her friend, Mrs. Collins, at the parsonage.  It’s not long before Theo meets Elizabeth and is entranced, and Elizabeth is surprised that Theo is much more charming and amiable than his older brother.  But even as Elizabeth learns that William is not as proud and arrogant as she initially thought, she can’t help but notice the rift in the brothers’ relationship, and she wants nothing more but for them to reconcile.

Why I wanted to read it: I’ve enjoyed several books by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, and Abigail Reynolds, so I couldn’t resist.  Plus, I’ve heard Theo is a charmer, and I wanted to meet him.

What I liked: Giving Darcy a younger brother who is everything he is not and who immediately captivates Elizabeth puts a wrench in his plans to win her over.  The authors’ portrayal of Anne de Bourgh is hilarious, from her outspokenness and her scheming to her ability to perfectly tie a cravat.  Theo is a fantastic character, and his complicated relationship with Darcy ensures the novel is not just another romantic retelling of Pride and Prejudice.  But what I loved the most is that the narrative is seamless and the voices are consistent, despite having multiple authors.

What I disliked: Nothing, except that I had to say goodbye to Theo before I was ready, and I wanted to know how things played out for Anne.

Final thoughts:  The Darcy Brothers is a novel full of misunderstandings and schemes, with the right balance of humor and heaviness.  It’s easy to fall in love with Theo, who has the easy charm of Mr. Wickham, the amiability of Mr. Bingley, the goodness and honor of the Darcys, and of course, a touch of mischief.  I hope it’s not the last we see of him!

Disclosure: I received The Darcy Brothers from the authors 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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mr. darcy's challenge

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

Unsurprisingly, his boots sank with a squelch into the mud.  He grinned with delight at the thought that he was experiencing what Elizabeth had experienced, stepping into the very same mud that she did.  Then he felt embarrassed and hastily rearranged his features into a more serious expression.

(from Mr. Darcy’s Challenge)

Quick summary: Mr. Darcy’s Challenge is Volume 2 of The Darcy Novels, a variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the sequel to Mr. Darcy’s Pledge.  In this installment, Mr. Darcy, after his and Elizabeth Bennet’s paths cross again after an accident near Pemberley, is confident that her opinion of him has changed, and he sets off toward Longbourn like a knight on a white horse after Lydia goes missing from Brighton, sure that she will accept him this time.  But Mr. Darcy still has much to learn and much soul-searching ahead of him.  Monica Fairview’s imaginative retelling, told from the points of view of Mr. Darcy and his sister, Georgiana, takes readers on a journey with Mr. Darcy, from a night he is sure to regret at an inn on his way back to London to the seaside in search of answers in Lydia’s disappearance.

Why I wanted to read it: I really enjoyed Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, and I couldn’t wait to continue the series.

What I liked: Mr. Darcy’s Challenge introduces some intriguing original characters, particularly the widow Mrs. Fortin and the young street sweeper David, brings back Darcy’s delightful valet, Briggs, and puts an interesting twist on the Lydia/Mr. Wickham affair.  Fairview sets a good portion of the novel in Brighton, and I loved getting to see the characters in a new environment.  But I especially enjoyed seeing Darcy evolve even further, reflecting on his impulsive, disastrous, and shockingly mean second proposal and putting Elizabeth first without having any hope of ever receiving her love.

What I disliked: Fairview does a great job wrapping things up in each book while also making readers eager to find out what happens next.  As with Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, there was nothing to dislike except having to wait for the next installment.

Final thoughts: Mr. Darcy’s Challenge is both a reflective and an exciting take on Pride and Prejudice, and I loved not knowing how things would play out.  Fairview’s decision to tell the story through the eyes of Darcy and Georgiana works, allowing readers to see a different take on Darcy from the point of view of the younger sister he is determined to protect.  Elizabeth makes numerous appearances throughout the novel, and Fairview skillfully allows readers to see her evolve even when Darcy cannot.  I can’t wait to see where Fairview takes her version of these characters next!

Disclosure: I received Mr. Darcy’s Challenge 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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mr. darcy's pledge

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

“Georgiana, I have come to a decision.  It is time for me to find a bride for Pemberley.”

Who that bride would be, he had no idea.  Only one thing was certain.  It would not be Elizabeth Bennet.

(from Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, page 10)

Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, Volume 1 of The Darcy Novels, is a variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that caught my eye because it focuses on Mr. Darcy’s attempts to forget Elizabeth Bennet by setting out on a quest to find a wife.  After she rejects his disastrous proposal at Hunsford, he returns to Pemberley never having presented Elizabeth with the letter that would have told her the truth about him and cleared up all the misunderstandings.  With the help of his sister, Georgiana, who knows nothing of his failed attempts to secure Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, he sets about making a list of the qualities he most desires in a wife and mistress of Pemberley.

Darcy is rattled when Georgiana questions him about the most important quality he seeks in a wife, remembering Elizabeth’s laughter, impertinence, and ability to remain poised in the worst of situations.  But he can never have her, and his desperate attempts to purge her from his mind give two young women the wrong idea.

Meanwhile, he must contend with Lord and Lady Matlock’s attempts to marry off Georgiana, and he has to patch up his friendship with Mr. Bingley, who has withdrawn from society after learning of the scheme to prevent him from proposing to Elizabeth’s sister, Jane.  When an accident brings Elizabeth to Pemberley, Darcy has a chance to change her opinion of him, but with an assortment of house guests preventing him from speaking to her alone, will he lose his only opportunity to marry for love?

In Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, Monica Fairview lets readers see the events following his failed proposal through Darcy’s eyes.  From wounded pride to embarrassment over his behavior to unexpected feelings of hope, readers see Darcy stumble — even emerging from the water à la Colin Firth — and evolve into a man worthy of Elizabeth’s love.  There were plenty of heated conversations, misunderstandings, and competition among the ladies to have me alternating between anger and laughter, and I wanted to cheer out loud each time Georgiana amassed the courage to put certain disagreeable people in their rightful places.

Fairview keeps readers interested with her expansion of several secondary characters, particularly Georgiana; the introduction of original characters, from the humorous valet Briggs to the obnoxiously transparent Miss Marshall; and Darcy’s sweet attempts to make himself appealing to Elizabeth.  My only complaint is that I finished the book disappointed that I couldn’t start the next installment straight away!

Disclosure: I received Mr. Darcy’s Pledge 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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