Posts Tagged ‘monica fairview’

Hello, friends! I’m thrilled to have Monica Fairview as a guest again today, this time to celebrate the release of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Dangerous Magic. Monica is here to talk a little about weaving fantasy into Pride and Prejudice and to share an excerpt from the book. Please give her a warm welcome!

I’m thrilled to be visiting Anna’s blog again, and to be able to introduce my latest novel, DANGEROUS MAGIC, a Jane Austen magical variation.

I don’t know about you, but I spent a good part of my childhood watching fantasy Disney stories with enchanted Kingdoms, witches and wizards, and fairytale princesses. In those bewitching worlds, we don’t blink an eye at magic carpets or genies that pop out of magic lamps. Pumpkins become carriages, witches put curses on newborns, and frogs become princes. As we grow up, though, most of us tend to leave those worlds behind, and only return to them when a child enters our lives – a beloved niece, our own children or grandchildren. That is when we see things through a child’s eye again and rediscover the enchanting stories that we left behind.

As a long-time reader of fantasy, I’ve never completely left those stories behind, even if the novels I read now are much more complex. You could argue that writing about the past and Regency England is already entering a reality that only exists for us in the imagination. Writing itself is an act of shaping reality, of creating something that doesn’t exist. It’s a magical process that draws the reader and writer together to create a tapestry of the mind.  

But last year, I was particularly drawn to writing fantasty fiction when world events took a sudden turn for the worse. I buried myself in my writing and took refuge in a different reality, finding some solace in imagining our dear couple Elizabeth and Darcy living in a Regency England where magic is the norm. The result was DANGEROUS MAGIC, and I’m absolutely delighted to share the result with JAFF readers out there.

I’ve picked out a short excerpt for you to give you an idea of what the story is like. In this scene, preparations for Elizabeth and Darcy’s wedding are being set up, and, since it’s a forced marriage situation, Elizabeth wishes she could get out of it. However, even in this magical world, wishing for something doesn’t make it happen.

At this moment Mr. Darcy appeared.

“Miss Bennet.” He bowed to Elizabeth then turned to her father. “Mr. Bennet, I assume?” he said.

“Yes, and this is Mr. Darcy, Papa.”

The two gentlemen eyed each other, taking each other’s measure. Elizabeth had rarely seen her father looking so antagonistic.

Mr. Gardiner cleared his throat and stepped forward, and Elizabeth introduced him and Mrs. Gardiner.

Darcy bowed brusquely. “Shall we get on with the business at hand, gentlemen?”

He gestured with his hand and set off, with Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardiner striding after him.

Mrs. Gardiner smiled affectionately at Elizabeth.

“So that’s your Mr. Darcy, is it? You could have done a lot worse, you know. Quite a handsome young gentleman.”

“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” said Elizabeth, dryly. 

Mrs. Gardiner put her arm around Elizabeth’s shoulder. “You’ll get used to it, Lizzy, you’ll see. Most women don’t marry for love, you know.” She looked around her at the Hall. “Nice place.”

“It is nice, but I can’t take credit for it either.”

“Well, then. While the gentlemen argue over your marriage settlement, let’s make the best of our time together to talk,” she said. “Do we have anywhere more private where we can go?”

“We can go to my room,” said Elizabeth. “I share it with another mage, but Miss Bingley has some work to do outside the Hall, and I do not expect her to be back for a while.”

Elizabeth was happy to see her aunt, who had always been one of her favorite relatives.

“How do you like it here?” said Mrs. Gardiner, as they walked towards her room.

“It is too early to say. Let’s just say that I find it challenging.”

“Are they treating you well?” Her aunt peered at her closely. “I have heard that the mages can be unpleasant to someone who isn’t one of them. Though I have never heard bad things about Mr. Darcy.”

“What do you know of him?”

“You know I grew up in Lambton, in Derbyshire?”

Elizabeth nodded.

“Well, Mr. Darcy’s estate, Pemberley, is close to the village.”

“And what do they say of him?”

“Sadly, I have not been to Lambton for a good many years, so I know very little about him, but from all accounts, he is a fair landowner. But enough of that. You will find out everything about him soon enough.”

Elizabeth sighed. “I supposed there is not much I can do about it anyway.”

“That is the most sensible way to look at it.” Mrs. Gardiner clearer her throat. “Now, Lizzy, since your Mama is not here, and she cannot write to you about such a delicate matter, I wanted to talk to you about your wedding night.”

Elizabeth’s cheeks burned. She would have preferred not to think about that, but with the day of the wedding approaching fast, she needed to be armed with knowledge.

“I would prefer it if you told me how to get out of this marriage,” she said, with a little laugh.

Mrs. Gardiner shook her head. “Have you thought of using a magic spell to carry you away from here on an exotic carpet?”

Elizabeth sighed. “I have not learnt that particular spell, unfortunately.”

“Then I’m afraid there is no way you can get out of it at this point without completely ruining your reputation,” said Mrs. Gardiner.

About Dangerous Magic

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom.

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.

Buy on Amazon

About the Author

Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Some of her favorites are ‘North and South’, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘War and Peace’, and a dozen others that she couldn’t possibly list here. Of course, she has watched Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005) more times than she could count on her hands and toes.

Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust historic properties [those were the days!], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.



Monica is generously giving away 1 ebook copy of Dangerous Magic, open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, March 28, 2021. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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

Read Full Post »

I’m so glad to welcome Monica Fairview back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of Fortune and Felicity. It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of reading one of Monica’s Pride and Prejudice variations, so to say I’m excited about this book would be an understatement. Monica is here today for an amusing chat with some friends…I’m sure you’ll recognize them. 🙂 Please give her a warm welcome!


I’m delighted to be paying a social call on Anna at Diary of an Eccentric, and to have the chance to see some of my friends here, old and new. With all the anxiety in the world around us, it is wonderful to be able to share the pleasure of talking about books and about the more sedate world of Regency England. There is nothing like a book to soothe the soul and take us away from the burdens of everyday life.

Before I start, let me ring for my Earl Grey tea and settle down to have our conversation.

I’ve been asked to tell you a little bit about a book called Fortune and Felicity. I am more than happy to answer some questions.

Ah, I see there are several people here who have something to ask. Just allow me a brief sip of my tea before I attend to you.

You can’t wait, Mrs. Bennet? Very well. I will drink my tea after I’ve answered your question.

Question from Mrs. Bennet: It’s been seven whole years, and I still haven’t forgiven Lizzy for not marrying Mr. Collins. And then she had to marry a navy captain, who was completely useless, and inconveniently drowned at sea. What’s to become of Lizzy, without a penny to her name? *Mrs. Bennet wipes her brow with her lace handkerchief.

Calm yourself, Mrs. Bennet. Lizzy is a resourceful young lady. She has applied for several positions as a governess. With so many nieces and nephews, she is very experienced in taking care of children. I do believe she will make an excellent governess. Of course, it would have been helpful if you and Mr. Bennet had ensured she was taught by a governess in order to have mastered certain skills like languages and painting, but I am sure a good position will come her way.

Would you like me to pour you some tea, Mrs. Bennet. No? You are having problems with your nerves? I understand. Perhaps a seat near the window will calm your agitation.

Now, where was I?

Question from Jane: Why is Lizzy so obstinate? Does she really think it would be more comfortable taking up a position in a stranger’s household than living with us? It is so convenient for us to have her here. The children adore her, and she spares me the trouble of having to scold them all the time.

You have to understand, Jane, it isn’t easy being a dependent. Much as Lizzy loves looking after the little ones, she has to strike out and find her own way in the world. Surely you must see that she can’t live with you for the rest of her life?

Question from Charlotte Lucas: Why doesn’t Lizzy visit me anymore? Ever since Mr. Collins and I settled in Longbourn, I have the feeling she has been avoiding me.

Well, Charlotte, you have to admit it would be rather painful for Lizzy to visit you at her former home, knowing that you are now the mistress of the property, and not Mrs. Bennet. She has many happy memories there, you know.

Question from Lizzy to herself: Am I being extremely foolish to leave the safety of Jane’s household to face a very uncertain future? If Mr. Darcy offers me a position as a governess, will I find myself in a very awkward situation, living in Pemberley?

The real question, Lizzy, is do you believe Mr. Darcy is an honorable gentleman? There is nothing in his past behavior to suggest otherwise, and if he has promised to limit his contact with you, surely there should be no problem? Pemberley is huge. You could spend months there and not run into him. You will be on your side of the house, and he will be on his.

Question from Mr. Darcy: Is Elizabeth a threat to my peace of mind? Am I taking a huge risk by inviting her to live under my roof? After I have recovered from that terrible proposal, is she a danger to me in any way?

Mr. Darcy, I’m afraid Lizzy is always going to be a danger to you. There are ways, of course, to handle the situation, and it’s important for you to keep your distance. You will have to ask yourself whether there is any chance your feelings for her will resurface, and that is a question I can’t answer at this time.


There is a draught in here, and I need to fetch my shawl, but I’ll leave you with a short excerpt to read while I’m gone. This scene comes just after their first encounter when Elizabeth is out.

Elizabeth watched Mr. Darcy as he returned the way he came, the hazel stems swishing as he pushed his way past them. He was so mercurial, his moods shifting from one moment to another like fast-moving clouds. He had clearly regretted that rare moment of intimacy.

She felt a sense of loss at his retreat. She chided herself for feeling that way. What did she expect? Very briefly, she had forgotten that he was Mr. Darcy, master of Pemberley, and had thought of him as a friend, but of course, he was not. She felt as if a door had slammed in her face. From one moment to the next, he had changed so completely, it was almost as if they hadn’t laughed and talked together. He had turned back into the same Mr. Darcy she had first met in the ballroom – the arrogant gentleman who had thought himself too good for Meryton, and who thought the assembly was beneath him. He was her employer. She may be a gentleman’s daughter, but she had fallen a long way since then.

Yet, as he disappeared out of sight behind the ruined wall, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that he looked very lonely. She turned away, impatient with herself. If he was lonely, it was surely by choice. It was he who had walked away, after all.


Thank you, once again, Anna, for inviting me to partake of tea with you. I’m looking forward to conversing with my other friends in the comments below.

It was my pleasure! And thank you, Monica, for being my guest today and for providing such entertaining conversation! I hope my readers enjoyed it as much as I did.


About Fortune and Felicity

In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy have a second chance to get things right. Will they be able to come together this time, or will pride intervene yet again?

Seven years after Darcy’s disastrous proposal, Darcy is in need, not of a wife, but of a governess for his young daughter. Imagine his surprise when he discovers Elizabeth Bennet on the list of possible candidates provided by the employment agency. The question is, should he take her on as a governess, or would he be playing with fire?

Elizabeth Bennet is forced by her reduced circumstances to take on a position. However, when Mr. Darcy invites her for an interview, she is embarrassed and humiliated. How could she possibly live under the same roof as the man she had rejected so strongly seven years ago?

Whatever decision she makes, there will be a high price to pay… one way or the other.

Buy on Amazon


About the Author

Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen variations and sequels. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked as a literature professor and then as an acupuncturist in Boston before moving to London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. On rainy days, she loves to watch ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (all adaptations), ‘North & South’, ‘Cranford’, or ‘Downtown Abbey’.

Among Monica’s Kindle best-selling novels are Mysterious Mr. Darcy, the Darcy Novels trilogy, two books in the Darcy Cousins series, and the quirky futuristic P&P inspired Steampunk Darcy. She has also published several traditional Regencies.

Apart from her avid historical interests, Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink lots of tea, and visit Regency houses, and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.

Connect with Monica: Blog | Austen Variations | Website | Facebook | Twitter



Monica is generously offering an ebook copy of Fortune and Felicity to one lucky reader (U.S. or U.K. only). To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Saturday, May 9, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Read Full Post »

Hello, dear readers! I’m delighted to have Monica Fairview as a guest today to celebrate the release of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Mysterious Mr. Darcy. Please give her a warm welcome!


Marrying for Convenience in Pride and Prejudice

By Monica Fairview

Hello Anna! I’m so pleased to be able to stop at your lovely blog once again, this time on my Mysterious Mr. Darcy Blog Tour. It has always been a pleasure to interact with you and your readers.

I hope you are all shaking off the grip of winter and emerging into spring as I am. The sun is finally out and so are the daffodils. Hurray! But I am here to talk about Pride and Prejudice, not about daffodils, however much Jane Austen’s contemporary Mr. Wordsworth admired them. I also wanted to share with you first paragraphs that inspired me to write Mysterious Mr. Darcy.

The first two paragraphs of Pride & Prejudice are surely engrained in the heart of every JAFF fan:

IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

That paragraph has to be the most spectacular example of irony in the English language. So much is packed into that deliciously playful beginning. I love the fact that Jane Austen flips the idea of marriage in the nineteenth century on its tail so cleverly. Women at that time were regarded as the “rightful property” of the husband, and all of a woman’s possessions went to her husband the moment she was married. In these two paragraphs, however, Jane Austen talks about the man being the “rightful property” of the daughter – a statement that must have tickled the fancy of every young lady who read them. And of course, the first sentence also reverses the known wisdom of the time. It was the women who needed husbands for financial security, not the other way round.

However, there is one level at which “a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”. A gentleman with property needed an heir. So, Jane Austen cunningly and with remarkable brevity introduces the main source of Mrs. Bennet’s anxiety:  Mr. Bennet’s failed attempt to produce an heir.

Either way, whether from the man’s point of view, or the woman’s, the main message is that marriage is about property and possessions. It is, quite simply, a matter of convenience. Romantic love forms no part of it.

It’s difficult for us to fully appreciate the meaning of this way of thinking. Obviously, even in the twenty-first century, marrying a rich man is a desirable thing, and there are women who do everything they can to achieve that goal. However, in most cases, if it doesn’t happen, there are other alternatives. Marriage is not the only alternative for women of a certain class. It is a choice. Women can work and be independent. But for a young gently-bred lady of Jane Austen’s era, there was no choice. The only alternative other than marrying was to become a governess or to live as a dependent with a relative. If you were a young lady used to living comfortably, you were expected to be part of the ‘Marriage Mart’ and to do everything you could to marry someone of equal or superior stature to yourself.

Feelings were not part of the transaction. Elizabeth’s statement that she wants to marry for love was, for that time, a very modern concept: “I am determined that nothing but the very deepest love could induce me into matrimony.” Yet in the opening paragraphs of the novel, a man’s or woman’s feelings have nothing at all to do with it. Marriage is a social institution. A gentleman with a fortune is expected to submit to society’s expectations – yet again, an ironic reversal since it is women usually who are expected to fulfil these expectations.

“However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood”

Again, with amazing irony, Jane Austen summarises the group perception. No one cares about the feelings of the gentleman involved. All they care about is his social and financial status.

For me, these first few sentences – with their ironic twists and reversals — provide the crux of Mysterious Mr. Darcy. I have always thought it particularly ironic that we hear about Mr. Bingley first, and not about Mr. Darcy at all until later, when he appears at the Meryton Assembly. All the excitement initially is centered on Bingley. To all intents and purposes, at the beginning of the novel, it appears that the novel is about Mr. Bingley. Which is exactly what happens in my new variation, except that I carry it further. Mr. Bingley is the focus of everyone’s interest because Mr. Darcy is seen as the impoverished friend. Imagine that!

We all know that Pride and Prejudice is about a man in possession of a fortune. But what if it isn’t? What if Mr. Bingley is never upscaled by Mr. Darcy? What if Mr. Darcy is NOT in possession of a fortune, or at least, no one knows that he is? What happens then? How does that change the dynamics of the various characters?

If you want an answer to that question, you will have to read Mysterious Mr. Darcy. 😊


Excerpt from Mysterious Mr. Darcy

The following scene takes place at the Meryton Assembly. Elizabeth has already danced with Mr. Bingley, while Mr. Darcy has been standing around, looking disapproving.

As she and Maria stood together observing the dancers, Elizabeth was still at a loss to find fault with Mr. Bingley. She had watched him interact with several people and concluded that it would take someone very critical to find fault with him. The only fault she could find was not with Mr. Bingley, but with herself. Much as she liked him, she could not quite imagine herself marrying him.

The trouble was, she wanted more out of marriage than simply convenience. Something inside her yearned for love. She was aware, of course, that she was expecting too much. Mrs. Bennet was always complaining that Mr. Bennet had spoiled Elizabeth for her role in life by encouraging her to read too much. It was very probably true. Elizabeth’s father was very well read, but he was not a practical man. He was not fully involved in the everyday running of the estate, which was possibly why the estate produced so little income. Meanwhile, the Bennet family members were paying the price for his neglect. They were always having to perform little economies so they could continue to live within their means. They were not impoverished, exactly, but they could not order fashionable clothes without having to give up something else.

Jane had married reasonably, but not well enough to help her sisters or mother with anything more than a trivial amount of pin money. Three years ago, when Mr. Collins proposed to her, Elizabeth had been contemptuous of anyone who married for practical reasons. Now she was older and wiser. She had seen how her friend Charlotte managed her husband. Charlotte had even worked out the best way to interact with Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins’ condescending and interfering benefactor. In short, although Elizabeth had predicted a disaster for her friend when Charlotte had first married, she had been proven completely wrong. Charlotte was perfectly content. She had her own household. She had a little girl and was increasing again, and she wasn’t dependent on anyone for a roof over her head.

Still, every part of Elizabeth revolted at the idea of trying to capture a man for his property. She wanted love. But would love ever come her way? At three and twenty, it seemed to be less and less likely, and the prospect of having to endure her mother for the rest of her life seemed much more real.

Not that Elizabeth would marry someone like Mr. Collins even now. She shuddered at the very thought of it. However, if an opportunity arose for her to escape Longbourn and the constant lamentations of her mother at being saddled with four unmarriageable daughters with no dowry, Elizabeth would certainly consider it seriously. Mr. Bingley was a godsend, that is, if he was genuinely interested in her.

She chuckled to herself. The poor man had done nothing more than to dance with her, and already she was considering whether or not to accept his proposal. It was absurd.

“Why are you laughing, Lizzy?” Maria was looking at her quizzingly.

“I was thinking how true it is that a lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

Maria gaze moved from Elizabeth to Bingley. “He does seem to be taken with you.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “It was just a stupid fancy on my part, no more. It will take a great deal more to fix his interest, I assure you.”

“Then, as my sister would say, you have work to do.” Maria sighed. “Imagine what it would be like to marry someone with a property such as Netherfield. Imagine being the mistress of such a grand estate. You would be very lucky indeed if you managed to capture him, Lizzy.”

“If I fall in love with him, I will not hesitate, but I will not deliberately set out to capture him in cold blood, Maria, whatever Charlotte’s view of the matter may be. Having said that, if he did become sincerely attached to me, I would not discourage it, even if I was not in love with him.”

It was Maria’s turn to shake her head. “If you aren’t careful, someone will snatch him from right under your eyes, and all for the lack of trying.”

“I’m not desperate, Maria. Your sister did not marry until she was twenty-seven, so I still have some time to acquire a husband.”

“I wash my hands off you, Lizzy. Don’t say I haven’t warned you. If you won’t listen to me, I will not be held accountable.”

“Why don’t you set your sights on him yourself, then?”

Maria gave a wry smile. “I would, only I’m not as pretty as you are, and so far, he only has eyes for you.”


About Mysterious Mr. Darcy

Find Mysterious Mr. Darcy on Amazon


About the Author

Monica Fairview

Monica can be described as a wanderer, opening her eyes to life in London and travelling ever since. She spent many years in the USA before coming back full circle to London, thus proving that the world is undeniably round.

Monica adores the Regency period and Jane Austen’s wit. She writes funny Jane Austen sequels and variations but has finally decided to get serious about Elizabeth and Darcy. At the moment, she lives with two cats, a teenager, and her own Mr. Darcy. She enjoys singing out of tune in the shower, visiting historical mansions, and warm weather.

Visit Monica on Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Austen Variations



Monica is generously offering two ebook copies (open internationally) and one paperback (U.S. and U.K. addresses only) of Mysterious Mr. Darcy. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address and let us know whether you’d like the ebook or paperback if you win. This giveaway will close on Sunday, April 1, 2018. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Monica, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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


About the author


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



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.

Read Full Post »

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 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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »