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Posts Tagged ‘mr. darcy’s bite’

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

“Elizabeth, there is no way I can win this argument, so I apologize for any past, present, or future transgressions.”‘

“You are a quick learner, Will Darcy,” Lizzy said smiling, and she kissed him on the cheek.

(from Mr. Darcy’s Bite, page 238 in the ARC; finished version may be different)

Mr. Darcy’s Bite is Mary Lydon Simonsen’s latest take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and I must admit that it’s one of the best Austenesque novels I’ve read so far (and regular readers of my blog know that I read a lot of them).  Most of these variations put an obstacle in Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet’s road to happiness, and Simonsen’s is no different, but what makes Mr. Darcy’s Bite unique is the severity of the challenge the two must overcome.

Simonsen’s novel opens after Bingley and Jane are married and settled at Netherfield, and Darcy and Elizabeth have already acknowledged their attraction to one another.  However, their courtship is not normal, and Elizabeth is a little distressed about the fact that Darcy comes and goes for periods of time without asking for her hand.  Less than 20 pages into the book, Darcy confides in Elizabeth that he has a secret that she can tell no one:  he is a werewolf, scratched by a she wolf as a young boy and forced to endure the transformation from man to wolf and back again for two nights a month beginning with the full moon.

Elizabeth must think long and hard about whether she wants to marry a werewolf, as everything in their lives must be planned around the lunar calendar and Darcy’s secret cannot be shared with her family, not even her closest sister, Jane.  Keeping the secret is necessary to protect Darcy, his family, and his pack — which includes Nell, a she wolf with a careless tongue and designs on Darcy.

Simonsen includes little tidbits about werewolves and the Council that oversees them, as Elizabeth learns what it would be like to be Mrs. Darcy.  But at its core, Mr. Darcy’s Bite is a love story, with tenderness, playful banter, and even a little spice.  Simonsen does a wonderful job creating delightful secondary characters, from the flirty Lord Fitzwilliam who enjoys making Mrs. Gardiner blush to Darcy’s feisty Aunt Marguerite who gives Elizabeth some sneaky advice for handling werewolves.  She also has fun with Austen’s supporting cast, with Georgiana fitting in with Elizabeth’s family and Anne de Bourgh standing up to her formidable mother, Lady Catherine.

Mr. Darcy’s Bite stays true to Austen’s characters, with the humor and wit I loved in Pride and Prejudice.  Simonsen uses werewolves not to create a haunting atmosphere but to further the love story, showing how nothing can stand in the way of true love…and it helps that one particular wolf has Darcy’s striking eyes and sleek form.  My only problem with this book was that it was too short, as I loved the world in which Simonsen placed Austen’s characters and I wasn’t ready to let them go.

Check out my reviews of other books by Mary Lydon Simonsen:

Searching for Pemberley
Anne Elliot, A New Beginning
The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy
A Wife for Mr. Darcy

Disclosure: I received a copy of Mr. Darcy’s Bite from Sourcebooks for review purposes. I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

Disclosure: I received Mr. Darcy’s Bite from Sourcebooks for review.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Mary Lydon Simonsen to Diary of an Eccentric.  Mary is one of my favorite authors of Austenesque novels, and I always love having her as a guest.  Her latest novel is a paranormal take on Pride and Prejudice called Mr. Darcy’s Bite, which I will be reviewing here tomorrow.  I’ve read about Mr. Darcy as a vampire and an almost zombie, but I’d never read about him as a werewolf, so I knew I had to give Mr. Darcy’s Bite a try.  Mary is here to tell us a little about one of her daughters, who found that dyslexia doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy reading when she fell in love with novels about werewolves and vampires.  Please give a warm welcome to Mary Lydon Simonsen:

Hi Anna. Thank you for having me back at Diary of an Eccentric. It’s always a pleasure. You were gracious enough to allow me to choose my topic for the blog post, so I thought I might share a little bit of my personal history with your readers.

I grew up in the 1950s and ’60s when most people did not have libraries in their homes. It was the same for the Lydons. But in my family, we did have “The Book of Knowledge,” a unique encyclopedia grouped by subject, e.g., poetry, science, American history, etc., and because it was the only thing available, other than schoolbooks, I read the whole set. As a lifelong reader, I fully expected that when I had children they would share my love of reading. But life can throw curveballs at you. In the first place, I couldn’t have children, so I adopted my two lovely daughters, Meg and Kate, when they were babies. Kate loved to read, but for Meg it was different. Meg is dyslexic.

Before graduating from high school, it was a constant battle to get my older daughter to read anything. But in her twenties, she discovered vampires and werewolves, and she started to buy her own books. (To see Meg with a book in her hand was a thrill for her parents.) Although she still struggled, she kept at it because she loved the subjects.

Meg is a big fan of Pride and Prejudice, but only the film and TV adaptations. She can’t get through a Jane Austen novel nor has she read any of my Austen re-imaginings, that is, until Mr. Darcy’s Bite. Because of her dyslexia, you can imagine how pleased I was that she had read my book. Meg liked it so much that she wrote a review, and I am happy to share it with followers of Diary of an Eccentric:

As a big fan of vampire and werewolf books, I feel Mr. Darcy’s Bite is the best werewolf book I have ever read. I fully believe that if you are a Twilight, Anita Blake, Women of the Otherworld, or Jane Austen fan, you will truly enjoy this book. It is a wonderful tale of two different people, one werewolf and one human. No matter how hard Darcy tries not to love Elizabeth because he is a werewolf, in the end, he could not resist. As their love grows, so does their understanding of each other. This book is a truly enjoyable Pride and Prejudice remix. I finished Mr. Darcy’s Bite in three days. Love, Love, Love It! Meggie

I think the reason Meg enjoyed Mr. Darcy’s Bite so much is because it is a primarily a love story. Yes, Mr. Darcy has fangs, fur, and four feet and howls at the moon, but he’s also deeply in love with Elizabeth Bennet. There are complications; it would be a dull book without them. But despite the risk of exposure, another woman vying for Darcy’s affections, and the dangers associated with being an animal that was nearly hunted to extinction, Darcy and Elizabeth’s love provides a protective barrier, keeping a hostile world at bay.

What do you think about Mr. Darcy being a werewolf? I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. Anna, I have a Persuasion novella launching next month. I know how you love Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. I also have a P&P time travel novel coming out in December.

Thanks, Mary!  I’m glad your daughter has found books that make her excited.  And I definitely am excited about your upcoming Persuasion novella and am intrigued about time travel and P&P.  I wish you much success!

Courtesy of Sourcebooks, I have 1 copy of Mr. Darcy’s Bite to offer my readers.  To enter, simply leave a comment about your thoughts on Mr. Darcy as a werewolf and be sure to include your e-mail address.  Because the publisher is shipping the book, entrants must have addresses in the U.S. or Canada.  This giveaway will close at 11:59 EST on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

**Please note that this giveaway is now closed**

Disclosure: I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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