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

A myriad of thoughts assaulted Elizabeth, especially when Mrs. Willstone gently patted her hand and continued, “We would not want Mr. Darcy to think ill of Rosalyn because of unbefitting behaviour tolerated by her family.”

“You think my behaviour unbefitting?” Elizabeth asked incredulously.

Mrs. Willstone’s eyes cast briefly toward the ground in an unwitting gesture of discomfiture.  “Unbefitting a governess, yes.  Miss Bennet, you must know we grieve with you over your change of circumstances.  It must be terribly difficult, but Mr. Darcy may be watching Rosalyn carefully for any signs of improper behaviour from her or her family…”  Her eyes slowly looked up.  “…or the family’s governess.”

(from Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, page 203 in the ARC)

I know, I know…I’m reviewing yet another Jane Austen variation.  I hope you all are not growing tired of these reviews because I just can’t seem to get enough of these books.

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is a retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Kara Louise, which originally was self-published as Something Like Regret.  Louise opens her novel a year after Elizabeth Bennet rejected Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal at Rosings, and while she cannot forgive the role he played in separating her sister, Jane, from Mr. Bingley, she believes she may have been wrong about other aspects of Mr. Darcy’s character.

However, even if she had a complete change of heart about Mr. Darcy, it would do her little good, as her family has fallen further beneath his since the death of her father.  When Mr. Collins takes possession of Longbourn, Mrs. Bennet takes her youngest daughters to live with her sister in Meryton, Jane moves to London and becomes the governess for her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, and Elizabeth becomes the governess for six-year-old Emily Willstone.  Elizabeth and Emily have forged a strong bond, but she continues to grieve for her father and cherishes the Sundays she can spend with Jane and the Gardiners.

Elizabeth is forced to deal with her feelings about Mr. Darcy when Mrs. Willstone’s sister, Rosalyn, comes to stay with the family and confides in Elizabeth that she has long had a crush on Mr. Darcy and will do everything possible to ensure that he views her as marriage material.  With no one knowing what transpired between her and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth must spend time at his Pemberley estate when the Willstones are invited for a fortnight.    At Pemberley, Elizabeth gets a glimpse of the man Darcy has become since his failed proposal.

Louise’s novel turns the lives of Austen’s characters upside down but still manages to follow the major plot points of Pride and Prejudice.  Elizabeth handles her changed circumstances with dignity, helped along by the fact that the Willstones treat her better than a governess in recognition of her past social status, and despite the duties she must bear in her new role, Louise allows her wit to shine through.  She also brings in some new characters, like Rosalyn, whose quest to impress Mr. Darcy provides much amusement, and Mr. Hamilton, Darcy’s cousin, whose loose tongue and clumsiness add some lightness to the story.

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is a must read for fans of Austen variations.  I found that I couldn’t put the book down and read nearly all of it in one day.  Louise obviously adores Austen’s characters and stays true to their personalities.  Even though you know how the book will end, you’re not exactly sure how you’ll get there, but you’ll enjoy the ride.

Check out my reviews of other Kara Louise books:

Darcy’s Voyage

Disclosure: I received Only Mr. Darcy Will Do 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 I am pleased to welcome Kara Louise back to Diary of an Eccentric.  Kara’s latest release is Only Mr. Darcy Will Do (my review will be posted tomorrow), which recently was published by Sourcebooks.  (It was originally self-published as Something Like Regret.)  I interviewed Kara last year after I reviewed Darcy’s Voyage, and I’m delighted that this time, she has stopped by to show us her writing space.

Please give a warm welcome to Kara Louise:

My Writing Spaces

When I was asked to write about ‘my writing space,’ I thought it could not have been more timely. The reason? I just set back up my favorite place to write.

Oh, I have the typical computer room with desk and cabinets and knick-knacks. We have an apple and a PC computer, so they sit at corners to each other and our swivel desk chair moves easily from one to another. But more about that later.

What is my favorite writing space and why did I just set it back up? Well, I absolutely love to write while sitting in our hanging hammock chair out on our patio. We take it down for the winter, and with an approaching few days of 70-80 degree temperatures, I thought now would be the perfect time to hang it back up!

It was actually only 60 degrees the other day when I set it up, but the sun was shining and there was no wind, so it felt warm. I loaded myself down with my arsenal: bottle of water, phone, iPod, Kindle, and computer, and enjoyed some time back in my chair the first time this year.

With my feet up and swaying back and forth, a book to read (or write), I couldn’t be happier! I’ll occasionally doze off to sleep, but no one will mind. It was the best investment I made one year while at a big annual community craft show held nearby. I had seen them several years before that, and it was the one thing I knew I wanted to look for when I returned! I was so glad to find that they were still selling them! I’ve included a picture of it for you. Please excuse the bare feet. 🙂 (You might notice from the picture that I am often visited by one of our cats and always by our dog (who is unfortunately not in the picture.)

Now, as for my other writing space, the computer room becomes my place of choice in cold and inclement weather. But it does have something very special in there.

I have a cabinet type bookcase that has all my books and things related to Jane Austen on the top of it. I have an 18-inch porcelain doll that I bought because she reminded me so much of Elizabeth Bennet. There is the Jane Austen Action Figure, which every Austen fan must have! I have several versions of Pride and Prejudice, including the Marvel Graphic Comic and the beautiful annotated version.

But some of the other items I have on it are very special to me. I have placed on it special mementos from each of the books I have written. When I started collecting the items, I only had my self-published books. I have a gardenia candle that represents Assumed Engagement, a 3 inch prism for Assumed Obligation, and a WebKinz English Springer Spaniel for Master Under Good Regulation. When I found a pair of ship bookends, I knew that’s what I wanted for Darcy’s Voyage and it holds all my books very securely.

I don’t have anything yet for Only Mr. Darcy Will Do. I have been looking around for just the right item. Perhaps a chess set or a large pawn representing the chess match between Darcy and Elizabeth. Or possibly a small stained glass sunrise for all the sunrises that Darcy and Elizabeth will see from the ridge behind Pemberley for the remainder of their married lives. But whatever I get, I know that as soon as I see it, I’ll know it’s exactly what I want!

Another special part of the computer room is that it looks out onto the front of our house, where we have a small pasture. We occasionally open it up to our horses. There’s nothing prettier than to see the horses out there grazing.

Whether it’s outside in my hammock swing or inside in my computer room, I spend a good amount of time there. In addition to writing my books, I am now part of the Austen Authors blog, and get to write a blog about once a month as well as a contribute a few extra fun things for it. I am honored to be a part of this group of excellent Austen authors.

Thanks for letting me stop by and share about my writing spaces.

Thanks, Kara!  My Jane Austen action figure is on display in my writing/knitting area.  Oh, how I would love to spend the warm evenings reading after work in a hammock!

Courtesy of Sourcebooks, I’m giving away 1 copy of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do.  To enter, simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and tell me about a memento you have on display to remember an important occasion, like the ones Kara mentions in the guest post to remind her of each of the novels she’s written.  Because the publisher is shipping the book, this giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada, and it will end at 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, April 3, 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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