This Wednesday, I am going to be posting a review for the hyped Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, which is a Pride and Prejudice sequel with just the right kind of twist to be featured on this blog. For this reason, I am also posting today’s review montage of additional new Pride and Prejudice sequels that have either been recently released, or will be soon.
First on list is the delightful Darcy and Anne by Judith Brocklehurst. This novel is actually the tale of Anne. Not Anne Bennet, but Anne de Bourgh, Lady Catherine’s niece and the one Catherien had expected Darcy to wed. That is, before Elizabeth came along.
In Pride and Prejudice, Anne was portrayed as dowdy and a thoroughly unacceptable match for the introspective and moody Mr. Darcy. She was more of a footnote or an afterthought, especially considering that every reader was pulling for Darcy and Elizabeth’s love. In Darcy and Anne, we are introduced to the vibrant intelligent woman that was only alluded to before.
The fact of the matter is that Darcy’s betrothal and marriage to Elizabeth really leaves Anne hanging, and at Lady’s Catherine’s insistence, he tries to find a solution to the issue his new engagement has created. Indeed, both Catherine and Anne set out to visit the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, they are inadvertently separated. It is only at this point that Anne truly begins to assess her situation and station in life – in addition, it also when Anne meets Edmund Caldwell. He possesses the physical and personality traits that Anne is looking for in a husband. However, his social status is simply unacceptable for an heiress such as herself.
Alas, such is often the case in Regency period romance novels, and as can be expected, the kinks are ironed out in the end. And, as an added bonus, Lady Catherine is knocked down a peg or two; something that all P&P fans love to read. Additionally, this novel has a delightful tone and pacing that are in sync with Austen’s own, which is sure to enchant true lovers of the original and Austen’s work in general. All in all, this was a four star sequel, and it is guaranteed to satisfy those who recognized that Anne (even if she had been a dowd) was deserving of her happily ever after, too.
The second book in Jane Austen sequel that I am reviewing today is My Cousin Caroline by Rebecca Ann Collins. This is book 6 in the acclaimed Pemberley Chronicles series, and it tells the tale of Caroline Gardiner (Elizabeth’s cousin) and Colonel Fitzwilliam (Darcy’s cousin).
This book takes a different turn than many of the Pride and Prejudice sequels; rather than simply detailing the courtship between Caroline and her Colonel, My Cousin Caroline actually showcases a much broader timeframe. From the time she meets her husband through the raising of her children, Caroline’s life is detailed. And what a life she leads.
Unwilling to be a subservient and docile wife, as was the norm in Victorian England, Caroline becomes an outspoken supporter of reformist policies. Her spirit and dedication, despite the risks to her reputation and the fact that her behavior is scandalous, make Caroline a very likable heroine, and I fell in love with her and her story. This book was a four and half star read, and it will certainly appeal to fans of Austen, P&P sequels and spirited, outspoken women alike.
Finally, I reviewed Loving Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan. Unlike the previous two books, which told the tales of romances that blossomed between the supporting Pride and Prejudice characters, Loving Mr. Darcy is a continuation of Elizabeth and Darcy’s own love story. This was actually the second book in the Lathan's Darcy Trilogy, and I would recommend that anyone interested in this volume read book one, Two Shall Become One.
In Loving Mr. Darcy, we join Darcy and a pregnant Elizabeth, who had some pregnancy related drama unfold in the first book. She is now recovering from said drama, which causes her new husband to hover over her obsessively, which actually encompasses a good portion of the book. Additionally, this book really focuses on the daily lives of the characters we all know and love, focusing on a couple special events such as Elizabeth’s birthday and Pemberley’s Summer Festival.
All in all, I have to say that Loving Mr. Darcy was my least favorite of the three books I reviewed, primarily due to the pacing and what I viewed as focusing on every minute detail of the Darcy’s daily routine. However, if you are a fan of books that detail the daily lives of your favorite characters (and I know many people are) then this is the book for you. However, for me, it rated only 2 ½ stars.