Sophia's Reviews > The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy

The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen
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bookshelves: historical-romance, jane-austen-austenesque

I'm on the fence about this book because there are things that I really liked and other things that I didn't with a lot that probably falls somewhere in between. Many Austenesque books can be read without having read the original Austen novels, but this one I would advise that the reader have already read the original story, Pride and Prejudice, or have seen the movie just so reader will have optimal enjoyment when reading and avoid a feeling that they're missing something. I say this because this one follows the P&P plot chronologically and events from the original are there, but the emphasis and focus lean more toward what happened away from the original plot or maybe behind the scenes filling in gaps so to speak. There is a feel to it that it is understood that the reader is already familiar with the original story.

In the original story, it is all from Elizabeth's point of view and there are huge gaps in time when Darcy or other characters are absent or not even introduced to the story line yet while in this story there are multiple points of view and plot lines that go on away from the original story plot.

In my mind, the main character of this story is Anne deBourgh who was a minor character in P&P. Anne is Darcy's cousin and they are also good friends. She sees him sorrowing and angry after he bungles a proposal of love and marriage to Elizabeth Bennet. Anne decides to take an interest and orchestrate a plan that will give Darcy a second chance with Elizabeth that when calmer, Darcy wants more than anything. While this is going on, Georgianna, Darcy's sister blossoms into a creative happy go lucky young lady excited about her societal debut now wiser after her experience with blackguard Wickham. Bingley determines that he will go against the advice of family and friend to renew his addresses to Jane Bennet. Jane, Elizabeth's sister is resolved to forget about Bingley who bruised her heart when he left with no word and moves on to do her part to easy the burden on the family and help safeguard their future by accepting the courtship another young man. Darcy and Elizabeth both learn and grow after their heated confrontation at Huntsford. There was the welcome introductions of a few new creations by the author in the form of an older Bingley sibling named George who is competent, powerful and wealthy, a wily and amusing profligate older brother for Colonel Fitzwilliam named Anthony and a loyal valet for Darcy named Mercer. And toward the end it is all at the mercy of fate if everyone will get their happy endings.

So why the fence-riding? First of all, I will deal with my draw-backs. I found the passivity of the storytelling in the beginning chapters hard to keep my interest. It felt like I was getting a forced recap to get me up to speed before the real story could begin. My second issue may not be a big deal for others. There are some character tweakings that I can deal with and not make an issue of, but I struggled with the idea that Darcy kept a mistress up until the point where he fell in love with Elizabeth. I wouldn't have cared if it had been something like a youthful fling or the occasional once in a while. Its all on me that I can't adjust to this difference in his character. The final issue is that there is a point in the end when instead of Darcy doing the rescuing and playing hero it is George Bingley and his men.
Now there is something else that I both liked and didn't like at the same time. While I really enjoyed meeting all the new characters and seeing the original characters with enhanced story lines, there is also the fact that I felt like there was too much going on that took away from Darcy and Elizabeth's story.
Now as to what I really liked. I liked getting all the additional story added to and filling in the original plot. Overall, each character was given more page time and a chance to know their thoughts right down to Wickham and Lydia even. Knowing Darcy's thoughts and what he was doing when he was away from Elizabeth, getting more time with Bingley and Jane, seeing a different Anne and Georgiana- it was all good. Scenes with Anthony and Caroline Bingley cracked me up. And the best were the extra scenes with Darcy and Elizabeth at Pemberley even if they were interrupted ones.

All in all, it was an entertaining story that I was glad for having read. I would recommend it to Austenesque and Historical Romance lovers who like sweet romance.
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Reading Progress

August 18, 2012 – Shelved
April 11, 2013 – Started Reading
April 12, 2013 – Finished Reading

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