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Oct 5, 2009

Book Review: The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview

The Other Mr. Darcy
The Other Mr. Darcy: Did you know Mr. Darcy had an American cousin? by Monica Fairview
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1402225130
Review copy via Sourcebooks
The Burton Review Rating: 4 Stars, Fun Read!

Synopsis: "In this highly original Pride and Prejudice sequel by British author Monica Fairview, Caroline Bingley is our heroine. Caroline is sincerely broken-hearted when Mr. Darcy marries Lizzy Bennet— that is, until she meets his charming and sympathetic American cousin…
Mr. Robert Darcy is as charming as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is proud, and he is stunned to find the beautiful Caroline weeping at his cousin's wedding. Such depth of love, he thinks, is rare and precious. For him, it's nearly love at first sight. But these British can be so haughty and off-putting. How can he let the young lady, who was understandably mortified to be discovered in such a vulnerable moment, know how much he feels for and sympathizes with her?"

This is another Pride and Prejudice sequel that I enjoyed very much. If you have any tender thoughts for Jane Austen, then you simply must read this book. There were so many events and all of our favorite characters from the original, yet this novel focuses on Caroline Bingley, and her relationship with The Other Mr. Darcy, who is Fitzwilliam's cousin, Robert Darcy from Boston.

The book opens to Caroline sobbing uncontrollably at the wedding of our favorite Mr. Darcy and Eliza Bennett.. and unbeknownst to Caroline, Robert Darcy is witnessing Caroline's loss of composure. You remember Caroline Bingley, right? She was the snotty one who made her brother Charles stay away from Jane Bennett, even when she knew the two loved each other. Luckily, we know that plan didn't work. So fast forward and now Caroline is dealing with another Bennett girl pushing her way into high society with Mr. Darcy and totally ruins Caroline's plans to have Mr. Darcy all to herself. And at that moment, another Mr. Darcy, is watching Caroline's distress and when she finally notices it she sends him on his merry way with a huff and a puff, Caroline Bingley Style.
Much to Caroline's chagrin, she later meets up with this same gentleman who witnessed the sobbing, and quickly the hijinx begin. Caroline is sure to keep her composure this time, and is relieved that Robert Darcy doesn't tell the world about her sad event. Pretty soon, that issue evaporates as there is yet another scrape that Caroline finds herself in, and quick-witted Robert is to the rescue. This other Mr. Darcy is a wonderful character who loves to find humor in life, whereas Caroline is more of the stiff type. (Kind of like the original Mr. Darcy, who is so stiff in this novel I wonder what Eliza ever saw in him?) So this time Caroline finds herself in a pretend engagement to Robert Darcy, all to save face, and it is a wonderful charade that is complete with the normal Regency style balls and quaint chess games with some robbery, duels and death thrown in. It read well, I enjoyed the writing, the style seemed right and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Pride and Prejudice. And it was fun to see Caroline turn into a normal person instead of the picky snob she is in P & P, but the gradual way in which the author did this was appreciated.

For those who want to know the cast of characters this time around, we have Caroline Bingley and her sister Louisa who are featured together a lot in the beginning, and then Louisa goes traipsing off to events to find herself a man as she is now widowed; we have their brother Charles Bingley and his wife Jane, whose characters are not totally intriguing but they are there, and the other Mr. Darcy as a sexy, steamy kind of guy where I wouldn't mind seeing some hot romance going on with this stud, (alas, no); and of course we have the original Mr. Darcy and his meek wife Eliza.. yes, she is meek this time around as she has just lost a child and the fact that Mr. Darcy is floundering for an heir makes the other Mr. Darcy a little queasy because he is next in line; we have the supporting characters of the Bennetts and their enjoyable nit-picking regarding the children, because we have Lydia, Mary and Kitty traveling along with them as well with Lydia's pathetic husband Wickham off having an affair with a married woman; we have Col. Fitzwilliam who is smitten with Caroline, and Caroline who is hoping for Sir Cecile who is a total pompous ass... oh, you'll just have to read the rollicking fun yourself!! Go pick it up at Amazon today!

To celebrate the release of The Other Mr. Darcy, Monica Fairview and Sourcebooks Landmark are running a month-long contest in October on her blog!!

Stay tuned to The Burton Review, tomorrow I will have a guest post from the author Monica Fairview, and a Giveaway for this title!

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