Sunday, October 11, 2009

Review: The Other Mr. Darcy

Title: The Other Mr. Darcy
Author: Monica Fairview
Genre: Historical Romance/1812ish
Published: October 2009

*ARC Review*

From the author's website ~

Unpredictable courtships appear to run in the Darcy family...

In this Pride and Prejudice sequel with a difference, Caroline Bingley is our heroine. Caroline is sincerely broken-hearted when Mr. Darcy marries Lizzy Bennet— that is, until she meets his American cousin…

Mr. Robert Darcy is as charming as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is proud, and he is stunned to find Caroline weeping at his cousin's wedding. Caroline, caught in a moment of extreme vulnerability, intends to put as much distance between them as possible, preferably a whole ocean. But events bring them together, and they must make the best of a bad situation.

As for romance, that is the last thing they could possibly expect...

I wasn't sure what to expect with this version of what happens after the famous wedding of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. This story has the focus not on Lizzy and Darcy but on the ever so proper Caroline Bingley. As Lizzy and Darcy are wed Caroline thinks she's lost the perfect man, the only man she wanted to marry. Caroline isn't the most likable person. She's a product of her environment of wealth and privilege. So it surprised me that I came to like her and rather quickly.

When Caroline and Robert Darcy first meet it's over Caroline's tears for another man. She is embarrassed and upset that this stranger should find her in such an improper state and proceeds to extract an oath from him that he will not speak of what he witnessed. Caroline then leaves without finding out who Robert is.

Fast forward almost a year and the two are thrown together on a journey to Pemberley, home of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Along for the ride are Louisa, Caroline's widowed sister and Colonel Fitzwilliams, another cousin of Darcy's. The journey finds Caroline in close proximity to Robert Darcy and allows her to see him as someone far more interesting than she first perceived. Her sister Louisa doesn't help matters with her criticism of Robert Darcy. The fact that he's an American gives Louisa a multitude of factors to find lacking in him. Caroline, oddly enough, finds herself coming to Roberts defense and dislikes Louisa's continued negativity concerning Robert.

Robert Darcy was something of a pale character in comparison to Caroline. I never really felt I got to know him that well. He comes across as kind and open, stating what he thinks and making friends easily. He doesn't seem the type of man to practice deception and yet that is exactly what he ends up doing. He does it to help Caroline and only sees it as helping someone out, not because he has any strong feelings for her. He doesn't regard her as the type of lady he would wed. Caroline is shocked when he tells her this and also surprised at the hurt his admission causes. I would have like to have gotten to know him better, perhaps had he and Caroline spent more time interacting because I did enjoy their banter, I would have felt more connected to his character.

Once at Pemberley Caroline finds herself not only with the Darcys but the boisterous Bennet family arrives to add to the already tense situation Caroline finds herself in. The author does a good job bringing in the flavor of Austen's Bennets, with Mrs. Bennet as irritating as always, Mr. Bennet hiding behind his reading and the girls staying true to form. The cast was quite large and I liked seeing Caroline interact with the various members of the families. I especially liked Caroline and Lizzy, or Eliza as she is called, getting to know each other and seeing Caroline come to the realization that Eliza and Darcy belong together and the she (Caroline) is over Darcy.

The pace of the story is fairly slow. It's a lovely walk in the park with a few side trips, running into some old friends and meeting some new ones. I only wish the walk had picked up the pace a bit rather than strolling through. I think the main problem I had with the story was that I didn't feel much of a spark between Caroline and Robert. They came across as more friends than lovers or potential lovers in this case. The part I liked the best was Caroline and her observations of the actions of others and her reactions. I liked watching how she changes and becomes a far more likable characters than before the journey to Pemberley.

I think if you enjoy historical novels with a soft touch on the romance, a large cast of characters and focus on the character interactions then The Other Mr. Darcy could be for you.

Monica Fairview can be found on her blog and information about her novels can be found on her website.

Rating: B-


  1. Thank you, Leslie, for reviewing The Other Mr Darcy.

  2. Nice review - interesting take on Caroline and Robert.

  3. Monica ~ You're welcome! Thanks for the chance to read Caroline and Robert's story.

    Mandi ~ thanks! Caroline was an interesting character.