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Having thoroughly enjoyed KaraLynne Mackrory’s last couple of books (‘Haunting Mr Darcy’ and ‘Bluebells in the Mourning’) I was all anticipation for her latest ‘Pride & Prejudice’ variation, ‘Yours Forevermore, Darcy’. The premise of this book is that Mr Darcy has taken to writing letters to Elizabeth Bennet, to clear his mind and get things off his chest. He began the day after the Assembly in Meryton, and continued for some months. Obviously, he writes them with the intention that not a single soul will ever read them. But what if somebody did?
The book starts about two months after Darcy leaves Hunsford but very soon flashes back, so I felt that it could have started there, because the story really begins in the days immediately after the ill-fated proposal. Darcy is still angry and unwilling to acknowledge that Elizabeth made any fair points in her refusal of his marriage proposal. He is relieved to be leaving, and, though she believes he has told the truth in his letter to her (the same one she gets in canon) she is relieved that he is going to relieve an uncomfortable situation:
‘How exceedingly glad was she that the remaining time in Kent would be free of a certain gentleman. Considering the variety of emotions with which she was burdened-not to mention the discord of their recent meeting-if she never saw Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy again, it would be too soon.’But unbeknownst to either of them, Darcy’s time in Kent is going to be extended, and they are forced into spending some more time with each other, when both of them would rather be far away, licking their wounds. The reader is given insight into both Elizabeth and Darcy’s thoughts, interpretations and particularly their misinterpretations of the other’s behaviour here.
‘One moment, she despised the man for his arrogance and conceit. In the next, she pitied him for his disappointment at her hands. And still, she also knew remorse. Her behaviour towards him, though not constituting any real regret for her decision, made her feel a shrew. She had never remembered losing her temper so thoroughly in her life.’Once both of them are safely out of Kent Darcy concentrates on being a better man. Not with the view of improving Elizabeth’s opinion of him, but because he has acknowledged the justice of some of what she said to him and wants to improve himself. Elizabeth finds, as in canon, that time softens her view of Mr Darcy, and here Elizabeth has had more chance to realise that Darcy’s character is not how she’d originally interpreted it.
I thought this was a very romantic tale - those letters, sigh! Having a glimpse into Darcy’s innermost thoughts made for some very swoonworthy moments, and some pretty amusing ones too, considering that he’s not expecting the letters to ever be read. I also enjoyed seeing the other side of things with Elizabeth’s point of view. I was a little concerned that Darcy might turn out to be a little too much in touch with his feelings, as I feel that part of the attraction of historical romances are the strong feelings being kept repressed, but here they are generally kept in check except in the private outlet of those letters.
An unexpected pleasure here was Anne de Bourgh and her surprising skills in dissembling. I always enjoy it when Anne is given a bit of character, and my only disappointment with it was that I would have liked to have seen more of her!
If you have read this author’s previous books you will know that Lydia has had very different outcomes in each of them so it was in the back of my mind as I was reading. I was curious to see how Lydia fared and though I wasn’t surprised by the turn of events I didn’t really see them coming either.
I had an e-ARC of the book to read rather than the final copy so though I noticed some issues with the homonyms this may well have been sorted out for the final version. The spelling in the book is generally American English, but the usage of the language didn’t particularly stand out to me as being US English aside from one chapter which had a lot of instances of the verb ‘to write’ which is used a little differently in the UK to the US. Again, this may be changed in the final version, and if not, might still not be very noticeable to readers outside the UK.
I’d describe this as a low-angst romance, however, this doesn’t mean that it’s an entirely straightforward journey, as where would be the fun in that?! There is plenty of misinterpretation and soul-searching for our principal characters. There is a bit of a reliance on coincidence which I won’t argue with too much, as some of the coincidences mirror those in ‘Pride & Prejudice’, though there are additional ones.
As regards content, there are no sex scenes whatsoever, and some very mild historical swearing (‘Blast!’) so I think most readers would be pretty safe picking this book up. I found this book a very enjoyable, comfortable read, and extremely romantic. It’s the type of book I wanted to keep reading until I’d reached the end of the last page and I’d recommend it. I’d rate this book as a 4½ star read.
*I received an e-ARC of this book for my honest review as part of the 'Yours Forevermore, Darcy' blog tour
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Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy has a secret.
The letter he presents to Miss Elizabeth Bennet after his ghastly proposal is not the only epistle he has written her. In this tale of longing, misadventure, and love—readapted from Jane Austen’s dearly loved Pride & Prejudice—our hero finds a powerful way of coping with his attraction to Miss Bennet. He writes her unsent letters.
The misguided suitor has declared himself, and Elizabeth Bennet has refused him, most painfully. Without intending for these letters to become known to another soul, Mr. Darcy relies on his secret for coping once again. However, these letters, should they fall into the wrong hands, could create untold scandal, embarrassment, and possibly heartbreak. But what happens if they fall into the right hands?
KaraLynne is an amazing mother who never makes mistakes, never gets upset with her children and never ever has a dirty house. Ever. She always has her dishes done and the floors spotless and dinner is always prepared and ready on time. Her kids are always clean, polite, respectful and loving, especially to each other. She never gets irritated with her husband when he doesn’t turn his socks right side out for the laundry and they always agree on everything. She delights in nothing else but to serve her family and never wants or needs time for herself. She takes great care to shower every day and put make up on so that she is always beautiful and presentable. She never wears her pajamas all day or for days in a row and she is the epitome of womanhood. Most of all, she has a great sense of humor and loves to write.
Okay, in all honesty – KaraLynne Mackrory is no newbie to the writing world. She made her debut as an author at the tender age of 13 when she wrote her first set of bad poetry. Angsty and emotional – teenage-drama filled – they were unbelievable disasters. Such contributions to the literary world were deemed so terrible that today they are kept behind lock and key to protect others from their awfulness. As a young adult she steered clear of soap opera drama inspired works and achieved a degree in Social Work. It was not until her late twenties that she returned to her roots in writing. Since then she has published three Austen inspired novels so full of romantic sensibilities as to give you a toothache and a grin and hopefully a few contented sighs. She is thrilled to report that Falling For Mr. Darcy, Bluebells in the Mourning and Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Spirited Courtship are a mite better than the bad poetry.
Since this is a blog tour there will be loads more stops with more information about the book and chances to win a copy:
Blog Tour Schedule:
7 Sep: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
8 Sep: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
9 Sep: Excerpt & Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie
10 Sep: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
11 Sep: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
12 Sep: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
13 Sep: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen
14 Sep: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
15 Sep: Review at Wings of Paper
16 Sep: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
17 Sep: Guest Post & Giveaway at Songs and Stories
18 Sep: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
19 Sep: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
21 Sep: Review at Austenprose