Loving Miss Darcy by Nancy Kelley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Three and a half stars, actually.)
Two years after Elizabeth married Mr. Darcy, it's time for Darcy's younger sister to make her debut in society. But Georgiana still hasn't emotionally recovered from her colossal mistake in nearly eloping with Mr. Wickham and doesn't trust her own judgment when it comes to men. In an effort to boost her confidence and protect her from unsavory types, her guardians--Darcy and Col. Richard Fitzwilliam--ask the colonel's friends to dance with her at her first balls. Despite their best efforts and intentions, somehow rumors still leak out, and Richard is forced to more fully examine his own feelings toward Georgie as he races to uncover the plot to damage her reputation.
This is a light, fun read for Jane Austen fans. Nancy Kelley again remains consistent with Austen's original characters and tone. The one exception is that she develops Kitty Bennet into a much more mature and intelligent girl than in the original Pride and Prejudice, but I can live with that, since Kitty's been away from Lydia for two years, and all of us would like to think we improve with age. Plus I'm hoping Nancy's next book will focus on Kitty and Sebastian.
A couple of things brought my rating down a bit. First, there is a scene at Pemberley fairly early on in the book at the start of the Christmas gathering when Simon starts talking, and I hadn't even realized he was invited, much less had arrived. I flipped back several pages to see if I'd missed something, but there was no mention of him until he spoke. When Elizabeth's parents started speaking soon afterward, it was only slightly less jarring, and for the same reason.
Second, I thought the ending was a bit too...easy? I can't think of the precise word I mean. It just felt slightly rushed, maybe, or the villain was caught and too-gently dispensed with...I don't know. And when they were confronting him, one of his physical reactions was exactly the opposite of what would have made sense to me: he sat back instead of lunging up in protest/denial. I won't say any more than that because I want to avoid spoilers.
And third, there were a couple of painful (to me) grammar errors that jumped out at me, particularly toward the end of the book. There were occasional missing words or letters throughout, but they didn't bother me as much as the later incorrect sentence structures. (Nancy, please let me know if you'd ever like me to proofread your manuscripts for you. I'd be delighted to do so!)
Overall, though, I very much enjoyed reading book two in the series.
For readers' advisors: setting, story, and character doorways. No sex or swearing.
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