Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: Loving Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan

As with Lathan's first novel, Two Shall Become One, I felt like I slipped away into the pages of another time. The Regency Period isn't a time that any of us can quite relate to, for all its social rules and mores, but one (that like many other readers) I sometimes wish I could slip away to for just a moment or two!

Synopsis: Picking up where book one left off, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth are continuing their life together as the "Darcys" of Pemberley. They have faced challenges of health and happiness, but have much to look forward to over the coming years. We find them moving from their beloved countryside into Darcy's home in London, so that Darcy can take care of business while there, and for the "season" ahead. While there, they are reunited with one of Fitzwilliam's uncles, Dr. Darcy, who comes to the house to lend his expertise to health issues that pop up, as well as to lend his philosophies on life. Also while in London, Elizabeth celebrates a birthday, and is spoiled by her doting husband Darcy, in a way that would make any girl swoon. Each of these adventures happen over the course of months, and fill the pages of book two with the continued lives of our much-loved couple.

Review: As a single woman, I will admit to having been skeptical to the kind of love that Lathan proposed for the Darcys in book one, but as I mentioned in my previous review, I pushed aside my own prejudices about love (not to mention what I thought was okay to mention about our loving couple) to consider the possibilities. It was then that I really fell in love with Lathan's continuation of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam's story. The novel contains scenes of sensuality between the couple, and plenty of them, but didn't ever feel cheap or tawdry to me. I realize that the relationship, and arc of the story, were trying to show the full range of their life together. While the book centered on their continued, loving relationship, there was a shift in book two that seemed to try to focus on how the couple seemed to fall into individual routines and pursuits. This didn't mean they forgot about the other, but that they naturally settled into their lives together in a charming way.

Book two feels like a novel that is preparing us for further plotlines and twists. It's difficult to explain exactly how the novel is doing this without giving away some major portions of the storyline, but I will say that book two left me even more eager for book three!

*Sharon Lathan's Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley comes out in stores on Tuesday, September 1st! As a follow-up to my review, stay tuned for a follow-up interview I had with Sharon about the Darcys and her novels! Sharon is a really lovely person, so kind and generous, so I'm eager to share a few of the insights she sent my way.

Okay, so now here's my question. Where's my Mr. Darcy?!? Aside from Mr. Darcy, or a Rhett Butler, what character do you wish would actually materialize?


  1. Ohhh! I've got a lot! But let's focus on just two which especially aroose my interest while reading their stories: Captain Wentworth from Persuasion and John Thornton from North and South. Both are proud, strong - willed, intelligent and have a successful career thanks to their skills -which I particularly like in a man - and love devoutly and faithfully, though their love is not requited.

  2. Hi Becky...

    I would like to encourage you in your patient waiting for your own personal Mr Darcy. I believe it will happen. Often the first step towards it, is just believing its possible.Most times it happens when we arent looking for it. Often times we like Mr Darcy stumble across it, try to ignore it, even challenge it, then eventually surrender to its power. A believing heart that just wont settle for less, also often times carries on through the many potential suiters.Then in shear fatigue one day sits on a park bench throwing crumbs to the pigeons, when a young man sits down. At first you think nothing special but then he mentions his favorite line from the book youve folded on the bench and in an instant hes telling you exactly why you love that same line,but he shares them himself.

    If finding love were a plan or a formula it would die in stagnation.Its kind of like riding your bike for the first time with no training wheels. Your scared to death but a part of your heart takes a deep breath and you launche off into the freedom of it all. So it is with finding love...that one true unfetter your heart from expectations and live on with the belief that its real and you want it. Then you live in the contentment and peace that you know its true but your waiting. Your waiting to give yourself to someone in everyway without reservation,not sexually for that can wait,but emotionally. From friendship,common interests, and trust you eventually find a soul mate. A person who loves you more than any other. A person to whom you love to say " my goal is to find more of you in me than my own self when the days sun sets" .With that then you can begin the most consuming journey into what life really is about...The Two Becoming One". When you have the desire in your heart, to find such fulfillment, your heart will be unbeknownst to you be calling to its counterpart. So its was with Mr Darcy as his mind numerically went through the myriad of reasons why Elizabeth Bennet coudnt be the one, yet the beacon of his hearts love kept telling him she was the one,until in the rain alone together he confessed to her his truest love. Love will finds its own way if we believe and its not something to calculate with the mind but trust in with the heart. Your Mr Darcy will find you ...he will.

    Sharons Mr Darcy

  3. Well, my husband beat me to it! I wanted to say thank you for the marvelous review, Becky. I am so pleased that you have enjoyed my novels. Mostly I am pleased that they have encouraged you in your quest. I'll echo what my dear heart said above. And, last but not least, I am very happy that you and I have become online buddies via my books. That is the best part!

    Thanks again, Sincerely, your pal Sharon

  4. Thanks for the review - this is a book I will look into.

  5. I feel like I've been living under a rock. I love Austen...I have to read these!! What fun that you and the author are buddies!!! :)

  6. Hi Becky,
    Glad you're enjoying the second novel. Sharon's writing talent is awesome and she easily trasnports me into the era. I always feel as though I am visiitng with the Darcy's when I read her brilliant words.
    I love Dr Darcy he is such a wonderful character that adds so much dimension to the whole story.
    There is no one I would rather materialise than Mr Darcy! How awesome would that be? And he can bring Lizzy too cause I'd love to meet them both!
    As for your quest to find yourself a Mr Darcy, whoever the lucky man is he will be YOUR Mr Darcy. Patience and love is all you need.
    Good luck!
    TSBO devotee

  7. So with you on "Where's my Mr. Darcy?" Only really I'd like to order up a Ranger/Morelli combo package.

  8. Mr. Lathan-Darcy: I think that is the awesomest comment I have ever read on a blog. =)

    Hmm, characters I wish would come to life would have to be Leopold from Kate & Leopold and Det. Sgt. Hathaway from Inspector Lewis. And anyone Alan Rickman has ever played. ;D

  9. great review. can't wait for the interview!

  10. I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of this series, but I'm definitely going to look for it now! The more Austen fiction, the better :)

    I'm waiting on my Mr. Darcy, too -- or Marcus Flutie from Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series! I'd be just fine with that :)