It feels a bit odd that I should be posting on April Fools, because Sharon Lathan's book The Trouble with Mr. Darcy really does come out today and is not a joke! Yes, I've been a bit absent from blogging recently thanks to a self-imposed mini break, but I'm starting to feel like myself again and have finished three books in just the past three days. Honestly, in the midst of the doldrums, Lathan's novel was a little treat that helped me get back in the groove of things.
This lushly romantic story takes a turn for the swashbuckling when Mr. Darcy has to confront the villainous Wickham and his own demons at the same time... devoted as he is, what battles within will Mr. Darcy have to face?"
Review: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are still besotted, that much is evident in this fifth in the series by Sharon Lathan. The couple has undergone other troubles in previous installments, but nothing they haven't been able to work through for the benefit of their relationship and growing family. In this installment, Elizabeth gives birth to a second child and all is not well. Oddly, this was one of my favorite twists to the Darcy saga, as there was something very real about the struggles Elizabeth goes through after her second pregnancy. There is a wedge driven between Darcy and Elizabeth as she tries to heal from her pregnancy, something that Darcy can't simply resolve through sweet endearments or gold coins. This struggle between man and wife, and even children, rang true to reality and gave this romance a bit of needed tension.
One thing I was not sure I wanted to revisit in this novel was a conflict with Mr. Wickham. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling relief when he was tucked away to the north with Lydia in the original novel, feeling that he's safely out of the picture. This time, however, he reappears and has a major grudge against Darcy and his wife, and is more than willing to put many of our favorite characters in danger to get what he wants. Although I dreaded seeing him pop back up again, and he did feel a bit more like a scoundrel this time around, it was a fun twist that sent all our characters scurrying to find a resolution. In the end, it was an exciting bit of action that reminded me why we pick up books--not just to learn, but to escape into a romping good time!
As is true to Lathan's writing style, the language flows off the page, adding another layer to the romance between the Darcys. I've come to realize that these are no average retellings of the famous Pride and Prejudice. The love between the couple is ever present, set off by steamy romance that is underplayed by the language and style used in the stories. Trust me though, that the romance is sigh-worthy and sweet all at the same time. To be quite honest, I don't feel "guilty" reading these books, but I do call them my guilty pleasure because of the high escape factor they deliver.
If you have not yet read Lathan's previous novels: Mr. and Mr. Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, or In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, then I would actually recommend you go back and pick up her previous installments. The characters in this fifth book are all pretty much familiar to fans of Pride and Prejudice, but you might not quite catch some of the back story present in this fifth book. As a fan, if you like a nice guilty pleasure, these are that perfect escape!
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based off an Advanced Review Copy of the novel. No monies were exchanged in return for this review.