Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: Loving Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan





Loving Mr. Darcy: A Novel ~ by Sharon Lathan
Sourcebooks Landmark (September 1, 2009) ~ 448 pages
Fiction / Historical/Austen Sequel Romance

Edition Reviewed/Special Thanks ~ To the publisher, Sourcebooks, for sending me an Advance Reader Copy for review ~

Perfect for : Personal reading, Book club read

In a nutshell: Loving Mr. Darcy is an intimately romantic sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Ms. Sharon Lathan has done a wonderful job of giving Darcy and Elizabeth a very loving and intimate relationship (Intimacy is PG, maybe PG-13), and has really shown how well these two work together to share all things in life. The story starts with Darcy, Elizabeth and Georgiana at Pemberly, where they are getting ready to travel to Hertfordshire to visit the Bingleys, among other friends and acquaintances. Once there, Darcy and Elizabeth share the wonderful news of their expanding family with their close relatives. After some local fun (I especially enjoyed learning about the billiards competition), the family continues on to London for the season, where they socialize, attend the Season's festivities and celebrate birthdays. From there, it is back to Pemberly, and then on to a tour of Derbyshire. I found the local history/color/descriptions as the Darcy's traveled and took part in entertainments and daily routines to be wonderfully colorful and fun, not to mention enlightening!

I was not aware that this was the second book, following Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. Only one aspect of the book read as a sequel to me and that was the fact that author Sharon Lathan referred to a duel and wounds that I was previousely unaware of. . . now it ALL makes sense! Otherwise, this book can read as a stand-alone story.

Extended Review:
Characters: One thing I really loved about this book, is that Sharon Lathan brought back favorite characters, as well as introducing a few new ones. To make everything even BETTER, she included a Cast of Characters section in the beginning of the book, which helps the reader understand who everyone is as well as providing some basic information about each one.

Story-Line: Among the travels between Pemberly, Hertfordshire, London and Derbyshire, it is apparent that Ms. Lathan has spent a good deal of time researching the Regency period. Her expertise shows in the way she is able to describe happenings and places in a way that allows the reader to feel like they are actually there!

Readability: I really enjoyed the details of daily life that Ms. Lathan included in this book. Scenes are described so well that I was able to imagine them in quite vivid detail, which helped to better understand the Regency era.

Overall: Another great Austen sequel. It may be benefitial to read the first book in the series by Sharon Lathan, but I enjoyed this one without reading Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. And to make things even better, it looks like we can enjoy knowing that a third installment in this new series is due to come out early in 2010!

From Sourcebooks:
Beyond Pride and Prejudice…Beyond 'I Do'…

Darcy and Lizzy venture away from Pemberley to journey through England, finding friends, relatives, fun, love, and an even deeper and more sacred bond along the way.

Having embarked on the greatest adventure of all, marriage and the start of a new life together, now the Darcys take the reader on a journey through a time of prosperity, enjoyment, and security. They experience all the adventures of travel, with friends
and relatives providing both companionship and complications, and with fun as their focus.

The sights and sounds, tastes and flavors of Regency England come alive. Through it all, Darcy and Lizzy continue to build a marriage filled with romance, sensuality, and the beauty of a deep, abiding love.


Excerpt from Sourcebooks:

She entered seconds later, yawning and rubbing her face. Darcy watched quietly as she arched her back in a sinuous stretch with arms over her head. A sudden gust of air from the balcony stirred her hair and caused the silk of her robe to swirl away from her legs.

"Elizabeth."

She twirled about, a hand rising to her heart. "William! You frightened me! When did you return?"

"Only a moment ago," he answered huskily as he slowly and gracefully moved around the bed and toward his wife, a sensual smile playing over his lips as darkened eyes scoured her body. Lizzy was staring with undisguised appreciation. It had been two months since beholding him after a ride and she swiftly recalled why it was she became so incredibly aroused when he returned. Darcy's handsome virility never failed to stun her, but the appearance of him in only a thin shirt and tailored pants damply clinging to tight muscles, unshaven face flushed from the wind and sun with hair disheveled, and his natural musky scent mingled with horse and sweat, buckled her knees.

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About the Author: (from the author's site)
My name is Sharon Lathan….honest! No pen-names for me! I suppose if an encyclopedia photo was needed for the ‘average American woman,’ mine would be appropriate. I am a native Californian, living currently amongst the orchards, cotton, corn, and cows of the sunny and hot San Joaquin Valley. Average middle-class upbringing, average family life as a child, average education, and so on. No grand dreams or aspirations other than to be a wife, mother, and nurse; all of which I am blessed to say came true!

I am married to my own version of Mr. Darcy and have been for over 22 years. Typical ups and downs, but I am delighted to say that we are yet in love and anticipating the joy of old age together. Well, perhaps not too thrilled over the old age part, but you get the idea. God has blessed us with two beautiful, healthy children. Our daughter is in college and our son in high school. Throw in a cat, a dog, and ton of fish to complete the image.

By profession I am the Registered Nurse I first dreamed of becoming when I was nine. For the bulk of my 24 year career I have specialized in Neonatal Intensive Care. I adore the tiny babies and thrill at the excitement of high adrenaline in this incredibly rewarding field. After my family and now my writing, it is my greatest passion.

When not at the hospital or attending to the ofttimes dreary tasks of homemaking, I am generally found reposing in my comfy recliner with faithful laptop adhered to my thighs! Yes, it has become an obsession, but more on that later. In truth, I somehow find the time to read books written by other folks, see the occasional movie, keep up on my favorite TV shows, teach preschoolers at our church, and enjoy the life gifted to me. See, average!

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!

3 Comments:

Renee said...

This looks SO good! I pretty much love anything that features my man, Mr. Darcy! I'll have to add this to my wishlist!

Sharon Lathan said...

Thank you, Wendi, for the wonderful review. I am delighted that you loved "Loving Mr. Darcy"and truly appreciate the review. Plus it is nice to know a reader can understand and enjoy it having not read the first book. They aren't meant to be read alone, so it is a relief to know it isn't impossible to comprehend by itself. Thanks for that!

Sincerely, Sharon Lathan

Amy said...

I almost picked this up at the store yesterday. Thanks for the review and noting that it was sequel. It sounds interesting. I'm adding it to the TBR list!

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