I eagerly picked this one up since it was the second half of a book, Mr. Darcy’s Pledge, that left off just when things were getting interesting. Because it’s the second half, it most definitely needs to be read in order.
The first book was a wonderful blend of heartwarming humor as a man’s marriage proposal is not only rejected, but accompanied by some unwelcome insight into his character as seen by another person. Darcy spends most of the first book both determined to move on even going so far as to make a list of traits in his future bride that are not a thing like Elizabeth, but also growing introspective and affecting changes to his life now that he is aware of his shortcomings. The end of the book provides him with a second chance and one he does not squander, but circumstances intervene that lead to an early separation before he can put another proposal before Elizabeth.
And that is where this book opens. Darcy learns of Elizabeth’s sister’s disappearance and the family’s decision to discover the whereabouts of Lydia. With heart in hand for his Elizabeth, Darcy is determined to follow and help. He wants to be her white knight and he imagines she thinks the same until she pushes him away once more. And that is that he decides. He will turn his attentions elsewhere once his duty is done in helping find Lydia.
Georgiana doesn’t know what to think of her brother’s odd behavior, but is determined to get to the bottom of things so she leaves the country and heads for their London townhouse where she is in time to discover all that has been going on. She wants to help locate Wickham and Lydia, but the idea of confronting the man who tried to seduce her for her dowry does not please her. Her brother confronts her with the thought that perhaps she still has feelings for the rake.
In a flurry of adventure, Darcy continues to do his duty in spite of his broken heart still hoping to possibly win another chance even as he helps search for Lydia. The chase takes some interesting twists and turns when he is joined by the Bingleys and the Bennets and a romp to and around Brighton. Will this be the opportunity Darcy is looking for to turn Elizabeth’s affections toward him or prove once and for all that she is a lost cause?
So, I sat for a bit after I read this one and pondered how I felt about it. On one level, I had a good time reading it and was truly rooting for Darcy, but on another, I was not as into this half of the story as I was with the first book. The tighter, crisper plot of the first one had more appeal for me and shockingly, I actually preferred Darcy apart from Elizabeth. He gets a bit too broody and moony-eyed when she’s around. I honestly wasn’t that taken with the Elizabeth. I was strongly connected to Georgiana and Darcy and I found the Bingley and Mrs. Bennet rather appealing. The time spent jaunting around after Lydia dragged for me too. Though the twist this story took regarding Lydia was a bit of a fun surprise. That ending was engaging with its little twist too. I did wish for a bit more particularly after all the time spent when the two main players were at loggerheads for so long. I did want a bit more of them when they were reconciled. I was curious about maybe a resolution for Georgiana too since she had grown and matured throughout the story.
To sum it up, I found parts of it not as appealing, but other parts rather engaging and fun. I like the Darcy of this story and I really liked the added piece that came with Georgiana’s narration. I can easily recommend this duology of books to the Austenesque lovers, but historical romance fans who like a light and sweet romance story might want to give these a try too.
My thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.