Yours Affectionately: Mr. Darcy’s Challenge by Monica Fairview

Yours Affectionately: Mr. Darcy’s Challenge by Monica FairviewMr. Darcy’s Challenge by Monica Fairview

Series: #2 The Darcy Novels
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by White Soup Press on November 25, 2014
Pages: 248
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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three-half-stars  

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.

Yours Affectionately

About Monica Fairview

Monica is a longtime admirer of Jane Austen and likes to write down her fantasies about living in the Regency period. Her first novel was AN IMPROPER SUITOR, a humorous Regency romance. Since then, she has written two traditional Jane Austen sequels: THE OTHER MR. DARCY and THE DARCY COUSINS (both published by Sourcebooks) and contributed a sequel to Emma in Laurel Ann Nattress’s anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT (Ballantine). STEAMPUNK DARCY is a post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen spin-off. Her new series, THE DARCY NOVELS, are traditional Pride and Prejudice ‘what-if’ variations. The first, MR. DARCY’S PLEDGE, reached number one in Kindle Classics Romance. MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE is the second in the series.

Monica is part of the blog Austen Variations along with a baker’s dozen of authors who also write Jane Austen adaptations. She was a member of the team writing the popular Reader’s Choice serial THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy.

Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager, when it was crumbling and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH & SOUTH in her blood. After that, Monica lived in the USA for many years, where she taught literature to captive victims (not necessarily captivated). She now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area and loves visiting historical properties when it isn’t raining.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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