The Darcy Brothers by Abigail Reynolds, Cassandra Grafton, Maria Grace, Monica Fairview and Susan Mason-Milks #Review

Posted March 22, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Darcy Brothers by Abigail Reynolds, Cassandra Grafton, Maria Grace, Monica Fairview and Susan Mason-Milks #Review
The Darcy Brothers

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Historical Romance
Released on January 29, 2015
Pages: 399
Format: eARC
Source: Author

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I was very excited to get the opportunity to read this one in its entirety after reading it as a serial. It’s rather a fun and unique undertaking in that the author’s wrote it as part of a Reader’s Choice weekly installment. Each segment would finish with a vote for readers to choose one of a few options and that would be the direction of the following week’s story installment. Now doesn’t that rouse your curiosity? It roused mine.

The story opens with Fitzwilliam Darcy regretting his impulse to drag his younger brother along to his annual spring visit to their aunt and cousin and work on estate matters. William finds Theo’s playful, boisterous and sociable nature trying and he seethes over the trouble it has caused their family in the past. Theo was involved a family tragedy taking their youngest brother and most recently Theo was there when a former friend nearly seduced and eloped with their sister. William felt it like a betrayal because he had already tried to tell Theo that George Wickham couldn’t be trusted. Now, he has his brother along hoping to repair some of the distance between them while they visit their family. Unfortunately, Theo seems bent on antagonizing him more than ever and William already has his recent meeting with a young woman he is attracted to, but needs to forget to leave him agitated without Theo prodding him.

Theo once looked up to his older brother and thought of them as friends even though William was always more serious and keen about things like duty, but ever since the death of Sebastian, William has pushed him away and treated him like an irresponsible child. Theo is an accomplished barrister, has a way with people and is well respected, but William sees none of this. It’s a hardship to even be in his brother’s stuffy presence, but particularly now. Prince William has something more than his ire with Theo making him broodier and pricklier than usual. Upon reaching their aunt’s estate and visiting with the pretty, vivacious guest of his aunt’s parson, Theo has an inkling what or rather who has his brother agitated. Can his stodgy older brother be pining after a woman beneath him in station who seemingly wants nothing to do with the wealthy, handsome Master of Pemberley? Theo still loves his brother in spite of their differences and finally sees a way to prove himself his brother’s friend and make up for the things William blames him for. Theo puts his investigative powers to work and sets out to do some matchmaking with the aid of two of his cousins and his sister. Only as usual, things get mixed up and his brother is angrier than ever when he thinks Theo is setting himself up as rival for the lovely Elizabeth Bennet’s affections or later, when he thinks Theo has ruined his chances with the lady. And in the shadows lurks Wickham who would love to get a spot of revenge and comeuppance against the Darcy brothers who he blames for thwarting his attempt to snag their sister’s dowry.

This was a fun romp that was laced with humor, heartwarming moments, romance and a little dash of danger to make things interesting. This one has the flavor of Jane Austen’s most popular novel though it goes off in new intriguing directions much of the time. The book read very quickly for all its pages and the pacing was nice. Action and dialogue were tight with the plot development not going deep, but lightly engaging.

Normally, I am all over the swoony romance of a story. However, in this case, while I liked the difficult romance between William and Elizabeth, it was the need for reconciliation and growth between the brothers that had the biggest attraction. In fact, I felt the romance took a backseat. The brothers are opposites and they really don’t understand each other. They don’t communicate well which leads to a lot of miscues and misunderstandings. They both want the same thing, but don’t seem to know how to go about it and then they seem to do better with a few relapses when William got stormy and Theo got pouty.

There are a few story threads swirling around this family. As I said, the brothers’ reconciliation was my favorite part, but the romance was there too. The romance, just like the relationship between brothers, was dependent on William’s growth and attempt to open up and let others see what he is thinking and feeling. Seeing William amongst his friends and family leads Elizabeth to ponder the fact that she might have got this man wrong for the most part after the disastrous first impression he left with her although he still is maddeningly arrogant and set in his ways.

The romance wasn’t told in isolation in that all William’s relations seemed to have their hand in matchmaking. Some of it was pretty funny and got madcap at times especially when eccentric Cousin Anne took a hand. This leads me to point out that the secondary characters were colorful and engaging. I had a good time with Theo’s friend, Sir Monty and the Fitzwilliam cousins, Anne and the Colonel.

The danger element with Wickham plotting against the family actually worked to unite the brothers even as before it had driven a wedge between them. Theo learns to respect William’s judgment and protective instincts and William learns to trust in Theo’s abilities to handle a crisis. I loved seeing them both in action and finally working together.

In summation, this was a lovely story of family reconciliation and sweet romance told with a lot of warmth and humor. I would recommend it for those who enjoy Austenesque stories and sweet Historical Romance.

My thanks to the authors for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #100 HR

Historical Romance #26

Historical Fiction #12

Austenesque Lovers #15

Literary Pickers #101 Whip

New to Me #53 Authors

Cliché Klatch #35 ‘Not so deep as a well’

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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  • Shari Delighted Read

    I wish I could say I would like to read this, but I so do not like Jane Austen’s work or the fan fiction that comes from it.

    • Haha, I know! It is definitely not for everyone. I get odd looks frequently when I try to explain. 😉

  • Shari Delighted Read

    I wish I could say I would like to read this, but I so do not like Jane Austen’s work or the fan fiction that comes from it.

  • Abigail Reynolds

    Thanks for the lovely review, Sophia Rose! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Darcy Brothers.

    • Ah, you’re welcome, Abigail! Thanks for stopping by!

  • I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on The Darcy Brothers. I’m glad you had fun with it!!

    • I did have a good time. You ladies wrote an engaging story, Monica!