Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"Suddenly Mrs Darcy" By Jenetta James Blog Tour!

Hello today I have the pleasure of reviewing Jenetta James's first novel 'Suddenly Mrs Darcy" on the 11th day of the blog Tour!  Which has been kindly brought to you by Leatherbound reviews in conjunction with  Meryton Press.

I must confess this book is based on one of my favourite JAFF scenario’s! Elizabeth Bennet being compromised or forced into a marriage with MR DARCY!! This may sound shocking but to a Janeite I suspect it would hardly incite a raised brow.

The title ‘Suddenly Mrs Darcy’ said it all, forego the blurb, time to commence reading. Following their dance
at the Netherfield ball, Mr Darcy feels he must speak with Elizabeth about Wickham, therefore rather than the usual escort from the floor with a curt bow to one’s partner, Darcy continues straight pass the punch bowl to seek a modicum of privacy in which to converse. Mrs Bennet walks in on the scene and believes she has witnessed Mr Darcy kissing Elizabeth and before the ball is at an end, Mr Darcy has agreed to marry Elizabeth. Elizabeth denies her mother’s charges, but her father will have none of it and there you have it, Suddenly Mrs Darcy!

 I found it very amusing that Darcy was inwardly giddy at his own good fortune. At the Netherfield ball we know he must possess the same objections he so ill expressed at Hunsford. Therefore the slight change to Darcy being delighted was hilarious because being wrongly accused of compromising a lady and having to marry her, I believe would be no laughing matter to a man of consequence. Although the author does not write the scene, I was laughing imagining the possibilities “ Mr Darcy may I speak with you?” “Certainly” “You have compromised my daughter” “ Yes” “you understand the expectation?” “Yes, I will procure a special licence, announce the betrothal and we will be married and gone within a se’nnight.” I can picture his stoic face, all the while feeling elated inside, trying desperately not to laugh in a situation in which it would be inappropriate to do so. The in-congruence of it all makes for delightful reading in contemplating how scenes might have transpired. To my surprise Jenetta had a Q&A at the end of the book in which she speaks of what may have passed between Mr Darcy & Mr Bennet.

"In this moment, he feels lucky. The dice have fallen exactly right, and he is too arrogant to lose time worrying about how Elizabeth sees things". - Excerpt from Q&A - Jenetta James.  

I really enjoyed Jenetta's succinct style of writing, she has a way of telling the pertinent facts without the lengthy detail. Elizabeth would walk into a room and within two to three sentences you knew all you needed to know, what Miss Bingley was thinking, what Lousia was doing, what Mr Hurst was drinking, what Mr Darcy’s countenance was portraying and what Elizabeth was feeling. This kept the story moving at a nice pace, which I really appreciated because a page long description of the gardens at Rosings when there is urgent Darcy & Elizabeth business to attend to, is best left in the capable hands of Mr Collins.

"Fans fluttered, skirts swished, jewelled heads bobbed, and the energy of being there swept through me. My husband seemed concerned, firstly, that others should not brush against me in their eagerness to reach the ballroom, and secondly, that we should locate Lord and Lady Matlock without delay." - Jenetta James

As this was written from Elizabeth’s perspective I often wasn't privy to what Mr Darcy was thinking and feeling and although the author made it explicit at times, I often wanted to know what his look or the meaning behind his words meant. However we are largely denied of hearing Mr Darcy’s thoughts throughout canon so I cannot complain overmuch. Elizabeth’s reasoning was good and I always appreciate an author that tackles the sensitive issue surrounding Lydia foolishness and although fleeting I did have some sympathy.

“No indeed, she was most melancholy. When she is alone in the dark, I believe she sees things more clearly. Or more likely, when she is in the light, she feels compelled to pretend to an analysis of her circumstances that even she does not really believe.” -  Jenetta James

I felt Elizabeth was very reasonable, considering she had been compromised, however she was aware it was neither Darcy’s fault. Therefore Elizabeth's lack of resistance towards Darcy was of no surprise and  I do believe Elizabeth is a sensible woman and Jenetta captures it simply. "It became an article of faith for me to make the situation between us work as well as possible" - Jenetta James 

Overall an enjoyable read, with Darcy's confession of love melt worthy, I look forward to future works from this author, thank you Jenetta, for another great compromise scenario I always like to see how Elizabeth will find her way in such a situation. And of course I never tire of a no-nonsense Mr Darcy, although a man of little words, I believe when vexed a little will suffice.

"Would you care to take a turn with me in the garden?” He opened the door himself and tilted his head in a manner that suggested he would brook no opposition. None came, and Lady Catherine stood and made to follow her nephew." - Jenetta James  

This book is worthy of 4 hearts - Mr Bingley!

Blog Tour Schedule:

4/20:Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic 
4/21: Review at Songs and Stories 
4/22:  Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
4/23: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
4/24: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
4/25: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
4/26: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
4/27: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews 
4/28: Guest Post at Songs and Stories 
4/29: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars 
5/1: Review at Margie's Must Reads
5/2: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged 
5/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie 
As Always I delight in hearing your thoughts!

( I was given an ARC of  'A Peculiar Connection' in return for my honest review)


  1. Nice review; this is a book I am looking forward to reading. Like you I like the "forced" engagement plot device and enjoy seeing the two of them discover one another prior to establishing their long term relationship.


    1. Thank you Ragina, yes exactly I totally agree about watching the development of their characters as a couple. Not to mention the major angst is over quickly, they're together regardless of what happens next! I do hope you enjoy it! 😄

    2. Hope that you enjoy it Regina, thank you for commenting:-) Jenetta

  2. I look forward to my turn reading it. I like to explore this trope too.

    1. I hope that you enjoy this one & thanks for commenting, Jenetta

    2. I think a lot of Janeites do, Sophia Rose, however I am often sceptical of voicing it :) Hope you enjoy the read.

  3. Considering how many Janeites like arrange/forced marriage scenario with Elizabeth and Darcy in the leading roles (including myself), I wonder why we have comparatively little number of books dedicated to elaborating this scenario. I certainly would wish more!:) Thank you for interesting and comprehensive review, Tamara.
    I also wanted to ask Jenetta whether she has favourite TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In one of her posts, she mentioned 1995 mini-series, so I was wondering whether Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are those models used by the author in imagining her story.

    1. That is a good point - it is a popular conceit without that many examples - I hope that people are enjoying this one...
      I am going to give away my age & say that when P&P was first aired in 1995 I was 13 & my best friend and I tried to read ahead i.e we tried (with limited success) to read just ahead of watching - so I guess inevitably my idea of the characters - including what they look like is influenced by that particular adaptation. I am sure that other adaptations are great too & I am open minded about the others but yes, I think that the actors and characters from that particular adaptation definitely play a role in my head.
      Thanks for commenting & asking the question - it is interesting for me to think about it.

    2. 1995 oh yes! I wonder Oloore whether I should try and compile a list and if people can add that would be great! Watch this space :)

    3. Yes to 1995 mini-series!:) I am somewhat prejudiced (still can't overcome it) and prefer the stories authors of which like that particular TV adaptation.
      Tamara, please compile such a list! I will look forward to it:)

  4. I'm like you Tamara - I love it when we get Darcy's POV and we know what he's thinking. Maybe Jenetta will write us some outtakes from Darcy's POV. A lot of authors are doing that in their blogs/websites these days which is great. I've read a lot of reviews from people saying they haven't been able to put this book down once they start reading so I'm going to have to plan a day out soon to read it!

    1. Hi - it was suggested to me during the editing process that I could do that & I was so attached to Elizabeth's "voice" that I didn't... starting to wonder now whether it would have actually been a fun avenue to try - maybe there will just have to be another book! I don't want to speak too soon but I hope that there are enough hints for the reader to extrapolate what Darcy is thinking even when he is being at his most infuriating:-) thanks for commenting, Jenetta

    2. Hello my lovely, yes we are never satisfied!! As I mentioned because the writing style is straight to the point so to speak, the book just seems to fly by and before you know it your sadly coming to an end! It didn't take to me long to read, hope you enjoy it!

  5. Tamara - it was wonderful to read this review - I am really thrilled that you enjoyed reading SMD & thank you for your lovely words, Jenetta:-)

  6. Thank you Jenetta, for another lovely contribution to the world of JAFF. With hopefully many more to come ;)


Thank you! Your comments are always welcome