I received this book for free quite a few years ago and just never got around to reading it. This year I have decided to read everything in my kindle and decide to whether to keep or delete it.
So this book is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, taking place after Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, Caroline, and the Hursts have left Netherfield to return to London. Jane is heartbroken:
Elizabeth is furious and doesn’t quite know what to do to help her sister feel better. When the Gardiners invite Jane to London, Jane refuses and Elizabeth decides to take her place. Her mission? Find Mr. Bingley and makes things right. And if she can’t find Bingley, she’ll appeal to Mr. Darcy.
However, when she meets with Caroline Bingley, Caroline is polite but tells Elizabeth that Mr. Bingley is out of town. This doesn’t deter Elizabeth who decides she will head over to Darcy’s house and show up unexpectedly-forgetting about proprietary for her mission.
But Mr. Darcy’s sister should be there, right? It should all be fine.
Meanwhile at the Darcy townhouse none of Darcy’s servants are there, his sister is also not there, and Darcy is trying to set things right as his house did not expect him so early. Elizabeth arrives on his doorstep, the very person he did not want to see as he ran away from his attraction to her.
He doesn’t want to receive her alone for fear it will damage her reputation, but with her sopping wet he doesn’t see any other options. Elizabeth begs Darcy to tell Mr. Bingley that Jane cares for him but Mr. Darcy has decided to stay out of the matter and tells her he refuses to be an intermediary but also will not do anything to stop her plans. This isn’t good enough for Elizabeth and she plans to storm off, but the rain and her missing carriage force her to stay in Darcy’s home. Darcy makes her some tea and plans to send her in his carriage after it returns from its errands. However, before that happens she collapses from fever.
Mr. Darcy takes her upstairs into the only bed with a fire, the one that just happens to be his own, until he can light the fire in the best room-the lady of the house’s room. He then removes her wet clothes, no impropriety as he makes sure he doesn’t see anything, fetches a doctor, and brings his sister home to protect Elizabeth’s reputation.
Elizabeth wakes up and insists on going to her uncle and aunt’s house. She is determined to continue hating Mr. Darcy although she is upset his sister came to see her but he doesn’t come; he only sends fruit and flowers.
A relation of Elizabeth’s Aunt Gardiner, Lady Susan, offers to sponsor her this London season. Originally Elizabeth had planned to return home as soon as she completed her mission, but decides to take Lady Susan up on her offer as it’s the only way to come into contact with Mr. Bingley (and it’s not like there are a lot of eligible men at home.) If she happens to meet someone, it’s two birds one stone.
But does she run into Mr. Bingley? Nope. Instead she keeps encountering Mr. Darcy.
Lord Latham is a long time friend of Mr. Darcy and his sister, Lady Gwendolyn, is head over heels for Darcy. Lady Gwendolyn is set on winning Darcy this season. She arranges for a house party and invites the usual suspects; along with Mr. Darcy and his friend Mr. Bingley (at Darcy’s request.) She also invites Elizabeth as she met her at a party and enjoyed her company at several others occasions. Unfortunately for her, Darcy doesn’t look at Lady Gwendolyn at all, he only has eyes for one lady.
Lady Gwendolyn gets very jealous and tries to sniff out any dirt around Elizabeth. Her maid had a relation that used to work at the Darcy house and was let go. Before they were fired, they witnessed the night Elizabeth came and shares this with Lady Gwendolyn’s maid, who in turn shares it with Lady Gwendolyn. Lady Gwendolyn tells her brother and hopes it will be the piece de resistance that helps her win her man.
Mr. Bingley arrives after the others but before Elizabeth gets a chance to talk to him she goes for a walk with Lady Gwendolyn who drops a bomb on her: Darcy took Bingley away from Netherfield to keep him from marrying into her family. Lady Gwendolyn doesn’t out and admit it is Elizabeth’s fmaily, but she does drop enough hints that Elizabeth pieces this all together.
In Lord Latham’s study he and Darcy are having a discussion and Lord Lathan shares the rumor he heard about Darcy and Elizabeth. Darcy professes his innocence, but is determined to do the right thing in order to save Elizabeth’s reputation. He proposes to Elizabeth “in order to protect her” and not only does she refuse him; but she also throws Wickham’s situation at him. Yep, yikes.
Elizabeth and Lady Susan leave early; along with Darcy and Bingley. This party turned out to be a real downer and not at all what anyone was hoping for.
Georgiana wants to host a party, planning to invite Elizabeth and the Gardiners, but Darcy tells her a little bit of what happened and how poorly Elizabeth thinks of him. Georgina wants to fix this and goes to Elizabeth to tell her the truth about Wickham and his evil ways.
While there, Elizabeth receives a letter from her family and finds out that Lydia has run off with Wickham.
Elizabeth returns home, but luckily all is fixed. Lydia and Wickham marry, Mr. Bingley returns to Netherfield and all is looking good; except Elizabeth has fallen for Darcy and doesn’t have him.
Will she be able to win his heart again? Or has she lost him forever?
I enjoyed this retelling a lot, except for Elizabeth. I felt her character was rather annoying at times (especially in the beginning) and I still couldn’t believe that someone who would be embarrassed so much at her family’s lack of propriety would completely ignore it herself.
But other than that I found myself caught up in the story and wanting to finish it. I enjoyed the new characters although I did feel Lady Gwendolyn was living in bit of a dream world when the truth was obvious. Although like Charlotte said:
But what if you are looking for further drama than the usual Regency Society maneuvers. Say adding something a little more difficult…such as zombies.
That’s where this expansion pack comes into play.
Afew years ago Iwas gifted Marrying Mr. Darcy as a birthday gift and I really enjoyed playing it. (You can check out my full review here). And like most game owners, I’m always interested in expansion packs that come out afterwards, especially as the Undead Expansion Pack was recommended to me by SewMelissaWrites.
The Undead Expansion Pack is influenced by the book Pride & Prejudice & Zombies; and while I didn’t enjoy the book I decided to keep an open mind about the game. When I first opened my gift, I and my mother (who gifted it to me) were disappointed. This expansion pack cost $20 (prices have gone down since) and has only 20 undead cards (one of which is a rule card).
Let me put this in perspective for you, the Emma Expansion pack is also $20 and includes 6 new Heroine Cards, 5 new suitor cards, and 60 new event cards.
My sister has the game Legendary which comes with expansion packs and she and I have purchased multiple different expansion packs, all about the same price as this, and they all came with 100 cards. I really felt that for an expansion pack and the price being paid, there should have been more.
The cards don’t even come in a box, they just just wrapped them in plastic. At least the Emma Expansion came in a box. I really think they should have at least given you a more long lasting cardholder.
The expansion rules don’t change too much from the original game, as you still set it up as normal.
However, each player does get to start off with a slight advantage, as they each one gets a random Instrument of the Living card. Instrument of the Living cards consist of two chemicals that can cure a “cursed” player, two weapons (cricket bat and broadsword) to fight, and two pairs of shoes to help you run or sneak away. The remaining cards are put into the character cards and pulled out and played like usual.
Like in the original game, your goal is to try and earn character traits (the more points you get at the end helps you win) along with making a good match. Depending on your character, you have an ideal man (the one who will give you the most points), but you still earn points for whichever man you marry. Your choices are: Mr. Wickham, Mr. Collins, Mr. Denny, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Bingley, and of course Mr. Darcy.
As in the original game the first thing you do is choose your character, and each one has a special ability. I went with Caroline Bingley as she has such a great advantage, every time you pull a card, Caroline gets to draw two and discard one immediately. It’s really hard to beat her, unless you fail the rolling for a Proposal stage.
When you set up the cards you include the Undead events in the regular stack. Each person gets three character cards to start with (plus their instrument of the living) and you play the game. For each turn you pull out an event card, some affect only you-while others all the players. The event cards will allow you to “play” a character card-which you place in front of you face up. The face up cards are the only ones that count for points at the end, allow you to be proposed to, etc. Its important to have them, but just because they are played they are not safe. They can be stolen.
Some event cards change the course of the game: Mr. Bingley goes to London (if you don’t get the card that brings him back he can’t be anyone’s suitor), Darcy’s surprise proposal (you get this you are instantly proposed to and don’t have to do the end roll to see who you get), you are cursed as one of the undead, you have an undead suitor, an Elopement with Mr. Wickham (you can only get rid of the elopement if you get enough reputation cards), etc.
Just because you get enough of the character traits to get your dream man, that doesn’t mean you will get him. At the end you each have to roll the dice to see if he proposes, you toll too low-you become an old maid. But even the old maid has multiple options too, and you can still have a shot at winning as an old maid if you roll high enough or have a lot of character cards played. Your life as an old maid ranges from lonely bitter life, a companion to a cranky widow, governess to a wealthy family, your resentful uncle takes you in, or your kind and wealthy family takes you in and you become a celebrated author.
With the inclusion of the undead cards they are similar situations to the other event cards but with having to fight the undead mob. All the Instruments of the Living are fantastic advantages, even better if you are able to get score multiple ones (except you can only use one weapon at a a time).
Unlike my previous review, I didn’t try every character as the Undead cards don’t change the game that much. I was fortunate to get both the chemist tools which helped give me an advantage in rolling and I was able to heal my mom when she was cursed by the “affliction”.
I also was able to get the cricket bat and an extra ax (which I declined remember you can only use one) as my weapons. The cricket bat helped a lot as it also gave me an extra boost to my rolls against the undead.
The card I started out with was leather boots which was also extremely helpful as it let me escape any zombie attacks, so if I didn’t feel confident in a roll I could skip the zombie card. I used this in the beginning until I acquired the cricket bat.
At one point of the game Mr. Collins was bitten and I could have cured him with one of my chemist flasks, but as he wasn’t someone I wanted to roll for (not enough points) I didn’t bother.
I ended up choking on the proposal stage and messed up my roll for Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy. Instead I ended up an old maid, only 6 points and surviving on a cousin’s generosity.
However, even though I didn’t get my man I did win the game with 25 combined points from my character traits. After all the times I’ve played I learned it is far better to have more points played on the table than anything else.
Would I recommend it? I did enjoy playing with the extra cards although I wish there was more. I think the game would have been more fun if they had added more event cards and items.
So would I recommend it? I did think it was a fun addition to the game, however I would wait for a really good deal in order to get your money’s worth.
Today is February 1st, not only the start of the month of love (as February has Valentine’s Day and is Library Lovers’ Month); but also the publication date of Mr. Darcy’s Valentine.
Do you love Pride and Prejudice? Are you looking for a romantic short story to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day? Then you should definitely include this book in your Valentine’s Day plans.
The story takes place after Bingley has left Netherfield in the original plot. In this adaptation, Jane and Elizabeth have traveled to London to visit the Gardiners. They have been having a nice time, although Jane is still very upset over Mr. Bingley.
Caroline has been trying to keep Jane from her family and Mr. Bingley in the dark about Jane being in town; but unfortunately for her when Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley go to a concert they spot Jane, Elizabeth, and the Gardiners. Mr. Bingley is back on track to try and win his lady love.
Darcy admits to Bingley that he withheld information from him about Jane being in town; along with apologizing for doing so and for being wrong about Jane’s level of interest in Bingley. Darcy concedes that Jane does truly care for Bingley and is determined to do all he can to help Bingley win his lady love, even throwing a dinner party when he hates to entertain.
When the night of the dinner party arrives, the guests include Elizabeth, Jane, the Gardiners, Mr. Bingley, Caroline Bingley, the Hursts, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Georgiana. The dinner is a comedic event as every character has their own goal of who they wish to speak to and avoid. Darcy tries to entertain Elizabeth and Georgiana; while avoiding being trapped in conversation by Caroline or the Gardiners (assuming they are like Mr. and Mrs. Bennet). Caroline expends all her attention on the Darcys, Bingley and Jane only have eyes for each other, and Elizabeth tries her hardest to not speak to Darcy and his sister, yet finds most of her conversations happening between them; (and much to her original dismay, actually liking Georgiana.)
When Valentine’s Day is mentioned and a few old superstitious ways to celebrate talked about, Bingley gets the idea to “draw lots” for a Valentine and have the men write one for the women. Bingley cares deeply for Jane and even though Darcy had come around to agreeing that Jane cares for Bingley, Bingley still feels uncertain. With this “Valentine’s Day” game, rigged of course so he could get Jane, Bingley feels he’ll be able to see if she would accept his proposal. Darcy isn’t interested in playing, but after they agree that Georgina will not take part (she’s much too shy) and that Darcy will not have to write Caroline’s Valentine, he submits and the Valentines are written.
Bingley writes a lovely note and Jane reciprocates.
Colonel Fitzwilliam writes a silly one that Caroline doesn’t enjoy.
The real trouble arises with Darcy’s Valentine. He writes an incredibly sweet one:
I am a gentleman by birth—
With a fortune to boast.
Yet of all women upon earth,
Thee I admire and love the most.
Thou art accomplish’d, quite refined—
Far more than others of your line.
Then, since thou’rt suited to my mind,
Pray be my valentine.
From Mr. Darcy’s Valentine by Heather Moll
But while I find it romantic, Elizabeth finds offense in every line. She pens a reply that thoroughly rejects him and gives him a real what for about his behavior when he asks her for an explanation.
While Darcy is taken aback with how she sees him and amazed that she views him so poorly, he is determined to show her that the judgement she made of him is wrong, and he does it in the best way possible: he tries to be a better person.
While Darcy has stepped out to compose himself after being rejected, Caroline taunts Elizabeth about Wickham, in front of Georgiana. On hearing Wickham’s name Georgiana becomes very upset and to save her, Elizabeth contrives an excuse for the two to leave the room. While separated from the others, Georgina reveals all that occurred between her and Wickham. Elizabeth is in shock over the tale, and even more so over how she misjudged the two men…and embarrassed over how she insulted Darcy.
What makes things even worse and awkward, as Bingley and Jane are courting, Darcy and Elizabeth are thrown together constantly. But the more time Elizabeth spends with Darcy the more she realizes how fine a man he is. Will it be too late for her?
Or will she be able to find a way to show him how much she cares by Valentine’s Day?
As always, Heather Moll wrote a real page turner that is a charming tale from beginning to end. If you are looking for a romantic read featuring Austen’s characters this story is a must! It was an absolute delight and something I know I will be rereading every February.
If you are a Jane Austen fan it’s perfect to add to your collection, and if you are looking for something Jane Austen-y to purchase for your Valentine, this book would make a perfect gift.
This year I ran a poll on my instagram asking people to vote between my reviewing Sense and Sensibility and Snowmen or Christmas at Pemberley. Christmas at Pemberley was the clear winner as 71% of those who voted wanted me to review that one.
But before I start my review, let me pause and say:
Happy Birthday Jane Austen!
Yes, today marks her 247th birthday, and I thought what better way to celebrate than by reviewing a Jane Austen film? (Although after watching it I may change my mind about that)
I had a really hard time trying to find this film to watch. It’s not on any streaming site as far as I can tell, except on Amazon to purchase. Just trying to watch online seemed imprisons good, so I ended up buying it (I had money from delaying my packages so it only cost me $0.49.)
This film came out back when Hallmark was remaking several classics as Christmas films. It stars Michael Rady as Mr. Darcy, which you may recognize from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or The Mentalist. It also has Jessica Lowndes as Elizabeth Bennet (spelled Bennett in this).
Elizabeth Bennett is a party planner from NYC and is the type of personality where she is on top of everything and always has every thing perfectly planned out in her color coded binders. She works for Caroline Bingley, the actress is the almost stepmother in The Parent Trap (1998). Caroline Bingley is the preeminent party planner in NYC and is a tough woman to work for (according to Elizabeth but she seems fair to me from the little we see). Elizabeth has always been in the background but Caroline is trusting her to be head of a Christmas festival in Lambton Connecticut. Elizabeth knows the mayor of the town as they went to college together. His name, George Wickham.
Before Elizabeth heads out, Caroline warns her to not forget it is Caroline’s name and reputation in this event. She’s trusting her with both and if things don’t go well, Elizabeth is out.
We then switch over to our Mr. William Darcy, as mentioned before played by the cute Michael Rady. He has an assistant, Travis, who is terrible at his job and supposed to be the Bingley character I suppose? Darcy is extremely kind to his assistant, and the two head to his family’s home Pemberley Manor, in Lambton, Connecticut .
We are in Lambton. George is getting ready to meet up with Elizabeth as he is still crushing he’s on her. As they go to meet her Jane Lucas (Jane Bennet/Charlotte Lucas?) remarks how sad she is that Darcy is selling Pemberley Manor and that it will be turned into condos by a developer. The audience is also told of her doubts for the festival as it previously had only been a one day thing of lighting the tree and reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, but Elizabeth is making it a multi day affair with all kinds of events. The movie is trying to scare us into thinking this is impossible for Elizabeth, but I’ve seen enough movies, I know it will all work out in the end.
So this George Wickham seems okay, he cares about the community, Elizabeth,…but I’ll reserve judgement as George Wickham’s can’t be trusted.
George is clearly into Elizabeth, but Elizabeth keeps saying they are only friends although goes into detail about the romantic way they met. She’s giving off serious mixed signals to him. She also is reading to get started so they all decide to grab a warm drink from the only hot drink cart located in this town and stand in a super long line. Like why don’t they just go to the mayor’s office? Or a coffee shop?
Darcy has just also just arrived in town and he wants a coffee. He sends his assistant to fetch him one, and his assistant is so hyper focused on doing a good job he misconstrues a joke and thinks if he fails to get the coffee he will be fired. He goes to the only place in town to get a drink, this one lone coffee and cocoa cart and tries to cut in line to get the drink. Elizabeth decides to be his champion and not only inserts herself into the conversation between Travis and the hot drinks cart man, but she also decides to march on down to Mr. Darcy’s car and yell at him.
Seriously, what’s wrong with her? First of all she doesn’t even know that Travis is telling the truth, he could be lying so he doesn’t have to wait in line. Also what good will it do anyone one for her to march over and yell at his employer. At best Travis could get in trouble, at worst fired. She also goes and starts lecturing him about being a good employer completely projecting her own work related issues onto this stranger. So all that tells me is that she clearly has problems with her boss she hasn’t communicated about, but thinks this man she just met, Travis, is supposed to do what she can’t. How do you know you won’t make things worse for him?
Do the writers think we are supposed to be on her side? If anything this makes me like Elizabeth less as she harasses a complete stranger. Mr. Darcy behaves like a perfect gentleman listening, explaining what happened, and being completely courteous to this woman who is acting like a total jerk.
I know the writers think this is supposed to make us laugh when they have the later “payoff” scene where the two have to work together but I don’t think it was particularly clever as we already know he is Darcy (they should have not told us his identity), and I’m completely all on poor Mr. Darcy’s side.
Mr. Darcy goes to Pemberley and meets the new caretaker, as the former one Willoughby retired. Darcy is more than ready for the house to be torn down which makes me think there are some terrible memories associated with it. The house being sold wasn’t completely Darcy’s decision as it was left to is Darcy Corp and the board of directors decided to sell it.
Darcy hasn’t been there in years and when he goes inside and looks around he doesn’t seem that overjoyed at being back.
Back with Elizabeth, she and George are having dinner and the character of Elizabeth is so shallow, they just made her like every other Hallmark female main character. They took an interesting character and made her boring.
Of course the next day the festival is in trouble as the water main breaks and destroys the town square and the gazebo. Of course the only answer is to use Pemberley Manor, which we know won’t go well as she just insulted Mr. Darcy the day before.
The other thing that really annoys me about this version of Elizabeth is that she never listens to anyone. Whenever George tries to talk to her about things she interrupts him and moves on barreling faster than a bullet train.
Elizabeth sees that Darcy is the owner of Pemberley, yet her Pemberley demeanor doesn’t even change. She still forceful and barrels through him. She doesn’t even try to apologize or be kind; instead she just runs roughshod over his thoughts and feelings.
The other thing that really annoys me is that she shrugs off all his concerns even though they are valid. He’s selling the manor, he is worried about the liability, and worried about how if something goes wrong not only will he be responsible but his company too as it is a company house. Having put on events for work, I totally see where he is coming from and agree with why Mr. Darcy doesn’t want a festival in his home. But Elizabeth ignores it all and insults him again.
Elizabeth then tries to have George force Darcy to do it. I thinks she’s supposed to be endearing but she is really annoying.
Darcy runs into the caretaker, Kristopher, again, (and he looks suspiciously like Santa Claus), playing Christmas records. I wish they had given Darcy a sister as I feel that works well for his character, it doesn’t have the same meaning with him as an only child. Darcy receives an email from the company purchasing the manor as someone has been complaining about them tearing it down in the community. Guess who did it?
Speak of the devil, she then shows up and barrels through Darcy with her plan for the festival, not even asking him again. She’s so rude.
Darcy and already been convinced by Kris, so they move forward with the festival. Darcy does give her one condition, he doesn’t want any involvement with it. Darcy has been kind, respectful, and a great guy. And I really don’t want him to end up with this annoying version of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is ready to set up and complains about how much work the paperwork was, and all of can feel is told you so. Elizabeth then forces Darcy to help her, clearly being into him as she “can’t have anyone else help her”.
They spend time together where she makes him carry thousands of bags. She also makes fun of him for being head of the his company and always working. Hello, he’s head of the company as he has a lot to do. Like you don’t work constantly, you hypocrite. There is no way someone with that many color coded binders isn’t a workaholic.
Elizabeth reveals she has done extensive research on him, and I think it supposed to be cute but it comes off slightly stalkerish as she never seems to stop smiling. Even when she was angry she just keeps smiling, slightly creepy.
Travis goes looking for Mr. Darcy and runs into Jane and it is love at first sight! The two are cute together, someone understood the assignment.
The one thing I think is odd is that Darcy and Elizabeth went to get supplies but they don’t have shopping bags they have gift wrap bags holding all the supplies. Weird set dressing choice.
I enjoy the Darcy character as I feel that they did make him real, a man who has been grieving and given up a lot after his mom died and finally coming to terms; but the Elizabeth character I don’t care for at all as she doesn’t feel real.
So Elizabeth is crushing on Darcy super hard and it’s extremely obvious to everyone, while Darcy is just moseying along. It’s actually funny because she is like begging him to kiss her and he does not see the signs at all.
The next day Elizabeth is complaining to George and is exaggerating about what happened, making it seem as if Darcy threw her out of the house. What really happened was that they decorated his tree, he shared about his mom, and then said he had to go back to work. Like what did he do that was so terrible? Not kiss her? Who says he has to let her stay in his home for all hours of the night?
Every time she talks about Darcy she rewrites what happened to her to make her a victim. Like she has a serious victim mentality. She even complains about him not wanting to be associated with the festival making it sound as if he was demanding it. Which he DID NOT do. This Elizabeth is not the right Elizabeth. She’s more like Lydia or Mrs. Bennet.
George sets her straight and lets her know that Darcy is a charitable man and gives a lot to the community. He talks Darcy ho and let’s her know he just doesn’t like to be in the spotlight.
Back at the house Darcy and Claus, I mean Kristopher talk. Darcy shares some more positive memories he has of Pemberley and we can see him really healing.
Darcy sees Elizabeth outside working late and alone (yeah hypocrite who’s the workaholic now?) and greets her. She mentions she wishes she could make Christmas cookies and Darcy invites her in to bake. Again he is perfect as he is sweet, kind, and even praises her for being the one who takes care of everything in the background.
Then they are start sharing childhood dreams and he shares that he always knew he was going to take over the family. Elizabeth laughs in his face after hearing that. Wow! Girl you should learn how to flirt, or maybe not as you are going to end up with this guy after all. She also makes fun of his cookies and brings up Santa again. Like almost every other conversation she mentions Santa again. I’m surprised no one finds it odd as I do. She’s a woman in her 30s and can’t stop talking about Santa.
Jane and Elizabeth talk about the men in their lives and Elizabeth insults Darcy again. Why is she so rude?
Then Travis, George, and Darcy meet to talk and head to the only hot drink cart in town to talk. George is again trying to convince Darcy to not sell Pemberley. Travis is an utter trainwreck when it comes to being Darcy’s assistant, losing paperwork again. I know we should like him, but every time I see him I wonder how he even got this job? He forgets everything, is extremely messy, and completely disorganized.
Even though Elizabeth has treated him terribly, Darcy is kind and treats Elizabeth well. He’s not only extremely supportive and caring but he even found a carriage to be used for the festival. Man she doesn’t deserve you. You were written too well and wonderful and she was not.
The two work on the carriage And again Elizabeth is rude and assumes that Darcy only dates models and is one of those type of guys, when it just doesn’t turns out. He listens to Elizabeth talk about her ex, is kind, caring, encourages her and tries to give her hope; he’s so cute and sweet and she is not.
That evening is the festival and Darcy is inside as he does not want to be a part and do anything. Elizabeth keeps pushing him and doesn’t listen to what he says and again I’m like please stop thinking of yourself for five minutes. If he’s out there people might get angry about Pemberley, or what if he has a fear of being in crowds. Like seriously, just stop.
Then Kris gets on his case too. Why can’t everyone just leave him alone, it’s cold outside and he wants to be where it is warm.
Darcy does eventually go out and gets caught by a photographer who gets a great shot of him and Elizabeth.
The next day Elizabeth finds him to apologize about his picture being in the paper and he is all sweetness, kindness, and such a gentleman even after she couldn’t do the one thing he asked of her. She then insults him and tries to push him to try to be someone else.
Santa of course gets sick and they have to get a new one, who turns out to be Kristopher. I bet he’s the “real” one.
George tries to get Darcy to be a part of the festival, but he doesn’t want to. They talk a bit about Elizabeth and how George wanted to be with her but she just wanted be friends. George still likes her which means Darcy is going to step aside as he is a good guy. Man both dudes are oblivious as she is super into Darcy.
Darcy and Elizabeth go shopping again. How much of the town’s money is being spent on this festival? They have the decorations Elizabeth bosses’ fee, constructing Santa’s village, the stage, presents, etc. Good thing they have Darcy to find things, otherwise this town would be as bankrupt as Eagleton.
Caroline, Elizabeth’s boss, comes all the way down to Lambton and is upset about the photo as she feel it makes her look like a fool. What she is really worried about is that Elizabeth will leave her and start her own company taking a ton of people with her. Caroline decided to take over and change the simple Christmas festival to an elegant “Darcy-worthy” event in hopes of wooing his business.
Elizabeth goes to break it to Darcy but he’s smart enough to have put the pieces together. Caroline comes in and completely grabs his attention and keeps it.
Darcy invites Elizabeth to go on a carriage ride and is such a dreamboat as he is so sweet and supportive. He tries to help her feel better about everything that has happened. Aw, he’s perfect.
That night at the festival the singer’s voice is gone and Elizabeth has to fill in, of course. Darcy goes to gives her words of encouragement and watches her sing, risking the possibility of more publicity.
George confides in Darcy that he is going to ask Elizabeth out and Darcy is a gentleman , and steps aside. After the concert Elizabeth wants to talk to Darcy but gets blindsided by Caroline who snatches up his time. Caroline also insults Elizaveth and tries to remove her from the area as she wants Darcy all to herself.
Kristopher comes in and tries to start something with Darcy as he is trying to push Elizabeth and Darcy together. Man why is everyone pushing Darcy? Poor guy he just wanted some peace and quiet and now he’s had to deal with the festival, Caroline’s constant whining, Kristopher trying to change him, Elizabeth’s rudeness, etc.
Darcy goes to see Elizabeth and spots the two hugging, assuming they are together and going home, not wanting to ruin it. When he gets back he looks at the house but still signs the sale, and makes plans to go back home to NYC.
Elizabeth stops by the festival before heading to her family’s place and finds them taking everything down. The company was willing to work with them for a bit but doesn’t want to risk the liability and has canceled everything. Elizabeth wants to have Darcy fix it but discovers that he has left. She then is completely rude and mean about Darcy, but maybe you should take a breath. You don’t know his life maybe something happened, like an emergency. He might not have family but what about a friend? It’s like she wants to have reasons to think badly if him and hate him but there aren’t any. And her reasoning behind wanting to hate him, because he doesn’t do what she wants. She acts like a child.
Jane calls Travis to try and stop Darcy, and instead of telling him what happened he lies poorly to get Darcy to stay and try so they can use Pemberley. They do a guerrilla style party planning and begin working on putting everything back on. Except, technically yes Darcy still owns it, but what if there is an accident or a fire? Who’s going to have responsibility? Like the fact that Elizabeth doesn’t think about these things as a party planner is mind boggling.
At the manor Kris is missing, their celebrity canceled, and Darcy is stuck in the snow trying to get back to Pemberley. Kris heads out to get Darcy and reveals he “is” the real Santa after all.
And just as all hope is lost at the festival, Santa and Darcy show up in a sled, Santa hands out the gifts and Darcy reads the story. And there is so much snow everywhere, but no one is cold. Yeah right, I’m surprised anyone showed up with the amount of snow heavy is falling.
And we close with Darcy and Elizabeth together although they never resolve if Pemberley will be sold or not.
Was this a good Christmas movie?
This was an okay Christmas movie. There is no real issue in the film as every obstacle is instantly solved. Even Elizabeth’s boss isn’t really that terrible as after Darcy leaves she relaxes and helps put the festival back on. In fact the only villain is Elizabeth as she is terrible.
I received this advanced reader copy free in exchange for an honest review.
What if in Pride and Prejudice, Darcy gave Elizabeth his letter at Rosing Park, immediately left to tell Charles Bingley his regret at separating him and Jane, and let Mr. Bennet know what happened to his sister?
What if Mr. Bennet never let Lydia run off with Mrs Forester and the officers? What if she never was compromised and forced to marry Wickham?
Well that is the alternate universe this adaption takes place. In this Bingley immediately came to ask for Jane’s hand, the two married, and as Mr. Bingley was told through Bingley not only what happened to Georgiana (but also of Wickham’s debts), Mr. Bennet the family were not disgraced and Darcy wasn’t needed to save the day.
Instead Mr. and Mrs. Bingley (plus Elizabeth) have been living at Netherfield Park. A very happy circumstance for all, except that Mrs. Bennet comes too often with her friends. Mr. Bingley decides a break is needed and intends to take Jane to meet all his friends this summer, ending their vacation in Scarborough. He also invites his sister Caroline Bingley, his other sister Mrs. Hurst, her husband Mr. Hurst, and Elizabeth to accompany him.
As they travel they have fun meeting all Bingley’s friends, stopping of course to visit his best friend; Mr. Darcy at Pemberley. Mr. Darcy has been in anguish over his rejected proposal, but in light of what had happened he tried to fix his mistakes, continuously works hard better himself, and is eager to host a party at his beloved home. Staying with him will be Georgina Darcy: her companion/governess Mrs. Annesley; his friend Lewis Balfour; Balfour’s sister and rich widow, Mrs Lanyon; Mr. Utterson, a newer acquaintance training in law; along with Mr. Bingley and his party.
What Mr. Darcy was not expecting was to find Elizabeth along the party. At first the two are rather awkward around each other; but as Darcy’s feelings remain steadfast and loyal to her, he tries his best to show how her words have affected and changed him, while trying not to make her uncomfortable.
Stuck inside due to heavy rainfalls, Elizabeth thought being at Pemberley with Mr. Darcy would be truly terrible. However, the more time she spends there with him; the more she realizes that her view of him was discolored and finds herself not only enjoying time with him but actively seeking it out.
Elizabeth falls for him and is trying to find a way to show or tell him, when there lovely trip goes to complete ruin. The very heavy rainfalls have caused incredible damage to the fields, crops, bridge, mills, homes, etc. Tensions run high and Darcy is pulled in every directions as he tries to help take care of everything and every one of his tenets. This is not the time to propose as not only is it a very depressing time but he isn’t even sure if he will have anything to offer after all this.
Elizabeth was certain that Mr. Darcy was heading toward a proposal but after all the aftermath of the storms it looks as if that will not be happening anytime in the future. She is heartbroken at all that has happened and wishes she could be there for Mr. Darcy, but as she is just the sister-in-law of his friend she has no place acting as is they are more “familiar”. Elizabeth does all she can while following propriety, but if only she could do more.
Mr. Bingley wants to make things easier on his dear friend Mr. Darcy and will take his party to stay with other friends to help him; leaving Mr. Utterson, Mr. Balfour, and Mrs. Lanyon behind. As Mr. Bingley is going, so will be Elizabeth and any chance of them being more…
Luckily, Mrs. Lanyon loves to matchmake, having been instrumental in assisting Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. She asks is Elizabeth could stay and be her companion; and Elizabeth eager to have more time with Mr. Darcy readily agrees.
Things are still dire and Darcy is hanging on; but knowing he still has chance with Elizabeth has him feeling like things are looking up…except they aren’t.
While in the middle of clean up the body of Georgiana’s lady’s maid is found in the river. At first Darcy believe her to be Elizabeth as she is wearing her coat, but upon closer examination they discover her the identity and that she has been murdered. How? By a silver candlestick stolen from Pemberley. The reason for the murder is uncertain: could it be she saw something she shouldn’t? Perhaps she was in an illicit relationship? Could she be pregnant and the father not wishing to be in her life? Could she know something the killer does not want to get out?
Wait a minute! This is a mystery?!!! I didn’t realize that. A mystery?!!! I got this!!!
So suspects, after looking into everyone it comes down to the murderer is someone in Darcy’s home. Darcy, Georgiana, Mrs. Annesley, and Mrs. Lanyon are all cleared as r wh have alibis and people to back up their whereabouts. After careful discussion Elizabeth and Darcy discover the only ones who could have murdered the lady’s maid would be either Mr. Balfour or Mr. Utterson.
To be honest, I could not care for either of these characters so I wasn’t upset with them being suspects and was okay with either of them being the villain. I found both to be annoying and odd that Darcy could consider either to be his friends; but as they say love is blind.
Suspect 1: Lewis Balfour
Mr. Darcy has been friends with Mr. Balfour for years and Balfour was there for him when his father passed. Mr. Balfour is biracial (Scottish and Indian) and when his father passes will inherit the family estate. Right now he has no real purpose and lounges about spending money for the fun of it, although he appears to live far outside the allowance given to him by his father (and complains about it).
Balfour is not known to be a maid chasing Lothario and has a pleasant nature. He doesn’t seem to have a reason to murder someone. Could it be him?
Suspect #2: Mr. Utterson
Mr. Utterson is a newer acquaintance to and. Darcy and not as well known to him. Utterson is a second son and is forever in the middle of getting his law degree and lives on an allowance granted by his father. He never seems to have enough money, constantly complaining about the lack of it, along with making very rude jealous remarks.
There are a few stories of Utterson ravishing Lord Poole’s daughter, but rumors aren’t fact and could be true or false. He also has a very mercurial and intense nature. Of course the motive most likely is that he killed for money, possibly stealing; but would Utterson have risked stealing from someone like Mr. Darcy, a man he considered a friend?
Our Regency Scooby-Doo crew is rounded out by the arrival of Colonel Fitzwilliam who journeyed to assist in the emergency services. Will these three be able to discover the murderer before he strikes again, or will this be there final case?
Thoughts After Reading:
I enjoyed this novel, especially the mystery aspect, as I love mysteries and try to solve them before the characters do. I was fairly certain I knew who the murderer was and why they did it, and was most pleased to discover that I figured it out. My only criticism on that mystery is that I wish the cover looked a little more mysterious as I didn’t realize it was a whodunit until I saw it on goodreads. Although what should be added I’m not quite sure. Maybe the candlestick that was the murder weapon or a question mark at the end of the title?
I felt that Moll did a great job with Austen’s characters as the Bingleys, Bennets, Georgiana, the Hursts, Colonel Fitzwilliam, etc; were all done well did Austen justice while still being Moll’s creation.
The only thing I felt was not quite right was with Darcy’s character. Bit of a spoiler (not too much) I didn’t like that Darcy and Elizabeth slept together before being married. I’m not saying that didn’t happen in 1813, but I personally feel like Mr. Darcy is too much of a gentleman and so proper that he would wait, especially as he strives to be the nothing like his nemesis, Mr. Wickham.
Moll introduced several new characters and I did enjoy most of them. Utterson and Balfour as I said before really annoyed me as they have money, just not as much as they want, and complain constantly about their lot. At first I was hoping they would just exit the story, but when they turned out to be murder suspects I didn’t mind. As I didn’t like either of them I was content to have either of them turn out to be the killer. By the end of the novel, one of the men is a bit more likable as we are given his story and brought understanding as to why he is so eager for money.
I really loved the character of Mrs. Lanyon a LOT. I myself am biracial and growing up there wasn’t a lot of representation in any type of media. With this novel I really enjoyed how Mrs. Lanyon discusses her interactions with people and the racism and ignorance she faces. Even thought he book is set in 1813, the experiences described are still issues people face today.
My only warning would be that while this book does contain comedy, romance, and mystery; parts of the book are very sad especially in regards to the flooding. Thus far I have only read two of Moll’s books and she seems to be one who enjoys combing multiple elements in a nice balance.
I do recommend for those who enjoy Austen adaptations.