Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Mr. Darcy's Challenge by Monica Fairview

In this humorous Pride and Prejudice variation, Mr. Darcy is determined to win Elizabeth Bennet's hand in spite of her rejection and he has a strategy worked out. He will rescue Lydia Bennet from Wickham and will return to Longbourn to convince Elizabeth to marry him. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose once again to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly wrong.

Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in assisting Miss Bennet. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he care when they have no future together? His code of gentlemanly conduct, however, demands that he fulfill the terms of his promise to her. Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: helping Elizabeth when she is certain to marry someone else, or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all.

Pride and love are at loggerheads as he struggles to choose between his mind … and his heart.

Monica Fairview continues her Darcy series with the second title, Mr. Darcy’s Challenge.  The narrative picks up right from where Mr. Darcy’s Pledge left off, addressing the cliffhanger that had me eagerly anticipating the continuation of the story.  The scenes that follow it are on occasion cringe-inducing (due to Darcy’s ineptness as a suitor) and at times were almost comical.  I was wincing, laughing and enjoying it all at the same time.  As Georgiana thinks in chapter 15, “Her normally sensible brother had been driven to complete irrationality.”  The stoic Fitzwilliam Darcy is internally insecure and at times almost desperate to marry Elizabeth Bennet, but he faces obstacles at seemingly every turn.  He has moments of resignation, even pursuing another marriage option, but his love for her never wavers.  The question of the day is:  Will Elizabeth ever return his affections?

I enjoyed the novel’s brisk pace, as it brought in much more excitement and drama than the first installment.  Particularly interesting were the disappearance of Lydia Bennet and the possible involvement of Mr. Wickham, Darcy’s nemesis.  A kidnapping and ransom are involved, and I was riveted to see how this particular conundrum would work itself out.  Fairview took me completely by surprise during one rescue scene, when a certain individual is found to not be present at all.  I gasped audibly and my hand flew to my face!

Darcy’s little sister Georgiana is also featured quite a bit in this series, and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow and mature along the way. She has been somewhat sheltered for most of her life, and her interactions with Wickham have changed her considerably.  Georgiana is also quite invested in proving “once and for all…that she was not a child to be pushed aside and forgotten”.  I was proud of the choices she’s begun to make as a young woman coming up in the world.

Mr. Darcy’s Pledge was an enjoyable read, and I wasn’t sure how Monica Fairview would improve on it with Challenge.  I expected a simple continuation, a second volume that would be similar to its predecessor.  I was surprised to find that this second portion was more entertaining than the first!  I reveled at Darcy’s behavior, cringed at Lydia’s ridiculousness, enjoyed Georgiana’s development, and I especially loved the ending.  It doesn’t conclude with the same type of cliffhanger that the first title presented, but it was simply delicious!  In fact, I could easily see Mr. Darcy’s Challenge being read as a stand-alone novel.  With all of this, I eagerly anticipate the next offering of this series, Mr. Darcy’s Pride and Joy.  I’m sure we will be in for a treat!

Giveaway: Mr. Darcy's Challenge Ebook!

Monica Fairview has graciously offered to give away an ebook copy of Mr. Darcy's Challenge! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below to win.  Open internationally. Giveaway period ends on July 23rd at 12am EST.  Good luck to all the entrants!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Monica Fairview is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen's wit. She loves to laugh, and she is convinced that her cats can understand everything she says. She is the author of several Austenesque novels: two traditional Jane Austen sequels, one post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen spin-off, one multi-author novel THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring Mr. Darcy’s rakish brother Theo, and now the trilogy, THE DARCY NOVELS. She has also written a Regency Christmas novel, A VERY MERRY CHASE, which was published as part of The Regency Quintet anthology and will be coming out soon on Amazon.

Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager, in the days when it was faded and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH & SOUTH in her blood.

Monica lived in the USA for many years, where she taught literature to captive victims. She has lived in Illinois, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington State, Oregon, and Massachusetts. By some quirk of fate, she now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area, within a stone's throw of Jane Austen's picnic spot in EMMA, Box Hill. She loves visiting historical properties when it isn’t raining.

Connect with Author Monica Fairview

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