Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book Review: Only Mr. Darcy Will Do by Kara Louise

Only Mr. Darcy Will DoFrom

In this fresh and original retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet's greatest fear comes to pass-Longbourn is entailed to Mr. Collins. Elizabeth finds work as a governess in London, widening the social divide between her and Mr. Darcy and making it more difficult than ever for them to find their way to each other...

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Darcy's Voyage: A tale of uncharted love on the open seas (Pride & Prejudice Continues)Several months ago I had the great pleasure of reading Kara Louise’s Darcy’s Voyage, which has become my all-time favorite Austenesque novel.  I absolutely adored it, couldn’t put it down, wanted to read it again and passed it on to one of my best friends, who also promptly fell in love with it.  When given the opportunity to get a free Kindle copy from its publisher Sourcebooks, I promptly downloaded it to have in my permanent collection.

So it was with a certain measure of excitement that I began reading Kara’s Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, previously published in 2008 under the title Something Like Regret.  Louise has once again returned to the world of Pride and Prejudice, this time staying a bit closer to the original text than she did in Darcy’s Voyage, which diverted wildly from the source material for most of the novel.  In this case, however, Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet has suffered the loss of her beloved father, leading her to take on the role of a governess for a local family.  This further lowers her status in society, making her an even more unlikely match for Mr. Darcy, whose marriage proposal she’d spurned a year before.  Elizabeth wonders if she will ever find true love, or if she will be destined to be a governess for the rest of her days.

To quote another book reviewer, this was a very sweet love story.  Kara Louise captures the spirit of Pride and Prejudice, more so than in Darcy’s Voyage.  Her portrayal of Mr. Darcy is right on target.  Everything is very chaste and appropriate, but passion is very much evident in the lives of several characters.  I commend Louise’s ability to craft a pleasant story in a family-friendly, yet romantic way.

Having said that, I think that my expectations for Only Mr. Darcy Will Do were a bit lofty.  As sweet and likeable as the story was, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Voyage.  It was just a quiet, good-hearted tale.  There were times when I became weary of the frequent mentions of the state of Elizabeth’s heartbeat, as it was often utilized to measure the intensity of her feelings in various situations.  It was just a bit repetitive. 

I also felt that Louise’s characterization of Elizabeth Bennet was a bit weak, taking out some of Lizzie’s spunk and self-confidence.  She was often in frequent states of regret regarding her earlier refusal of Darcy’s intentions (hence the previous title), and as a governess she felt less inclined to stand up for her convictions.  Maybe that latter quality was because of the limitations of her new social standing, but I just had a hard time seeing Lizzie as somewhat of a shrinking violet.  Some of her spirit seemed to return toward the end of the book, but for most of the time she seemed a bit timid.

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is a likeable novel, one that I probably could have read in one sitting had my schedule allowed it.  I devoured the first half in one day, which is evidence of my enjoyment.  I will again be recommending Louise’s work to my local friend, but it will not be with quite the violence of affection that I had with Darcy’s Voyage.  Regardless, I remain a fan of Ms. Louise’s work, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

This title was provided to me by Sourcebooks Landmark.
No obligation other than an honest review was required



  1. Love the JA Fan Fiction. This looks so good.

  2. This sounds interesting. I have never heard of the author so I'll definitely keep my eyes out for future work. Thanks for your review.

  3. I like books set in London....thanks for the review.

    I am stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Party.




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