In the Arms of Mr Darcy

 

 

If only everyone could be as happy as they are….

Darcy and Elizabeth are as much in love as ever—even more so as their relationship matures. Their passion inspires everyone around them, and as winter turns to spring, romance finds nearly everyone. 

Confirmed bachelor Richard Fitzwilliam sets his sights on a seemingly unattainable, beautiful widow, Georgiana Darcy learns to flirt outrageously, the flighty Kitty Bennet develops her first crush, and Caroline Bingley meets her match. 

But the path of true love never does run smooth, and Elizabeth and Darcy are kept busy navigating their friends and loved ones through the inevitable separations, misunderstandings, misgivings and lovers’ quarrels…

 

 

Reader reviews, Excerpts, Information on the sensuality level, and Chapter Eight – Christening – can be read on The Library at Pemberley.    Also check out Amazon’s Look Inside

For images to compliment the novel’s story, visit the Darcy Saga Image Gallery

 

Synopsis ~~

In a departure from the leisurely study of the Darcys in the first three novels, this installment to the Saga covers an entire year. The action begins immediately where My Dearest Mr. Darcy left off, just prior to Christmas of 1817. Among the events: Christmas and the Cole’s masque with dramatic encounters for several people, including Caroline Bingley; a murder; the christening of Alexander Darcy; Georgiana and Lizzy are presented at the Court of Saint James to the Prince Regent; another season in London is enjoyed with Georgiana’s official debut; Richard falls in love, but the road is a rocky one; a ball at Darcy House with significant introductions; Kitty Bennet’s misfortunes in romance; the history of Wickham and Darcy; an extensive tour of The Peaks; a visit to Matlock Bath with surprising consequences; three weddings; and so much more! Naturally Lizzy and Darcy with their growing infant are the stars, but the family members play a part. The novel ends just after the new year turning, it now 1819.

 

 

Editorial Reviews~~

 

One Literature Nut

5-StarHaving read many different takeoffs and mash-ups of Austen’s novels, I continue to hold Lathan’s at the top of the list.  There is something so fanciful and romantic about Sharon Lathan’s depiction of Darcy and Elizabeth that I can’t quite get enough!  I was happy to see that in this installment the couple have really settled into their roles as man and wife, and are letting go of previous insecurities they might have had previously.  While they have settled into their lives together, their passion and love for one another have only deepened. Yes, we are privy to their passionate relationship as it continues to unfold, but it is done in a beautifully mature sort of way.  Let’s be honest here, who wouldn’t want to continue to have a passionate relationship with the love of one’s life?  If one is willing to suspend a certain belief that this iconic couple have been cemented into the pages of Austen’s novel, then these books will allow the couple to live and breathe on into a beautiful, complicated and lovely future.

Although the story mainly centers on Darcy and Elizabeth, we learn much more about the people in their lives, such as their single sisters and friends.  Caroline Bingley makes an appearance in this installment and strikes out to find a match for herself.  Honestly, I wanted to hear more about her search for love, not enough to fill chapters at a time, but was genuinely interested in her struggles enough so that a few more mentions of her would have been well received.  I also was surprised at how much I wanted to read on about Darcy’s sister Georgiana and Elizabeth’s sister Kitty.  Usually I’m annoyed when a writer takes away from our main characters, but I didn’t feel this at all in this novel, partly because our time with them is so judiciously spent.  I will say though that considering the turmoil that poor Georgiana experiences at the end of this installment, I have a feeling that more is to come for this sweet character.

As with each of Lathan’s previous novels, the language and style of her writing has a melodic charm to it that carries you through each line and chapter.  The sweetness of the writing adds depth to the story and leaves you wanting to escape into it more.  There are still the characteristic meanderings, journeys, and felicitous lounging to please any lover of Regency style and romance.  This happy, romantic couple is at no loss of love or happiness in the novel to keep any reader sighing along with them.

The Good, The Bad, and The Unread

5-StarI have to say, as good as all of the books in this series have been, In the Arms of Mr. Darcyis my favorite. While we continue to follow Darcy and Lizzy through their life together, we also get some interesting side stories in this current edition.

One of my favorite parts of this series is now watching Darcy with his son, Alexander. His taciturn ways are a thing of the past, though he’s still definitely Master of Pemberley when needed. But to watch Darcy open up to affection and love has been fun and emotional. He’s carefree in his loving of Elizabeth and a doting father to Alexander, and he’s not afraid to show it.

The story in the beginning revolves around the christening of Alexander. Family and friends gather, as well those under Darcy’s care, to share in the joy of the occasion. This also brings forth memories for Darcy and he enjoys passing them forward to his son for the future.

There are also a couple of tragedies that mar life for the Darcys, one of which affects Fitzwilliam quite a bit. There is a fire at one of his factories in which men die, thus forcing a separation for the happy couple. They’ve not been apart of any length of time and this proves to be very difficult for them, as does the effects of the tragedy.

As much as Darcy has come out of his shell in this relationship, Lizzy has also found her place as more than mother and lover. When Darcy is frantic to be on his way to his responsibility in the aftermath of the factory fire, it is Lizzy who puts her foot down and becomes of the voice of reason, making Darcy face the fact his headlong rush into danger may affect his family as horribly as fire and death has affected those waiting for him. He may be Master, but Lizzy takes her role as wife seriously and lets him know it. The man he is eventually wins out as he recovers his senses at her words.

We also get an inside look at some of the secondary characters’ lives and the loves they find. I’m especially taken with Caroline Bingley’s new relationship with a man who knows what he wants, takes it, and makes Caroline’s blood race. This little tidbit totally fascinated me. I’m hoping I might put a bug in Ms. Lathan’s ear to think about a book based on this relationship. I think it would make for some terrific reading.

Richard Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s cousin, is also in love and his foray into this new emotion doesn’t go as you would believe or expect. I’m a little surprised at his interaction with Georgiana at the end of the book. This took a direction I never anticipated. While I enjoyed Richard’s part of the story and the eventual outcome, I feel there wasn’t quite enough emotion from Georgiana at that resolution. She’s young, just beginning to blossom, and her heart didn’t seem to feel all that involved emotionally quite enough for me.

Whereas, the opposite is true for Kitty, Lizzy’s sister, who receives a very emotional lesson due to the mores of society of the times. It’s a terrible lesson for any woman, especially when she’s shielded from the truth, but it had to be more so during that era. Kitty is a delightful character and I enjoyed getting to know her in this book. I hope to see more of her in the future.

Ms. Lathan’s writing is lyrical and perfect for this genre. I enjoy reading romance that has a hero and heroine working together to combat conflict instead of letting that conflict break them apart for any length of time. Darcy and Lizzy’s life/lives have turned out beautifully from the pen of Sharon Lathan. I said it once it before in my review of her books, but it bears repeating–

Jane Austen would be proud to read how her characters have flourished, lived, and loved in this continuation of her beloved story.

Kelli Crowe

5-StarI started out as a sceptic of this series and was won over to be quite a fan. Her enthusiasm for all things Darcy and Regency completely won over this sceptic. The farther away from where Jane Austen left off that Lathan takes me, the more I appreciate her creativity.  This 4th book takes us through the Darcy’s 2nd year of marriage.

Language: B+   Denuded, meretricious, insensate…I greatly enjoyed the language.

Characterization: A    I think my favorite element of this book were the conversations between characters.  They are intimate, humours and revealing.  Darcy and Elizabeth have such great repartee.  And so much of the character’s personalities and relationships are exposed through these wonderful moments.  There is an element of reality and Romanticism in the conversations.  A perfect combination.

Plot: A    The lush visual of Pemberley at Christmas is like Regency England meets a Norman Rockwell Christmas.  The reader also gets to see Pemberley as a playground to visitors.  I will say, the Christmas celebration made me think of visiting the Biltmore and the lushness of a huge home at Christmas time. I remember emotionally sinking down into the story at that point.  And true to Lathan form, just when I think all is well….well, it is not.

The story lines of Caroline Bingley and Kitty are two of my favorites in the book.  (Do not fret, the plot is still mostly about Darcy and Elizabeth.)  I adore Caroline in general.  But beyond Kitty’s ill-timed coughing, I never really gave her much thought. Lathan made me care about Kitty (and Mary, in her previous books).

The plot, again, moves quickly and is driven quite a bit by dialogue.  The Darcys continue to travel.  I found myself actually googling Devil’s Arse and Charles Cotton.  Mrs. Lathan did her homework in this area.  (I even looked back to make sure she really was from California and not England because of seemingly very accurate descriptions of places the Darcys visited.

Excellent use of flashbacks to events that we did not previously know about as readers.  These flashbacks were very  revealing to the character’s motivations and actions.

Wonderful Little Moments: A++    Mr. Bennet meeting Alexander, “Are you the boss of the road?,” the family tree, the backgammon games, Mrs. Smyth, Lady Warrow (who’s gregariousness reminded me of how my grandmother used to hold the attention of a room), learning Mrs. Gardener’s and Mrs. Bennet’s first names.

Linda Banche Romance Author

5-StarIn the Arms of Mr. Darcy is the latest installment in Sharon Lathan’s joyous celebration of married love, Regency style.

A year has passed since Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s wedding. The story opens with a Christmas party at Pemberley where they introduce their brand-new son, Alexander. Compared to their tumultuous courtship, Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s lives are now mainly happy, with, of course, a little sturm und drang along the way.

Darcy must deal with the business and emotional fallout of a death that occurred when a cotton mill he owns burns down. A nervous Elizabeth and Georgiana suffer through the gyrations required for their presentation at court. The Darcys enjoy a trip to the Peaks District, except when a falling boulder threatens Elizabeth and Alexander. Darcy, true hero that he is, whisks them to safety.

Although Elizabeth and Darcy revel in domestic bliss, other members of their family are not so lucky. Col. Fitzwilliam’s tentative romance with a lady who caught his eye years ago resurfaces. And Elizabeth’s sister, Kitty, enjoys and suffers through her first fluttering of love.

If most of these events sound ordinary, it’s because they are. Ms. Lathan’s genius is to spin the everyday occurrences of married life into a page-turner. In a world full of strife, this book full of happiness is a treat for all.

Queen of Happy Endings

5-StarPicking up one of Sharon Lathan’s books is like running into an old friend and sitting down for coffee and a catch up. Her books never fail to captivate me, they are deeply romantic, very sexy and thoroughly addictive. To get in the mood to read this book I watched the movie version of Pride and Prejudice as I know that Sharon was inspired by the movie to write the books. It is so easy to visualise Darcy and Elizabeth’s continued lives in Sharon’s books and whilst the movie was the inspiration for the books they are true to character of the original book as well. I truly believe that Jane Austen would have loved these books!

This book picks up as the Darcy’s are about to celebrate Christmas with their families and their new baby son whom they are besotted with. Each chapter is filled with the daily routine of their lives and the people around them. It tells you of their fears, their joy and the passion they have for each other. Lizzy is presented to the Prince Regent and whilst she is full of nerves, Darcy is full of pride for Lizzy and Georgiana who was also presented. Of course everyone remembers Anne, Lady Catherine’s daughter, who finds happiness, joy and is happily married and the list goes on. As usual this book has another beautifully romantic and tender ending.

This is a book of heartfelt love, romance and passion and every time I read one of Sharon’s books I get swept away in all the moments that make you just sigh. But at the same time it also makes me appreciate the love and romance I have in my own life and for that I am grateful.

Books Like Breathing

One of th4.5Starse first books to be reviewed on Books Like Breathing was Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan. I was a bit iffy about it and, therefore, I was a bit worried about this one. Would it just be composed only of Mr. Darcy chasing Lizzy around Pemberley extolling her beauty and general awesomeness with some plot thrown in here and there? Don’t get me wrong I liked the previous book but I was hoping for more substance with this one.

Well, I got my wish. In The Arms of Mr. Darcy was a great read. There was plenty of affection between Lizzy and Darcy but there was also plenty of plot. Lathan gave her versions of Lizzy and Darcy a chance to shine and develop. I loved seeing them as parents and Alexander was just adorable. Darcy as a parent was especially amazing. He was so affectionate and attentive to Alexander. I had to pause my reading and bask in the adorableness of father/son bonding quite often. Alexander comes in second only to Gregory from Marsha Altman’s series as my favorite Darcy child and he hasn’t even grown up yet.

The ancillary characters also got plenty of screentime. This was one of my favorite versions of Colonel Fitzwilliam. We very rarely get to see him as anything but Darcy’s close relative, so, it was nice to get more from him. I did not, however, like who he ended up with. He belongs with Georgiana. Georgiana is always one of my favorite character. I love it when authors give her something to do other than being Darcy’s meek younger sister. She was wise and willful in this one and I really appreciated that.

My Kids Lead Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

4-StarBook four and the Darcy’s tale continues and the development of key characters is just to my liking! We begin with Elizabeth and Georgiana being presented at court and the author does a fine job of setting the scene. I actually felt I was in the carriage with the Darcy’s, pulling up in front of the court of St James. The fear and trepidation of such an event feeling almost real, to meet the prince in person without tripping and falling in the ridiculously massive courtesan style dress is no mean feat. Made privy for a moment to what the Prince Regent himself might be thinking was an added bonus. I think I would be bored and restless partaking in a time honoured old tradition, that would have me prisoner while I watch the rich and famous bow before me, I certainly spared him a thought.

“The corridor was short, covered with a rich red carpet runner that stifled any footfalls, reaching Lord Chamberlain just in time to witness Georgiana completing her perfect backward retreat with a final curtsy before turning gracefully and exiting the room. She looked at Lizzy and actually winked! Lizzy nearly burst into laughter but managed to restrain herself at the last moment”- Sharon Lathan

We follow Georgiana into the beginnings of womanhood, navigating the balls at Almacks and spending the summer with friends, with Kitty in tow. Unfortunately Kitty falls victim to the common tale of falling in love only to discover your not worthy. The reality of the importance of connections and social standing rearing its ugly head, it would seem only her sister Elizabeth will be the exception to the rule. Oh poor poor Kitty! Yet at the end of the book Kitty may not be unlucky in love after all, but I guess I will have to read the next instalment of the Darcy saga before that can be confirmed.

My beloved Colonel is finally going to find happiness and with someone he has liked for a very long time, it is sweet, is it not? Although you know this will not be a simple tale and there is much heartbreak before we see any happy faces. I loved Georgiana’s role in helping the Colonel through his heartache and was just as proud of her as if she were my own child.

I really enjoyed seeing more of the lovely and playful Mr Darcy rather than the stoic, aloof persona that is put on for public display. As Darcy bantered with his cousin, I could envision Mcfadyen’s smile as he twirled Georgiana around in the 2005 P&P.
I particularly liked the insight given into the thoughts of the housekeeper at Darcy house, Mrs Smyth. Mrs Smyth does not like Elizabeth and it was funny to see how the class system is tiered within the servants and working classes, effecting how they view themselves in regards to their importance. As much as I did not like her, I felt a smidgen of compassion considering I never thought what it would be like to serve under such a handsome man as Darcy, I do not think I could do it, I always picture myself as Elizabeth LOL.

“Upon her first meeting of Miss Bennet, when Mr. Darcy brought his fiancée and her dowdy father to Darcy House during their engagement, Mrs. Smyth’s worst fears were realized. Miss Bennet was plain and drab, dressed in ugly gowns of no style and poor workmanship, with hair and body unadorned in any way. She smiled constantly, vulgarly showing all her teeth, was animated and noisy, and laughed incessantly. Grudgingly, Mrs. Smyth admitted that Miss Bennet carried herself with grace and that her manners were adequate, but those positives were overruled by her improper boldness and teasing informality with Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy was clearly besotted and subtly altered. He smiled too much and laughed aloud. His eyes followed her every move. And worst of all, he welcomed her impertinence and returned her banter! It was frightening to observe and Mrs. Smyth prayed daily that something or someone would intercede and break the spell.” – Sharon Lathan

Another delightful chapter in the Darcy saga, however I must mention I was disappointed to find that Chapters 1-10 were duplicate chapters from the previous book, My Dearest Mr Darcy! Oh well, I happily look forward to the fifth!

Rundpinne

4-StarI have stated before that at heart I am a Pride and Prejudice purist and yet I have immensely enjoyed and continue to enjoy Sharon Lathan’s take-offs or continuations of Pride and Prejudice. In her latest release, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, Lathan continues to bring the Regency period to life, not only through her eloquent and descriptive writing, but also through her characters well-known to any Pride & Prejudice fan. Elizabeth and Darcy continue to shine and as spring turns a young man’s thoughts to fancy, it also holds true for women and in the novel, love is in the air. In the Arms of Mr. Darcy flew by all too quickly as I was swept up by the romance, the seasons, and the Regency period. Beloved Lizzy and stoic Darcy wind their way through society and all the glorious and not so glorious merriment, romantic notions, flirtations, and maybe just make it through the season intact. I heartily recommend In the Arms of Mr. Darcy to those who enjoyed Pride & Prejudice and have always wanted to know what may have happened next.

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

4-StarThis book is actually part of a series, and you know what, there are two books I have missed. I think I am loosing my series OCD. I have read the first one and it’s easy to just jump in, but I do want to know how Mary met her man. I must go back for that book.

In this one Lizzy had given birth to a highly beloved son. It’s Christmas and the whole family has come. Mary with her fiancé (how did that happen?), and all the rest. Colonel Fitzwilliam is aching for someone he always has cared for, Georgiana is introduced into society, Kitty falls in love and Caroline Bingley feels passion. Among a lot of other little things happening at Pemberley. Even Anne de Burgh has found someone so yes, need those two previous books to see how this happened. Lathan slowly makes people fall in love, get married, and live their lives. And I meet all my beloved PP characters again.

Lizzy and Darcy are at it like rabbits, they are first passionate, and really loving and cute. Darcy is wonderful in this book, he adores his wife and the way he is with the baby makes my heart melt. The passion between them just makes it more loving.

Still a lot of things to come, not all people meet happy endings here so more to come, and I do want to know. Lathan has found her own way and introduces new characters that feels true to the Austen world. This book also shows that a PP series is possible, there are always things that might happen, but what is constant is the love Darcy and Lizzy feels for each other, it is heartwarming.

To Read or Not to Read

4-StarSharon Lathan has written several books that continue one of the most romantic and beloved stories of all time, Pride and Prejudice. The first book, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, takes place shortly after the wedding.  Sharon takes us behind closed doors to give us a more personal look into the Darcy’s lives.

In the Arms of Mr. Darcy is the fourth book in Sharon Lathan’s Darcy Saga. This book picks up right where the third book left off, Darcy and Elizabeth have their precious baby boy, Alexander. Sharon Lathan takes us on a journey through the lives of the characters we love so much. In this book we get to experience Elizabeth and Darcy’s first baby and all the trials that come with it. She keeps the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth sizzling hot while dealing with many realistic situations that new parents often face. My absolute favorite part of this book is the side stories with Georgina, Kitty, and  Col. Fitzwilliam. I loved learning more about their characters and the direction that Sharon Lathan takes them in. I hope Sharon writes more about them in the future. I also love Dr. Darcy. He is one of my favorite characters in this series. I wish I had an uncle like him. He is a great addition to the cast of characters.  Sharon Lathan has done a great job with this series. I’ve read all four books and I have not been disappointed.

Austenprose

4-StarIn the Arms of Mr. Darcy marks author Sharon Lathan’s fourth Pride and Prejudice sequel. As we journey to Pemberley and revisit the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, we take a slightly different path than her first three novels: In Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journey’s Beyond Pemberley and My Dearest Mr. Darcy: An Amazing Journey into Love Everlasting, which chronicled the first year of their marriage. We now experience Lizzie and Darcy’s life from a wider perspective. Still deeply in love, but more mature in their relationship, Lathan weaves in new conflicts/surprises/events into the story and expands the roles of familiar characters such as Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgiana Darcy, and Jane and Charles Bingley.

Picking up where My Dearest Mr. Darcy left off, the novel begins with the Darcy’s second Christmas celebration and the birth of their first son and heir to Pemberley, Alexander.  We learn of Col. Fitzwilliam’s love for an old flame who has recently become a widow. Darcy is astounded that Col. Fitzwilliam believes he is ready to settle down and leave the military. The two share some wonderful moments together, truly showing what excellent friends they are, as well as cousins.

Georgiana has begun her transformation into a proper young lady, discarding the blushes of her youth, for the bloom of an engaging young woman. We are also treated to the baptism of young Alexander and are given a great chapter showcasing how proud Darcy is of his son, and what a wonderful father he will grow to be. We are also given glimpses into the engagement of Caroline Bingley, Kitty Bennet developing her first crush and broken heart, and the birth of Jane and Charles’ first child, as well as some more lovely moments between Lizzie and Darcy.

Engaging, fast paced and searingly romantic, I highly recommend reading In the Arms of Mr. Darcy if you’re a true Lizzie and Darcy fan. Lathan creates multiple story-arcs in her novels and weaves the Darcy’s underlying love story through it all. Even though we experience a much more mature relationship between the Darcy’s, they are still infatuated with each other.

I have to say I enjoyed In the Arms of Mr. Darcy best of all of Lathan’s novels in the series because of how the supporting characters take a much stronger role. As much as I enjoy following Elizabeth and Darcy’s new life together, I was glad to see more of Col. Fitzwilliam, Georgiana, and Jane and Charles Bingley included as it added depth to the story.

A Curious Statistical Anomaly

4-StarIn the Arms of Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan is a follow-on to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for a year. Elizabeth is settling into her role as mistress of Pemberley, and they now have a child, Alexander.

The Bennet family and other friends and relatives are gathering at Pemberley for the holiday season. Naturally, with the new child and a houseful of family and friends there is a lot of grist for the plot mill. Lathan manages to squeeze a story of married bliss, new romance, thwarted love, a mystery, a betrayal, and a couple of presentations at court into one book.

What is achieved is an interesting look into the life of the landed gentry at the time of Pride and Prejudice. Then there is the continuing romance between Darcy and Elizabeth. As a married couple, they do their best to see that all those they love become as happy as they are. Darcy is more than the standoffish aristocrat of the original story and is shown to have depth of feeling and good sense. The mystery subplot has potential, as did several of the other subplots, to be fleshed out and become a stand-alone novel. Instead these interesting sub-stories are set up, minimally touched on, and dropped or solved to get back to the main story of the married live of the Darcys.

It’s well written and continues to allow readers to see the Darcys after their marriage. They manage to have a full life that, as with all newlyweds, is rife with the compromises needed to live together in harmony, as well as the usual minor dramas involved in daily living on a large estate with the responsibility for many other depending on their ability to stay solvent as society changes about them. In the Arms of Mr. Darcy will leave you wondering what is going to happen to the people in the subplots that weave in and out of the main story. Will there be another book filling us in on those characters and incidents, particularly those that involve friends and family or business relations of the Darcys’? We can but hope.

Historical Novel Review

4-StarA continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sharon Lathan’s fourth book, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, brings us into the daily lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth, as they learn to cope with the trials and joys of parenthood.

Set in Derbyshire, in 1817, the Darcys scandalize their more conservative housekeeping staff by actually spending time with their firstborn child, rather than relegating him to the nanny.

Many adventures surround this new family, causing pangs of worry, and at times, deep angst when business delays ensue, keeping Darcy away from his family far longer than expected.

As the Darcy’s cope with their trials, the single siblings of immediate family and closest friends seem to awaken to their own passionate needs that have been long since buried.

Inspired by the continuing passion and love of the Darcy’s, as well as the obvious transformation of Darcy’s otherwise taciturn nature, cousin Richard Fitzwilliam is reminded of what he thought was a long-lost love; sister Georgiana Darcy blossoms into a young woman with untapped romantic talents; Kitty Bennett learns the highs and lows of her first crush; and Caroline Bingley surprises everyone, including herself, of the depths of her passionate nature!

A titillating, yet amorous look into the privileged lives of England’s gentry as they travel back and forth from countryside estates to the London “seasons” of society, with all the protocol, pomp and circumstance that comes with the responsibilities of their positions.

Booksie’s Blog

4-StarDevotees of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice will be interested to see what author Sharon Lathan has done with these characters in her sequel book, In The Arms Of Mr. Darcy.  Lathan has written several books in this series; Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One; Loving Mr. Darcy: Journey Beyond Pemberley and My Dearest Mr. Darcy.

In this edition, the reader visits the Darcy’s the winter after their son and the heir to Pemberley has been born.  Both parents dote on their newborn, as do all their relatives and friends.  Although it is considered a bit strange that Elizabeth chooses to nurse her son rather than employ a wet-nurse, no one dares to voice any surprise that the fond parents want to see to their son’s care themselves.

In addition to the relationship between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, there are others who are entering the courts of love.  Darcy’s sister Georgina is entering her debutante days, as is Kitty Bennett, Elizabeth’s sister.  We see them at a splendid ball, and get a sense of the manners and norms of courting.  Darcy’s good friend, Richard, home from the military, has fallen in love with a widow and asks Darcy’s advice.  There are other relationships that develop, some surprising in their intensity and some remaining safely contained in the shoals of society’s strictures.

The reader is transported to the start of the Industrial Revolution in England.  It is a land of titled nobles and servants and a group of professionals, but most of the power, money and influence is concentrated in a few noble hands.  The daily life in large manor houses is amazing for modern readers to contemplate, and Lathan does an excellent job of outlining what such a daily routine consisted of.  This book is recommended for readers who loved Austen’s work and are interested to see the story continue.

Palmer’s Picks for Reading

4-StarThis book is based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Lizzy and Darcy are happily married and have a son.  This book continues their story but also focuses on some of the more secondary characters of Austen’s book–namely Darcy’s cousin Richard Fitzwilliam, his sister Georgiana and Lizzy’s sister Kitty.  These characters finally get a storyline of their own and become further developed and begin romantic relationships.  I always enjoy seeing how Lizzy and Darcy’s “happily ever after” looks to an author different than Austen.  This book stays true to Austen’s writing style and her vision of these characters.  It is interesting to see how many books in today’s market use Austen’s works as a basis of their plot.  Guess there is a reason that her books are still being read and used as a foundation today.

Austen Sequels

4-StarSharon Lathan’s latest novel in her Darcy Saga far exceeds her previous novels. Lathan shifts her focus for the fourth book, and brings into the fold Caroline Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgiana Darcy, and Kitty and Mary Bennet. This was a smart move on Lathan’s part, as I can imagine it would be difficult to drive along the story of Lizzy and Darcy after three lengthy novels.

The novel opens around Christmas, and I had the fortune to read this book on a cold snowy December day, and found the beginning of Lathan’s book cozy and delicious. One of her strengths as a novelist is setting an ideal scene, one that the reader can’t help but want to be a part of. I will not divulge too much in regards to the plot of each character’s romances, but for those who felt like Kitty and Mary didn’t get their fair share of love will not be disappointed by Lathan’s story. Colonel Fitzwilliam, always an enjoyable character, also gets his share, and even the snarky Caroline Bingley falls into love with a mysterious, charming gentleman.

Lathan’s book is not one to miss, and will satisfy those who loved her previous portrayals of the Darcys. If you can, curl up with this novel on a cold, snowy evening as I did. You will not be disappointed. I give her four wax seals on her fourth effort.

Jane Austen Sequel Examiner

4-StarElizabeth and Darcy’s life is getting more interesting every day. With the arrival of their new son, Alexander, Darcy seems to be living in a dream world.  That is until Christmas arrives and with it an endless number of guests.  All of which seem to want to take time with this newest member of the house of Pemberley.  Darcy discovers he has a jealous side to him.  We were already aware of this trait, Mr. Darcy. The intrusions upon his life continue and with a business tragedy, the love life of his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam and the rapid maturity of his young sister, Georgiana at times it seems he doesn’t know what direction he is going.

He does have an anchor in the storm with his lovely wife Elizabeth.  But even the lives of women who live comfortably can not be easy and although expecting a leisurely existence of raising her new son and running Pemberley, Elizabeth is thrust into the reality of marrying a family of ‘The Ton’.

My favorite parts of the book were the interactions and budding love lives of Kitty Bennet (Elizabeth’s younger sister) and Caroline Bingley.  Caroline especially deserves to have her own book written someday.  I’d be first in line to purchase it. Lathan also spends a fair portion of her book fleshing out Colonel Fitzwilliam’s love affair, which I also found intriguing.  I like the direction she took with this, mainly because it is somewhat of an unconventional route.  The Colonel is and has been in love with a married woman for quite some time and now she is recently widowed.  What is he do to?  This is the fourth in her series and overall I would say the best so far.

Everything Victorian

Sharon Lathan shows us her knowledge of Darcy and Elizabeth in one of the most romantic novels about the eternal lovers. We get an in-depth look into their passionate lives and the deep and everlasting love they share for each other. Jane Austen would approve of this depiction of her characters; Austen fans will continue to love them, as well. As a collector of Austen sequels, I feel this is one of the best yet written and highly recommend it. Congratulations to the author!

Fresh Fiction

Ever wonder how Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy live after the end of “Pride and Prejudice?” Author Sharon Lathan answers those burning questions in her novel.

A year has passed since Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s wedding. The story opens with a Christmas party at Pemberley where they introduce their brand-new son, Alexander. Compared to their tumultuous courtship, Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s lives are now mainly happy, but what family doesn’t have a bit of drama now and then?

Although Elizabeth and Darcy revel in domestic bliss, other members of their family are not so lucky. Elizabeth’s sister, Kitty, enjoys and suffers through her first fluttering of love. And Col. Fitzwilliam’s tentative romance with a lady who caught his eye years ago resurfaces. And Darcy has his fair share of problems to deal with, especially after one of his cotton mills catches fire during the holidays, and he is forced to leave the bosom of his family to attend to business.

In the Arms of Mr. Darcy is the fourth novel in Sharon Lathan’s continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice story, and is just as delightful as the previous books. Lathan adeptly stays in the style of Austen’s writing and captures the characters so beautifully, the reader almost feels like it is an actual Austen novel. Reading the previous novels will help readers know the history of the characters to date, but enjoying it as a stand-alone book was a pleasure as well. Can’t wait to see what Lathan has in store for her Lizzie and Darcy next!

Found Not Lost

As I have probably mentioned several times, I love reading historical fiction and Pride and Prejudice and all of Jane Austen’s novels are among my favorites. Then I discovered the world of sequels and I was even more hooked! I enjoy reading about all the different possibilities for the characters created by Jane Austen. The drawback in that though is that after a while, you start getting the situations and characters mixed up. The big picture in my mind starts getting convoluted as to who married whom, who had an affair, who got killed, who complained about the funeral cost, who got bit by a vampire and who got turned into a zombie… yeah, it can get kind of weird. But in a good way! I kind of like it and it’s fun.

In the Arms of Mr. Darcy is the first novel by Ms. Lathan that I have read and I want to read more of her books. For one, the plot actually makes sense. The story line and characters do not deviate too far off from what is plausible of the original cast and setting. I like that in this book, Darcy and Elizabeth are portrayed to be more intimate. That is, they talk more to each other unlike in Pride and Prejudice where a lot of things between them were unsaid and caused a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. The story lines of the other characters, Richard Fitzwilliam, Georgina Darcy, Kitty Bennet, and Caroline Bingley to name a few, were more developed in this novel too. Even though at times it may seem like the story is deviating too far from Darcy and Elizabeth, the author always managed to draw it all together so they all become part of the tapestry. If all of Ms. Lathan’s books are like this one, I look forward to reading the others in this saga.