Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!
The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers.
Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured!
As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result?
Continue the journey begun in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.
The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.
Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is Volume Two of “The Darcy Saga Prequel Duo” recounting the two-month betrothal period of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
Continuing the tale precisely where Season of Courtship ended, discover how the relationship between the two lovers changed after their dramatic exchange at Darcy House in London. As they continue to fall deeper in love and more comfortable with each other, passionate desire escalates, leading to new trials to endure!
Amongst the moments detailed in depth, find out what Lady Catherine is plotting to thwart Darcy’s marriage, and what the consequences of her actions are. Travel with the two betrothed couples on an extensive tour of London, including lots of shopping! Watch Lizzy dazzle Darcy’s relatives, while also dealing with her fears and sadness over leaving the only home she has ever known.
Delight in the wedding plans which culminate, of course, in “the wedding of the year” in Hertfordshire! You are there, at the ceremony as the sacred vows bonding Fitzwilliam Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet are said.
This novel ends exactly where Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One begins: In a carriage with the newly married couple on their way to enjoy their honeymoon… and the rest of their “happily ever after” life!
Rifling once again through the stack of papers until he found the one he wanted, Darcy then turned back toward her. “I do pray, Miss Elizabeth, we can supply the information for Mrs. Reynolds without fretful expressions of inconveniencing the Pemberley staff?”
Noting his smile and glittering eyes, Lizzy lifted her chin and crossed her arms. “That depends, Mr. Darcy. Is this a ploy to uncover personal details you are too polite to ask or I refuse to divulge?”
“Not this time. My housekeeper acted on her own, I promise, and you can write directly to her with your responses—those you wish to divulge, that is.”
He handed the folded paper to her, maintaining his hold and bending closer. “Besides, if I really want to know your foot measurements,” he whispered, the reference to a tease from Kitty regarding Lizzy’s not-so-tiny feet that had embarrassed her profoundly, “I would simply ask your mother.” Briefly glancing down at the slippered toes she rapidly tucked behind the hem of her dress, he added, “I am sure Mrs. Bennet has a wealth of fascinating minutiae about her spirited child and would not hesitate to enlighten me. Luckily for you, my love, I prefer the adventure of self-discovery.” And with that, he winked.
She was so surprised at the atypical gesture that she missed responding to the soft kiss he delivered to the tip of her nose and nearly dropped Mrs. Reynolds’s letter when he let go of it. “My,” she stammered, “you are quite the imp today.”
“Being diverted pleasantly from dull paperwork and columns of mathematics is a surefire way to improve my temper.”
“Here I thought you lived for paperwork and excelled at mathematics. Shocking.”
“I am brilliant at mathematics,” he declared pompously, “but that does not mean I enjoy them. Frankly, they give me a headache. At any rate, passing the time with you is far superior to anything else. That unquestionably clarified,”—he extended his hand—“I must reluctantly return you to my sister. Suffering her verbal irritation for stealing away her guest will also give me a headache.”
Lizzy took his hand, standing as she asked, “You will walk with us for a while? Or must you return to your ledger?”
“A stroll about the garden sounds utterly delightful, and it gives me an opportunity to remain in your company. I am far too selfish to give Georgiana all the joy, especially since I shan’t see you again until late tomorrow.”
He linked her arm with his and steered them toward the library door. “Thank you again, Elizabeth, for understanding why I cannot dine with you tonight.”
“Well, it is unfathomable that you have friends beyond me and those in Hertfordshire. Who would have thought?”
Darcy smiled at her tease. “Once we are married you will socialize with more of my friends and acquaintances than you will probably want to. Even then, anguishing through an evening with a couple dozen men smoking smelly cigars and talking of nothing but horses will never intrude upon your pleasanter agenda.”
“Thank the Maker! I would either fall asleep from boredom or faint from the fumes. No, you have your fun at the Jockey Club, William. Besides, in light of my big reveal to Lord and Lady Matlock, a night of rest and quiet may prove beneficial. I am joking!” she laughed when he lifted his brows. “A lady needs her beauty sleep, to be sure. Nevertheless, whether I sleep deeply or fitfully, I promise to be presentable by tomorrow evening. If it takes me all day to erase the horrid sight of droopy eyes, tangled hair, and pillow creases on my face, it shall be done.”
Darcy had paused by the door and was staring at her with an odd expression as he slowly shook his head. “Horrid? I must disagree. The vision of you upon waking in the morning is one I constantly dream of and long to see with my own eyes, pillow creases included. I can think of nothing more beautiful.”
“Ha!” Lizzy exclaimed from deep inside the wardrobe. “When have you ever torn or stained a dress?”
“I have… a few times… I am sure of it…” Jane stammered to a halt, rosiness highlighting her cheeks as three pairs of dubious eyes swiveled her way. “Well, if you didn’t run across dirt fields and help feed the barn animals, your clothes might stay cleaner and in better repair, Lizzy.”
Content that her wedding gown was safely stowed, Lizzy backed away from the wardrobe. “Guilty as charged,” she sang. “I suspect the Pemberley gardeners and groomsmen would frown at their mistress treading into their designated areas, so shall necessarily forego digging in the dirt or helping care for the rabbits. If they even have rabbits!”
“Who cares what the outdoor staff think, Lizzy. Mr. Darcy enjoys your outside activities, that is for sure. He stares at you with an intense expression when your cheeks are flushed from the brisk air. And if tendrils of hair have escaped your bonnet, well, he becomes especially animated!”
“Kitty! My word!”
“Well, he does, Mama. I’m not an idiot. I know what he is thinking. So does Mary.”
Mary pressed her lips primly together and continued to fold Jane’s shawls into precision squares, but her cheeks pinked and eyes faintly twinkled. Lizzy had again busied herself inside the wardrobe, hiding her dreamy smile and trembling hands. If any of them knew just how animated and intense Mr. Darcy truly was…
“Men are always thinking about… that.” Mrs. Bennet stumbled on the last word and fluttered her hand nervously in the air. “This is part of the problem with the male gender, if you ask me.”
“Doesn’t seem like a problem to me,” Kitty objected.
At that exact moment, the bell tower clock struck the eleventh hour, the clangs initially drowning out the sound of music growing louder. The enormous black doors of solid oak and metal marking the main entrance to the palace, which they had so recently passed by to access the Colour Court, were thrown open. The sounds of instruments and marching feet echoed down the tunnel, reaching the excited spectators long before they could see anything.
“The new guard musters in Friary Court, located to the south, on the other side of that building.” Darcy pointed to the three-story high, red brick wing to the right of where they stood. “They march up the alley, past Marlborough House, around the corner, and along Pall Mall before entering through the main gate. They are, as you can now see, led by a contingency of the Coldstream Guards Regimental Band.”
Indeed, all the spectators could now see the leader of the parade. Lizzy’s breath caught as others released gasps and exclamations of awed enthusiasm for his august presence, as well as the personages immediately behind him.
The drum major wore a stunning uniform of scarlet and gold, his chapeau decorated with a profusion of feathers. Behind, in timed-step, were four musicians of African heritage, two with tambourines and two with cymbals. Exotic faces with skin and eyes black as night, they wore magnificent Turkish costumes of white and silver with billowing muslin trousers, vests in scarlet velvet adorned with fringe and tassels, and white muslin turbans festooned with red plumes and jewels.
The quality of their performance was equally as impressive as their appearance. While not a musical aficionado, Lizzy had seen enough minstrels and orchestras in her life to recognize something special was happening before her awestruck eyes. The ability to play an instrument with skill was an essential factor that lifted one artist above another. However, transcendent mastery meant instrumental excellence in conjunction with an exceptional flair for performance. The Coldstream band was irrefutably in this category.
The tambourine players, for example, did not merely hit their hands onto the flat surface, but also rolled their fingers over the parchment and flicked the bells in varied tempos, all while whirling the instrument around and even tossing it into the air. Similarly, the cymbals of silver—polished bright as mirrors to catch the sunbeams and add glittering sparkles with each strike—were flourished side to side and above the musicians’ heads. The quartet capered rather than marched, and their agility with fingers, arms, and legs was timed to the music.
“I have read of the Janissary percussionists,” Lizzy whispered. “Introduced by the Duke of York some two decades ago, yes?”
“Correct,” Darcy whispered into her ear. “For the guard change ceremony there are only a few, usually just two, so we are fortunate today. Someday, perhaps next spring when in Town for the season, we shall observe the Horse Guards’ Parade, Trooping the Colour, or another performance with the household guards. Then you will witness the full complement of musicians. It is a sight to behold.” Lizzy could not fathom it and for the present just wanted to relish the extraordinary experience fast unfolding in the courtyard.
What was he doing, right now? Sleeping? Changing his clothes? Bathing?
Any of those possibilities involved some degree of nakedness and were a bit too intimate for her to imagine without worsening her jitters. The speculation did lead her to ponder the location of his bedchamber relative to the one assigned to her. Rapidly analyzing the townhouse layout in her head, she concluded his suite might be almost directly below.
Dashing to the rear, alcove window, she jerked the curtains aside. It turned out her calculations were only partially accurate. Indeed, the master suite was below her, but farther to the right than she figured. In fact, if not for the light shining outward through what she assumed was a glass door, the low-walled stone patio would not have been visible at all in the darkness. Sighing rather pathetically, Lizzy leaned her forehead against the glass. The cold was soothing to her skin. She closed her eyes and ever so slowly forced the coiled energy to ease out of her muscles. Relaxation took hold, and the prospect of falling asleep for the hour that remained until she needed to dress for dinner finally felt possible. Opening her eyes, she released a second sigh before lifting her head from the glass and starting to turn away.
Just then, the light down below flickered, and a tall shadow waved over the stones. Instantly she was alert, eyes wide and face pressed into the cold glass.
Please, let it be him!
Seconds later, William walked out the door. The distance, shadows, and thick vines twining over a trellis obstructed her view, but she noted a tumbler in his right hand, and that he wore only his shirt and trousers.
This time her sigh was closer to a whine of longing.
Grasping onto the window latch, a crazed vision of throwing the window wide and shouting his name, as if a whimsical Juliet to his Romeo, whipped through her mind. Next came the insane notion of scaling the wall, climbing down the conveniently located trellis, and dropping half-dressed onto his patio. Covering her mouth to stay the giggles threatening to burst forth at such ridiculousness, Lizzy removed her hand from the latch as rationality slowly reasserted.
No. It is much preferable to enjoy this small gift of an intimate peek at the man I love. For some minutes, she unashamedly watched from her cozy vantage point.
William stood in the middle of the patio with one hand on his hip, gazing into the sky as he sipped from the tumbler. Twice he glanced in the direction of her window, and each time her hand was halfway to the latch before she stayed the unconscious movement. The light inside his chambers illuminated him, whereas she was hidden in the window alcove behind thick curtains shielding the lone candle she had left by the bed. Knowing that he was thinking of her was enough for now.
Sharing here a sampling of positive feedback received for Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future
over the years since it was published in 2017.
These words of praise are from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:
4 & 5 Star reviews posted to online marketplaces (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Powells, BAM, etc.),
letters and emails sent directly to me, and comments left on my blog or other blogs where I was a guest.
5-Stars and have loved every one of them! I have read all of Sharon Lathan’s books from their inception, and have loved every one of them. Hope of the Future was an excellent read and I was not disappointed. I am now re-reading, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One to continue the story from the prequel. I read it when it first came out, but wanted to read it again for the flow of the story. Sharon does hours and hours of research for all her books. Her descriptions of the times, fashions and architecture are pictured quite well. I am very impressed. Thank you Sharon for sharing your love of this project with all of us. I highly recommend anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice, and wants to see the continuing love story unfold, to read Sharon’s ‘Darcy Saga Books’. (Esther Hartsell)
Another must by Ms. Lathan. 5-Stars! Another beautiful written book by Ms. Lathan. Gives a look into the relationship between Lizzy and Fitzwilliam Darcy. A must have and read for fans of Sharon Lathan. (Trisha M)
Engagement and some! 5-Stars! This was the retrospect of the engagement of Darcy and Elizabeth. Mainly focused on the feelings between the two, but also with how they dealt with other people. I truly enjoyed the descriptions with in the story. This author truly gives her readers enough to use their imagination to the fullest. Recommended for all ages and highly recommended to read. (Steve)
Perfect way to set up the next book and fill in the backstory. 5-Stars! I really enjoy her books. I read for enjoyment to escape the mundane world for a spell and these books are well written pieces of literature that transport me back in time. (April Pellicer)
Its as if you are there with your friend Elizabeth. 5-Stars! I have read this series through so many times I know most of it by heart. Its my go-to when sad, stuck in house, feeling bored and many other times, these books draw you into their world as if you are a dear friend experiencing everything as Darcy and Elizabeth do. (Wendy)
Darcy and Lizzy’s mutual love and devotion bode well for a wonderful future. 5-Stars! It was absolutely heart-warming to experience Darcy and Lizzy’s deep, abiding, constant love for each other!! Darcy’s admission that he was also an “innocent” when it comes to physical expressions of love helped Lizzy overcome her mother’s horrific tales of what Lizzy might experience as Darcy’s wife. Extremely well-written, well-paced story! The author has so richly developed the characters through her lovely prose that I could literally picture them in my mind…. she painted such vivid descriptions of the sights, and sounds in each scene along with creating a masterful depiction of their feelings and thoughts. This is a Darcy and Lizzy, as well as Jane, Bingley and Georgiana, that you can’t help but love and care for. Brilliant FIVE STAR read!!!! I own and have read all of the sequels…. and it was an absolute pleasure to read the two-part prequels!!!! I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book for all JAFF devotees…. it will warm your heart and leave you feeling happy as the book closes right after the double wedding. (Lisa Hatfield)
I also have to say I really wish I had an aunt like Aunt Gardiner. Read and you’ll know why! 5-Stars! I have always enjoyed books that have given readers an insight into the “what happens next” when a classic story ends. Sharon does that justice with both the first and now this second book about the time between engagement and marriage for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. It was humorous, touching, tense and all in all enjoyable. I could NOT put it down! It was nice to have flashbacks that are presented in the rest of her Darcy Saga series fleshed out and so you could live them in the moment they happened instead of just a flashback. It also helped you see why certain characters are the way they are in the rest of her series through these prequels. (Chelsea)
Deeply Romantic & Passionate. 5-Stars! I love all of Sharon’s beautifully written novels. This one was a long time coming but no less brilliant than the rest of her novels. In this wonderfully told prequel Sharon fills in all the missing pieces leading up to Darcy & Elizabeth’s glorious wedding day. Sharon’s writing always has me highly anticipating every next line. We get to see Darcy and Elizabeth match wits. They are both highly intelligent and very passionate. My favourite part of Sharon’s writing is how she lets us see soul deep into the feelings of her characters. Darcy is commanding as Master of Pemberley but also deeply passionate about his Elizabeth, which I adore. There aren’t enough words to explain how much I love the two prequels and Darcy Saga all written with such emotion. Congratulations Sharon on another brilliant novel. Please write more. Highly recommended! (Vee)
Darcy and Elizabeth’s Untold Story at its Best! 5-Stars! As always, Sharon did not disappoint with this latest book in her Darcy Saga series. Filled with the love, admiration, and passion we all know Darcy and Elizabeth to have for one another, plus a fantastic bundle of English history, this book was one I couldn’t put down. Telling Darcy and Elizabeth’s story like only Sharon can, I wholeheartedly recommend this duo of books, plus her amazing continuation from the wedding night to years afterwards. I’m looking forward to re-reading those next! Excellent writing, Sharon. Thank you for perfectly depicting my favorite couple! (ShannonRose)
Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future . . . A Great and Loving Romance . . . 5-Stars! There were so many wonderful things that were great in this novel. It was very well written and enjoyable to the very end. The love between Darcy and Elizabeth really shined in this novel. They both learned to communicate to each other openly and naturally Darcy had Elizabeth blushing many times. It was great to see Darcy let go of the prudish and haughty social personality become more of a jovial nature. Naturally, Elizabeth was a teasing self. It was great that Mrs. Gardiner explained to Elizabeth and Jane what would happen on their wedding night because for sure, Mrs. Bennet would scare them out of their wits. I love the fact that Kitty would tease them about being up all night without sleep and that brought some humor into the plot. Elizabeth feared that she wouldn’t be able to please Darcy but he explained that he was not active in sexual experiences and was in the same boat as her and that made her feel much better. I always love Colonel Fitzwilliam’s part in any novel as he always is a strong supporter for Darcy. Plus he brings some humor to the plot and this was well written. Lady Catherine had a hand in creating some havoc as usual but we have to have that with either her, Caroline Bingley or Wickham. However, the author did a great job with it getting hushed up by her writing of the Matlocks involvement. I did so enjoy Darcy’s trip shopping for gifts for Elizabeth and the items purchased. It brought some humor back into the novel. The romance grew for both couples as the plot continued and it was very well written to prove that this was happening.I highly recommend this series to anyone that would love to read a great romance between two of Jane Austen’s beloved couples. I highly recommend this series to anyone that would love to read a great romance between two of Jane Austen’s beloved couples. (MaryAnn)
Well worth the wait. 5-Stars! I loved this book. Especially the conversations and teasing between Darcy and Elizabeth, and the barely restrained passion! There were problems caused by Lady Catherine and Mrs Bennet which were finally overcome. This is a worthy continuation of A Season of Courtship taking us right up to and including the wedding. Wonderful! (Glynis)
Finally and it was fabulous. 5-Stars! It was a long wait for part 2 of this prequel but authors do have lives and difficulties apart from entertaining their fans. I loved it, Sharon is such a great writer. Her storylines are really just about the everyday concerns, joy and sometimes struggles of our beloved couple. You haven’t lost your touch after your hiatus Sharon, dare we hope for more from our couple? Highly recommend, excuse me while I start re-reading the Darcy saga, again… (Cherri)
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book and I wasn’t disappointed! It was truly a pleasure to read. 5-Stars! Having been a fan of Sharon’s work for some time now, I eagerly anticipated the release of this book and I wasn’t disappointed! It was truly a pleasure to read and flowed seamlessly with her other books. It is obvious in reading her books that she is very knowledgeable about the time period from clothing to customs to architecture and it adds such a wonderful depth to her novels. Sharon’s detailed description of even the smallest facts helps the reader to really immerse themselves in the story and truly make this book a joy to read. Hopefully, she will continue to pen her wonderful stories for us to enjoy, perhaps even exploring the story of the Bingleys. (Dana T)
Unputdownable! 5-Stars! The queen of romantic tender moments, passionate exchanges, humorous banter and thrilling plots has done it again. I absolutely love this book! It will be reread countless of times. I adore this Darcy and Elizabeth. Not portrayed as flawless but their strong bond of love, their connected souls and the magnetism between them can be felt throughout the book. In the last month of their betrothal period the Darcy’s, Bingley and Bennet’s are in London to shop for the girls’ trousseau. Darcy ventures on a rather hilarious shopping trip to the mall to buy Elizabeth her wedding present which had me laughing out loud. Intermingled with lovely tender moments and exciting outings there are Lady Catherine’s crusade against the Darcy wedding. Rallying her friends in high society to battle. Elizabeth introduction to the Matlock’s goes rather smoothly but some of the other ladies of the ton are less welcoming. There are lovely moments of bonding between the new sisters and highly educational conversations with the aunt Gardiner. The joy of reading this book is amplified by the vast historical knowledge of the author and the tour of Regency London was a delight. Back in Hertfordshire they celebrate Darcy’s birthday and they share some lovely tender moments before business calls Darcy back to town. Mrs. Bennet uses this opportunity to give some very disturbing advice, especially to Elizabeth… (I loved Jane in this scene.) Elizabeth has a frank but tender and moving conversation in the library at Netherfield when Darcy is back from town. Their relationship develops both in depth and passion until the wedding ceremony. I only have one complaint about this book and that is that it ended. . . (Elin Eriksen)
And as always Sharon didn’t disappoint. It’s a great book. 5-Stars! I have just finished reading this book, and as always Sharon didn’t disappoint. It’s a great book. I have all of Sharon’s Pride and Prejudice books and have reread all of them many times. I’ve been waiting for a new one for a long time and I’m definitely going to reread this one as well. Well done to Sharon! (Judy Burke)
Brilliant prequel/sequel/beginning. 5-Stars! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish Sharon would write more. I am now going to start the series again. The description of places in London are rather accurate and as a Brit I have paid attention to the descriptions throughout the series and find them brilliant. I would recommend this book and I expect I’ll now have to share it with my Mum! (NGreen)
Finally! 5-Stars! I have waited (what felt like an eternity) for this book but it was worth it! I will probably be reading the entire sequel from start to finish, all over again. At this point, it feels like I’m visiting family. Another great book!! (Erin Williams)
Wonderful conclusion to the prequels. 5-Stars! Loved it from start to finish. Well done! Characters and storyline hold your attention. As an avid JAFF reader, this series is one of my favorites. (TKCHoward)
Masterfully Written. 5-Stars! An exciting, witty and playful rendition of the courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth. Riveting read and the attention to detail of historical events and places an added enhancement. Loved both books and can’t wait to read the continuing story. (marmar)
Perfection 5-Stars! Book 2 was everything I wanted it to be. As expected, Sharon captured the tender moments leading to their marriage perfectly. Wonderfully written! (Ashley)
Great read!! 5-Stars! I enjoy reading anything that Sharon writes. This one fills in a slice of Lizzie and Darcy’s life before they get married!! Enjoyed every word! (Earleen Carroll)
I absolutely loved it! 5-Stars! The queen of romance and passion has written a lovely second volume of their betrothal period and wedding. Lady Catherine is readying her society friends for battle. Lord and Lady Matlock wants to be introduced. They’re fighting jealousy and increasing passion. Business separates them. Mrs. Bennet voices her opinions. In between, there are lovely, tender, romantic and passionate interludes. Heartily recommend! (Vaarin)
Wonderful prequel. 5-Stars! I love the Pride and Prejudice characters and Sharon Lathan’s books are the best way to continue to spend time with these iconic characters. My only complaint – when I’m done reading her latest book, I’m finished the series!! So sad! I’m halfway through this book and am loving every moment. (happyreader)
Couldn’t put it down! 5-Stars! Why can’t we give 10 stars? Of all the Pride and Prejudice variations I have read, these characters seem the most like Jane Austen’s. You could easily read Pride and Prejudice, then go right on reading book one of this prequel, and the rest of the Darcy Saga. (M in SC)
Loved it!!! 5-Stars! Absolutely loved this book!!!! Great continuation of this series!! Sharon does a Great job of drawing us into Darcys and Elizabeth’s love story!!! Highly recommend this book!! Well written, touching, smoldering, we learn a great deal about Darcy and Elizabeth. The novel is delightful and worth the wait!!
Wow it has been a long time coming. 5-Stars! Sharon you have out done yourself. I have read her books so many times that they need replaced, I’m so glad you could see their passion for each other prior to the wedding. After reading more about Lady Catherine, oh I truly despise her character. That scene at the church was just cruel. But Lizzy has the last laugh. Love that Mrs Hurst gave Caroline a good sit down. Will read again and again. (PSMyers)
Wondrous! 5-Stars! I can’t wait to read the full series. Ms. Lathan’s work is phenomenal. Her descriptions are magnificent. The language is mellifluous. I enjoyed the two prequels immensely! (Romance Fan)
5-Stars! 5-Stars! 5-Stars!
Fabulous book! Author’s writing is superb! Entertaining with knowledgeable facts to make the story come to life. (Jen)
LOVE IT! I reread book 1 prior to release of book 2. I just finished book 2. LOVE IT!! Now I’m going to reread the rest of the Darcy Saga. Thank you Sharon. (Michelle Correia)
LOVE this author – all of her books are wonderful and this one didn’t disappoint! (Gretchen May)
Sharon Lathan characters are spot on. This was well worth the wait. Hope to see more on all Darcy and Elizabeth’s children. Please keep them coming! (Beth)
Another great Sharon Lathan look into Darcy and Elizabeth’s life and love. (CAB)
Great story. (Missouri)
Lovely! Absolutely loved it! (Holly)
I loved this book, just like I have loved all Sharon Lathan books. Would recommend to any of her followers. (Miss S)
While most JAFF authors give us deliciously creative alternatives to or continuations of Jane’s wonderful stories, Sharon has followed a different path and provided us with precious insights into how Darcy and Elizabeth managed to get to that point in the first place. I have to admit that this Prequel Duo is the first I’ve encountered of this particular approach.
The result is a most enjoyable read. In Book 1, Sharon delved into the hows and whys of our dear couple’s growing mutual love, understanding, and respect. In Book 2, this continues as their commitment withstands the test of Lady Catherine’s enduring and vengeful disfavour, strengthening as it does so. We see Darcy standing up for the woman he loves against any and all objections, while Elizabeth learns to accept the foibles of the man she loves along with the ways in which her life will change once she is married: her status in society, her responsibilities, her increasing fortunes, and yes, her burgeoning sexual awareness. (There are some adult situations in both books, but no explicit sex.)
Of course, there are joyous weddings and happily-ever afters for our two couples to reward our dear readers.
What I liked most: One of my requisites for JAFF stories is that I must fall even more in love with Mr Darcy by story’s end. No problem about that here!
Darcy has loosened up and moved past his haughty preconceptions. His visit to a London shopping mall had me grinning with amusement and delight. And his attentions to Elizabeth — whether alone with her or in company — warmed my heart.
The encounter between Darcy and his uncle the Earl provided even more reasons to love him, while the same encounter inspired greater respect for Elizabeth and her father.
Extra credit is awarded for adequate face time for the charming Colonel Fitzwilliam, and there is surely enough to be found in this story!
In short: If you love Darcy and Elizabeth and all the supporting characters in Pride and Prejudice, I cannot imagine that you will not love both of these books. I do warn you, however, that these are not “quick reads,” but substantial novels. Maintain harmony in your home by ensuring that you allow yourself adequate time to savour every word!