Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Trouble With Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan review/guest post/giveaway

Title: The Trouble With Mr. Darcy
Author: Sharon Lathan
ISBN: 1402237545
Publishers: Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: Trade Paperback
How I Read it: Trade Paperback ARC from the publishers
Rating: 5 Crowns A ROYAL READ

Even charmed lives will encounter troubles along the way…

After a time of happiness and strife, Darcy and Elizabeth gather with family and friends in Hertfordshire to celebrate the wedding of Kitty Bennet. Georgiana Darcy returns from a lengthy tour of the Continent with happy secrets to share, accompanied by the newlywed Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Simone, who may have secrets of their own. The stage is set for joy until the part is upset by the arrival of the long absent Mr. and Mrs. Wickham.

Wickham’s jealousy and resentment of Darcy has grown steadily throughout the years and Darcy’s rightly suspects that Wickham is up to no good. Darcy enlists the aid of Colonel Fitzwilliam to keep Wickham’s activity, but neither anticipated the extreme measures taken to exact his revenge. Nor do they fathom the layers of deception and persons involved in the scheme.

George Wickham returns to Hertfordshire bent on creating trouble, and Elizabeth and her son are thrown into danger. Knowing that Wickham has nothing left to lose, Darcy and Fitzwilliam rush to the rescue in a race against time. This lushly romantic story takes a turn for the swashbuckling when Mr. Darcy has to confront the villainous Wickham and his own demons at the same time…devoted as he is, what battles within will Mr. Darcy have to face?
(From the publishers)

My thoughts:

I have shelves full of Jane Austen spin-offs, mash-ups, add-on, and the like, although I find that it is the writings of Sharon Lathan that are my go to books. I find that I am constantly telling everyone I know and even a few unsuspecting bookstore browsers about the wonderful qualities attributed to Sharon Lathan’s books, and The Trouble With Mr. Darcy has that same amazing feel to it. It seems that she has a very vivid picture of her Mr. Darcy and her Elizabeth and she does a brilliant job portraying her characters without compromising the original characters that Jane Austen created. Her characters are so well defined that you cannot help but to fall in love with them all over again. The plot for this was brilliant as well and flowed off the page with the lyrical quality she writes with. This book should come with a warning stating that once you start reading you will not want to put it down until you have read the last page.

Trust me BUY THIS BOOK you will thank me later!

I would like to thank Sharon Lathan for this lovely guest post!

What is it like recreating these famous literary characters? That was the topic Angela asked for me to address and as I stared at the words of her query waiting for inspiration as to how to answer such a tricky question, one word leapt out at me: recreating. I looked it up and the meaning-”to create anew”-isn’t startling in and of itself but it struck me as enlightening in regards to writing Austen literary fiction.

Let’s examine that definition for a moment.

To “create” is defined as evolving from one’s own thought or imagination and to cause something unique to come into being by intention or design. “Anew” means to do so in a new, fresh, different form or manner.

On the surface “recreating” and “fanfiction” may appear oxymoronic. How, the skeptic asks, can one write something new and unique based on another person’s original character, plotline, settings, etc? Or the more common question is: Should they? Leaving aside the should or should not discussion for another blog at another time and assuming we all agree that it IS alright to carry on Jane Austen’s novels, it is the question of “how” that becomes relevant.

And this is why Angela’s choice of “recreating” touched a happy nerve. Every author who takes on famous literary characters- Austen’s or anyone else-is recreating them. I am no different.

I fell in love with Austen largely due to the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice. Visually I am inspired by the movie and no doubt the impressions heavy upon me colored my initial readings of the novel. As time went on I studied the various adaptations, read lots of academic discussions on the novel, and reread the original several times in part and wholly. I discovered what anyone who reads a book over and over again already knows: Each reading renders a wonderful warm feeling of familiarity meshed with the surprising awareness of something new.

Beloved characters become old friends who continually speak to our hearts. We wish, fervently, that they were real so we could carry on the intimate relationship forged. In my case I took that desire to a literal level by writing of the Darcys! MY Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. MY Jane and Charles Bingley. MY Anne de Bourgh. My Georgiana.

They are “mine” not because I believe I have the ultimate, only interpretation of how Austen meant them to be. Rather they are “mine” because this is how they spoke to my heart. This is how I envisioned their lives to be due to the intimate relationship forged.

My Mr. Darcy is a man who is shy and uncomfortable around people he is unfamiliar with. Social skills are not his forte! Yet, get that man around his friends and family to see a person who is humorous and witty. He loves passionately, literally willing to die for the ones within his charge. He is commanding, strong, intelligent, respected, and driven. He is romantic and has the heart of a poet. He loves lemon-flavored desserts, hot chocolate, and modern inventions. He suffers sea-sickness when on a boat, can’t carry a tune, and has no luck with darts or dice.

My Lizzy is a skilled Mistress of Pemberley and settles into her role with ease. She is witty, intelligent, and out-going. She loves her husband, loves her new home and new family, embracing all of it with maturity and grace. She enjoys a frivolous novel now and again, can drive a curricle, and loves to plant in the garden. She dislikes horses, is not very good with mathematics, and is short on patience.

So what is it like recreating these famous literary characters? It is exciting, rewarding, challenging, and very, very fun. Writing about the Darcys is an honor that I take very seriously and I strive to write them as they have been revealed to me when reading Austen. At the end of the day I know how I feel about these characters: I love them. I know how I feel about Jane Austen: I love her. It is a personal journey, as all writing is, no matter where the characters come from.

About the Author:

Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling novels Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, My Dearest Mr. Darcy and In The Arms of Mr. Darcy. Sharon also wrote a novella as part of an anthology with Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart, A Darcy Christmas. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information, please visit www.sharonlathan.net. Come to Austen Authors- www.austenauthors.com where Sharon and twenty other authors of Austen fiction blog together.

Please leave your name and a valid email address.
Contest is international
Contest ends April 29


Linda said...

Sounds great. I'm anxious to read about a swashbuckling Darcy confronting the wicked Wickham. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sharon Lathan said...

Thanks for the wonderful review! Wow, I was not expecting that along with my guest blog. Feeling all warm and fuzzy!

It is an honor to be here on Royal Reviews. I do love chatting about these fabulous characters. I'll be checking in as often as possible throughout the day.

Linda, thanks for the comment. I wish you luck in the giveaway.

Angela Renee said...

Thanks for stopping by Sharon! The honor is all ours!

Linda, this is an amazing read that I believe you will enjoy!


Lisa said...

I have wanted to read this, thanks lisapeters at yahoo dot com

KimberlySue said...

This book is definitely on my To Be Read list!


Khadija said...

Please count me in!


Pam S (pams00) said...

Always enjoy P & P spinoffs/takes and this sounds super. ty for the chance to win !

pams00 @ aol.com

Mystica said...

Thank you for the giveaway and thank you ever so much for allowing overseas visitors. Much appreciated.


KELLY said...

Count me in please. Thank you so much for making it international :)

maniezkelly at gmail dot com

Deborah A. said...

I am a little bit in love with Mr. Darcy...but who isn't?!

Thanks for the giveaway!


Sharon Lathan said...

So many people stopping by! Wow! Thanks everyone. Yesterday was a crazy day for me so of course I was unable to pop in as much as I hoped. Good luck to all the folks hoping to win a copy of my newest novel.

throuthehaze said...

Sounds like a great read!

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Mona said...

I would love to win this. I'm fascinated by anything Austen.


Killie said...

My wife has actually been looking at this on Amazon!

Would be great for her to get.


missreneer said...

I would absolutely love to read this. Thanks for the great review and giveaway :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Great review! Got to love Mr. Darcy. =O)

Thanks for the chance!

Margay said...

I'd love to read this book!


Jakki L. said...

I can't wait to read this book!I like you you describe how the characters spoke to your heart and how you describe YOUR Elizabeth and YOUR Darcy! Thanks so much for the giveaway.
jakki36 at yahoo dot com

melissasmeanderings said...

I'd love to check this book out!

mk261274 at gmail dot com

Aik said...

I'd love to read this book!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Lindsay of VioletHourBR said...

I'm too late for your giveaway, but it was nice of you to host it! =)

Great review. I think this is on my TBR list, but I'll have to check.

I'm your newest follower, and I look forward to reading more of your posts! =)

Here's my Teaser post

Lieder Madchen said...

Yay, this book looks great! Lovely post. :)

Vee said...

Thanks for the lovely review! I have to agree with you that Sharon makes us fall more in love with our favourite characters. Sharon brings such a depth and richness to each one of the characters that it makes them seem so real.
I have loved all of Sharon's novels and this one is no exception, they just keep getting better.
TSBO devotee

Becky said...

I don't need a copy of the book, but wanted to say ditto to "going to" Sharon's books when you want a bit of Pride and Prejudice retellings. I think that Sharon's approach is so romantic and sweet, and of course, uniquely her own. Love, love, love her novels! :) I'm always glad to find another fan.

Sam said...

Like Becky, I do not need a copy of this book, but I'm just stopping by to let everyone know how much I love Sharon as a writer and that I often read my favourite scenes and conversation when I'm stressed or need a get-away.

Luthien84 said...

Please count me in for this contest, I would love to win it. I heard so many great reviews.