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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Truth About Mr. Darcy by Susan Adriani review, guest post, & giveaway

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Title: The Truth About Mr. Darcy
Author: Susan Adriani
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4613-5
Format: Trade Paperback
How I read it: Trade Paperback ARC
Rating: 4.5 Crowns





Mr. Darcy has a dilemma. Should he tell the truth about his old nemesis George Wickham in order to protect the good citizens of Meryton from Wickham’s lies and deceits? Doing so will force Darcy to reveal family secrets that he’d prefer never come to light. The alternative is keeping the man’s nature to himself and hoping he leaves the area before doing significant harm.

But as Wickham’s attentions to Elizabeth increase, Darcy knows if he’s to win the one woman he’s set his heart one, he’s going to have to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life. And what he ultimately does sets in motion a shocking train of events neither he nor Elizabeth could possibly have predicted.
(from the back of the ARC)

My Thoughts:

This is the Pride & Prejudice book that I have been craving! Every aspect of this book worked without feeling forced or out of place and for me that was a major plus. In this book we see the characters in a new light- which I loved, they seemed more real this way, less confined by the restrictions Miss Austen had to adhere to when writing. This is why I love P&P spin-offs, they allow the writer to answer the question most readers have, they answer the “what ifs”.

Being over analytical, I like most readers, wonder what would happen if certain truths came to light before hand, certain characters held a different attitude, or if there back-stories would have been more thoroughly told (or told in general). For me, The Truth About Mr. Darcy allowed me a whole new perspective, and I found that I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I would like to say THANKS to Susan for this lovely guest post, it was a pleasure to have you here today!

What is it like to take Jane Austen's characters and make them my own? Well, to be honest, it's a whole lot of fun! While writing The Truth About Mr. Darcy (formerly published as Affinity and Affection) I got to spend an obscene amount of time with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Gardiners, Mrs. Bennet and Lydia. Yes, that's right—I enjoyed spending time with Lydia Bennet. With her spunk and self-centered, regency teenage attitude, she was immensely entertaining to work with in terms of dialog, and even character development and growth. She may start out much the same as Jane Austen's original in my story, but by the end of it, Lydia finds herself on a very different path than the one she'd been traveling, and subsequently manages to forge a very different fate for herself.

Mr. Bingley, too, was very enjoyable to write. He still retains his good humor, generosity, and boyish appeal in my story, but I took the liberty of giving him a bit more of a backbone. He is, after all, a grown man in love. The result is he remains in Hertfordshire and proposes to Jane Bennet—after standing up to Darcy and knocking a little bit of sense into him, that is.

Sometimes, however, the characters can be very frustrating, and George Wickham is a perfect example of that. In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the dashing lieutenant is a bit of a rake; well, perhaps more than a bit. Without her brother's knowledge, Mr. Wickham engages Georgiana Darcy's affections (a girl nearly half his age and £30,000 his consequence) and attempts to elope with her. Fortunately for Georgiana, Darcy discovers them in time and puts a stop to his plan. Several months later, Wickham joins a regiment of militia in Hertfordshire, where he pays his attentions to the penniless Elizabeth Bennet (as well as half the other ladies in Hertfordshire), but proposes marriage to the freckle-faced Mary King (who is suddenly rendered appealing by an inheritance of £10,000). Lastly, once the regiment removes to Brighton for the summer, Wickham abandons his post, as well as a debt of honor or two, and absconds to London with Lydia Bennet, whom he convinces to accompany him under the guise of an elopement. Of course, he never marries her once they arrive.

In my story, I'm afraid Wickham is much more of a villain. I didn't intend for him to be, but he seemed to have a very firm attitude on the subject and no qualms whatsoever about letting me know. No matter how many times I tried to tone down his debauchery, he was right there fighting me at every turn. He had a voice and wanted to speak. After countless re-writes—not to mention headaches—I finally gave up trying to tether him and allowed him to do what he pleased. As a result, his attitude toward Darcy is more resentful, his actions more base, and his intent to injure his former childhood friend and benefactor, much more blatant and harmful. Needless to say, with such an attitude, the story cannot end well for Mr. Wickham, and it doesn't. If you're curious to find out what happens to him, though, my lips are sealed. I'm afraid you'll just have to read the book!

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, I'm sorry to report, also gave me a bit of difficulty every now and then, but not in the same manner, or to the same extent as Mr. Wickham. No, they chose to court trouble of an entirely different nature, and they courted it frequently. To demonstrate, I'll leave you with an excerpt from The Truth About Mr. Darcy. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed being here today.

My sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks for taking the time to read my post, but especially to Angela, for having me as her guest today. It's been a pleasure to be here!

Excerpt from The Truth About Mr. Darcy -
So intoxicated was Darcy by Elizabeth’s presence, and so overwhelmed was he by the intimacy of the words they had exchanged on the balcony, he did not even realize the liberties he was taking with her—and in full view of Bingley’s guests, no less. Indeed, he could think of nothing beyond the beautiful woman in front of him, of how she had looked at him only moments before with such heartfelt delight and tenderness in her eyes, and of how very much he longed to be alone with her once more so he could continue to reassure her, in a most ardent fashion, of his devotion. With such sentiments, Darcy could no more stop himself at that moment from reaching around to unclasp her wrap and whisper words of adoration to her than he could stop the rise of the sun in the east. Mrs. Bennet was the first to reach them, nearly tripping herself in her efforts to remove Elizabeth from the overly solicitous company of the wrong man before steering her toward the correct one, leaving Darcy gaping after her in shock as he found himself suddenly jolted back to reality.

Unsurprisingly, her voice carried to half the room. “What do you think you are doing, Miss Lizzy, leaving Mr. Collins alone while you scamper about? Why, if I were Mr. Collins, I would begin to think you did not care for me at all, and I would be quite put out by your ungenerous, unfeeling behavior, no matter how rich and disagreeable a man Mr. Darcy has shown himself to be!”

“Mama, please,” Elizabeth murmured most uncomfortably. “He is not at all disagreeable, and he will hear you.”

“And what should you care if he does?” her mother replied with indignation. “Mark my words; there is nothing for you in that quarter, so you had better concentrate your efforts for the rest of the night on securing Mr. Collins. Oh, selfish child! You have no compassion for my poor nerves!”

Elizabeth could do nothing but allow her mother to hand her over to the keeping of Mr. Collins and look miserably at Darcy from across the room as her father approached him.

“Well, well, Mr. Darcy, you look exactly like a young boy who has just had his favorite toy taken away from him.”

Darcy had no idea how to respond to such a statement by Elizabeth’s father, and so he wisely chose to remain silent.

“I have noticed your admiration for my daughter on several occasions, sir, but I must confess I was rather startled by your marked attentions to Elizabeth in such a public setting as this. I trust you have not failed to realize you were observed in your attentions by others, as well?” he asked.

Darcy swallowed. “No, sir. It has, by no means, escaped my notice.”

“I also trust I have been in company with you often enough to understand you are not the kind of man to trifle with a gentleman’s daughter, so I can only assume your intentions toward Elizabeth are honorable.”

“Yes, they are. You have my word, Mr. Bennet, as a gentleman.”

“Come see me tomorrow morning, Mr. Darcy, and we shall continue this discussion in a more appropriate environment.”


Visit Angela Renee @ Renee's Reads


Lieder Madchen said...

Yay! Thank you for the lovely review and giveaway! I am so excited about this book. :)


Martha Lawson said...

Sounds great! Enter me please.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Linda said...

I don't have any problem with Wickham being even more of a villain. Thanks for the giveaway.

buddyt said...

Thank you for the giveaway and especially for opening it to worldwide entries.

Please add me to the list.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Arya said...

Wonderful review! I NEVER read spin-offs and you've got me wanting to get my hands on this one right way. :D


Arya said...

hollywood_here_i_come@live.com Oh! And sign me up for the give away as well, please.

sadriani said...

Well, hello again, Lieder! As always, I'm absolutely thrilled to hear how excited you are about my book - thank you!

Martha, thanks so much!

Linda, I'm happy to hear that more villainous version of Mr. Wickham won't scare you away. Thank you!

Carol, good luck to you, and thanks!

Arya, what a wonderful compliment! I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it should you happen to get your hands on a copy. Thank you!

Good luck to you, ladies, and thanks so much for leaving such lovely comments for me! And thank you to you, too, Angela, for having me as your guest - I've enjoyed it very much!


Mystica said...

Thank you for making it open to all! much appreciated.


Kelly said...

Thanks for this giveaway:)

maniezkelly at gmail dot com

Jakki L. said...

Another wonderful excerpt Susan! I cannot wait to read the book. I also look forward to future books you write!

Pam said...

This sounds really good. I can't wait to meet Mr. Bingley with a bit more of a backbone. Thank you for a chance to win a copy.


sadriani said...

Thank you for stopping by, Mystica and Kelly - and good luck!

Hi Jakki! I'm glad you're enjoying all of my excerpts. (And I'm looking forward to finishing up the other stories I'm currently writing - hopefully it will be soon!) Thanks so much!

Pam, I'm so pleased that you like the idea of my bolder Bingley. He was a lot of fun to write.

Thanks so much for reading my post and the excerpt from my book - and good luck with the giveaway!


Pam S (pams00) said...

This is a great review. Sounds like a great Mr. Darcy story.

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Marie said...

I LOVE Austen sequels/prequels and Austen! sign me up for the giveaway! Thanks!

Margay said...

Sounds like an interesting book!


Cozy in Texas said...

This sounds like a great read.

sadriani said...

Pam, I'm so glad you think so - thank you!

Marie, I'm glad to hear you're such an enthusiast - enjoy!

Thank you, Margay!

Ann, thank you! If you happen to read it, I hope you'll enjoy it.

Thanks so much, and good luck to you all!


cyn209 said...

Congrats & GoodLuck, Susan, on The Truth About Mr Darcy!!!!
& thank you for the giveaway!!!


Jasmyn said...

I love Austin spin off books. Please enter me.


sadriani said...

Cynthia, thank you so much!

Glad to hear it, Jasmyn!

Good luck to you, ladies, and thank you so much for taking the time to read my post!


Sharli said...

Sounds really good! I'm looking forward to reading it :)

Thank you for the post and the giveaway!
entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

sadriani said...

Sharli, I'm so glad you had fun reading about my book - I hope you'll enjoy it! Good luck!