Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Winner: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview!

Wendy Norris Roberts!!

Congratulations, Wendy!! I hope you enjoy your copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview! 

Thank you, readers, for all of your support and lovely comments! I also want to thank Monica Fairview  for the teasing excerpt and being a wonderful guest on Leatherbound Reviews! 

Don't forget to grab your copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge from your favorite book distributor!

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Excerpt: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview & Giveaway!

I am so pleased to have the lovely Monica Fairview as a guest today! Her latest novel, Mr. Darcy's Pledge, is the first volume in the series. I cannot wait to begin this series! From the book blurb and reviews I have read, Mr. Darcy's Pledge sounds like a diverting read. 
Keep reading for a chance to win your own paperback copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge!!

From the publisher:
Torn between his heart and his mind… Mr. Darcy must make a choice.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has always been able to keep his emotions under control. That is, until he falls under the spell of Elizabeth Bennet and surprises himself by blurting out a proposal to her like a moonstruck youth. Stung to the quick by her rejection, his pride in tatters, and left with no possibility that she will ever return his regard, Darcy determines to put all thoughts of Elizabeth behind him. But not even Town with its boundless opportunities for amusement can keep the image of Elizabeth Bennet from pursuing him everywhere he goes.

By the time Darcy leaves Town to travel up to Pemberley, he has learned one thing. There is only one way of overcoming Miss Bennet’s bewitching hold over him and Darcy is desperate enough to try it. The solution is to get married. And this time, he is not going to choose a wife by allowing his emotions to lead him by the nose.

His choice will be entirely rational…

In Volume I of this Pride and Prejudice variation, Monica Fairview traces Mr. Darcy’s journey as he struggles to come to terms with the upheaval Elizabeth Bennet has caused in his life…and his heart.      

It was a warm, sticky night, one of those summer nights when, even with the windows open, it was difficult to breathe.  When Darcy finally managed to drift off, after what seemed like hours of waiting in vain for sleep to overcome him, a thunderclap roused him. He trudged to the windows to close them. The rain provided no relief from the heat; quite the opposite. With the windows closed, the room grew even more oppressive.

His brief periods of slumber were flooded with torrid dreams that ended in disappointment. In one particularly vivid dream, he thought Elizabeth was running towards him, but as he reached out to embrace her, he realized she was looking behind him at Wickham. In the dream, he was compelled to look on as Wickham came forward to seize her and plant his lips on hers.

Darcy sat up in his bed and ran his hands over his face in despair. Now both Wickham and Elizabeth were invading his dreams. Even if he was able to control his thoughts in the daytime, he could not control them at night.

It simply would not do. Something had to be done about it before long or he feared for his sanity.
The only way he would be able to forget Elizabeth was to replace her with a real-life bride. The problem was he did not wish to be hasty in his choice. He could not allow himself to be ruled either by passion or desperation. He wanted to choose calmly and rationally.

What then was he waiting for?

The sooner he decided what an ideal bride for Pemberley should be like, the sooner he could begin his search.

Full of determination, he rose and dressed without the assistance of his valet. Sequestering himself in the library, he sat at his desk, sharpened a quill, and began to write.

List of Requirements for a Wife

***Giveaway Time***
Monica Fairview is kindly giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge!! Thank you, Monica! =)
Giveaway open to US, Candada, and UK residents.
To be entered, readers must comment for 1 entry. 
Retweet my tweet on Twitter @Monica_Fairview for 1 extra entry, 
share this post on Facebook 1 extra entry with mention of Monica Fairview.
Readers MUST leave an email address or Twitter handle so I know how to contact the winner.
Giveaway ends May 17, 2014!
Best of luck!! =)

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview

I’d only read one book by Monica Fairview before this, Steampunk Darcy, which I really enjoyed, so I was very grateful to Jakki for the opportunity to try something more traditional by this author. Mr Darcy’s Pledge is a Pride and Prejudice variation, from Darcy’s perspective, beginning just after the Hunsford Proposal. Darcy is returning to Georgiana at Pemberley to lick his wounds and he has made a momentous decision – he made a huge mistake in offering for Elizabeth Bennet, and now he needs to put it behind him, and marry somebody else.

He wants to do this partly to help him get over his unreciprocated infatuation for Elizabeth (which is obviously a very bad and risky idea!) and partly because he is beginning to think of launching Georgiana into society, and so he needs a woman to help him do this. In preference to his relatives, he considers enlisting the help of a neighbour, Lady Renwick, who was good friends with his mother. Lady Renwick has her niece staying with her, Miss Elinor Marshall, who is the most beautiful woman that Darcy has ever set eyes on. This makes Darcy wonder whether finding a bride might be easier than he’d first thought. However, there is a lot to distract him from his quest to find a bride, with a multitude of visitors to Pemberley, both expected and unexpected, and perhaps even a London tradesman and his wife and niece visiting the area of Lambton on a summer tour...

This could have been quite an angst-filled variation, firstly because Darcy is genuinely heartbroken and suffering and secondly, because he is planning to marry in haste and potentially repent at leisure. Deep down, he knows this, and while he is trying to convince himself that he has recovered from his infatuation for Miss Bennet and is ready to move on he really isn’t ready to do so:

“His heart protested, but he was having none of it. His heart had no say in the matter. Consulting his heart in the matter of marriage was a foolish indulgence, nothing more. Men fell in love and out of love all the time. It was a passion of the moment, forgotten soon enough. Marriage was about producing heirs and managing a household. It was the choice of a lifetime.

                  He could not help feeling that a lifetime was a very long time.”

The other thing that saves this from being a sad read is the humour. There is so much humour, from wry asides here and there, to the awful comic creations of Lord and Lady Matlock.  Ms Fairview’s Darcy falls short of eccentric but he’s leaning towards it in a loveable and amusing way. He decides to determine what character traits he is looking for in a wife as a starting point to finding his bride:

“Choosing a wife would take more careful thought than he had imagined. Already the mental list was growing longer by the minute. He should write it all down.”

I loved the way the lists he made were contradictory, as he’d list what he thought were ‘proper’ qualities in a wife, and then he’d cross them out and replace them with the qualities he really wanted.  Darcy is uncharacteristically impulsive in his efforts to overcome his heartbreak and his behaviour really confuses poor Georgiana, who doesn’t know what has effected this change in her previously staid and dependable brother.

One of the things I liked best about this book was the development of Georgiana, who goes from a timid, shy girl, to a girl bewildered by the change she’s seeing in her brother, to a woman who is able to stand up for herself and is not afraid to show her claws when she’s under attack.  Darcy and Georgiana’s relationship develops too, from a father/daughter style relationship to a more equal footing.

Darcy gave her a disbelieving look then realized she was joking. “Since when have you turned into a jester?”
“Since I realized the sky will not fall down on me if I make a joke,” said Georgiana. “And since I discovered my brother is rather fond of laughter.” She threw him a significant glance.

I was a little unsure of the familiarity between people in the story. Both new characters and existing seemed to get on familiar terms very quickly. In some cases this was used as a device to highlight encroaching characters but in others it didn’t sit quite right with me, especially when some of the people were on less familiar terms in Pride and Prejudice than they are here, however, this was a minor issue and didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Mr Darcy’s Pledge is volume one of ‘The Darcy Novels’, so be warned that it’s not a complete story although thankfully it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. We see some Elizabeth, but not as much as I’d like. There is the definite promise of more page time for Elizabeth in Volume 2. The only real shame is the wait I’ll have to have until I can read Volume 2, which is not yet available!

*Review written by Leatherbound Reviews contributor Ceri Tanti.
*Review copy provided by author

Man, Mr. Darcy's Pledge sounds like a must-read! I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Thanks for the wonderful review, Ceri. Are you as interested in Mr. Darcy's Pledge as I am? Then be sure to stop by on Friday as Monica Fairview has a great excerpt and giveaway for you, dear readers!! =)

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