Mr. Darcy Forever

Mr. Darcy Forever

3.9 11
by Victoria Connelly
     
 

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Sisters are forever...

Sarah and Mia Castle are closer than best friends and share just about everything, including a deep and abiding love for all things relating to Jane Austen. Their annual trip to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath is a highlight of their lives—until the year they discover that no matter how close two sisters may be,

Overview

Sisters are forever...

Sarah and Mia Castle are closer than best friends and share just about everything, including a deep and abiding love for all things relating to Jane Austen. Their annual trip to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath is a highlight of their lives—until the year they discover that no matter how close two sisters may be, it's impossible to share one man between them. Even ifhe does seem like their own perfect Mr. Darcy, if one wins him, won' t both of them lose?

Praise for A Weekend with Mr. Darcy:

"Connelly has created a magical world for Janeites...a must—read for Austen fans." —Diary of an Eccentric

"A great romp in the English countryside with some gal pals and hot men that will make you giggle, squirm, and sit on the edge of your seat." —Savvy Verse & Wit

"You don 't have to be an Austen addict to enjoy this one. It's full of humor and wit. " —Debbie's Book Bag

"Victoria Connelly is an engaging and skilled storyteller... I felt I was able to see, feel , and hear all the wondrous things about Jane Austen's Hampshire firsthand." —Austenesque Reviews

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I do not think I will ever get tired of books like this one. They are in my blood and they just make me happy." - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

"I'm only sad that the series has come to a close. I can't wait to see what Connelly comes up with next." - Luxury Reading

"Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly is about love and forgiveness between sisters who are swept up in Austen's fairy tale-like world of happy endings, only to find that the happiness they thought they would have was fleeting." - Savvy Verse & Wit

" The poignant story of two sisters ripped apart and their three-year journey back to reconciliation is compelling enough in its own right. Then kick it up another notch with the two loveable heroes... Will author Victoria Connelly confirm to us that the right man can indeed become Mr. Darcy Forever? I hope you understand my meaning when I say the 330 pages just evaporated in my hands as I sought the answer. 4.5 out of 5 Regency Stars" - Austenprose

"Mr. Darcy Forever is a sweet and charming tale about growing up and realizing that real life isn't like what you read in a novel, but there's nothing wrong about hoping for a happy ending." - Diary of an Eccentric

"This book is not to be missed by any lover of Jane Austen or by anyone looking for a great character story about two sisters and the ups and downs of their relationship." - Laura's Reviews

"Jane Austen fans will love this book and new readers to Jane Austen fiction will be enthralled and captivated by Connelly's characters and majestic setting. Connelly continues to surprise Chick Lit fans and Austen enthusiasts alike with book after book featuring one of the most beloved leading men out there." - Debbie's Book Bag

"I adore Victoria Connelly's trilogy about Jane Austen addicts and consider them to be treasures in the oeuvre of Austenesque literature!" - Austenesque Reviews

"Forever Mr. Darcy... a delightful novel that any Janeite can enjoy. Like a summer holiday in Bath can be, it's full of fun, romance and drama. Victoria has once again woven a tale that I enjoyed from beginning to end. Pick up her Jane Austen Addict Trilogy today!" - The Calico Critic

"What I especially like in Victoria Connelly's Austen-inspired trilogy is her humor. Her prose is witty and her narration characterized by a very light touch which makes you want to turn the page quickly and never put the book down. Bravo, Ms Connelly! These three modern day romances are really sunshine on a rainy day. I've loved them all." - My Jane Austen Book Club

"There wasn't a time, when reading, that I was bored. I would recommend this book to any Janeites or romance fans alike." - NetGalley.com

"It reads quickly and I was hooked." - NetGalley

"This book is required reading for Austen fans and the perfect book to accompany your cup of tea, curled up in your favorite chair . You will not be disappointed." - NetGalley

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402251399
Publisher:
Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
33,036
File size:
999 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Sarah Castle wasn't in the habit of blindfolding people, but her sister's twenty-first birthday was a delightful exception. As she drove through the winding lanes of Devon, she glanced quickly at Mia. She did look funny with the red polka-dotted scarf tied around her eyes and her curly dark hair flattened into submission.

Slowing down to take a bend in the road, Sarah tried to think how she'd spent her own twenty-first birthday. With a nine-year gap between them, Mia would have been just twelve and had probably been at school.

I would have just finished university, Sarah thought, remembering that summer. It had been the summer their mother had walked out on them and the summer Sarah's role had changed. There had been no note of explanation and no telephone call to check up on them. It was as if Monica Castle had decided she'd completed her role as a mother and moved on to other things somewhere else. Of course, neither of their fathers wanted to know, although the occasional check arrived to pay the rent and assuage some guilt.

From the wide-eyed graduate who was going to conquer the world, Sarah became a surrogate mother, tidying up after her little sister and making sure she always had clean clothes and was eating properly. Her own life had taken a back seat and, whilst working part-time at a restaurant, she'd studied to become an accountant.

No wonder she hadn't had time to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but this weekend was going to make up for it.

She glanced quickly at Mia and smiled. Some sisters might not have survived the kind of relationship that was forced on them, but it brought Sarah and Mia closer together, and now that Mia had also graduated, she was about to leave home and start leading her own life. She'd already been talking about sharing a flat in Ealing with her friend Shelley, and Sarah was desperately trying not to act like a mother hen, fussing around Mia and making life impossible with endless questions. Mia was a grown woman, and Sarah had to remember that, although, looking at Mia now, she still seemed young and naive. She'd always reminded Sarah of Marianne from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. She had the same drive and passion, teamed with inexperience. A lethal combination, Sarah thought.

Oh, stop worrying. Stop worrying, she told herself. This week was about pure unadulterated pleasure. She wasn't going to think about Mia living in an appalling flat, unable to pay her bills, and getting into all sorts of trouble because she wouldn't have her big sister to keep an eye on her. Oh, no. It was going to be a week of ‘busy nothings.' They would walk. They would talk. They would eat and read and watch films. Sarah had a suitcase that was almost completely full of films, from the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to the BBC version of Persuasion. She had been forced to take out some of her clothes, because they wouldn't all fit in. Of course she could have put the films in a separate case, but that would never have done. Sarah was very particular about such things. You took one suitcase away on holiday, and that was all. She only hoped that the warm weather would continue and that she wouldn't have need of the big woolly sweater she pulled out at the last minute.

Banishing thoughts of a freak May snowstorm, Sarah thought about the week that lay ahead. No doubt there would be the usual arguments about who was the best Elizabeth Bennet and who made the most dashing Mr Darcy. This disagreement was when their difference in age became most pronounced, as Sarah would be singing the praises of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy and Ciarán Hinds as Captain Wentworth, whereas Mia would be swooning over Matthew Macfadyen and Rupert Penry-Jones.

‘But he's far too pale to be a convincing Captain Wentworth,' Sarah would say. ‘He doesn't even look as if he knows where the sea is!'

‘Well your Captain Wentworth looks like a grandfather,' Mia would retort.

Sarah grinned. There were some things about which they would never agree, but one thing they agreed on was that this week was going to be free from men. Sarah had just ended a relationship that had been a complete disaster from start to finish, and Mia was still nursing a broken heart after her latest boyfriend, Guido, had gone back to his mama in Italy. Sarah sincerely hoped there were no men in Devon or, at least, not in their little corner of it. She was fed up with living in a city where there was a rogue around every corner. The only men she wanted to think about were the fictional heroes in her Jane Austen novels. They were the only perfect men in the universe, weren't they? They never broke your heart. Living safely within the confines of a novel, they were the very best kind of lover.

‘Are we nearly there yet?' Mia asked, breaking into Sarah's thoughts.

Sarah laughed at the childlike question. ‘Nearly,' she said. ‘You're not feeling dizzy, are you?'

‘No, I'm fine,' Mia said.

‘Because we can take the scarf off, if you'd like.'

‘Oh, no! I like surprises,' Mia said.

‘And you've no idea where we are?'

Mia shook her head. ‘Somewhere complicated,' she said. ‘All these twists and turns.'

It had certainly been a complicated journey, with Mia coming from London and Sarah from Winchester. They'd finally managed to meet up in Exeter and had driven through the rolling Devon countryside together, both glorying in being released from their city lives for a few days. Sarah couldn't wait to get out of the car and stretch her legs and stride across a few fields like Elizabeth Bennet or Marianne Dashwood.

It was then that she saw the track that she'd been looking out for and turned off the main road onto the private one. Mia swayed in the seat beside her.

‘We're getting close, aren't we?'

‘Not long now,' Sarah said, although she had never been there before herself, so had no real idea of where they were going. Still, she could feel a bubble of excitement inside her. It had been such a hard secret to keep from Mia. Sarah didn't like secrets. She liked openness and honesty, but, she told herself, this was different. This was a secret to beat all secrets, and she couldn't wait for it to be revealed.

The turnoff came quickly, and Sarah slowed the car, parked it, and turned off the engine.

‘Can I take the scarf off?'

‘No!' Sarah said. ‘Stay right there.' She got out of the car and ran around to open Mia's door, releasing her seat belt and taking her arm.

‘I feel like an invalid,' Mia said.

‘Come on,' Sarah said.

‘It's steep,' Mia said.

‘It's all right. I've got you.' Sarah led the way down a path and then up a grassy bank until she reached a small wooden gate. She placed Mia's hands on top of the gate, and only then did she untie the scarf.

‘Happy birthday,' she said, leaning forward and kissing her sister's pink cheek.

For a moment, Mia just stood blinking, as if getting used to seeing again, but then she gasped and her mouth dropped open.

‘Oh, my goodness! It's Barton Cottage! You found Barton Cottage!' Mia jumped up and down on the spot like a little girl, which, Sarah knew, she would always seem to her. She would always be her little sister. She smiled as Mia's eyes widened in delight at the sight that greeted her. It was truly beautiful—the perfect Georgian country manor, its pale walls and large sash windows so open and friendly. But it was more than just a beautiful house—it was the house used in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility—the one to which the Dashwood sisters have to move after their father dies.

‘It's so beautiful,' Mia said. ‘This really is it, isn't it?'

‘It really is.'

Mia turned to face Sarah, her dark eyes brimming with tears. ‘I can't believe you found it, and I can't believe we're really staying here.' She opened her arms wide and then wrapped them around Sarah, squeezing her until she begged for mercy.

‘Don't you want to see inside?' Sarah asked, extricating herself from Mia's embrace.

Mia nodded, her smile reaching gigantic proportions.

They opened the little wooden gate and walked up through the garden. Everything was lush and lovely. Frothy cow parsley grew in abundance, and bright red campion blazed in the hedgerows. To the left of the house lay a field of bright bluebells, and a beautiful lawn stretched out in front of the house in green splendor. It was as if spring had danced over everything, leaving no surface untouched.

As they reached the front door, Sarah turned around to admire the view down to the estuary. It was flanked with pale blond reed beds, and a little lane ran alongside it.

Mia gasped. ‘That's the lane Willoughby rode along, isn't it?'

‘And Colonel Brandon too,' Sarah said, wistfully glancing along it in the hopes that Alan Rickman might show up on horseback at any moment.

‘We're going to have the best week ever here!' Mia said.

‘Of course we are,' Sarah said. ‘A perfect week.'

But perfection is hard to come by, even in Devon, and Sarah had been wishfully thinking when she'd hoped there were no men in their little corner of the English countryside.

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Mr. Darcy Forever 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
MamaKitty729 More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. I routinely go through what I call my "Darcy Benders" where I'll read nothing but Pride & Prejudice and the every variation/adaptation/retelling/told in today's setting I can find. I was on one of these P&P benders when I found Mr Darcy Forever through NetGalley.I knew it wasn't a P&P adaptation or even a story where Elizabeth and Darcy are placed in today's society. It was a story about women much like myself who are Jane Austen obsessed. I got 27% through the book (according to the Kindle app on my iPad) before I finally gave up. I don't know if you had to have read the previous books to understand what was going on or if the author left everything intentionally vague to drive the readers insane. I couldn't invest in the characters. I didn't care about the storyline because even 27% into the book I wasn't entirely sure there was a storyline. I tried to push as far as I could for my love of Jane Austen and Mr Darcy, but ultimately it wasn't enough and I had to DNF this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the plot is interesting the author's love of the movie adaptations of the Jane Austen movies lives on.  The constant referrences to anything and everything in the books and movies can get annoying at times.  I would suggest a little more editing to make the referrences a little less obvious.  A referrence to the scene in the most recent adaptation of Pride and Prejudice did nothing to recommend this book.  Mr. Darcy does not stride across a meadow in the book.  Only Matthew MacFayden does this in the movie. If the author is going to referrence the books or movies then she needs to indicate to which she is referring.  Maybe I am just OCD just like the main character in Ms. Connelly's book, but these inaccuracies really bothered me.  This is probably because, when I finished watching the latest Pride and Prejudice adaptation, I just looked at my English teacher daugher and said,  "It 's a really good movie, but it is not Pride and Prejudice."   Please, Ms. Connelly, stick to the books or stick to the movies but don't try to combine them into one story.  It's annoying to those of us who have read Austen since the fifth grade.
InSpirit More than 1 year ago
Another Victoria Connelly to add to my faves! She has a deliteful lite touch in her writing that adds to my enjoyment even when the topics are downright serious.  Well executed characters and excellent development of the two sisters of this story. Several surprise twists add to the reading value. The Jane Austen sites and sights of Bath's festival will satisfy any Austenites! Victoria is adept at dropping cues to today's Austen followers to p up and laugh out loud ") The contemporary situations are well thought out with realistic and authentic solutions. I was entirely impressed with this story of two sisters mesmerized by the same man with incredible outcomes affecting their lives both presently and for the future. What they do with their infatuations makes for fascinating spicy situations. And when they both show up in Bath for the JA Festival, who could predict what will result? Will they find their own Mr Darcy? and will he be forever? Loved it! TY again, Victoria ! always a pleasure {& definitely a reading Treat!}
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
I love this Austen Addicts series and must admit that I am disappointed this is the third and final book. Boo. However, what a fun and (as Jane Austen would say) diverting entertainment! As A Weekend with Mr. Darcy mirrored Pride and Prejudice and Dreaming of Mr. Darcy ran parallel to Persuasion, Mr. Darcy Forever has its roots in Sense and Sensibility, from focusing on two very different sisters (the almost maddeningly practical Sarah and the carefree Mia), the Devon location of Barton Cottage and to the more modern day counterparts to the caddish Willoughby, loyal Edward Ferrars and solid Colonel Brandon. Sigh. Okay, I admit it. I was visualizing Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise while reading, although the physical descriptions of characters in the book as written by Victoria Connelly are nothing like the actors themselves. Regardless, this book was like going on a wonderful, all expenses paid vacation. Maybe the Jane Austen Festival, as mentioned. Author Victoria Connelly has the fortunate ability to draw the reader in right away, to brilliantly capture the spirit of Jane Austen's novels in present day settings. I wanted to jump on the first plane across the pond, so strong was my desire to visit Bath - - heck, live in Bath! - - while reading this. I was thrilled to see that many characters Ms. Connelly introduced us to previously, in the aforementioned A Weekend with Mr. Darcy and Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, make cameo appearances here. It gives a very nice tie-in to the earlier books in the series as well as allowing us a brief glimpse into what may have happened to those characters after "their" book ended. Interestingly, as I loved this book so much, I didn't care for Sarah until the last quarter or so. I did try to see her as Elinor Dashwood, or at least a latter day version, but I just didn't get a sense of Sarah's heart right away, unlike Elinor's. She was still a unique character and I was pleased that she got her happy ending. I liked Mia much more, relating to her spunkiness easier than Sarah's sense of order. I liked reading of her dismal bedsit in London, her desire to set the world stage on fire and her friendship with former classmate Shelley, who found happiness working at a daycare center in Bath, while sewing vintage costumes. I could see her warm home, her scattered fabrics and ribbons, and her energetic dog, Bingley (you wouldn't expect anything less, would you?) - - as well as her strange roommate Pie. Mia fit flawlessly into this British motley crew and, honestly, could have been an amusing and enjoyable book on its own. I found Alec, Gabe and Lloyd all appealing characters, albeit for very different reasons! I would have liked a bit more backstory on Gabe and Lloyd but, really, a minor point. Deep cynics or non-obsessed Janeites may find the ending a bit too tidy and wrapped up. If you are an Austen fan, you know that Jane gives her heroines happy endings and Victoria Connelly does Jane proud. Perhaps the ending is a bit too pat but it works and I'm quite pleased with it. This book is required reading for Austen fans and the perfect book to accompany your cup of tea, curled up in your favorite chair (or, like me, sitting outdoors and enjoying the sun). You will not be disappointed. Be warned, however, that basic things like housework and errands may be put on the back burner while you are accompanying Sarah and Mia to Bath. ©Psychotic State Book Reviews, 2012
AustenLoverJB More than 1 year ago
This book is the third in a series. I read "Dreaming of Mr. Darcy" first, not realising it was the second of a series. I adored it. It was such a delightful read that I checked Connelly's website and learned there were two more. So, I read the first of the series, "A Weekend with Mr. Darcy," and liked it nearly as much. I have to say that "Mr. Darcy Forever," while certainly not disappointing, was not quite as good as the other two. Do read them in order. There are characters which appear throughout the three books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
csingh More than 1 year ago
Sarah and Mia are two sisters who are are as close as can be, but have not spoken or seen each other in three years. Both are huge Jane Austen fans who end up in Bath for Jane Austen week three years after they've last seen each other. What caused them to drift so far apart? The books starts off and immediately gets going. As in Ms.Connelly's other Jane Austen/Darcy related books, the story follows a similar path or paths with actual Jane Austen books. There are modern tweaks which left me astounded. I didn't see the big revelation at the end, regarding Mia's life in the three years since she fell out with her sister, at all. It reads quickly and I was hooked because while the book goes from past to present with each chapter, you are left wondering what happened between Sarah and Mia. This concludes her trilogy about Jane Austen addicts. Victoria Connelly has written five other full length books besides this trilogy and two collections of short stories. One of which was made into a movie in Germany. Her latest release is a non-Jane Austen related book about an actress and has just been released in the UK and Europe on April 12th. I was unable to find a release date for this book in the US, but keep your fingers crossed, and it might be sooner than later!
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Mr. Darcy Forever is the third book in a series of books by Victoria Connelly, all of which center around a Jane Austen Festival in Bath. In this book, two sisters, long estranged, end up at the festival and find their lives changed. Sarah, the older sister, suffers from severe OCD, and traveling to the festival is a nightmare. She comes to Bath because being immersed in Jane Austen is the only time she can forget all of her rituals and just enjoy herself. She meets Lloyd, a photographer and fellow OCD sufferer, on the first day of the festival. Mia is the younger of the sisters and she comes to Bath for the festival and stays with her old friend Shelley. Mia is happy to get away from her grungy bedsit (very small apartment) and away from her failed career as an actress. She is hoping that she will not run into Sarah during the festival because they have not spoken in three years. She shares her story with Shelley’s neighbor Gabe and finds herself drawn to the slightly older man. From the beginning of the book and interspersed throughout, are glimpses of a vacation Sarah and Mia took where they stayed in the same cottage where the movie Sense and Sensibility was filmed. The vacation of a lifetime turns into the means of the sisters breaking apart. As the story goes on, more of what happened comes out and we finally find out what has caused this split between two sisters who were once so close. It’s almost painful to read as the crisis approaches. Like the previous books in the series, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy and Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, this book was a great read. As an Austen fan, I enjoyed the whole festival atmosphere and the tidbits of information about the well-loved author. The two sisters are interesting characters and both likeable despite their situations. When they meet possible romantic interests it’s good, but we really want to see them be happy together, not apart. The reason for the split is somewhat shocking when finally revealed but the reader still hopes for reconciliation because we know they can’t be happy without each other.
DaniC More than 1 year ago
If you are a Jane Austin fan – you will love this book! The story was… wonderful. I mean truly, utterly enjoyable. I will admit that when I first received Mr. Darcy Forever I was afraid it would be a bit cheesy. It wasn’t! Once you start reading you feel like you are listening in on friends. The characters, Sarah and Mia, were very human and real for me. There was at least one surprise in the plot that I wasn’t expecting. All in all such an enjoyable read that you don’t want to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello