Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy

( 25 )

Overview

If the two of them weren't so stubborn...

It's obvious to Georgiana Darcy that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother's perfect match, but Darcy's pigheadedness and Elizabeth's wounded pride are going to keep them both from the loves of their lives.

Georgiana can't let that happen, so she readily agrees to help her accommodating cousin, Anne de Bourgh, do everything ...

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Overview

If the two of them weren't so stubborn...

It's obvious to Georgiana Darcy that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother's perfect match, but Darcy's pigheadedness and Elizabeth's wounded pride are going to keep them both from the loves of their lives.

Georgiana can't let that happen, so she readily agrees to help her accommodating cousin, Anne de Bourgh, do everything within their power to assure her beloved brother's happiness.

But the path of matchmaking never runs smoothly...

Praise for Searching for Pemberley:

"A precious jewel of a novel with a strong love story and page-turning mystery. Absorbing, amusing, and very cleverly written." -The Searcher , Newsletter of NEPA Genealogy Society

"An amazingly unique and engrossing tale...without a doubt a must read for any fan of Pride and Prejudice." -The Long and Short of It

"Fans of historical fiction and Austen should savor this leisurely read." -Publishers Weekly

"This was such a sweet, lovely read, with such rich characters and it was with much regret that it had to end." -A Bibliophile's Bookshelf

Mary Lydon Simonsen's first book, Searching for Pemberley, was acclaimed by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fanfic sites, with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. She lives in Peoria, Arizona.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Simonsen (Searching for Pemberley) spins off another superior Jane Austen homage, retelling Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's perspective. She makes him much more sympathetic in the process, revealing that where Elizabeth Bennet sees haughtiness and pride, Darcy feels only discomfort from being out of his element. She also improves on the character of his cousin, Anne de Bourgh, by making her the matchmaker who brings Darcy and Elizabeth together when both have despaired of unsnarling their complicated feelings for each other. This offering will entertain those who already know their Austen and Georgette Heyer by heart, as well as fans of old-fashioned romance where bodices stay firmly put and the greatest intimacy is found in eye contact and a few choice words. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402240256
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 597,996
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Lydon Simonsen is the author of two Regency Austen re-imaginings, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy and A Wife for Mr. Darcy, and a Jane Austen historical romance, Searching for Pemberley, which was acclaimed by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and RT Book Reviews. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fanfic sites, with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. The author lives in Arizona.
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Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

Summer 1808

Before Darcy gave his opinion on signing the lease, he had gone into the neighboring village of Meryton and had found a typical market town near enough to the London road so that it had some amenities, such as a circulating library, an assembly hall, and a variety of shops that would meet Bingley's simple needs, if not those of his sisters, Caroline and Louisa, who were to keep house for him. He also made inquiries as to the local society. With Sir James Darlington, a baronet, gone to take the waters in search of a cure for his gout and relief for his wife's arthritis, Sir William Lucas, who had been knighted the previous year, was the only person of rank within easy riding distance of Netherfield Park. Darcy knew that Bingley, who loved dancing almost as much as he loved horses, would sign the lease as soon as he heard that there was an assembly hall in Meryton. By the time his footman had returned with a horse, a light rain had begun to fall, but Darcy would push on to Netherfield nonetheless and hope that the weather would improve or at least not get worse.

The weather got worse, and by the time Darcy made his entrance at Netherfield Park, his only interest was in being shown to his room, as he was chilled to the bone. Despite dripping all over the tile in the foyer and his apparent discomfort, Caroline Bingley was attempting to engage him in conversation, and her sister, Louisa Hurst, whose voice resembled a newly hatched chick, was asking if he wanted her to order some tea. "Thank you, Mrs. Hurst, but I would prefer to go straight to my room, so that I might change out of these wet clothes." He looked down at his feet and an expanding puddle, and Louisa directed a servant to show Mr. Darcy to his room.

A short while later, Bingley came bounding in. Charles's enthusiasm for life was usually infectious, but Darcy was so tired from the ride that all he could think of was his bed.

"Darcy, we were expecting you hours ago. Were you waylaid by highwaymen?"

Darcy merely shook his head. "If you were hoping for a bedtime story about how I eluded capture by brigands, I am sorry to disappoint you, but perhaps your governess is in residence?"

"Ah, good old Darcy, always in fine form no matter what the circumstances." As he watched his friend shed his wet garments, he explained that he had sent a servant to rummage through the house to look for clothes for him. "Unfortunately, Sir James Darlington was a rather rotund man and not a great tall fellow like you are, and you could not get into a pair of my breeches with a shoe horn. So let us hope that your carriage will be here early in the morning." Bingley exited the room, but then poked his head back in. "Oh, by the way, there is an assembly in the village tomorrow evening."

"Bingley! An assembly? We will speak of it in the morning," the exhausted traveler answered.

"No need, Darcy, I have already accepted an invitation on your behalf," and he quickly left the room.

The next day, Darcy tried to find an excuse for not going to the assembly. But if he did not go, Caroline and Louisa would have a reason to stay behind, and then Darcy would have to play cards with them or listen to Mr. Hurst drone on about how difficult it was to find a shop that stocked brandy and French wines, and if you did, how damn expensive they were. The wars on the Continent were a great inconvenience to Bingley's brother-in-law.

"Come now, Darcy. It will do you of world a good. I am told there are many local beauties, and they most certainly will be in need of partners."

The matter was finally settled when Mr. Hurst, who had been sprawled out on the couch, sat up and let out a loud belch. "If you insist, I shall go, but I warn you, Bingley, I am in no humor to dance."

"Darcy, I cannot force you to dance, but may I ask that you remove that scowl from your face? We do not want to frighten our neighbors."

In late morning, Darcy's manservant arrived at Netherfield Park. Mercer, who had been with Darcy for the past five years, was the most capable and ingenious man he had ever met. Upon hearing the sound of crunching gravel on the main drive to the house, he went to the window and laughed when he saw his servant at the reins of a farm wagon carrying all of his chests.

Darcy was not looking forward to attending the assembly. He was always uncomfortable in these country settings. Even in Lambton, the nearest village to Pemberley, or on the farms of his tenants, where he knew everyone by name, he did not know how to converse with people not of his class, especially if they were of the opposite sex. You could discuss breeding sheep with a farmer, but what did you talk about with the farmer's daughter? Fortunately, his young sister, Georgiana, had no such difficulties and was able to converse on any number of subjects, including, to his amusement, the need for road improvements between Lambton and Matlock with a local farmer.

Upon entering the assembly room, the party was introduced to Sir William Lucas and his daughter, Charlotte, a rather plain lady, but one who seemed to have a pleasant disposition. Following on Sir William's heels was the master of ceremonies, who asked if there was any lady to whom Darcy wished to be introduced, but he answered by saying that it was not his intention to dance. Within minutes, the hall was buzzing with news of the amiable Mr. Bingley's unpleasant friend, who refused to dance because he was above his company.

Darcy spotted Bingley dancing with a lovely creature with blond hair and blue eyes. This was all so familiar to Darcy. Wherever they went, Bingley's engaging ways quickly won over his new acquaintances. Within minutes, he would be besieged by gentlemen wishing to arrange introductions for their daughters, and he would always end up dancing at least two sets with the prettiest girl in the room.

"Come, Darcy. I must have you dance," Bingley said during a break in the music.

If Darcy gave any hint that he might be persuaded, he would have Bingley after him all night. So with great emphasis, he answered, "I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner."

Bingley continued to push and encouraged him to dance with the sister of the golden-haired Miss Bennet. "Miss Elizabeth Bennet is very pretty, and I daresay very agreeable." After a quick glance, he said, "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me," and told his friend that he was wasting his time. After Bingley left, he looked over his shoulder and realized that the young lady had heard what he had said.

"Blast it all," he thought. He had not meant to give offense.

His intention had been to stop Bingley from further entreaties. He was sure he had offended, but since he would not be seeing her again, he made the decision to say nothing. Instead, he went into the cardroom, where he soon found himself playing against competent players, who lightened his purse by a pound or two.

After spending most of the evening in the cardroom, he returned to the assembly and watched as Miss Elizabeth made her way through the complicated steps of a quadrille. Now that he had an unobstructed view of the lady, he saw that she was quite pretty, especially when she smiled, and he also noticed how softly her long, dark curls fell upon her shoulders and the brightness of her eyes and the fullness of her mouth. Shortly after realizing how appealing Miss Elizabeth Bennet was, he told Bingley he was sending for the carriage.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Variation Offering Us New Characterizations of Old Favorites

    Mary Lydon Simonsen is back with her sophomore novel, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy.(Can I also say that there is no sheer coincidence that the word "perfect" is in the title of this novel? More about this later!) The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy is a uniquely interesting Pride and Prejudice variation that lets Austen's supporting characters take the reins of her original work. Anne de Bourgh sees that something is happening to her cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, during his yearly trip to Rosings Park. She comes to find out that Fitzwilliam has fallen in love with Ms. Elizabeth Bennett, has proposed to her, and has been rejected. Anne having seen the two together at Rosings know that they are absolutely perfect for each other. Once Fitzwilliam leaves Rosings, Anne realizes that she must play matchmaker to bring Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam back together. Anne begins to set her plan in motion by visiting Elizabeth at the Collins' rectory and securing her friendship. During her visit Anne finds out that Darcy's letter had a positive effect on Elizabeth's feelings and that she feels regret for some of the things she said to Darcy. This revelation from Elizabeth is the sign Anne needs to know that she is doing the right thing in bringing Elizabeth and Darcy together. As I said earlier, the word perfect being in the title is no sheer coincidence. Simonsen wrote a truly incredible novel with fantastic characters. Granted, the characters are changed and molded from Austen's original writing, but my are they molded in an entertaining way. I doubt you'd be able to find one fan of Pride and Prejudice who would say they didn't want to see an assertive Anne de Bourgh. Her character change alone makes the book worth reading. Anne isn't the only character that undergoes a change in The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy. Another supporting character undergoing a total transformation is Georgiana who now becomes a rambunctious teenager who enjoys society and is unafraid of meeting new people. The characterizations of the new Anne and Georgiana are a joy to read. Anne and Georgiana's match-making schemes give them a strong resemblance to another Austen character, Emma Woodhouse. I'm always a huge fan of Austen fan fiction novels that take the supporting characters of Austen's original work and give them a chance to be in the spotlight.Simonsen does just that here, giving the storyline a new twist, with these "new" characters. You get to read the story in a new light and begin to hear it through a new character's thoughts. I wouldn't recommend this book for those of you who are unwilling to part ways with Austen's original storyline. With the changes to Anne and Georgiana's characters the storyline deviates from the original work, but ultimately has the same outcome. For those unfamiliar with the original work, this variation might be a bit confusing for you. The first half of Austen's original novel does not exist in Simonsen's work, as it picks up after the horrendous first proposal. I have to say I was so happy to read a variation as creative as this. After reading so many Pride and Prejudice sequels and variations, I get tired of the original storyline being told over and over with a small difference here and a small difference there. It was absolutely refreshing to read a complete overhaul of the original story and I truly can't recommend it enough.

    Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Perfect book for Jane Austen Lovers

    This book made me smile. On the surface, the story is (mostly) the same as the original Pride and Prejudice, but in the background, everything has changed. Characters that were previously next to invisible come to the front and points of view are all switched around.
    Miss Anne de Bourgh can see that her cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, is hopelessly in love with the lovely Elizabeth Bennet. Rather than allow his clumsy attempted proposal to ruin his hopes for future happiness, Anne decides to take matters into her own hands. What if the coincidences that brought Lizzy and Darcy together in Pride and Prejudice were not actually coincidences? This story has Anne, with a little help from Georgiana Darcy, scheming and plotting away to bring together two people who were obviously perfect for each other. I loved the portrayals of Anne (who I have long believed to have more in her than previously seen), Georgiana (I would love to read her Gothic novel), Jane (who grows a bit of a backbone), and Mary Bennet (who may get a romance of her own!). This story made me laugh several times, especially near the end when all of the plans and manipulations begin to fall into place.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    I love this book!!!!

    I couldn't put down the book for about 2 days! Those days were amazing :)
    It is based on the story of "Pride and Prejudice" but what I liked is that Anne actually speaks her mind and we know (or we want to think that we know) what happeneds when Mr.Darcy is away from Elizabeth for those long months in November.
    I truly recommend this book to any Jane Austen fan, is a must read!! )
    Oh and I couldn't believe Jane actually put her foot down!!! :D

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    Cousin Anne to the Rescue!

    I have enjoyed short stories about P&P by this author for quite some time. I enjoyed this retelling which follows the original story with some extra help by a resourceful Anne DeBourgh and a precocious Georgiana Darcy (enjoyable departures from the usually sick and unnoticed Anne and shy and retiring Georgiana). Austen purists would be proud! My only regret is that is ended before the weddings. More please!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Pride and Prejudice Variation!

    This variation does a wonderful job of breathing new life into characters and adding new twists and plot developments to the story of Pride and Prejudice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Fun but not well researched

    Hard to read unless you toss your love of the original manuscript out the window. Ms. Simonsen places some events so out of sequence that I wouldn't recommend to a P&P fan.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    So Fun

    This really was a great story. It really was Anne who worked to get them together and she was such a well developed character. Georgiana was a more of a free spirit than I have seen her in other stories but she was still a sweet character. I would absolutely recommend this book for your summer reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Didn't enjoy

    I did not enjoy this book at all. It does not have any sense of the original writing or characters. Even if it is read as just a completely seperate book without even thinking of the original, I did not like it. The story was long and painful and the none of the characters were enjoyable. I found it a great disappointment!

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    I love this book. I like that Anne has moxie. She sees what is

    I love this book. I like that Anne has moxie. She sees what is going on with Darcy and Elizabeth and refuses to allow them to throw their love for each other away on circumstantial evidence. Very well done!!

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    A different take for the Austen fan

    This book is basically a retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" with more emphasis on the view of Darcy and his friends and family. Some of the additions to the storyline give a more sympathetic slant on why Darcy behaves as he does. We also get to know Mr. Bingley's family better and to understand their motivations. The atmosphere generally felt authentic and I think most fans of the original will enjoy this take.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Austin fan fiction

    Easy read but I did not like the twist with the cousin Ann.

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2012

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    Posted March 4, 2011

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    Posted October 29, 2011

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    Posted November 1, 2012

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    Posted February 22, 2011

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    Posted June 23, 2011

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    Posted June 13, 2011

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    Posted October 6, 2011

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