Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, by Abigail Reynolds – A Review

From the desk of Christina Boyd: 

Huzzah! The much anticipated Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, a Pride & Prejudice variation by author, Abigail Reynolds has come at last. In this clever re-imagining, Miss Elizabeth Bennet left Hunsford before Mr. Darcy’s ill-stated first proposal as her father fell sick and later died. His heir, Mr. Collins assumes the entail and the ladies of Longbourn must shift for themselves.

Elizabeth’s eldest sister, Jane marries a local shopkeeper, believing she is doing her best for her family. The three youngest, along with Mrs. Bennet go to live with Aunt Phillips in Meryton while Elizabeth is sent to her Aunt & Uncle Gardiner in Cheapside. After Mr. Darcy discovers her in such reduced circumstances, he tells himself he simply needs to be reassured that she is being cared for.  But after he contrives a “chance” meeting, he finds he cannot stay away.  His obsession grows… He is consumed with the need to talk with her, see her, care for her. And just when his passions overcome his familial responsibility to his Darcy pride, another Bennet folly arrives, threatening to lower Elizabeth’s station even further. What delicious tension!

Abigail Reynolds’ Darcy is ever the romantic hero loving the sparkling Elizabeth, despite her lowly connections, and coming to her every rescue. Although some may acknowledge and even grumble about the distinct lack of hot, steamy love scenes that are typical in Reynolds’ Pride & Prejudice variations, there are plenty of dizzying, heart-pounding interludes to be had. Rarely have I read such sensual, seductive, provocative, yet wholly chaste, love scenes! “A fire seemed to kindle inside her as she realized that he planned to remove it. The smooth kidskin slipped away easily, but Darcy paused with her hand half-revealed as if asking her permission to continue.” Swoon-worthy, indeed.

Although many of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice canon characters make appearances throughout this novel, Reynolds’ own original characters are just as rich and colorful… adding depth and validity to this engaging twist. For those that have been chomping at the bit for another Reynolds’ novel, Mr. Darcy’s Obsession does not disappoint! And to Darcy & Elizabeth lovers who have yet to discover her works, you must put this at the front of the queue!

Postscript: I messaged the author asking her why she failed to wrap-up Georgiana’s plotline in the epilogue… and she responded that it is because she is writing a SEQUEL with more Georgiana! How about that for breaking news?!

4 out of 5 Stars

Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, by Abigail Reynolds
Sourcebooks (2010)
Trade paperback (368) pages
ISBN: 9781402240928

Cover image courtesy of Sourcebooks © 2010; text Christina Boyd © 2010,

21 thoughts on “Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, by Abigail Reynolds – A Review

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  1. I love Abigail’s works. I appreciate her expertise in wording. I especially love the not sexually graphic intimacy. The quote you added was so romantic. I can’t remember which novel of hers describes how it felt when Darcy placed Elizabeth’s hand on his arm and another part about kissing her fingers I believe. I’ve read it to my husband for fun. It evokes such pleasant feelings. I’ve read her books over and over. This new release looks and sounds as the others exquisite. Thank you so much for reviewing it.


  2. Sorry to be picky, but the last word in this review should be spelled “queue” which is pronounced “cue” but which means “a line or file of people or vehicles awaiting turn, as at a ticket window.” “Cue,” on the other hand, means “a hint or reminder, a prompting” (as in theater)


  3. I can’t wait to read this, and as the more sexual scenes have always been my only discomfort with Abigail’s novels, I am even more enthused to learn that there are a “distinct lack” of these. Yeah! The plot, as summarized here, reminds me strongly of Kara Louise’s Something like Regret, which I loved, though it always hurts to see the Bennets ousted from Longbourn. I’m looking forward to learning how Charlotte behaved in these circumstances.


  4. Okay, not to be ME, ME, ME about this–but I notice this is the third Austen-related novel out this month (including my own Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron) with the SAME COVER IMAGE. Very confusing for all of us. *Sigh*


    1. Hi Stephanie, it is quite a coincidence or is it? I wrote about this a few months ago when I noticed the same image of Madame Récamier being used on so many book covers. She is a famous face, but I agree it is confusing to book buyers. I am sure that your book designer was not aware of the her being used by other designers, though the Sourcebooks designers did know they were using her image twice in such a short time. However, I do not think buyers will be confused by the titles or the authors.


  5. A great review, I might have to pick this one up. I have to agree with Alexa that when it comes to Austen-related books, I’m not looking for any of those steamy-rip-off-your-petticoats scenes.


  6. Go Heather! It’s nice to see at least 3 of us think alike. I’m sure there’s many more. Laurel Ann’s site truly has a wealth of information for all of us in so many areas.


  7. Oooh yay – in a remarkable fit of book buying this summer, I read all of Reynolds’ previous P&P variation books, so I’m really looking forward to this one too.


  8. Great review! I loved this one as well. I also enjoyed that the book was very romantic and sensual without any overt sex scenes. I thought the plot was a great “what-if” scenario and I really loved the new secondary characters. I can’t wait for the sequel!


  9. As always, I look to Austenprose before I run off and buy an Austen sequel (I had little doubt that this highly anticipated newest book by Abigail Reynolds would receive a stellar review!) I have enjoyed all of her other novels and look forward to more on Georgiana…but first off to the bookseller to pick this one up.


  10. in this last week i have read three of abigail reynolds books for the first time and there fantastic however i dont think i cant read mr darcy’s obsession because jane wont marry bingley which i find very unseting and i dont like the idea of mr bennet dieing why cant mrs bennet or lydia die instead or wickum in the end of the book in a massive scene by darcy’s hand defending elizabeth honour that would b amazing. i love her work so much and the writing is brillent i hope she writes a story where lydia doesnt marry wickum and they have to over come that or if bingley never left and married jane that first christmas. i think my boyfriends right im a hopeless romantic who is way to obsessed with pride and prediuce.


    1. Sasha, LOLOLOL. I think you can totally handle Mr Darcy’s Obsession. In true Jane Austen fashion, Abigail Reynold’s story does turn out all right for all parties concerned. Trust me on this; I would not steer you wrong. Like you– I like all Ms Austen’s canon couples and characters’ to end up with who she meant them to end up with… albeit her villians. All will be well. Live on the edge a little. ;)


  11. ok thanks i will read it in that case. but seeing as you know so much i was just wondering is there a variation book where wickum dies instead of marrige lydia? becuse thats the only part of jane austens book i didnt like the fact that hes family in the end. well thanks again for the reasurrance i will read it as soon as possible.


  12. I’m extremely glad that there is a lack of sexually-explicit/charged scenes. Personally, I find it rather un-Austenesque to have any allusions to sex. Maybe it’s because of Austen’s ‘chaste’ way of writing.


  13. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, what would happen to them all if Mr. Bennet died? How would they all go on with their lives? Yes, I have to agree it was unsettling to have Jane married to an obscure shopkeeper. Jane being the prettiest and eldest sister, I can see her sacrificing her own happiness to help her family. I love how Mr. Darcy just can’t seem to help staying away from Elizabeth. Thank you for your lovely review!! A Georgiana sequel to follow how wonderful!!


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