Guest review by Kimberly Denny-Ryder of Reflections of a Book Addict
What do you get when you cross Pride and Prejudice with werewolves? You get a dark and adventurous tale that follows Lizzy and Darcy as they grapple with a definite twist that has arisen in their relationship. This time, Mary Lydon Simonsen takes us on a journey where we follow our beloved couple as they encounter something that Jane could never have imagined when she originally put pen to paper.
Elizabeth Bennet is distraught. Fitzwilliam Darcy has been courting her for months and there is still no marriage proposal. Her mother, father, and even sister Jane keep pressuring her about what’s taking so long. Ready to give up on ever receiving a proposal, Darcy shows up begging Elizabeth to travel to Pemberley with him so that he can reveal a secret to her. If she doesn’t run away from him upon hearing this secret, then he’ll have a question for her. Nervous about what his secret is, Elizabeth agrees to the trip and makes the trek to Pemberley with him. Her first night at Pemberley, Darcy reveals that years earlier he was bitten by a werewolf and that for two days every month he turns into one himself. Elizabeth is shocked and cannot fathom all that she’s being told, yet promises to wait for him to return from his transformation before making a decision about their relationship. What will Elizabeth do when she sees Darcy in his wolf form? Will she stand by his side and marry him, or will she cut ties and end their relationship?
Having read Mr. Darcy Vampyre, by Amanda Grange and come away with a less than stellar opinion, I was super nervous at reading another Pride and Prejudice fan fiction novel that infused some type of supernatural beings within the plot. Fortunately, Simonsen has made this idea work with Mr. Darcy’s Bite, which seriously impressed me. Unlike another popular vampire work, Twilight, where werewolves appear because of vampires, Simonsen provides an actual realistic explanation for it. The novel is written with fabulous Gothic undertones, creating a dark and spooky reading atmosphere that grips you from cover to cover. The ending was my favorite part! So much so, that I immediately emailed Mary and asked her to write a sequel!
I really enjoyed the changes that Simonsen made to Darcy’s character. Shortly after his transformation we get to see a more playful Darcy that speaks his mind and teases Elizabeth about the things he can “sense” as a werewolf. In turn we see a different Elizabeth that isn’t so proud, and is willing to listen to the advice of those around her. Specifically, the advice of Darcy’s cousin Anne de Bourgh and his little sister Georgiana who are given larger parts, allowing the reader a new opportunity to get to know them!
For those of you who are nervous about dipping your toes into the paranormal fan fiction world, may I highly suggest that you start your journey with Mr. Darcy’s Bite? Not only does it top my JAFF list, but it’s pretty high up on my paranormal reading list as well. You won’t be disappointed!
5 out of 5 Regency Stars
Mr. Darcy’s Bite, by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Trade paperback (336) pages
© 2007 – 2011 Kimberley Denny-Ryder, Austenprose