While visiting a young woman—who was not so fortunate as Miss Georgiana Darcy in escaping the persuasions of a rogue—Georgiana meets Sir Camden Sutton, whose reputation causes Georgiana to wonder as to his motives. Her wondering soon turns to a different feeling when Sir Camden comes to stay at Pemberley, showing himself to be a very different man than was rumored. While Sir Camden struggles with his past and his commitment to his future, as well as the ill intentions of haughty Caroline Bingley, Miss Darcy must decide whether to listen to others, or the words written on her heart.
Publisher and Release Date: Amazon Digital Services, January 2014
Time and Setting: Regency England, Derbyshire
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Maria Almaguer
This is the second novella in the Love at Pemberley series by Reina M. Williams, a spin-off romantic love story of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. While I enjoyed the first installment, Most Truly, I enjoyed this story even more.
I have read only these two novellas by Ms Williams, but her writing style is very leisurely, spare, and sometimes lyrical. This is a quiet and pensive series, which is rather odd since Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen’s most lively and spirited novel. Described as “light and bright and sparkling” by the author herself, that is not how I describe Miss Darcy Decides.
The title has some promise, as it sounds almost gothic and fantastic, and there is an enticing element of the illicit in the story, but it is still a very sweet Regency romance. In fact, I thought Most Truly had some sexual tension while this story pretty much skips that emotion, and I found myself wishing for more.
Especially since the hero, Sir Camden Sutton, has a long established reputation as a rake. He’s rusticating in Derbyshire before he intends to take control of his neglected estate and, at the invitation of his friend, Colonel James Fitzwilliam, stays a few days at Pemberley. He meets Georgiana Darcy at tea at a neighbor’s cottage in the village. Intrigue makes a promising appearance when we discover that Miss Wilton is an unmarried pregnant woman living with her kind aunt. Camden is a reformed rake whose cousin’s reprehensible behavior left Camden extremely regretful of his own dissolute life.
I really liked that Camden felt he could become a better person instead of feeling he was completely unworthy of a future with love. He is supremely confident in his own skin and knows who he is and what he wants now. I really liked that Ms Williams presented his character in this admirable way.
Georgiana, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s younger sister, was almost ruined at the age of fifteen by George Wickham, Darcy’s former friend and current brother-in-law. She is a quiet young woman, fearful of disappointing her brother again, but she still desires love and romance and finds herself attracted against her will to the enigmatic and dashing Camden. She is very aware of his reputation but is too kind to judge harshly. Her attraction confuses and excites her, but she is an old soul, a very mature young woman, and almost too serious for her own good. Ms Williams’ descriptions of Georgiana’s emotions are lovely to read as you see her thought processes.
Darcy does not like Camden and makes his feelings quite clear. There are some tensely portrayed scenes where they confront one another, albeit in a civilized and dignified manner. Elizabeth sometimes acts as a diffuser, but Georgiana also speaks up for herself in a lovely moment.
The descriptions of both the English countryside, landscape, and food are vividly and beautifully written and there are also several descriptions of personal appearance, something Jane Austen herself rarely wrote. I would say that, except for the characters and setting, this does not feel like a Jane Austen novel, but I don’t think the author intends it to be.
As in Most Truly, characters from Austen’s most popular novel make appearances once again: a married and happy Anne de Burgh, Mary Bennet, the nasty and vindictive Caroline Bingley, Charles Bingley, and of course, Darcy and Elizabeth. And Kitty – a good friend of Georgiana’s – and James are just beginning their married life here.
To sum up, Miss Darcy Decides is a genuinely pleasing and satisfying Regency romance that even Jane Austen purists might enjoy.