Book Reviews: Finishing the Pamela Aidan series

11 Dec
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finished Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.  You might have read my review of the first book in the series last week.  If not, catch it here.
Overall, I would have to say I rate this series a 3 out of 5.  If it weren’t for the second book, titled Duty and Desire, I would probably give it a higher rating.
I really enjoyed the first book, but the second book was kind of a letdown.   Exploring the Goodreads website, I see that I’m not alone.  The majority of reviewers found this somewhat Gothic tale far-fetched and ridiculous, and I’d have to say that I agree.
While I found Darcy’s struggle to forget Elizabeth very real, I also found his methods of dealing with the attraction completely frustrating.  He decides that in order to forget Elizabeth, he must find a wife.  He chooses to do this in Oxford, during a visit to an old classmate, where he is thrust into the midst of “husband-hunting society ladies.”  Throw in kindnapped infants and occult practices and it makes for an interesting and perplexing view of the “silent time” between his time at Netherfield and his encounter with Elizabeth at Rosings. 
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate someone taking the time to attempt to fill in Mr. Darcy’s half of the “silent time” of Pride and Prejudice.  I suppose I never would have pictured Mr. Darcy behaving this badly; I’ve always imagined a Darcy that pines for Elizabteh while struggling to live everyday life.  Another novel I’ve read recently paints a picture more close to the images in my own mind, but you’ll have to wait ’til next week for that review.  🙂
Getting back to Aidan’s series, I did very much enjoy the third installment, These Three Remain.  Devastated by Elizabeth’s rejection of his proposal, Darcy is forced into a journey of self-discovery where he finds himself more prideful than he ever imagined.  We also get to see a version of how Darcy arranged the marriage of Lydia and Wickham, and I have to say, I never realized what sorts of things Darcy would have to do to rescue Lydia from social ruin.  However, Aidan presents it in a manner that makes it believable, and Darcy emerges as an even bigger hero than I ever imagined.
When Elizabeth finally accepts Darcy’s proposal, his thoughts and feelings are fantastic.  I don’t want to ruin it though, so you’ll have to read it to find out!
All in all, a good series.  I could have done without the second book, but I suppose it’s necessary to understand Aidan’s entire narrative.  Check them out and let me know what you think!
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