Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: MR. DARCY'S BITE by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Mr. Darcy a werewolf? Really?

Yes, really, in Mary Lydon Simonsen's wonderful Regency take on the paranormal, Mr. Darcy's Bite.

For months, Darcy has visited Elizabeth. To all appearances, he wants to court her, but he has yet to make a declaration. At last, Elizabeth has had enough. With the love of his life about to dismiss him forever, Darcy has no choice but to reveal he is a werewolf.

Of all the reasons Darcy would hesitate to marry her, Elizabeth never imagined this. She loves him, but does she want to wed a man who grows fangs and fur every month?

In general, I don't care for paranormal in historicals. The paranormal can easily overwhelm the history, and combining the genres in the correct proportions to satisfy the historical reader is a delicate operation. In Mr. Darcy's Bite, Mary Lydon Simonsen has succeeded in crafting a story true to Regency sensibilities within the framework of an almost done-to-death paranormal motif.

Ms. Simonsen uses Darcy's unusual condition to heighten both the conflict and the emotion. Both Elizabeth and Darcy agonize over whether marriage would help or hurt the other, without realizing their doubts manifest their true love. Ms. Simonsen's scrupulous attention to the Regency world lets us believe Darcy's and Elizabeth's love plus a little humor will allow them to adapt to a marriage in which Darcy runs on four feet once a month. I like that Ms. Simonsen has presented Darcy's lycanthropy as more curse than blessing. Darcy is already a hero for the ages, and using his werewolfism to turn him into a Regency superman would dilute his appeal. And I like the ending, where two truly become one.

Mr. Darcy's Bite adds an enjoyable new dimension to Pride and Prejudice.

Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks


catslady said...

Just when I think they can't come up any more variations - surprise. Sounds like an interesting premise!

Linda Banche said...

Hi catslady. Yes, it's a good story, and I enjoyed it.

MarySimonsen said...

Hi Linda. Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I just got back from the AGM for JASNA in Fort Worth. Met so many wonderful Janeites, and I come back home to your review! It's been my week!

Linda Banche said...

You're welcome, Mary. I enjoyed your book. Glad it, along with the JASNA conference, made your day.