Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Even though I adored all of Lory Lilian’s splendid Pride and Prejudice variations and am a fan of her romantic portrayals of Darcy and Elizabeth, I must admit, I had some reservations about her newest release, The Perfect Match. Partly because sequels that focus on Darcy and Elizabeth aren’t my favorite type of Austenesque novels, (I tend to gravitate more towards variations and minor characters stories) but also I was a little apprehensive about this book because of the title. Like Jane Austen, I’m not too fond of “pictures of perfection,” I like me some tension, misunderstandings, and obstacles. However, I’m so very glad I did read this charming sequel novella, it did not make me “sick and wicked” at all, or portray numerous repetitions of idyllic bliss – to be honest, it suited my tastes quite perfectly!
This one hundred and ten page novella was the ideal length for the author’s purpose, which was to illustrate Darcy and Elizabeth in the midst of their first year of marriage – how they are getting on with each other, how Elizabeth is adjusting to her new roles, and how relationships are developing between their two families. Through the course of the novella we see Darcy and Elizabeth celebrate their anniversary and the Christmas holidays. In addition, we witnessing Elizabeth’s “proper introduction” into society and the momentous occasion of her hosting her first grand ball. Even with an absence of tension and misunderstandings between our beloved couple, there was plenty to captivate and entertain.
I think one of my favorite aspects of this story was the comparisons made between the two sisters’ marriages, Darcy and Elizabeth illustrate the happiness derived from a “marriage of true minds,” they are open with each other and enjoy a bond that is powerful and rare. They are very attuned to each other’s feelings and share lovely moments together, but it didn’t feel too saccharine or unrealistically perfect.
Jane and Bingley, on the other hand, are not living a life of “happily ever after.” While their love for each other is strong, they are afraid to be open with each other. They also suffer from a little too much involvement from their relatives. This is a storyline I find very probable and credible. Given what we know about Charles’s “easy temper” and Jane’s “affectionate heart,” it is easy to believe that they would let their families impede their own marital happiness and privacy. I greatly appreciated how Lory Lilian handled this conflict between the Bingleys, and didn’t portray them as weak, mindless, or helpless characters. I was so happy to seem them prevail through their troubles!
Another aspect of this sequel I greatly enjoyed and appreciated was how Mrs. Bennet was portrayed. After Lizzy becomes Mrs. Darcy, I’d like to think she would stop berating and complaining about her “least-favorite” daughter. It was very touching and gratifying to see a Mrs. Bennet who was so in awe of Darcy and so stunned to be amongst aristocrats that she quite lost her silly and hysterical ways. And it was absolutely lovely to see her sweet moments with Lizzy where she conveyed her concern, support, and best of all, her admiration.
This brief little glimpse into our dear couple’s happily-ever-after was like sampling a delectable piece of chocolate after a sumptuous meal. Nothing too filling or complex – just that extra bit of “something sweet” to leave you completely satisfied. Well done, Lory Lilian!
Warning: While nothing too explicit happens on page, there a couple sensuous and amorous scenes between our newlyweds. Recommended for Mature Audiences.