Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Mister Darcy’s Dogs, a Pride and Prejudice contemporary novella, is Book One in Barbara Silkstone’s Mister Darcy series. Each book in this series is connected, so it is definitely recommended to read each book in order (and to expect cliff-hangers!) Our heroine in this series is Dr. Elizabeth Bennet, an intelligent but clumsy dog psychologist who has a talent for landing herself in awkward situations. In Mister Darcy’s Dogs, Lizzie meets Mister Darcy, a very private, mysterious, and wealthy man who needs his two basset hounds trained for an upcoming foxhunt. Will Lizzie be able to manage and train two unruly pups and their perplexing master in two days time???
So far, this series seems to utilize a group of select characters and their personalities from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – there isn’t a lot of similarity in plots or events. Elizabeth and Jane live together on their own and their sisters, Lydia and Kitty, who have become so unmanageable for their parents, are their temporary houseguests. In this novella the sisters meet the Darcy and Bingley siblings – Jane and Bingley are immediately attracted to each other, and as expected Lizzie spends more time being snarly and sarcastic with Darcy than sweet and solicitous. The sisters also meet George Wickham who, of course, interrupts their dog-training sessions to create some tension and havoc!
Between the humorous and sometimes humiliating situations Lizzie finds herself in and the quirky sense of humor of the author, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this novella! I found Lizzie to be very likable and endearing (she definitely channel’s Bridget Jones a little with her lack of social grace and hilarious inner voice!) However, I would have loved to know a little bit more of Lizzie’s backstory. This novella essentially begins with her meeting Darcy, and not much is said about her relationships, daily activities, psychology practice before this time. Lizzie calls herself a “brilliant” and “very important dog psychologist,” and since she was out of her depth with hunting hounds and the practices of foxhunts, I would have liked to see more of what she was knowledgable and experienced with in her field. Hopefully more about Lizzie’s history and past (and the mysterious Darcy’s!) will be revealed in later installments of this series!
This comedic adventure takes place over the span of three very eventful days. Which means a lot is happening at a very fast pace. Relationships develop quickly, feelings and emotions evolve rapidly, and conflicts arise suddenly and are dealt with swiftly. This fast-paced kind of story may feel exciting and action-packed, but I sometimes felt it was a little too fast and abrupt for my liking. Others may not be bothered by this, but I tend to like a little more time for reflection, development, and slower sequences.
Barbara Silkstone’s Mister Darcy series promises to be a lighthearted and entertaining series that continuously feature some fury canine friends! I loved meeting Derby and Squire (Darcy’s basset pups) and seeing their interactions with Lizzie! Their antics were adorable! And in Book Two it looks like Lizzie encounters a large shaggy dog named Sammy! I wonder what adventures (or misadventures) our Doctor Bennet will get into next!
Interested in winning a copy of Mister Darcy’s Dogs for yourself? Barbara Silkstone is kindly letting me host a giveaway for 3 editions of her novella (ebook, paperback, and audiobook) in conjunction with her author visit! Come check out her excerpt of Mister Darcy’s Dogs and leave a comment by April 27th to enter the giveaway!