Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Sequel, Minor Character
TIME FRAME: About 3 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice
SERIES: Brides of Pemberley
Volume One – His Good Opinion (Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view).
Volume Two – Loving Miss Darcy (Sequel to P&P, focuses on Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam).
Volume Three – Against His Will (Sequel to Loving Miss Darcy, focuses on Kitty Bennet).
RECOMMENDATION: Read Loving Miss Darcy before reading Against His Will (although both are stand alone)
MAIN CHARACTERS: Kitty Bennet, Sebastian Montgomery (original character), Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Colin Maitland
SYNOPSIS: With Georgiana just married and Lizzy expecting her first child, Kitty goes to live with the Gardiners in Cheapside. The man who captured her heart recently, Sebastian Montgomery, is well aware of her affection but has no desire to pursue matrimony with anyone. That is until he unexpectedly inherits an estate and becomes an earl…Now that he is Lord Lisle he must find a wife and continue the family line. But rather than settle for the numerous accomplished and wealthy ladies of London society, he courts Kitty Bennet for the simple fact that she doesn’t bore him.
WHAT I LOVED:
- The Growth and Improvement of Kitty Bennet: I thought it was brilliant how Nancy Kelley gave Kitty a little bit of an inferiority complex, it made perfect sense! Poor Kitty still remembers and feels the reproof her father’s oft-repeated exclamation about her being one of the “silliest girls in the country,” and is, at times, quite ashamed of her excitable and emotional nature. In addition, Nancy Kelley zeroed in on Kitty’s feelings of inadequacy and lack of identity. All of her sisters seem to have a talent or something to recommend them, whether it be charm, wit, beauty, goodness… and by comparisons Kitty feels she is insufficient. I loved seeing Kitty blossom and discover her self-worth, as well as mature into an admirable heroine who remains true to herself.
- Our Unconventional Hero: I fell in love with Sebastian in the very first chapter! 🙂 He is a man of action, intelligence, and perception. I loved how decisive he was and I loved witnessing his astute observations and keen mind. With his social oddities, talent for deduction, and disregard for convention, he definitely reminded me of a less eccentric version of Sherlock Holmes (I wonder if this was intentional Ms. Kelley?) 😉 I enjoyed witnessing his clumsy attempts to court Kitty and treat their relationship in an unromantic and business-like manner. (Just wait until your heart becomes engaged, Seb!) Sebastian Montgomery is definitely right up there with Robert Darcy, Patrick McGillvarly, and Lord Dyfed Brougham as one of my all-time favorite Austenesque original characters. 🙂
- The Mystery: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!” When he is attacked by footpad on the same day he inherits his title, Sebastian becomes suspicious of his grandfather’s death. Maybe the carriage accident wasn’t a real accident…maybe someone is after his title…maybe someone wants revenge… “The game is on!” Loved the brilliant mystery in this story! Very exhilarating and very well-crafted!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- I Wanted More!: This story is a fast-paced adventure with one event or obstacle popping up right after another and I guess I felt at times that it went a little too fast. I would have loved more – more between Kitty and Sebastian, more time in Sebastian’s head, more about the Montgomery family and their estrangement, more background about the villain, just… more! Extending the story 50-100 pages more would have been perfect! 😉
With an intriguing mystery, an unlikely romance, and an enthralling sequences of events, Against His Will is definitely a great choice for readers who want to see more of Kitty Bennet and love adventure! I think this is Nancy Kelley’s best story yet! (I heard a rumor that this series will continue with a Christmas novella due out in December 2014! Squee! I can’t wait! More Sebastian please!)