Aug 122016

Miss Darcy's CompanionWhat If Elizabeth Worked for Mr. Darcy?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation

TIME FRAME: Several months before Mr. Bingley signs a lease for Netherfield Park

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and Georgiana Darcy

SYNOPSIS: What if there was no Ramsgate, no overheard insult, and no surprise encounter in Kent? What if Darcy first met Elizabeth Bennet as a nursemaid/stand-in governess for his cousin’s children? And what if Georgiana expressly wished for Darcy to hire Elizabeth as her companion? With her father passed away and Longbourn taken over by the odious Mr. Collins, Elizabeth happily accepts this position, even though she has no experience. Will she find her new employer to be haughty and high-handed? Or will she see him as kind and generous?


  • Harmony and Happiness at Pemberley: This story takes us to Pemberley and stays there for nearly all of the book, with only slight mentions and visits to Netherfield and Rosings. I loved the focus on Pemberley and sense of idyllic contentment that pervaded this variation as we witnessed Elizabeth, Darcy, and Georgiana find pleasure, peace, and companionship in each other’s company with no interference. Pemberley is such a lovely setting for romance to blossom and I loved seeing the happiness and easy camaraderie between this trio.
  • Woven Into Canon: With no Ramsgate, no Mr. Bennet, and no extended visit to Meryton, you may wonder if any of the same events will take place in this variation. Will there be a first proposal? Will Wickham cause any harm? I loved how, even though this story started so drastically different with altered situations for many characters, Joana Starnes found unique and clever ways to tie her variation to Jane Austen’s original canon. Especially her in regards to our favorite foils – Caroline Bingley and Mr. Wickham!
  • Tempered Reserve: In many of Joana Starnes’s variations she delivers healthy doses of anguish and heartache to poor Mr. Darcy. But in this variation, the shoe is on the other foot! Mr. Darcy, being proper and honorable, does not give much romantic thought to his sister’s charming and lively companion and is quite slow to recognize his feelings. But Elizabeth, seeing Mr. Darcy in this different perspective, cannot help but admire him and think him “the best of men.” And her admiration easily leads to affection – an affection she tries to suppress and conceal because she knows there is no hope. I really enjoyed seeing Ms. Starnes explore these more reserved and private feelings of yearning and turmoil from Elizabeth’s perspective.  AndI loved how she couldn’t resist giving Darcy a bit of torture and agony (which made us love him even more!).
  • Georgiana: It is lovely to see Georgiana blossom in this variation. She has her shy reserve, but learns maturity and confidence with Elizabeth as her dear friend and companion. I enjoyed seeing Georgiana grow, think for herself, and become more assertive. Definitely some admirable development for her character!
  • New Original Characters: Since we stay mostly at Pemberley, we don’t see much of the Bennets, de Bourghs, and the Bingleys. Instead we are introduced to several new original characters fashioned by Joana Starnes. These characters were well-constructed and interesting as they propelled the plot in various ways. (Note: I loved the helpful New Characters List in the front of the book!)


That now I will have an even harder time deciding which story by Joana Starnes is my favorite!


Sensitive, poignant, and gloriously impassioned – skilled storyteller Joana Starnes gifts readers another stellar Pride and Prejudice variation that will once again inspire them to fall deeply and irrevocably in love with Mr. Darcy! While this story might have a little more quiet reserve and suppressed passion, I think it is just as beautiful and stirring! Another brilliant read from Joana Starnes!

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Because she is inordinately kind and generous, Joana has sponsored a giveaway of ONE Kindle copy of Miss Darcy’s Companion, for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner in conjunction with my review! Miss Darcy's Companion

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review and share your favorite book by Joana Starnes (or, if you haven’t read any of her novels yet, which one do you want to read most?)

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Joana!
  • This giveaway ends August 18th!
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  99 Responses to “Miss Darcy’s Companion – Joana Starnes + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    I haven’t read any yet, but I’d like to read this one. Your review makes it sound fun!


      Thanks for stopping by to read Meredith’s review, Michelle, and huge thanks, Meredith, for the wonderful words, I’m over the moon that you liked it!!!

      Hope you’ll enjoy Miss D’s Companion, Michelle. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


      It’s a beautiful story, Michelle! I hope you get the chance to read it soon!


    Wow fabulous review Meredith. I love Joana Starnes’ books, she is one of my favourite JAFF writers but I have not read this one yet and now can’t wait!!!!!


      Fabulous review indeed, Michelle! Wow! Meredith, you’re awesome! Thank you both for the ever so kind words, they mean so much to me. Hope you’ll like MDC too, Michelle, and thanks for visiting and commenting.


      I’m so glad to hear you say that Joana is one of your favorite writers! If you haven’t guessed, she is one of mine too! 🙂


    I’ve read the Subsequent Proposal and loved it. Would love to read this book, too! Sounds fantastic!


    Joana Starnes is wonderful! I’m so anxious to read Miss Darcy’s Companion, especially after reading your review. I became a “fangirl” after reading The Subsequent Proposal – Ms. Starnes has such a gift that, as you read her books, you quickly are immersed in a first-quality story – reminds me of the Emily Dickinson quote: “There is no frigate like a book…to take you miles away…” – a guaranteed “good read”!


      Awww, Jean, thanks so much for the wonderful words and the delightful quote!! I’m ever so glad it’s all thanks to TSP & honoured to have you as my ‘fangirl’ 🙂 I hope you’ll like Miss D’s Companion too. Best wishes!


      Well said, Jean! I couldn’t agree more! Her stories are first-quality and completely suck me in right away!


    I have to admit The Subsequent Proposal will be a hard one to beat as my favorite! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!


    Joanna Starnes is one writer that I have no problem recommending. Her stories are always well written and entertaining. I love all of them and this one is no exception! I am proud to call her my friend but I said the same things before I got to know her. You will never be disappointed with her tales. Thank you for saying so clearly what I was thinking about this book, Meredith!


      Huge thanks for the kind words, Brenda! I feel exactly the same about your books, I could get lost in your PnP world forever and I’m so happy to have you as a friend!! How wonderful it would be to meet face to face one day! All the best, many thanks for your kindness & happy writing!


      I couldn’t agree more, Brenda! Thank you so much for reading my review and sharing your accolades!


    Well Meredith, what a great review for such a fabulous book. I also loved it as I have loved all of Joana’s books. The whole book was lovely but especially the ending . Please don’t enter me in the giveaway as I gave up trying to win one ages ago and bought it and I must say it was well worth it.


      Thanks so much, Glynis, for the wonderful comment and your kind words about my books. I’m so happy you like them, it means ever so much to me that I’m on the same wavelength with so many lovely people 🙂 All the best!


      Oh thank you, Glynis! That is really kind of you to say! 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you loved this book as much as I did!


    I too love all of Joanna’s book and thought this tale was great. I already have the Kindle so no need to put me in the drawing. Jen Red ♫


    Yes, this was an absolutely beautiful book! I have read all of Joana’s books and I’m thinking that this may now be my favourite…though I do love Subsequent Proposal and her first one and all the others! Please do not enter me in the draw. Great review!


    I haven’t yet read this one! It has been on my wish list for far too long! Hope I can get my hands on it soon!


    Hmm. The thought of E falling for D before he falls for her is quite an intriguing idea! This sounds delightful. I haven’t yet read any Joana Starnes (gah!) but this one looks like a great place to start!


    I have been eyeing this book for a while and your review has given me the push I needed to add it to my to-be-read list. I like the idea that Elizabeth is the first to realize strong feelings for Darcy (it doesn’t hurt her to be the one to suffer — it certainly does not happen often). Thank you for another great review!


      So glad that Meredith’s wonderful review got Miss D’s Companion on your TBR list! Hope you’ll like it.
      Sometimes it almost looks like we have a ‘Let’s Torture Darcy’ club going in JAFF, and we do tend to torture him a lot 😀 Most if not all my other books do. But I had some very interesting conversations with two dear friends who pointed out that Elizabeth is as strong as Darcy, and she could withstand a little torture too 🙂 Thanks for entering the giveaway and best of luck!


      Very true, Jan. I think what I liked most about Lizzy being the one to suffer is the realization that, as a woman, she can’t act on her feelings or even indulge in much hope. The man has all the power. It was quite lovely to see her admire and yearn for Darcy, now she knows how we feel!


    I also love Joana Starnes’ books, and I’m also not able to decide which one I like best. I haven’t read this one yet but I want to do it as soon as I’m able.


    I am a big fan of her books and my favorite is The Falmouth Connection. Thank you for the wonderful review and the giveaway. Can’t wait to read Miss Darcy’s Companion.


      So glad to hear that, Daniela! I really enjoyed writing it and taking photos of all sorts of little spots that have inspired the story. Cornwall is so irresistibly romantic!

      I hope you’ll like Miss D’s Companion too, even though there are no romantic little coves in the story and D, E and G are at Pemberley for most of the time. (I think they say Derbyshire is the furthest county from any coast, hope I’ve got that right 🙂 ). No smugglers either, but a couple of villains here and there 😉 Thanks for reading the review and taking part in the giveaway


      Great choice, Daniela! I love that one too for all the reasons Joana said. I hope you get the chance to read this lovely book soon!


    This is the only one of Joana’s book I have not yet read, loved them all so far


    I enjoy seeing this author’s creative mind at work each time I see a new book by her. The way she weaves in the familiar with the new to create her variations just pulls me in. I love it when there are wonderful original characters to love alongside the tried and true, too.
    I am in the process of reading my first of her books. I chose to start with the oldest and work my way forward, but seriously I’m tempted to jump to a few like this one that particularly catch my eye.

    Great review, Meredith!


      Such a wonderful comment, Sophia Rose, thanks SO much for the ever so kind words!! I do hope you’ll like ‘From This day Forward’ although I must admit I’m a little bit nervous too 🙂 That was in a rather different style, more history, less drama and virtually nothing of Wicked Wickie, just a bit of wicked Caro and spiteful Lady Cat sprinkled here and there as seasoning 🙂 I hope you’ll like FTDF, but if you feel tempted to jump to later ones, please do! There’s a faster pace on Cornish beaches & Falmouth, rivalry with Capt Wentworth in The Subsequent Proposal and of course the misery fest of love V loyalty in the D – E – Col Fitzwilliam triangle. Hope you’ll get to them and I hope you’ll like them.
      Many thanks for the beautiful comment and best of luck in the giveaway!


      Very well said, Sophia! I’m like you, I would very much want to read everything in order of released even though I wouldn’t have to! I hope you are enjoying it! I love the history and new characters in FTDF! Just wait until you read her lovely variations!


    I love ALL of Joana Starnes’ books. She’s a favorite JAFF writer. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway because I’ve just ordered the book and it’s supposed to come Tues. I can’t wait to read it!


    Your review is so thorough! Love the time and thought you put into it. I really liked The Subsequent Proposal. It was so clever the way she wove it all together.


      Meredith’s reviews are so awesome and wonderfully detailed! Thanks for stopping by to read this one and I’m still in awe to hear how many people liked TSP. Hope you’ll enjoy Miss D’s Companion too. Best of luck in the giveaway!


      Thank you so much! I sometimes struggle a lot with my reviews so your kinds words are very encouraging! 🙂 I agree! The Subsequent Proposal was brilliant!


    I couldn’t agree with you more, Meredith! Joana did a beautiful job telling a really mesmerizing, and slow burning romance story that had just the right amount of tension balanced throughout the story.

    Great review and thanks for sharing ladies!


    Another great review Meredith. I have so many of the book you review on my TBR list that I’ve had to put them on a spreadsheet! I’d better get reading. Thanks for the giveaway. Leslie


    Awesome – I love seeing Georgiana in a leading role I think she was an overlooked character. I too am interested to see if the same events transpire or if it’s a totally new direction 🙂 Thanks for the chance too! hopefuldelights1 (at) yahoo (dot) (com)


      I hope you’ll like Georgiana in this one, Erika. Having Elizabeth as a companion instead of Mrs Younge made a difference in more ways than one. Still, they might not go to Ramsgate, but that doesn’t mean there’s no Wicked Wickie 😉 Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


      I agree, Erika! I love seeing Georgiana in the spotlight. Yes, she her change in companion does alter some things. I love the idea of her never having Mrs. Younge as a companion!


    Great review! I have yet to read any of Ms. Starnes’ books, but they’ve been in my TBR pile for quite a while. I was going to start with The Unthinkable Triangle, but this just may persuade me to start here instead. Choices, choices… Looking forward to delving in!


      So glad you liked Meredith’s wonderful review, Renee, and that you’re pondering between Miss Darcy’s Companion and The Unthinkable Triangle.

      I think it depends if you’d rather start with E having a hard time or with pining Darcy. I probably was more cruel to him than her, but in my defence he broods and pines so irresistibly 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy the books, whichever one you decide to start with. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


      Thank you, Renee! I hope you get to read one of Joana’s books soon! I’m sure you will love them! 😀


    I have not had the pleasure yet to read one of her books, but this one Miss Darcy’s Companion sounds lovely!


    Loved your review, Meredith! My TBR list is growing at warp speed but I can’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway, Joana! 🙂


      A pleasure, Maria 🙂 I know the feeling about warp speed TBR list, mine too, so much great stuff came out this year! Best of luck in the giveaway, thanks for taking part and hope you’ll like it if you win.


      Thank you, Maria! Yes, TBR piles are enormous nowadays, aren’t they? I guess the upside of that is we will never run out of great books to read!


    What a great review, now I definitely have to try one of Joana’s books!


    I’m not certain I can pick my favorite, for so much depends upon what I just finished as well as my general mood. I do know, however, that I have greatly enjoyed everything P&P that she has written and highly recommend her works as must-reads to anyone who likes this genre.


    I am so glad that you enjoyed this book as much as I did, Meredith! Joana’s books are so good. Please don’t enter me for the giveaway, as I have already read the kindle version, I just wanted to share the love for the book 🙂


    plot sounds fascinating



    I’m sorry to say that I haven’t read any of Joana’s books (yet.) The premise of this one sounds excellent, as well as The Second Chance, where we get to revisit with our S&S characters as well as our P&P characters.

    The cover of this book is just lovely.

    Thanks for the review, Meredith, and the giveaway opportunity, Joana!


      Many thanks for the lovely comment, Lori, and sorry it took me so long to comment back (we were camping in the Lake District miles away from civilisation and WiFi 😀 ). I’m ever so glad you liked the cover for Miss Darcy’s Companion and wonderful to hear you enjoyed the premise of The Second Chance too. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


      Great choices, Lori! I hope you get the chance to read one of Joana’s books soon! 🙂


    Joanna Starnes is at the top of my list – looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway.


    Oh this sounds like a lovely variation! Would love to give it a read. My favourite variation (so far) by Joana Starnes is The Subsequent Proposal.


    I won this excellent book during your previous giveaway, and I’ve just finished reading it. I loved ODC interactions and all the original characters were wonderfully written. Definitely a 5 stars book!
    By the way, when it is ‘later in the year’, Joana? I have made a mistake and read an excerpt of ‘Mr. Bennet Dutiful Daughter’ and now ‘later in the year’ cannot come soon enough. 🙁


      Wonderful to hear you liked Miss Darcy’s Companion, Kate, huge thanks for the lovely comment!! I would have replied sooner, but we were away for a week, camping in Lake District (lucky Lizzy Bennet, she didn’t have to put up with soggy tents 😀 )

      Fingers crossed, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter will be out this November and with any luck a little sooner. I do hope you’ll like it and sorry for the wait 😉 All the best,


    Great review Meredith! I love this novel and the twist from canon that involved Miss Bingley as well as Wickham. Please don’t enter me in this wonderful giveaway as I already have a kindle copy! Love your novel Joana, can’t wait to read your next project!


      Thanks for the ever so kind words, Dung Vu, and for stopping by to comment! I’m ever so glad you liked Miss Darcy’s Companion, it’s wonderful to hear that, and such a boost to keep writing. All the best and have a great week.


    I have not read any but your review makes me want to read this one!

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