Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
(Note: Potential readers should be made aware that although this is a standalone novel, more pleasure and understanding may be derived from reading Rainy Days prior to this work.)
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: A sequel to Lory’s Pride and Prejudice variation, Rainy Days
TIME FRAME: The day after the Darcys’ wedding through their first 4 months of marriage (+ epilogue)
The newly married Mr. and Mrs. Darcy currently reside in town in anticipation of the Season. While Elizabeth may want to escape to the beautiful environs of Pemberley, she can’t. It is important for her to be accepted as Mrs. Darcy, and in order for that to happen she must dress impeccably, be seen at society events, and attend her first ball at Almack’s. Lucky for Lizzy she has the fervent love of her devoted husband, the guidance of Lady Matlock, and the support of many of her closest relations as she makes her debut.
WHAT I LOVED:
- It’s Sentimental: This sequel was written at the bequest of many readers who fell in love with Ms. Lilian’s beautifully romantic variation, Rainy Days. And as such, there were many nods to the tender moments readers fell in love with in Rainy Days. I loved seeing Darcy and Elizabeth embrace their love-story and look back fondly at the pivotal experiences that brought them together. What Darcy did with the cottage was just so wonderful and romantic. I love that they cherished their time together there.
- I Want to be Elizabeth Darcy When I Grow Up: There is so much to admire in Ms. Lilian’s Elizabeth Darcy – she shows unmeasured kindness and selflessness as she takes in and cares for a perfect stranger, immense courage as she faces those who would try to belittle or insult her, and unwavering devotion for her beloved husband. This sequel illustrates some of the challenges Elizabeth faces as Mrs. Darcy and it was so wonderful to see her handle them with such grace and confidence.
- The Accepted Behavior of Married Men: Darcy and Elizabeth encounter a maid left to fend for herself in an unfortunate-but-not-too-surprising situation and it makes Elizabeth realize the common practices of many married men of her day. I really appreciated the realism and moral debate of this plot-line. I liked how it sparked a variety of reactions and beliefs. And I especially liked how one character in particular stood up for her beliefs and took certain members of her family to task! Her actions were indeed very praiseworthy.
- Rainy Day Favorites: One of the things I was most excited about in reading this sequel was seeing some more of Lady Ellen Matlock and Becky Gardiner! Becky’s unabashed honesty remains a delight and Lady Ellen continues to exemplify an admirable matriarch – something we don’t see a lot of in Pride and Prejudice related stories. I was so glad to see much page time devoted to these characters and to see that they fostered a sweet relationship with each other. I can only imagine how thrilling and heartwarming it must be for Darcy and Elizabeth to have some of their most beloved family members interact and form attachments with each other!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Practically Perfect: While I loved reading about Darcy and Elizabeth as a happily married couple, I sometimes missed seeing a little more drama or conflict in parts of this story. Elizabeth acquits herself marvelously well in her new roles as wife and mistress – with nary a fault, and the Darcy’s pass through their first couple months of marriage with little conflict or misunderstanding. Their relationship was pretty close to a picture of perfection, but perhaps that is what the author envisioned.
WARNING: I’d recommend this story for Mature Audiences due to several romantic and intimate scenes
With The Rainbow Promise Lory Lilian delivers an exquisitely romantic happily-ever-after for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. If you are an ardent fan of Rainy Days, this thoughtful sequel will satisfy your desire to see more of these lovable and charming characters and their inspiring love story.