Dec 182017

Colonel Fitzwilliam Learns There Is Something About Mary!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy From Author

(Note: This book is the third book in Maria Grace’s The Queen of Rosings Park series. And while it is a stand alone novel, it is better to read this series in order because as fans of Maria Grace may already know, she has a penchant for altering situations and personalities!) 😉

What readers need to know before starting this story is that Mr. Bennet is a physician, the Bennet family lived in Kent while Mr. Bennet served as Lady Catherine’s physician, Anne de Bourgh recently passed away and bequeathed Rosings to Colonel Fitzwilliam in her will, and Rosings is in serious debt and practically near ruin.

In her third installment ofThe Queen of Rosings Park series, Maria Grace shines her spotlight on two secondary characters who, on the surface, seem like an unlikely pairing – the plain and priggish Mary Bennet and a sociable soldier from His Majesty’s Army, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. Colonel Fitzwilliam trying to save his crumbling and debt-ridden estate and Mary Bennet is currently living at Hunsford Parsonage while she waits to be married to Mr. Michaels, who serves as steward of Rosings. Since Lady Catherine’s disillusions and madness have grown steadily worse after her daughter’s passing, Colonel Fitzwilliam seeks out Mary’s help with her care. At first glance, all Colonel Fitzwilliam sees about Mary is that she is capable, efficient, and unremarkable. But he soon learns there is much more to Mary than he first surmised…

Mary may act staid, dull, and proper, but that is because she wears a mask. A mask she has had in place for years. A mask that hides her pain and disappointment from being overlooked, being forgotten, and feeling completely undesired in every way. What Mary keeps to herself is that she wants to be respected and desired, she wants someone to notice her for more than her usefulness, she wants to be loved passionately… But what if the man who starts to notice her is someone other than her fiancé?

How I loved this pairing of Mary Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam! Both are characters I have always admired and enjoyed, but in this story I especially loved seeing their interactions with one another and the development of their relationship. I love that Maria Grace drew attention to the similarities between these two characters and the common ground and situations they alone share. (I take back calling them an unlikely pairing!) It was lovely to see Mary’s strength, intelligence, and selflessness – she truly is an admirable heroine. And I love that Colonel Fitzwilliam came to see and appreciate the qualities of Mary’s character that no one else saw…swoon! I especially love that Colonel Fitzwilliam felt strong stirrings of attraction and admiration for Mary and that he did very little to hide them… swoon again!

This story was fast-paced with quite a number unexpected events unfolding. Poor Mary and Colonel Fitzwilliam have their hands full with managing/salvaging Rosings, appeasing/caring for Lady Catherine, Charlotte’s upcoming confinement, and Mr. Collins’ impending move to Longbourn. This story had me riveted and I thoroughly enjoyed all the surprising twists, mounting obstacles, and revealing exchanges. However, I did have some small quibbles about some timeline jumps, rules of propriety, and Charlotte’s character (but the latter may be explained in the first book of this series which I have not read yet!) And part of me wishes there was an epilogue to make the lovely ending even more satisfying.

But overall, I found A Less Agreeable Man to be a praiseworthy, thoughtful, and inventive tale of inner strength, unexpected feelings, and quiet passion. As I’ve said numerous times before, Ms. Grace has quite a talent for developing Jane Austen’s characters in unique and original ways, and I continue to love her skillfully crafted and compelling deviations and portrayals!

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Are you a fan of Maria Grace?  Make sure to check out her author visit from last Friday and learn about her new holiday releases!!

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  11 Responses to “A Less Agreeable Man (The Queen of Rosings Park #3) – Maria Grace”


    Wonderful review! I still need to read this final book in the series, though I was hoping for a book on Jane and one on Kitty! I can’t get enough of Maria’s stories! I plan to read her Christmas ones this month as my time is somewhat limited lately.


      Thank you, Carole! I had a lot of fun reading this book! I really like the series a lot, I do love your idea about a story for Jane or Kitty! Definitely a great time to read Christmas stories, next December I may try to read more Christmas stories!!


    I have read both books 1&2 in this series. OMG!! I loved them. I agree with you… each can be read as a stand-a-long; however, I do not recommend it. That first book really sets the tone for the dynamics of the Bennet family. Also, book 2 sets the tone of Lydia and Lizzy healing the breach between them. And… let me just say… it was so freaking awesome. Man… I just looked back over my reviews and am still breathless over Lydia’s story. Both 1&2 will bring the reader full circle to understand the framework of Mary and her place within the family and her relationship with Lizzy. I can’t wait to read this. I like a Mary/Colonel paring. I have seen it before and it worked well. Great review Meredith as always.


      Thank so much for sharing your thoughts, Jeanne! I can’t wait to read book 1 and get the full picture of everything! These changes in personalities, dynamics, and situations are so fun to explore! Maria Grace does such a great job!! Thanks for checking out my review!


    Great review, Meredith! I am overly partial to this book as I helped with the proofreading. Plus, the first book in the series is among my Top Five favorite Austen variations of all time!! It’s simply wonderful, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!! The second book about Lydia is good, but I prefer this third one about Mary more than Lydia’s.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂


      Thank you, Susanne! I can understand that! Sounds like I definitely need to get my hands on the first book! 😉 I may agree with about Lydia vs. Mary, but that might be my bias of having more natural affinity and inclination towards Mary than a comment on the books in this series. 😉 Thanks so much for checking out my review!


    I read book one, but its been a while. I remember liking it and feeling dazzled by such a interesting variation that changes everything with Mr. Bennet being the DeBourgh family physician. I look forward to Lydia’s story, but yes! Love the idea of Col Fitz and Mary.

    Enjoyed your review, Meredith!


      Yes, I loved that change especially! To see such a long-standing relationship between the Bennets and de Bourghs and to see Mr. Bennet as Dr. Bennet is such unique twist!

      Hope you get to enjoy the rest of the series soon, my friend!


    Having read all three now, and loved them all, this is my favourite. But then the Colonel and Mary are my favourite pairing. I just want to re-read the trilogy again


      They are great together! I’ve seen Colonel Fitzwilliam with Georgiana and Anne often, and even Charlotte, but this may be one of my first times reading about him with Mary. I know there are a few other books out there that pair them together though.


    Thank you for sharing your review. I do love the colonel. Put another one on the pile of TBR. Merry Christmas.

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