Sep 102018

What if Mrs. Bennet Died Before Her Daughters Were Grown?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Variation, Paranormal (in some parts)

TIME FRAME: Begins around 6 years before Mr. Bingley first comes to Netherfield

SYNOPSIS: What would happen if, despite her oft-lamented fear, Mrs. Bennet suffered a premature death first instead of Mr. Bennet? How would Mr. Bennet manage with rearing five daughters by himself? Would he remarry? Would he be more responsible? And what alterations would take place when Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to town?

In Joana Starnes’s latest Pride and Prejudice variation there are quite a few unique twists changing the course of Jane Austen’s beloved classic. In addition to Mr. Bennet being a widower, Mr. Darcy senior and his wife are specter-like beings that continue to dwell at Pemberley during the afterlife. What will they think of their son’s battle between his heart and his duty?


  • Unconventional 2x: I loved the uniqueness of this story! The passing of Mrs. Bennet stirs the pot for sure, and in ways the reader might not expect! With Mr. Bennet taking on more responsibilities, the lives of all his daughters are changed. There are many variations that show what takes place with Mr. Bennet’s premature death, so this particular alteration was a refreshing change. I also enjoyed the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy (I mean their specters) in this story. Again, not many stories feature both of these characters together, or share much about their relationship. These two twists combined create quite an original and atypical tale!
  • Brilliant Banter: Mr. Bennet’s dry wit, the playful sparring between Darcy and Elizabeth, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s roasting of Darcy, Lady Catherine’s over-the-top diatribes – there are so many moments and scenes that will make the reader smirk, chuckle, and even belly laugh in this tale! Well done, Joana Starnes – the comedic elements in this tale are just sparkling!
  • Mr. Darcy Persevering: I ask you is there anything more swoon-worthy than a determined Darcy? When he knows his heart and is resolutely following it, despite Elizabeth’s protestations and animosity? *sigh* As you might imagine, there are different obstacles in Darcy’s way in this variation, and I loved seeing him earnestly persist in trying to court Elizabeth. Even when he has a hundred forces working against him!
  • Secondary Relationships: Anne de Bourgh, Mr. Bennet, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy – there is some lovely relationship development happening in this story! Some of it surprising, some of it heartwarming, and some of it illuminating. I love that Joana Starnes allowed these interesting and unique relationships to share the spotlight with our dear couple!
  • Utterly Exquisite Moments: Oh yes. These are Joana Starnes’s trademarks – those indescribably beautiful moments where Darcy and Elizabeth are together and everything is so right and so satisfying – especially after all the turmoil she puts them through! My favorites would have to be Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s first encounter and when Lizzy thinks Mr. Darcy is suffering from sunstroke.


  • Somewhat Disjointed: There are a lot of interesting components and developments in this variation, some of which happen a little more abruptly than I would have wished. And sometimes I did feel that a few story-lines (or characters) went MIA a little. While I loved the the variety of unique twists and the secondary character story-lines, I think some elements of this story may have been a little difficult to connect cohesively together.


In her latest and much anticipated Pride and Prejudice variation, Joana Starnes offers a most inventive and entertaining story, replete with interfering spirits, more than one blossoming romance, a dash of mystery, and of course, a beleaguered and tortured Mr. Darcy! The Darcy Legacy is wondrously creative, witty, and enthralling – I highly recommend!

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Because she is so wonderfully generous and lovely, Joana Starnes would like to offer a special giveaway in conjunction with my review! (Isn’t she just the greatest?!?) Joana is kind giving away these lovely prizes

  • 5 Audible codes (winner’s choice)
  • 2 Ebooks (winner’s choice)
  • 1 paperback of The Darcy Legacy

Audiobook winners can choose from these lovely titles ALL narrated by Stevie Zimmerman:

Mr. Bennet’s Duitiful Daughter

The Falmouth Connection

The Unthinkable Triangle

Miss Darcy’s Companion

The Subsequent Proposal

Ebook winners can choose from the titles mentioned above AND below:


To enter this giveaway leave a comment, a question, or some love for Joana!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Joana!
  • This giveaway ends September 17th! 


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  98 Responses to “The Darcy Legacy – Joana Starnes + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    More of Mr Bennet’s wit, determined Darcy, and bonus ghosts. Sign me up! Looking forward to it. Thanks for the fun Joana.


    I really enjoyed this story by Joana, but then I love everything she writes. Thanks for the wonderful review.


      Thanks for the thumbs up for The Darcy Legacy, Brenda, and for the kind words about my work! That’s exactly how I feel about your wonderful novels. All the best and please keep writing!


    Can’t wait to read this version of the Bennett’s and Darcy’ s. I like the idea of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy being specters. I have enjoyed all of Joana’ s books that I have read. Thank you for the giveaway.


    I love all of Joana’s books. Interesting storyline. Thanks for the giveaway.


    I love the unique premise of this book. I especially am excited to find out how Mrs Bennet’s death changes things and how Mr and Mrs Darcy fit into the narrative.


    A wonderful and thorough review, as always!



    With Mrs. Bennet out of the way, it would seem a smooth road ahead for Elizabeth and Darcy. However, we love a LITTLE angst and I know Joana Starnes will deliver. Look forward to the new twist on my fave Austen novel. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


      Their path to true love should be a lot smoother, shouldn’t it, bevmayo 😉 ? So glad you’d like the odd spanner in the works, because I couldn’t help myself and threw in a couple. Hope you enjoy reading this book. Best wishes and thanks for taking part in the giveaway.


      So true about us wanting a little bit of angst and Joana surely does deliver!! 😉


    The Darcy Legacy is already in my “To Be Purchased” list on Amazon. I was connected to it at first glance! And now that I’ve read a bit more about it, I’m even more so! Thanks for the giveaway!


      So glad The Darcy Legacy caught your eye already, Denise, and that Meredith’s wonderful review intrigued you all the more! Best of luck in the giveaway and I hope you’ll like the book if you win it!


    I absolutely loved this book but then I do love Joana’s writing. I too especially loved the sunstroke scene and the humour throughout this book. I am always enamoured of a romantic besotted Darcy.
    I don’t do audible and I have all the ebooks so if I was fortunate enough to win I would love the paperback please.
    Keep up the good work Joana and thanks for this post Meredith.


      Thanks so much for the kind words, Glynnis, I’m SO happy you loved The Darcy Legacy! LOL I had a blast writing ‘the sunstroke scene’ and others like it. It’s great to hear you had as much fun reading them as I had writing them. Thanks for your wonderful support, good luck in the giveaway and all the best!


      Yes! I feel the same way, Glynis! So thrilled to hear you love her writing as much as I do!


    Yes, brilliant idea to pursue how the dominoes would tumble if it was Mrs. B who is gone. Sounds like this one has some great humor and shine to it.


      LOL Sophia Rose, I loved that, “how the dominoes would tumble.” After all the Darcy torture in most of my other books, I aimed for ‘humorous and lighthearted’ in this one, even if it starts with Mr Darcy Sr’s demise. But that’s not the end for him and for a handful of others 😉 . Hope you’ll like the book when you get to read it. Thanks for stopping by to read Meredith’s awesome review and good luck in the giveaway!


    I’m intrigued by your review and will be adding this title to my TBR list.
    Thanks for hosting a giveaway…


    Great review! This has been “hiding” on my TBR list since it was released, must get around to read it as I was thoroughly intrigued by your review.
    Who can resist a double unconventional…


    Loved your review! Looking forward to reading this one sometime in the near future! I’m so far behind in my reading!


    This new book sounds very intriguing. No one has ever had Mr n Mrs Darcy as ghost at Pemberly. Nice going Joana


    I have seven of Joana Starnes’ books but not this one. I’m am excited about the giveaway & my fingers are crossed already. I’m certain this book will be another winner.


      Thanks for the kind words, Beatrice! I’m so glad you have my other books. Hope you’ll enjoy this one too. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by to read Meredith’s review.


    I have this book next in line to read, I love Joana’s writing.


    I’m loving this synopsis. You have to feel for Mr. Bennet under the circumstances.


    Adore this book. It hit all my must haves AND was written brilliantly!! Congrats.


    Love Joana’s writing. Will definitely put this one on my wish list!


    Joana, yes a new story. I have enjoyed your books over the years and your inventive style. Can’t wait to read this one. Please enter me in th e giveaway. Julie rakowski (Julia Grace Poldark)


      Wonderful to hear you liked my other books and my wild plots, Julie 🙂 . This might be my wildest so far, but I hope you’ll like it too. Thanks for stopping by to read Meredith’s wonderful review and best of luck in the giveaway!


    Wonderful review! I loved the book, too. I wish Ms. Starnes would tackle Persuasion!


      Thanks so much, Chris, it’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed The Darcy Legacy.

      Oh, I love Persuasion too, almost as much as P&P. I think it’s Jane Austen’s most romantic novel. P&P is sparkling, bright and playful, but Persuasion has an unparalleled bittersweetness to it, so touching and so unique to that novel IMO.

      I’d love to explore that charged period between Anne and Captain Wentworth’s broken engagement and their final reunion. I had a go at tackling Persuasion (well, sort of) in The Subsequent Proposal, which started with a brokenhearted Anne and a post-Hunsford Mr Darcy contemplating a future together and a marriage of mutual respect and understanding, once true love seemed a lost cause for both of them. But Anne and Capt Wentworth are supporting characters there, and the focus of the story is still on Darcy and Elizabeth (I couldn’t help it, I just can’t have enough of them and their unbreakable connection, no matter what obstacles are heartlessly set in their way 🙂 ).


      Have you read Joana’s ‘The Subsequent Proposal?’ If not, I think you’d love it.


      Yes, I’d definitely recommend The Subsequent Proposal if you haven’t read it already! But yet, at the same time, I would definitely not be opposed to seeing Joana write some more about Anne and Wentworth. I think it would be fun to see her torture Captain Wentworth like she does Darcy!


        That’s SO tempting, Meredith! I think a tortured Capt Wentworth would be every bit as swoonworthy as a tortured Darcy. I might even go as far as saying he deserves his fair share of torture even more. Darcy brought the heartache on himself by being such a self-absorbed so-and-so and spending 1/3 of the original P&P (or longer) focusing on forsaking love for the sake of his pride & social standing, but Capt Wentworth committed the capital sin of parading a budding relationship with a ‘younger model’ before the woman who had rejected him. I can’t bring myself to believe Darcy would’ve done that.


    Loved this book and would love to win some audible codes. Excellent review, Meredith.


      Thank you, Sheila! I appreciate you reading it! 😉 Best of luck!


      It was so wonderful to read your Goodreads review and find you speaking of taking ‘Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter’ for a walk, Sheila! I’m so happy you enjoyed it and that it kept you company on your strolls! Stevie Zimmerman has an absolutely magical voice for JAFF and her characterisation is superb! Love-love-love her Lizzy and Darcy, and every other character in between! Guess what, I have great news: she’s narrating The Darcy Legacy too!! I’m over the moon about it! She’s already produced 29 chapters and she sounds fabulous as always. I hope it won’t be long till an audible code comes your way 🙂 but in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the others. Huge thanks for your wonderful support and all the best!


    The premise of this book sounds very interesting. Excellent review.


    Amazing books! Amazing author!


    I have the ebook, and I loved it! Joana never disappoints me with her wonderful stories! Thanks for the chance to win a paperback or an audiobook!


      Thanks SO much, Pam, for your kind words! I’m over the moon that you enjoyed my other books and loved The Darcy Legacy too! Best of luck in winning the paperback or one of the audiobooks. You’ll LOVE Stevie Zimmerman, she puts so much emotion in her narrations!!


    I’m so eager to read this one, Joana. It should be in my TBR right now, and I don’t even know why it isn’t…..crazy spring and summer, I guess.

    Great review, Meredith. This one sounds just as terrific as all her others. I’m liking the description from your review about the humor. I love the angst she gives us, but it’s just as much appreciated to have the intelligent and witty banter when it leads to laughter. Joana is one of the tip-top best best writers in JAFF. I love Joana’s writing so much. I have all her other books and the audio versions too, except this newest. But it is definitely destined to a place in my Kindle library, as it has remained on top of my wish list since it came out.

    Ah, the audiobook versions….one treasure meets another, Starnes and Zimmerman, what a combination.


      I’m excited for you to read this one, Michelle! I think you will love it! And so true about how Joana is tip-top best!!

      LOL! A dynamic duo! 😉


      Michelle and Meredith, you’re ever so kind! Huge thanks to you both for your support and wonderful words, it’s such a joy to hear you love my books so much.

      It’s also very reassuring, Michelle, that you’re fine with swapping the ‘let’s torture Darcy’ angst with some banter and laughter 🙂 . No worries, our favourite here isn’t having an easy ride in The Darcy Legacy either, but I did go for a lighter tone this time. Less longing for Darcy and no rivals to contend with, but he’s having his hands full anyway, thanks to meddling relations and sudden changes of circumstance.

      Someone said that some of my other books should come with a warning along the lines of ‘you’ll need chocks and/or red wine to see you through the angsty parts.’ I’d say this book could do with a health warning too, like ‘no hot drinks during Ch 15’ for instance 😀 . Hope the storyline will give you a giggle or two. And OMG trust Stevie Zimmerman to make you swoon when she narrates the romantic moments!! She makes everything sound so much better than it did in my head.

      Thanks again for your kind words, have a lovely autumn and all the best!


    Thanks for the amazing review Meredith. Don’t include me in the giveaway… I already have the book and LOVED it. Congratulations Joana… this was so cool and amazing. Thanks hosting Meredith and say hello to Mr. Bingley.


    I love the idea of a story full of humor!! And would love to win a paperback of The Darcy Legacy. Sometimes you just need a light and sparkling story to relax woth & this book sounds just the ticket!


    I have the audiobook for this novel and just got back from vacation, so as soon as I wrap up my current reading, it’s next on my list. A Joana Starnes novel is always a winner to me, and thanks, Meredith, for a nice review to lead into my first Audible listening experience.


    Thank you for the wonderful review. Stay dry and safe!


    Yes, there aren’t that many JAFF stories that kill off Mrs. Bennet, as often as they do Mr. Bennet. That will definitely change things. The specter aspect has me wary, because I’m not sure how it will contribute to the story. However, I’ve loved everything that Joana has written, so I will give these specters a try.
    Thanks for your enthusiastic review, Meredith. I always like learning others’ perspectives.
    Thanks also for the awesome giveaway! If a winner is allowed to choose the format, I would prefer an ebook.


      I will tell you the truth, I was wary about the specter’s too, but I really love how Joana Starnes implemented them in her story. It is very creative and not fantastical.

      Thanks so much for checking out my review!


      Thanks so much for the wonderful vote of confidence, Meredith and Ginna, you’re so kind! Much, much appreciated! I’m so happy you liked the story, Meredith! Hope the specters’ involvement will work for you too, Ginna. Best wishes and thanks for stopping by.


    Love this book!


    Wonderful review. Definitely on my TBR or listen list.


    Joana, I would love to win a copy of ‘The Darcy Legacy’. It sounds like such an intriguing book! I entered a similar giveaway on All Things Jane Austen, so hopefully I won’t win twice! 😉

    All the best with your new release. Sounds like it deserves to do well. Will you be watching the Promenade on Saturday?


      Thanks so much for the kind words and for stopping by, Elaine! Lovely to hear you found the premise of The Darcy Legacy intriguing. Have a wonderful time in Bath on Sat. Oh yes, can’t wait to see the Promenade, I wouldn’t miss it!


    Although I have not read any of Joanna’s books, they all look fantastic – the only reason I haven’t read them is because I am always doing blog tour reviews so I never get the time I want to read something outside of the tours. That being said, this one sounds very interesting because Mrs. B dies. I have always thought that while she is the more comic character, Mr. B is also comical and farcical in his own way because he isn’t exactly a typical father for that time period either. So I look forward to reading how he deals with being a single father and what will be different about how he handles trying to find them husbands. I wonder if he finds out how difficult and worrisome it can be and begins to feel more sympathy for his late wife, or if he just takes it in stride. Hoping I win, but I will be adding this one to my library either way! Congratulations Joanna 🙂


      Hi, Erika! I’m so glad you think The Darcy Legacy sounds very interesting. I thought that for once Mr Bennet deserved a better treatment from me, and not killing him off was a good place to start 😀 . Having said that, the jury’s still out on whether he felt comfortable with the extra responsibility. Knowing him, he would have been much happier to drift and let others do the work. You’re so right, he’s such a comical and farcical character in his own right. I hope you’ll enjoy my take on him in this novel. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck in the giveaway. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it!


    Congrats, Joanna! I love the idea of Mr. Bennet being more front and center with Mrs. Bennet not being there (although I do enjoy her hysterics.) I also like the idea of the story beginning 6 years before Mr. Bingley sets foot at Netherfield – – an interesting concept.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity and for the lovely review, Meredith!


      Thanks, Lori! It’s so great to hear you love the idea of Mr Bennet being more front and center :)) . I hope you’ll enjoy his antics & everyone else’s. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by to read Meredith’s fabulous review!


    so much creativity, the characters seem to be having quite the party !
    as will the readers / listeners following these unique story lines 🙂

    Thanks for the opportunity to play along, Joana and for hosting, Meredith …
    [ and hoping you’re well away from any trouble ! ]


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinion of Joana’s latest novel, Meredith. Well, I am not good at words but I find it unusual for you to say that Mr Bennet ‘rear’ his daughters. I would prefer the word ‘raise’ as it sounds more correct. I’m not trying to nitpick your choice of words so no offense intended. Sorry about that.

    Anyway, thanks for offering the generous prizes, Joana.


    Thanks for the review. I don’t usually enjoy the supernatural stories but this will be interesting. Looking forward to reading it.


    The Darcy Legacy sounds so good! Totally added to my TBR!


      I’m so glad you liked Meredith’s wonderful review, Sam! Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to hear what you thought of the book. Best wishes in the giveaway and thanks for taking part.

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