Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Note: This review is for an older edition (2011) of this release that only includes one bonus short story – “Mr. Darcy Steps In.” The newer edition (2014) includes two bonus short stories, the second being – “The Language of the Fan.”
A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings Park (Variation, Novella)
Rating: 3 stars
- The Premise: Mr. Darcy leaves on business straight after the Meryton Assembly – meaning the only interaction between him and Elizabeth is his infamous overheard insult. No verbal sparring matches at Netherfield, no slandering disclosures from Mr. Wickham, and no attempts to sketch his character. Elizabeth encounters the reserved and scowling Mr. Darcy while at Hunsford Parsonage during her visit with recently married Charlotte Collins. And with unexpected apologies, unchaperoned walks, and undeniable chemistry their relationship travels a new and different course…
- My Thoughts: It was fun to explore the path Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s relationship takes when some of their early interactions don’t happen. I like how Darcy is attracted to Elizabeth because of her playfulness, and how he continuously seeks her out (for various reasons)… 😉 I do love it when Mr. Darcy is ardent and in pursuit! In addition, it was lovely to see our dear couple receive some assistance from Charlotte Collins and Anne de Bourgh – a couple of wise woman, for sure! While I don’t mind there being less obstacles and pride between Darcy and Elizabeth, I did feel that their romance escalated quickly for such a short acquaintance (especially since Darcy had virtually no memory of Elizabeth from Meryton) and was a little less developed. But overall, I found this low-angst novella to be a delightful diversion!
Mr. Darcy Steps In (Variation, Short Story)
Rating: 4 stars
- The Premise: Thanks to Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy learns the primary objective behind Mr. Collins’s visit to Longbourn and the direction his “affections” are leaning. Feeling that this is in every way alarming and impossible, Mr. Darcy proceeds to spend some time with Mr. Collins to ascertain that these rumors as false. But when he learns Mr. Bingley’s suspicions are correct, he is propelled into action…
- My Thoughts: I love this premise because I truly do wonder what Mr. Darcy would have done had he suspected that Mr. Collins was about to propose to Elizabeth Bennet. Would it have changed anything for him? Would he still have left Netherfield to escape his growing attraction? I loved the clever machinations Mr. Darcy undertook to achieve his purposes in this story. And I appreciated that even though Mr. Collins was such sycophantic toad, he wasn’t completely addle-pated. This simple and sweet short story was a charming read.
Conclusion: While Elizabeth may be a little more obtuse and Mr. Darcy a little more demonstrative in these stories, they were both engaging reads that produced smiles and laughs! As with every Mary Lydon Simonsen work, these stories beautifully unite clever characterizations, witty repartee, and tender romance. This is collection is the perfect choice for readers who are looking for something light and quick. (Especially if you find the newer edition with the second bonus short story!)