Author: Sharon Lathan
Genre: Fiction, Romance
What you'll love: Very nicely described scenery and setting.
What will bug you: Bedroom scenes and bedroom talk that simply exhaust your patience.
I picked up Loving Mr. Darcy on a complete whim. I usually get my book recommendations from fellow bloggers, or from my Amazon recommendations list. I was walking around Borders with Grammy with a gift certificate in my hand and ended up with Loving Mr. Darcy. It was a moment of weakness - spring was approaching and P&P was on my mind. Apparently this story is the second in a series, but functions perfectly well alone. (I didn't know it was a series until I had finished reading it.)
Here's the basic plot. The story is a glimpse into about six months of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage. A twist, and major part of the story is that Elizabeth is pregnant. (Oh relax... you find out on page 3 - I promise I didn't give anything away!) There are dinner parties, the occasional ball, traveling, shopping, and sex. Lots of sex. There are a few minor points of conflict but nothing substantial. The story is basically a glimpse into their perfect lives.
So I'll start with what I liked about this book - aka... the short list.
I really enjoyed the scenery descriptions. I thought that Sharon Lathan did a great job painting the scenery with her words.
"The majority of the trees were species of oak with the random Scots pine, birch, rowan, and ash, many covered with a blanket of lichen and moss. Ground flora was thick in most places with a smattering of wildflowers, bluebells, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns amongst the numerous shrubs...Well done, I think. I appreciate that kind of thing, being a very visual person! In particular, I really enjoyed the descriptions of the picnic at Rowan Lake, and of the Summer Festival.
...The trees were dense in patches, impenetrable to the view beyond. Other stretches were sparse, allowing one to see for great distances, the grove extending for miles. The air was far cooler under the canopy of branches and leaves, smelling sweetly of fresh blooms, musky earth, and moldering wood."
The long list.
There was not a lot of plot going on in this book. It is a window into the lives of Mr. Darcy, and Elizabeth - and let me tell you... they have pretty easy lives. There wasn't much to give the story any feeling of urgency. "What's going to happen?" I found it a bit boring. The second-to-last chapter was called "Death Interrupts" and quite frankly, that really kept me going for a chunk of the story. Does that make me a horrible person? :) So - not a lot of plot. A major flaw to me.
The bedroom scenes. The first time I read through a sex scene involving Mr. Darcy I was thinking to myself... "YES! It's about time we have a little action with Mr. Darcy!" It started to get old halfway through the book, and by the end I was just skimming over the bedroom stuff. Let me assure you - I am not a prude! It was just too much, and it all started sounding the same.
Here are my list of complaints:
1. These people have sex way too much. 2-4 times a day? Are you kidding me? I asked around - no one I know has that much sex. First thing in the morning, outside on their walk, a little making out and groping in the library after tea, again at bedtime, sometimes again after that. Too much. (Hmmm... maybe the sex was the plot and I have missed the point of the story?) Sex scenes are great in a story - but they cannot make up for the fact that there is nothing else happening.
2. You could see the bedroom scene coming a mile away. Mr. Darcy began speaking huskily. If I had a dime for every time Sharon Lathan used some form of "husky" - well, I wouldn't be rich, but I could buy an overpriced Starbucks latte for sure. Nothing wrong with the word - but it was overdone. It got to the point when I started chuckling every time it came up.
3. Another way you could sense the bedroom scene? Mr. Darcy would look at Elizabeth and his eyes would darken. Is this humanly possible? Is Mr. Darcy actually some kind of demon sex monster? I've never seen eyes darken. Sometimes it looks like my cat's eyes darken - but I think it's just their pupils dilating when they see a moth or something.
4. The bedroom talk killed me.
"Oh my beloved. You are mine forever."
"Yes my heart, for eternity."
"Oh Mr. Darcy, I am so in love with you."
"Mrs. Darcy, you are my source of everything in the world. I love you."
"William. I adore you. You are so perfect. Do you have any idea how perfect you are?"
"Elizabeth. I love you! I love you! Please, my love, my heart, do not stop."
Excuse me while I vomit. These are all nice things - I'm not the enemy of romantic musings - but all at once? It was simply too much. Every bedroom scene was filled with this and it just got so ridiculous - and combine that with a couple of bedroom scenes per chapter... 27 chapters... you get the picture.
5. I think the love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is more complex than what was written in this book.
Maybe my problem is that I'm not that into romances. I feel a little guilty, because there were some nice moments - but this laundry list is just too big to ignore.