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Mr. Darcy’s Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen

With Halloween and all of the blog-related events — RIP, All Hallow’s Eve, Frightful Fall Read-a-Thon, and Halloween Hootenanny — I’ve selected a few fun horror/spooky reads for October.

I have not officially joined any of the challenges or read-a-thons just because I never know how much reading I can do these days, but I am hosting Stephen King’s IT read-a-long with Anna in which we discuss the 1,000+ page book once per month through the end of the year.

First spooky read for October is Mary Lydon Simonsen’s Mr. Darcy’s Bite, which I shamelessly admit attracted me with its ominous cover.

Simonsen’s latest Pride & Prejudice incarnation, Mr. Darcy’s Bite, begins after the reunion between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy at Pemberley.  However, not all is pleasant in paradise because Darcy’s behavior has become peculiar, and he visits her at Longbourn for several months, though with long gaps between visits.  Lizzy’s mother keeps pressuring her about when she’s going to get engaged, and Lizzy is becoming concerned that Darcy’s affections for her are not as strong as she had thought.  She has plenty of time to stew on her speculations about his behavior, but just as she is about to call him out on his absences, he invites her back to Pemberley.  This is where everything changes for them and the challenges begin.

“‘You are very bossy.  You order people around with your harsh tone of voice or by pushing them about with your muzzle.  You may be the master of Pemberley, but you will not be the master of me.  I must be free to speak my mind.’

‘When have you not spoken your mind?’ Darcy stepped away from her, and with his hands behind his back, he recited word for word a part of Elizabeth’s refusal of his offer of marriage.”  (page 69 of ARC)

A dark secret is revealed, and Lizzy must determine whether in addition to their class and social differences, this secret changes her feelings for Darcy.  Can she overcome the secrecy, live with keeping secrets from her family and friends as a member of the Darcy family, and the monthly absences of her husband?  Simonsen captures Lizzy and Darcy’s characters so well from their moments of pride to their moments of misunderstanding.  Like her other novels, obstacles are thrown in the path of our love birds, and new characters are introduced, including the conceited Lady Helen Granyard who could rival Austen’s Lady Catherine in pride and social engineering.

Lizzy’s jealousy of Helen’s beauty pales compared to her worries that Helen’s intimate knowledge of the Darcy secret could supplant Darcy’s love for her.  What’s also a nice surprise here is that Georgiana gains strength in social encounters, enabling her to confront Lady Catherine at one point when she normally would have demurred.  Simonsen evolves the characters of not only Darcy and Elizabeth in this paranormal tale, but that of her secondary characters Georgiana and Anne de Bourgh.

If you’re an Austen purist who can let their hair down a bit, Mr. Darcy’s Bite could fit your need for the paranormal this Halloween season without scaring you senseless.  Simonsen’s work is always a delight to read, and Mr. Darcy’s Bite is no exception.

About the Author:

Mary Simonsen has combined her love of history and the novels of Jane Austen in her first novel, which explores universal truths about love and conflict that cross generations and oceans. The author lives in Peoria and Flagstaff, Arizona.

Check out the rest of the stops on Mary’s tour.

  • I just finished this one and enjoyed it. But I didn’t like the cover at all!! 😀

    • i liked the cover. I’m glad you enjoyed this one

  • bookworm

    Mr Darcy’s Bite sounds like fun! I read Mr Darcy Vampyre a while back and enjoyed it, so I don’t mind seeing him as a vamp.

    • In this one you’ll find the “Bite” in the title refers to something else…and that he’s not a vamp!

  • Werewolves plus Austen? NEED! I’ve heard nothing but great things about Simonsen’s books — maybe I need to start with this one this fall!

    • Audra, this would be one to start…with the werewolves, though this one is not the horror movie kind you would expect.

  • Oooooh, this one sounds like one I’d really like. That is a fantastic cover – very dark and cool!

    • I really enjoyed this novel a lot.

  • I can’t wait to read this! I will be starting it soon. I love the spookiness of the cover. It makes you feel like you’re in the woods on a foggy evening.

    • I really loved the cover of this one. Perfect for Halloween and fall.

  • I’m not an Austen purist, but I’m not into vampires much, so I’ll probably skip this book.

    • Well this one is not about vampires, but there are werewolves….perfect for Halloween