Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Are you looking for an edgier Lizzy and Darcy story? Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud is the hot little number for you.  The stage is set with furious rock and roll, sex in all positions and places, and yes, even drugs.  If you don’t like foul language or graphic sex, you won’t want to read this one because rock stars are living on the edge and rough around the edges.

Rock and roll is a hard business and in it band members are chewed up, spit out, and often become divas or broken down.  Darcy already has made the big time with his band, Slurry, but unlike the loving family he had in Austen’s novel, Pride & Prejudice, his parents were too busy to raise him, but when Georgiana was born, things changed.  Meanwhile, the main Bennet girls — Jane and Elizabeth — are in an up-and-coming band, Long Borne Suffering, with Charlotte Lucas.

“He realized he was being a voyeur, watching an intimate act.  She was making love to her instrument.  He knew he should look away,but he couldn’t.  His eyes were locked on the way her hands caressed the strings and pulled the wooden body closer to herself.  When she started singing softly, he was lost.”  (page 137 ARC)

Some readers may find the graphic intimate moments between the characters too much to handle, and some scenes may be over the top and unnecessary.  While in most instances the graphic and almost-masculine descriptions of those scenes work for the casual sex scenes, readers may find they are too harsh for the love of Darcy and Lizzy.  However, the look at the rock star world is eye-opening in terms of hard work, time management, PR, and emotional toll for Lizzy, Jane, and Charlotte.  Even veterans like Darcy, Charles Bingley, and Richard are affected by the touring schedule and the press hounding them. Wickham makes an appearance as a former singer for Slurry turned music video director/producer, and he’s even more sinister than he was in Austen’s novel.  His characterization here is exceedingly sinister, but necessary in this brash modern world created by Rigaud.

While Rigaud’s characters stray far from their Austen origins, particularly the character of Charlotte, the playful banter found in Austen remains, though taken up by Charlotte and Richard as they navigate the fine line between relationship and backstage fling.  Lizzy and Darcy step aside to give equal time to Charles and Jane and Charlotte and Richard, and the musical talents of all three shine individually and together on stage.  Adding to the conflict is the desire of these young women to make it on their own without the media thinking they are sleeping their way to the top with Slurry.

“‘Charlotte muttered.  ‘You know what a perfectionist Jane is, and she wanted Charles to know the songs for your set, so they started playing your songs, then they started on her songs, then they were playing their favorite songs.’

‘Eighties music?’ Richard interrupted her.

Charlotte nodded, her eyes bugging out in mock annoyance.  ‘I swear they were doing Prince when the bus finally pulled up.’

Everyone smiled.  ‘That’s Charles,’ Richard confirmed.

‘Oh my God!  I was ready to gnaw off my arm and beat them both over the head with it.’

Richard laughed.  ‘A one-armed drummer?  Now who’s living in the eighties.'”  (page 141-2 ARC)

There is a great deal to love about this novel, but it also has flaws from dialogue that goes on too long about mundane details and goodbyes to too many sex scenes in a row.  Readers will be captivated by the tension created by the music world and what it does to the relationships of these characters, especially as Richard’s sexual prowess is ramped up a few notches as a rock star drummer.  But even Rigaud’s characterizations of tensions within a band — from the jealousy drummers feel about the frontmen/women to the worries of female bands about making it without being asked for sexual favors — ring true.

Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud has created a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, but Austen purists beware, this is not the same chaste Darcy and Elizabeth you know from Austen’s novel.  Many of the elements that keep Darcy and Elizabeth apart are still here — misunderstandings and words spoken without much thought injure each of them quickly — but Elizabeth is not as self-assured as she is in Austen’s work and Jane is more confident here.  Charlotte is the most changed, cast as a wild woman who secretly wants a fairy-tale ending, though with herself in charge.

Readers looking for a hard and fast look at the music world and the corruption and benefits it can bring will enjoy Rigaud’s unique perspective and characterizations.  Take a ride on the groupie bus and enjoy the Slurry and Long Borne Suffering tour.  Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud is a whirlwind of emotions, sex, and satisfaction.

About the Author:

Heather Lynn Rigaud spends much of her time thinking about how Regency-era characters would exist now, and how a wife and mother would have lived in the past. She is a professional writer with degrees in music therapy and teaching who lives with her husband and two sons in Kingston, New York.

Guest Post: Keeping out the Distractions by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Anyone who reads this blog knows that Pride & Prejudice spinoffs and retellings are my guilty pleasure, and another guilty pleasure of mine is providing my readers with an inside look into author’s writing spaces.  Heather Lynn Rigaud, author of Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star, is the latest author of a Pride & Prejudice retelling to offer up a glimpse into her writing space.

About the book from Amazon:

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Slurry’s tall, dark, and enigmatic virtuoso guitarist, knows that this is no time to be picky, but he never expected what was waiting when he, Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam crashed the Meryton Public House.

Elizabeth Bennet, the fiercely independent and talented lead singer of Long Borne Suffering has serious reservations about joining such a trouble laden tour with the bad boys of Rock and Roll, but the opportunity is just too good to pass up!

On the Slurry tour, the music’s hot, but backstage is an inferno.

Stay tuned for my review tomorrow (9/30).  Without further ado, I will turn it over to Heather Rigaud.

Hi Serena,

Your name reminds me of Venice, which has always been known as the ‘Serene Republic‘ or ‘Serenissima’. Its history is a special interest of mine.

Anyway, you’ve asked me about my writing space. That means I need to do some cleaning, before we get to pictures.

There we go. Now, I have to admit, my writing area sounds a whole lot better than it looks. Its tucked into a corner of my living room, and my living room, like the rest of my house, is the home of a very active family. It’s a place where things happen and so consequently its not going to look like a showroom. That’s not to say it’s covered in filth, not by any means. But it means things are out. There are books everywhere, there are papers in the midst of being worked on are on many of the surfaces. There are knitting projects, sewing projects, soapmaking projects, … you get the idea.

Heather's Writing Desk

The other thing you’ll notice is that it’s a pretty uninteresting corner. There’s no art on the walls, there’s no window. That’s by design, because I’m easily distracted. I need someplace not stimulating to be able to work on the stuff in my head. And that’s what writing really is. By the same token, I really prefer to be alone when I’m writing, so most of my work happens when my sons are at school.

Now that I’ve made all my excuses, let’s talk about the good stuff- the desk. When my husband and I were freshly married and furnishing our home, we looked at the desks that were available new. Frankly, we weren’t impressed. For what they cost, the quality was very poor and they were, sorry-there’s no other word, ugly. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to spend that much money on something poorly made that looked like it wouldn’t last a year.

We were both fans of the classic roll-top desk style, so we hit on the idea of buying an old desk-an antique. And we found one. It was solid, made from oak, and the price was right. It will never be on Antiques Roadshow. It doesn’t have a fancy provenance or anything. It’s just a good desk, so it came home with us and it’s been my writing station for years.

We even found a matching rolling chair, in the same color and style to go with it. I’d include a picture, but the seat is caned and needs to be replaced. (We’ve already done that twice, so frankly, it’s not high on our priority list.)

What you can’t see in a picture is my music. I might not tolerate visual distractions, but I love audio ones. When I’m writing, I’ll often set up a specific songlist for the chapter I’m working on. It helps me get into the head-space I’m seeking, and in Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star, was usually included in the chapter. It’s not just Rock music, either. I use classical, Celtic, Jazz and other styles as well.

My computer is an Apple MacBook. We’ve been Apple fans since the 80’s and while it’s an expensive love affair, I don’t see it ending any time soon. I write directly into my computer, instead of hand writing it on paper and then typing it in, as my handwriting is more of a hindrance than a help. Plus, I’m way faster at typing. I have noticed that while I’ll surf the internet in any location and in any position, when I’m writing, I need to be sitting up straight in a hard chair. I don’t know if it’s a hold over from my school days or what, but doing work calls for a work posture for me.

That’s my work environment. I wish I had a prettier place for the pictures at least, but I don’t believe it would help my writing and it might actually hurt it. Thanks for having me here today and thanks for reviewing my book. I’m looking forward to hearing from your readers.

Thanks, Heather, for sharing your writing space with us, but we wouldn’t have minded the mess.