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Sharon Lathan, Novelist
Volume Five in the Darcy Saga series. Keep friends close... Enemies closer....
What could threaten the perfect romance?
Just as Darcy and Elizabeth are facing the most intense challenges of their marriage, George Wickham returns to Hertfordshire bent on creating trouble. But Wickham is only a pawn for someone who is even more unscrupulous than he is, and everything Darcy cherishes most is thrown into deadly danger.
Knowing that Wickham has nothing left to lose, Darcy must confront his villainous enemy and his own demons at the same time.
Even charmed lives will encounter troubles along the way….
After a time of happiness and strife, Darcy and Elizabeth gather with family and friends in Hertfordshire to celebrate the wedding of Kitty Bennet. Georgiana Darcy returns from a lengthy tour of the Continent with happy secrets to share, accompanied by the newlywed Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Simone, who may have secrets of their own. The stage is set for joy until the party is upset by the arrival of the long absent Mr. and Mrs. Wickham.
Wickham’s jealousy and resentment of Darcy has grown steadily throughout the years and Darcy rightly suspects that Wickham is up to no good. Darcy enlists the aid of Colonel Fitzwilliam to keep an eye on Wickham’s activity, but neither anticipate the extreme measures taken to exact his revenge. Nor do they fathom the layers of deception and persons involved in the scheme.
George Wickham returns to Hertfordshire bent on creating trouble, and Elizabeth and her son are thrown into danger. Knowing that Wickham has nothing left to lose, Darcy and Fitzwilliam rush to the rescue in a race against time. Faithful friends and family rally in the time of crisis, but what kind of battle will be faced? Will peace be restored and the charmed life continue?
This lushly romantic story takes a turn for the swashbuckling when Mr. Darcy has to confront the villainous Wickham and his own demons at the same time… devoted as he is, what battles within will Mr. Darcy have to face?
The happily-ever-after at Pemberley takes a sharp left in The Trouble with Mr. Darcy, the fifth book in Sharon Lathan’s lush, romantic Darcy Saga. Darker and more complex than the preceding novels in the series, Lathan tackles deeper elements in Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s marriage. Gone are the days of the happy honeymoon period, as Elizabeth struggles to recover from her second pregnancy, creating tension in the Darcy household.
Lathan’s latest work definitively shows her growth as an author, chronicling a marriage that has its roots in real-life marital problems that we all face. Because of this, I was drawn into the story and interested where it would lead. I really connected with Lizzy, being a married woman myself, and I happily dove into the pages not knowing what to expect, but excited all the same.
After returning from their six month trip to the continent, Lizzy gives birth to their second child, Michael. Days of happiness should be ahead, but unfortunately aren’t, due to Michael being born more than a month early. Lizzy becomes desperate in her care for him and begins neglecting Darcy and their first child Alexander. Darcy becomes angry and depressed due to what he sees as his failing in properly taking care of his family. Lizzy and Darcy soon stop speaking to one another and sleep in separate rooms, causing major issues in their relationship. Luckily Dr. Darcy, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s uncle, begins noticing what’s going on and sees that Lizzy is suffering from what we would call today as post-partum depression. He begins Elizabeth on an herbal treatment to help calm her hormone imbalance and get her back to normal.
Lizzy and Darcy begin to mend their relationship and about a month later all is back to normal. By the time Lizzy is feeling herself again they rush off to Meryton for her youngest sister Kitty’s wedding. In the days leading up the impending nuptials, they discover that Lydia and Wickham will be attending the event, making it the first time that the Darcy’s have been in his company since “discovering them” living together in London before they were married. When the Wickham’s arrive, Lizzy is surprised to see that Lydia is dressed in the latest fashions and that neither she nor Wickham look like they are at a loss for money. This begins the cogs working in Elizabeth and Darcy’s minds as to where their money is coming from, and what the Wickham’s are really doing in Meryton….
This is, without a doubt, Lathan’s best book in the saga so far, as Darcy and Lizzy evolve into a more mature couple. Gone are the overtly gushy scenes where they obsessively call each other pet names and tell each other how much they are in love with each other. The Lizzy and Darcy of TTwMD are more secure in their love and affection for each other, and it’s obvious in the change of their manner of speech. The love scenes were the one thing that bothered me about the former books in the series. It became tedious to read them book after book; with TTwMD the love scenes are more sensual and seductive (definitely for mature audiences). The notion of a perfect marriage is also gone, replaced by a marriage that is marred with the occasional conflict and misunderstanding. Watching them struggle with Lizzy’s post-partum, which is a real conflict in many marriages today, turned the book into a truer look into their marriage. Their relationship is therefore much more believable because of these points, making the book more enjoyable for me.
The best part about Lathan’s writing is that she’s unafraid to delve into the minds of Austen’s supporting characters. In the first four books we see Jane, Bingley, Caroline Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Kitty, and Mary all get their own story lines. I was beginning to wonder when we would see more Georgiana Darcy! The Trouble with Mr. Darcy FINALLY takes us deeper into her story and gives her a “happy ending”. Lathan has a great way of introducing characters in small way in her prior books and then expands on their story lines in her later works. It’s a great tactic that ties all the novels in the series closer together, making the story more seamless and streamlined.
While The Trouble with Mr. Darcy takes us down a darker road in the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy, it is in turn very enjoyable to see them work through struggles and evolve. Because she makes us truly care about the outcome of these beloved characters, it’s easy to see why Lathan’s Darcy Saga is so successful. Just as romantic and engaging as ever, this is one sequel you won’t want to miss.
The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
I know I commented in one of my early reviews of Sharon Lathan’s books in this series that something has to come along to make life real for Darcy and Lizzy, even while still newlyweds – they’re so in love, nothing can break through that bubble of happiness. But just as life is wont to do, it does eventually burst that bubble, and Ms. Lathan does a good job of handling this couples’ heartache and pain when necessary. But, my heavens, in this book, they get a heavy dose of when it rains trouble, it pours.
Actually, the issues the Darcys go through at this point have the potential to tear them apart. They have matured into loving parents, responsible business owners, and attentive and sensual lovers. Life is about to bring all of that to a halt with circumstances from which they may never recover or be very changed at the very least.
Lizzy is about to give birth to their second child, and Darcy is as thrilled with this pregnancy as he was with Alexander, their firstborn. Once Michael arrives, however, Lizzy slowly descends into a hell neither anticipated nor expected. Darcy is beside himself when his usual helpfulness, even his wit and charm, cannot bring the Lizzy he loves back to him. What we know today as post-partum depression throws them into a turmoil all their own, and Ms. Lathan, with her nursing background, is quite successful at getting Lizzy’s downward spiral and all related emotions across to the reader, as well as Darcy’s anguish and fear of the unknown plaguing his wife.
In between the heartache there is still happiness for the Darcy family. Lizzy’s sister, Kitty, is getting married and both sides of the clan come together to celebrate. But there is a snake in their midst with the return of George Wickham. Fitzwilliam vows to keep his temper and anger in check when face to face with the snake while also keeping on high alert. Trouble follows in Wickham’s wake and Darcy is bound and determined to keep those he loves safe. And he does try. Goodness does triumph over evil, but evil sure has a way of making itself known and throwing life into havoc at the wrong times. Darcy learns this lessons in spades. And, needless to say, Wickham gets what’s coming to him, as well as another enemy in cahoots with him, and their ends are evilly fun to read.
Georgiana is all grown up and has a beau of her own now. I’ve always enjoyed the relationship between Georgie and Darcy; they’re not afraid of showing their love for each other, and Darcy does the big brother thing quite well when her new love asks for her hand. The only little nitpick I have is I want more of the gent. We don’t meet him until approximately three-quarters of the book, and, once introduced, I like him a lot. But what we do get assures us Georgiana will be in good hands.
All of the secondary characters we’ve met in previous books show up again here, catching up with each other and reveling in the chaos of family and children. Ms. Bennet is her usual gushing self, and Lydia Wickham takes the cake when it comes to self-absorption. My favorite secondary character is Dr. Darcy, he’s front and center when family needs him and is as funny and loving as ever.
Another successful addition to her series for Ms. Lathan. She stays true to her characters no matter the dilemma, in happiness as well as sadness and tragedy. I don’t know if more books are planned, but I look forward to any that are. I’m always very pleasantly surprised and entertained and especially appreciate the emotion with which Ms. Lathan writes. It’s been an honor to read these stories that come from her heart.
My Reading Spot
This is the first book I’ve read by Sharon Lathan, and it is the fifth book in her Darcy Saga series and I’m puzzled as to why I haven’t picked or read any other previous four books in this series. I was happy with the fact that I found this book a very good “stand alone book” even though it is part of a series. There were only a few moments in the story that I thought that the previous books would have been helpful, but not enough that I would say you have to read the first book in the series to understand it at all.
There are a couple different stories that develop in this book. One, Darcy and Elizabeth experience some struggles with depression and their relationship after the birth of their second son, Michael. I think that this might sound strange, but I actually enjoyed this part of the book. I was relieved that someone wrote about these struggles, I know that women had to have struggled with postpartum and depression during this time period, but it seems like no one wants to discuss it in their books. Sharon Lathan did a wonderful job at addressing the issue, but found a way for the romance to continue and have Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s relationship remain intact.
In the second part of the book Darcy and Elizabeth are faced with even worse trials as Wickham and returns for a family wedding. Not only does he bring his bad attitude but even worse villains arrive with him. Without giving too many spoilers away, Darcy is then faced with some horrific circumstances where he chances to lose what is more important to him! After a fast pasted ending I was pleasantly surprised with the book.
Sharon Lathan is talented at creating whole new lives for characters that we loved in Pride and Prejudice. There is a lot of romance and I have to warn you if you are not a fan of romance, kissing or love scenes you might want to skip a few paragraphs throughout the book. Darcy and Elizabeth are in love in a loving marriage and Lathan doesn’t shy away from that fact at all. There are definitely parts in the book that are pretty hot, without going over the top or becoming too inappropriate.
I enjoyed it and look forward to now going “back in time” and reading the first four books in this series.
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