Published by Harper & Appleton on June 28th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
As the Darcys are about to embark on their wedding trip to Italy, they lose the capable service of Miss Darcy's long-time companion. What will they do? They cannot leave dear Georgiana without a proper lady for a companion. Elizabeth Darcy's aunt comes to their rescue, recommending the lovely spinster Lucy Wetherspoon, whose family she has long known.
Darcy also asks his neighbor, Lord Fane, to watch out for Georgiana in their absence. At two and thirty, Lord Fane has decided he needs to wed an heiress to restore his ancestral pile. Miss Darcy's fortune is just what he needs.
Then he meets the shabbily dressed Miss Wetherspoon, and his world is utterly shaken by the profound feelings the beautiful woman elicits in him. After meddling from misguided-but-well-meaning Mr. Collins, Lord Fane's honor demands he offer for Georgiana Darcy though his heart will ever belong to her shabbily dressed companion.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Miss Darcy’s New Companion is the first book in the Jane Austen Sequel books, a Pride and Prejudice Variation by the incomparable Cheryl Bolen.
The story begins when the newly wed couple Mr Darcy and Lizzy Bennet are preparing to go on their wedding journey. They have hired a companion for Darcy’s young sister Georgiana. The woman in question is Miss Lucy Weatherspoon, the second eldest daughter of 10 unmarried children from the Weatherspoon family. The children have all been separated while their father tries to recoup losses after a failed sugar crop. Lizzy’s aunt suggested that they consider employing Lucy, and after a successful interview with Darcy, the position is hers.
Darcy has hopes that with Lucy’s help, Georgiana will become a success during her come out, and he has secret hopes that his dear friend Alex, the Earl of Fane will want to marry her. Not only is he a good man for his sister, but marrying her and receiving her dowry will also see him being able to save his estate which needs a LOT of work done to it. When Darcy gets Alex’s assurance that he will pop in to visit as often as possible while the Darcys are on honeymoon, he is sure the time spent together will work towards his goal of seeing them betrothed.
Alex knows how Darcy feels, and although he hates the thought of marrying not for love, but for finances, he feels dreadful. He knows it’s his duty to save his estate though, and he resigns himself to seeing if Georgiana will be happy with his courtship. That is, until he meets dear Lucy Weatherspoon. There is an instant attraction between them, and the more time they spend together, the more they start to have serious feelings for each other. Feelings that they must keep hidden from each other though. Why keep them hidden? Alex needs to marry for money which Lucy doesn’t have, and Lucy has been engaged and the engagement was broken off, leaving her heart broken. She can’t put herself through that pain again and feels she has to fight her attraction to Alex.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen, like I am, and if you love Pride and Prejudice, don’t worry, you will really enjoy this book. I am always worried when I read a spin off from the story in case it is badly modernised, or ruins the the beauty of the original story. I loved reading this spin off though, and in one particular instance we have the displeasure of reading about Mr Collins and his smarmy ways again. In fact his pompous ways cause quite the misunderstanding between Alex and Georgina. He truly is a very unlikeable character! The author got his personality down to a tee, and I could easily picture him just as he was in the BBC adaptation of the series. This was a lovely novella, and so wonderful to have Pride and Prejudice extended with such a great story. I can’t wait to read the next one!
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.