About the Book

Title: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues (Darcy & Elizabeth #1)
Published: 1999

Cover Story: Oh, God, No. Why? Why?
BFF Charm: Nay
Swoonworthy Scale: Insupportable
Talky Talk: Yea, Verily Did We Use the Thesaurus
Bonus Factor: Mr. Collins’ Timely Demise
Anti-bonus Factor: Miscarriages
Relationship Status: The Bad Boyfriend I Keep Coming Back To

Cover Story: Oh, God, No. Why? Why?


Okay, but seriously. Call me a traitor to my generation or whatever, but I just don’t get this cover. Nip slippage, uncomfortable position, a guy leaning out of the gloom? And I’m expected to swoon? I don’t think so.

I mean, it’s not just me, right? Elizabeth looks so uncomfortable. Who makes out like that? Wouldn’t it put a cramp in your neck? Why can’t Darcy, like, spend ten seconds walking around her chair and kissing her from the front? Is he that lazy?

That said, I do like Elizabeth’s fancy dress. I wish it fit her tits and wasn’t in supreme danger of falling down any second, but the beadwork is pretty.

The Deal:

Guess what you guys! Guess what guess what guess what? Darcy and Elizabeth got married! You know what that means! Tax deductions and insurance deductibles! Ha ha, just kidding, it means they get to have sex! Lots of sex! Sex all the time! Sex in the carriage! Sex in the bathtub! Sex on a picnic! Are you having sex right now, at this very instant, at the second you are reading this? No? You fool! You could be having sex right now if you were married to Darcy! You stupid, stupid, sex-starved person.

Okay, so, yeah, Darcy and Elizabeth have sex. A LOT. So much sex. Last night I dreamt I was Elizabeth, but I was me, and my fiance was Darcy and all we did was have awkward sex on a horse. Like, I mean, it’s all we did. We didn’t even exchange pleasantries first. Just, like, “saddle up, honey.” Disturbing.

Other than having sex all of the time, sometimes Elizabeth is pregnant and miscarries or gives birth to a stillborn child, and also there’s a couple of attempted rapes, Darcy runs some people through with his sword, which isn’t a euphemism, Bingley cheats on Jane, and Georgianna follows Fitzwilliam to France to nurse some soldiers.

All of this takes 456 INTERMINABLE pages. Seriously, I think I read this book for a week without much to show for it. I’ve had root canals pass with a more enjoyable time.

BFF Charm: Nay

BFF Charm that says "denied"

I know; I know. Deny a BFF charm to my wonderful Elizabeth?? But I just can’t DEAL with her in this book. It’s like Berdoll took Lizzy’s sarcasm and ran with it, without tempering it with Austen’s quick tongue on outlook on manners. Consequently, this Lizzie is impertinent and saucy, instead of arch and subtly sarcastic. Plus she spends wholly 40% of this book either worried about Darcy, worried about babies or worried that she has caused offense. Boring! I want to read more about embroidery and bonnet making.

Swoonworthy Scale: Insupportible

Y’all, there’s so much sex in this book, which you would THINK would put the swoonworthy scale most decidedly at 10, but nay. It’s not that the sexytimes aren’t plentiful (they are so, so plentiful), but – can I confess a secret? Reading sex scenes in a book is SO TEDIUS. Is that abnormal? Maybe so. But there are just so many times I can read about someone kissing passionately or ardently and throbbing members being grasped or labia being trespassed by said throbbing members before I want to vomit from boredom. When it comes to sex, I can use my imagination just fine, thanks. I don’t need to read precise details about how Darcy initiates Lizzy into the act of oral sex, you know? Just say she gave him a blowie and let’s move on dot org!

Besides repeated scenes of Darcy and Lizzy’s innamorata (oh yeah, the book is peppered with French and Latin words for body parts, which is one of my most despised writing devices), we also have to spend time thinking about Wickham and Lydia and, worse, Jane and Bingley, having sex as well. Wickham is apparently a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am type, and Bingley spends several weeks shooting his wad onto his Jane’s thighs before he figures out where her vagina is located. I despair of the sex scenes in this book.

Talky Talk: Yea, Verily Did We Use a Thesaurus

OH.MY.GOD. You guys, you guys, this book KILLS ME with the words it uses. Berdoll obviously wanted to emulate Austen’s writing style, except that, like, Jane Austen is not that fancy of a writer, y’all. Compared to other authors in the same period, her writing style was actually pretty casual and easy-to-read. And I seriously doubt that she wrote Pride and Prejudice with Roget’s Thesaurus by her elbow.

I can’t say the same for Berdoll. Every sentence is laden with ten cent words when five cent words will do. Shall the shades of Pemberley be thus polluted? Apparently they will also be besmirched, befouled, contaminated, debased and debauched.

That said, the book certainly has its hilarious moments, like when Lydia describes sex to Jane and Elizabeth prior to their wedding day. Check it, for Lydia’s wise advice will keep you aware of befalling any hideous, unguarded penises as they scamper about the countryside:

“Your husband’s manly instrument will swell big and red and hard and angry and enormous . . . And when he puts it in your nonny-nonny it will be with such force as to render you prostrate with ecstasy and pain.

It is a sweaty prospect. And his spendings are sticky. And his larydoodle does go limp with great dispatch after he has had his way with you.”

Of all the things I’ve said about My First Time, I never used the word larydoodle. Probably I should have. A larydoodle makes everything better.

Bonus Factor: Mr. Collins’ Timely Demise

HA HA HA, Mr. Collins dies so hilariously in this book. He gets stung by bees! Bees! Just like in My Girl! Only this wasn’t sad; it was just funny. Charlotte Lucas thought it was pretty funny too.

Anti-bonus factor: Miscarriages

LORD, there are like a million miscarriages in this book! Okay, well, actually there are only like two. BUT TWO IS ENOUGH. If I wanted to read about miscarriages, I’d reread The Time Traveler’s Wife. Again.

Relationship Status: The Bad Boyfriend I Just Can’t Quit

Remember how upset and confused Mr. Bennet was when he got the letter from Uncle Gardiner about Wickham’s debts and he asked Lizzy two questions: just how much money Uncle Gardiner laid down and how the devil was he to repay him? Y’ALL. Why did I spend seventeen bucks on this book and why the devil have I read it so many times?

I mean, I guess I haven’t read it SO many times. But I’ve at least read it twice, which is approximately three times too many! And why is it going back on my bookshelf to possibly read again someday? And WHY AM I GOING TO READ THE SEQUEL?

These are dire circumstances, y’all. This book is quite clearly my bad boyfriend, and I just keep coming back to it. It’s going to abuse me, it’s going to call me bad names, and it’s going to make me have weird sex dreams involving a horse (not sex INVOLVING a horse. I feel I should specify). And I’m just going to keep coming back for more. SIGH. COMPLAIN. UPSET.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife is available now.

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Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.