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Reviewed by Meg M.

Within the pages of The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, author Mary Lydon Simonsen reveals a plot concocted by cousins Georgiana Darcy and Anne de Bourgh to unite Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. This delightful Pride And Prejudice spin-off allows readers to see the classic tale from a variety of angles, including those of Georgiana and Anne, two characters who aren’t allowed a lot of time to speak in the Jane Austen’s beloved original work.

Simonsen weaves together a tale where Anne and her cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, are the best of friends. Despite their family’s plans for the two to someday marry, the two cousins aren’t interested in one another, and when Anne discovers Darcy’s affections for the beautiful and witty Elizabeth Bennet, she can’t help but get involved.

The matchmaking begins at Rosings, where Anne first becomes aware of Darcy’s feelings and the misunderstanding that has led to Elizabeth’s refusal of his marriage proposal. After Mr. Darcy makes Elizabeth aware of his true motives and character in his famous letter, Anne is there to help Elizabeth decipher her feelings for the brooding gentleman. It is here that Anne requests to write to Miss Bennet, planning to invite the lady to Pemberley, where she is sure to see Mr. Darcy at his best.

When Georgiana, Mr. Darcy’s sister, learns of this plan, she is more than willing to help, especially after meeting Elizabeth, with whom she forms a fast bond. In several delightful scenes, readers are treated to the cousins’ plan to embarrass the snobbish Caroline Bingley at Pemberley, all the while working to push Darcy and Elizabeth together. All is going well until it is revealed that Lydia Bennet has eloped with Mr. Wickham. Now Anne and Georgiana must work overtime to bring these two together before all is lost.

While most works inspired by Pride And Prejudice are normally ridiculous and written without historical accuracy in mind, this tale is fun, fresh and enormously entertaining. Often read as a quiet mouse, Simonsen’s portrayal of Anne de Bourgh causes the character to leap off the page with sparkle and wit. Georgiana, in similar fashion, is a lovely character who cares for her brother’s happiness above most other things in the world, and with urgency, she fights to help him secure the woman that is perfect for him. And Simonsen thankfully stays very true to the essence of what has made the characters of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy stand the test of time, allowing readers to see their mistakes, their vulnerability, and above all, the love that overcomes their pride and the conventions of their time period.

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Marketing professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog, Morning Cup With Meg.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Landmark. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.