A Romantic Paranormal JAFF where Elizabeth is our “Mystical” Character…
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
This week I am launching my new blog “Just Jane 1813” and I thought it would be fun to start with a “Pride & Prejudice” Paranormal Week, where I will review my most beloved P&P paranormal reads, include some pretty great JAFF-related posts, and offer several giveaways to get us into the “haunting” spirit! Many readers may be thinking to themselves that they don’t read P&P paranormal stories because they just seem too strange. Werewolves, and vampires and ghosts, oh my!
I confess, I had a very strong bias against paranormal novels too! Why would a “sensible” person who loves to escape into Regency England for romance and witty narratives want to get all bloodied and bashed? After being compelled to read my first paranormal this spring, “The Darcy Madness,” I was hooked into this genre and I have never turned back! I’ve really come to the conclusion that as long as a piece of JAFF is well-written and engaging, I’m more than happy to go along for the ride.
So what a better way to start a blog than by sharing a genre I love, with a paranormal twist, right before Halloween? At our house, Halloween means costumes, candy and a birthday, along with parties, friends and fun. This year, why not include a P&P paranormal read just to spice things up and get your blood flowing?
Speaking of “haunting,” I thought the first book I’d review would be the 2015 Bronze IPPY Award Winner in Romance, “Haunting Mr. Darcy – A Spirited Courtship” by KaraLynne Mackrory. I became a fan of Mrs. Mackrory’s writing after reading her first book, “Falling for Mr. Darcy.” When I contacted her to tell her I loved her book, she shared with me that “Haunting Mr. Darcy – A Spirited Courtship” was a favorite of hers and I placed it on my TBR list.
There are so many reasons I loved this book. It offers lots of interactions between Darcy & Elizabeth, as our dear couple are placed (okay, forced) together, through situations beyond their control, which are a result of their own separate New Year’s Eve wishes. I tend to enjoy JAFF variations where Darcy and Elizabeth spend a lot of time together, so this was a real treat for me!
Once Elizabeth is found in Darcy’s London home, we experience their numerous frustrations with their strange and unfamiliar situation. Darcy and Elizabeth figure out that they can go no further than 10 paces apart from one another, which just adds to the story’s humor and eventually, to some pretty uncomfortable situations for our couple (think awkward sleeping arrangements for starters!) Once they conclude that Elizabeth is not really what she seems to be in the typical sense, they work in tandem to find a way to separate themselves from each other for good, in an attempt to return to their divergent lives.
But this is not an easy process for them and through their struggles, they learn numerous and surprising things about each other, as their unguarded behaviors and “intimate” arrangements allow them to forge an unexpected bond with each other. For me, these were the sweetest moments in the book, as we are treated to rather frank and romantic conversations between Darcy and Elizabeth that don’t always take place throughout a P&P variation. Between them, there’s lots of taunting and teasing in that part seductive, part playful manner. I had a broad smile plastered across my face throughout this entire reading because the dialogue between them is so amusing!
As we come to witness the true nature of their “situation,” and we see Darcy’s discomfort grow as he believes he has been “ungentlemanly” in his behaviors towards this “mystical” version of Elizabeth, we see another facet of his personality and feel some empathy for his struggles. Yet Elizabeth, on the other hand, is all wit and humor, as she unfolds for herself the mystery of who Mr. Darcy really is as a “typical” young man and as the “Master of So Many.” Eventually, her teasing manner puts Darcy at ease, and charms him as no other woman has ever done in his life.
Once they realize that Elizabeth must be reunited with her physical body, which is not in London with Darcy and Elizabeth, they set off on a journey that puts them in the way of dangerous, new threats. Can Elizabeth be safely returned to once again, be “herself”? If this process is successful, where will it leave Darcy and Elizabeth? Does love leave a mark upon our souls that can be felt through the spaces of time and distance? Can we trust ourselves to see what can really only be felt by the heart?
This book was such a lovely read for me that I wanted to launch my new blog and my “Haunted Austen” week with a paranormal read that not only haunted my mind, but that haunted my heart and soul! I hope my readers find this to be a wonderful read for this Halloween season!
I am thrilled to offer my readers an opportunity to win an ebook copy of this book. Please leave a comment or a suggestion about this blog in the comments section to enter this giveaway by October 31st. Winners will be announced on this blog on Nov 1st.
Thank you to KaraLynne Mackrory for her tremendous support and generosity with the launch of this blog!