I loved Pride and Promiscuity. Once I started Mr. Darcy Takes (in more positions than could be easily imagined) a Wife, I could hardly tear myself away. The only part of Bride and Prejudice I resented is when Lalita and Will Darcy don’t actually kiss on-screen.
So you know, it’s really my own fault I dove head first into Linda Berdoll’s second sexy exploration of the life of Darcy and Elizabeth after the happily ever after.
This is not to say I was not rewarded; on the contrary, there are multiple delights (of the orgasmic nature and otherwise) in this text. A sampling: the size of Darcy’s bulge (introduced on page six, since it’s of obvious import), an erotic nursing scene (the Darcys have twins), Darcy telling off Lady Catherine for her behavior in the previous sequel, Bingley finally learning his way around a woman’s anatomy and using it for Jane’s—rather than for a mistress’—pleasure, an awesome and shocking Georgiana/Fitzwilliam revelation on their wedding night, Anne de Bourgh as an equine creature whose mother resents her for not procreating, Lizzy making sure Darcy doesn’t fall asleep as usual post-coitus when they do it in the lake, and Darcy’s adorable daughter expelling the contents of her nose on her father’s coat as he looks on in horror.
This being said, these delights come from the first half of the book because I made the choice not to finish it.
Why, you ask? The book is titillating, creative, fun-spirited. But it is also a lot of work to read. The vocabulary feels heavy, only some of the characters are familiar or easy to keep track of, and the interconnected stories are confusing and become rewarding, no doubt, only near the end. I loved the Lizzy/Darcy scenes and even some of the others, which I know, somehow, Berdoll will make affect Lizzy and Darcy, but I have reached a point of exhaustion. Pleasure reading is supposed to come more easily than this.
If you, however, discerning audience as you are, look for a challenge and a lot to piece together—and literary sex scenes I haven’t seen any other respectable Austen writer attempt—than Darcy and Elizabeth should be next on your “to read” list.
(Keep a dictionary and a willing partner close by) ;-).
Republished from Spring/Summer 2007