by Pamelia Aidan
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2006.
The second book in the "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" series starts pretty much where the first one left off. The Bingleys are in London, and Darcy is on his way to Pemberley for Christmas, and to see Georgiana.
Since this is the time period in Pride and Prejudice where the Bennets are in Hertfordshire, Jane visits London, and not much is said of the Bingleys or Darcys, Aidan could more fully explore her character, his thoughts and actions, and his fashionable set. The result was a bit more mixed for me than the first book. I thought her character's actions and thoughts were completely believable. Georgiana, too, is excellently fleshed out in the beginning of the book; she is shy, but has left behind her depression as a result of her companion, Mrs. Annesley, and her new-found faith. Darcy sees this change in Georgiana, and must choose between this and a decidedly darker path, one that appears to me (and in all honesty, this may be my partly due to ignorance of the time period in which the book is set) far too black and white, good or evil. There is a mystery introduced about halfway into the story, but in all honesty I was never in doubt about the ultimate cause, only ignorant of the particulars. All this being said, I enjoyed the story thoroughly, read it quickly, and am looking forward to reading the next one.