It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. So say the friends and family of impoverished widow Octavia Darcy when she unexpectedly inherits a fortune, but she has a different view and looks forward to a new life of independence.
When Phoebe, a young niece of Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy, is shattered by an unhappy romance, she retreats to Pemberley and is joined by kind-hearted Louisa Bingley, unmarried after three London seasons. Once the young ladies are situated in the house, several handsome strangers also arrive - all hopeful of winning the girls' hearts.
Picking up 20 years after Pride and Prejudice left off, Mr. Darcy's Daughters begins in the year 1818. Elizabeth and Darcy have gone to Constantinople, giving us an opportunity to get to know their five daughters, who have left the sheltered surroundings of Pemberley for a few months in London.
In The Darcy Connection, Mr. Collins of Pride and Prejudice is now the Bishop of Ripon, living with his wife Charlotte and their two daughters, who have reached marriageable age. The elder, another Charlotte, is extraordinarily beautiful, and her parents hope her looks and connections will ensure a brilliant marriage. Her sister Eliza, while not as handsome, possesses a lively intelligence that, in Mr. Collins's opinion, is too like her godmother Mrs. Darcy.
Groom, best man, guests, even a bishop - but where is the bride? An orphan fresh out of convent school, Prue Pagan has no home and nowhere to go. Then a chance meeting with her worldly-wise friend Cleo lands her a summer job in the north of England at Mountjoy Castle, where generations of the Mountjoy family have loved, lusted, and scandalised their neighbours. Prue's innocence is no protection against the wickedness of the English upper classes.
"Pru's life has dramatic changes"
Valentine Welburn has grown accustomed to her freedom in Calcutta. So when she reaches the gray shores of England to debut in her first London Season, she is irked by the conventions of high society. With her irrepressible spirit, unusual beauty, and a large fortune, the stage is set for gossip. Scandal and intrigue ensue when two men - the distinguished Lord Marbeck and the dashing, dangerous Sir Richard Brindley - appear on the scene.
Unwanted visitors come in all shapes and sizes, from three selfish brothers to a crusader from the past. Mimi Mountjoy's life is suddenly filled with problems. Her business as a purveyor of fountains is threatened and her husband Edmund, who desperately needs to finish his book on the Templars, is afflicted with writer's block. Then Mimi's mother decamps abroad to escape her three unmarried sons - who promptly descend on their sister in Eyot, with extremely disruptive results.
Struck down by shingles, Cleo Byng postpones her wedding and heads north to recuperate at her infuriating Cousin Henry's house in the wintry Eyotshire village of Hazard. She's not sure what to expect, and Haphazard House turns out to be a dilapidated Elizabethan pile with few amenities and a doom-laden housekeeper, not to mention a strange pair who have been in residence for rather more than the usual life span and have a keen interest in modern technology.
After being disowned by her family, Cassandra Darcy - the artistic eldest daughter of Anne de Bourgh (and granddaughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mr. Darcy's cousin in Pride and Prejudice) - strives to make a living by painting. But struggling to succeed in bohemian London turns out to be the least of her worries! To begin with, there are the unwelcome advances of a certain Lord Usborne, and then there are the letters bequeathed to her by a friend.
Where would you rather be? Lonely and fog-bound in an ancient English castle... or sitting under the stars with friends on a magical Mediterranean island? Magdalena Mountjoy, furious with her impossible husband, the rakish Valdemar, doesn't hesitate when she has the chance to run away to Aeolus, a jewel of an island off the coast of Sicily. Yet every Eden has its serpent.
Who needs love? Not Quinta, who's made a good life for herself, bringing up her difficult young daughter, absorbed in her work as a violin maker. And she certainly doesn't need anybody to tell her how to live her life: She has it all sorted out, down to the last dot and comma. If it isn't on a list, it doesn't exist. When her old friend Lydia appears, jilted and angry, Quinta's orderly life is shaken and her past begins to catch up with her.
What if... Dionysus appeared in an English village? Justinia Fitz Odo: musician, dreamer, and would-be-dutiful wife. A wild and wicked autumn wind howls off the Eyotshire fells, bringing a mysterious stranger to the ancient town of Unthrang where she lives; a stranger who intervenes in the lives of the inhabitants in the most unpredictable and shocking ways. Meanwhile in nearby Eyot, unholy machinations in the dignified precincts of the cathedral threaten to destroy centuries of musical tradition.
Critically acclaimed and award-winning - but hardly best-selling - author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it’s bad news. Shockingly, she’s offered a commission to complete a newly discovered unfinished manuscript by a major 19th-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to learn that the author in question is Jane Austen.
"A whole lot of whining"