Vampire Darcy’s Desire presents Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a heart-pounding vampire romance filled with passion and danger.
Tormented by a 200-year-old curse and his fate as a half human/half vampire dhampir, Fitzwilliam Darcy vows to live a solitary life rather than inflict the horrors of his life upon an innocent wife and his first born son. However, when he encounters the captivating Elizabeth Bennet, his will is sorely tested.
As a man, Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, but as a vampire, he is also driven to possess her. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, they are forced to confront a different kind of “pride” and his enemy’s “prejudice,” while wrestling with the seductive power of forbidden love. Evil forces, led by George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, attack from all sides, and Darcy learns his only hope to survive is to align himself with Elizabeth, who is uncannily astute in how to defeat Wickham, a demon determined to destroy each generation of Darcys.
This review will have spoilers because I’m not sure how to talk about the things I want to to talk about without giving examples, therefore if you don’t want to be spoiled please avoid this review. I wish I had liked this book more than I did but as it stands reading it, for me at least, was a slow descent into madness. I’m a huge fan of P&P. I’m a huge fan of paranormal romance and vampires. And yet neither of those things worked for me here and I’m left, in the end, disappointed.
The book starts off similarly to the source material but is told, mostly, from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. I did actually enjoy this aspect of the storytelling as it’s interesting seeing a familiar tale told in a different light. At the start there is a lot of reference to the source material with the sequence of events, the common scenes, and some of the lines are lifted verbatim with some added flair in between. At a certain point the story really diverges into its own thing, although some of the common events are still woven throughout the story, but the main story is something new all together. Regarding the supernatural elements, I did like the new backstory regarding Wickham and the families of Darcy and Elizabeth. I felt like that much was insinuated into the story in a pretty seamless way.
The two main characters, Darcy and Lizzy, don’t much resemble their characters from actual Pride and Prejudice other than the first couple of interactions. That much I could live with but they’re not even consistent within the new parameters that have been drawn up here. To be honest, they’re kind of all over the place. Elizabeth is at once presented as a spitfire, a source of strength, and eternally in love with Darcy to the point that nothing will tear her away, she doesn’t care about the curse or that she or her family might be in danger because of it. But then, suddenly, once Wickham has Lydia she completely falls apart and rebuffs Darcy, blaming him for everything. I understand being upset, but damn, it’s like a complete personality change. Honestly this 180 seemed like it was in there just to create unnecessary drama. Unnecessary because there’s already enough drama–Wickham is a blood thirsty fiend and serial murderer who has just abducted Lydia–isn’t that enough??? Darcy’s character isn’t much better, I’m afraid. He’s determined never to become involved with Elizabeth despite his attraction and then gives in anyway and then keeps wavering back and forth and it drove me a little crazy after a while.
There were other slight inconsistencies than just the characters. At one point Lizzy basically announces their engagement (Darcy had not proposed) forcing him into marriage with her. Later in the book his proposal comes up and I’m left wondering ‘what proposal???’. Quite frankly there are points at which I would have gladly DNF’d this book but I read it for my fantasy bingo card so there was no turning back for me. It’s a shame because the beginning wasn’t bad and I was even intrigued up through about 25-30 percent of it, before things really started going off the rails. During the beginning I thought how wonderfully gothic it all was and enjoyed the atmosphere a lot. Later, it all became a bit much. Like I said, I don’t mind at all that it diverges so much from the original material–for instance I liked that Darcy and Elizabeth got together and worked out their differences early on so the romance could start in earnest (and oooh boy, what a romance)–but at least make the story consistent within itself. There’s also a weird thing at the end with Colonel Fitzwilliam being a bit hung up on Elizabeth and for a moment I thought ‘oh my gosh, am I going to get the alternate pairing of Colonel Fitzwilliam/Elizabeth that I’ve always wanted?’ (I’ve always felt the chemistry was there) but after much teasing, nope. So why was that even there then? Things like that are kind of frustrating as a reader.
I felt the pacing was okay for the most part, the normal peaks and valleys are there, but I felt the climax started a little too early and went on for about the last quarter of the book which, stretched out so much, took some of the excitement out of it.
Overall, this book was very firmly not for me. It’s a shame because the idea has a lot of potential–I wish the story had lived up to it. Still, even though this book wasn’t for me, maybe you’ll enjoy it. 2.5/5 stars.