Chapter Seventy-Four – Heaven’s Rejoice
We get several chapters all about whistling, and it’s about as boring as watching paint drying and also not as well written. Eventually the Darcys go and visit Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana, and we get this bit of utter stupidity:
As Georgiana had yet to conceive again, she had confided in Elizabeth that she feared she could not give Fitzwilliam another child. She, of course, was not indebted to do so. Was she to have a son, it would have only been a matter of pride for his father. As brother of the blade, a gentleman of the first order, a hero of the Peninsular and Waterloo engagements (gallantry cited more than once in the Gazette), Fitzwilliam in no way needed a son to prove his manhood (page 278).
Because that’s why Victorian men want sons. To prove their manhood. Instead of, say, wanting a son to care for their widow in her old age? Wanting a son to carry on the family name? Wanting a son because they want a fucking son?
Chapter Seventy-Five – The Rabbit Hole
Juliette wants Darcy. Badly. She talks to her friend Alistair Thomas about how she can get him in the sack. He doesn’t really have any ideas.
She wanted all of Darcy – man, arms, and sabre (page 282).
And by “sabre” she means “penis”.
Chapter Seventy-Six – To the Fair
Darcy and Fitzwilliam are heading off to buy a horse that will one day be his son Geoff’s. As they leave, Darcy and Elizabeth share a Moment, as only Berdoll can write them:
Whilst she cogitated his exposition, he stopped again, pressing his thumb against his lower lip. His pauses were quite maddening. Between them, however, she understood that he was making a declaration of sorts. He was an educated man, capable of eloquence of address and superior elucidation. Why he could not just come out with it was becoming an increasing botheration. His last just advisement had not blessed her with unmitigated joy. Therefore, her anticipation of the information he was to offer worried the most precipitous reaches of her composure (page 284).
Anyway, nothing happens.
Chapter Seventy-Seven – Janus
Wickham fucks around for a bit, temporarily becomes a pimp, dabbles in bodysnatching, and eventually works his way into politics where he finally introduces himself as…ALISTAIR THOMAS!!! Holy shit! Remember that guy who’s been mentioned randomly five times throughout the book in a variety of subtle and casual ways, who also is Juliette’s friend! It’s actually Wickham!
What an incredibly unusual and exciting plot twist! It almost makes up for the past 288 pages of nothing happening.
Chapter Seventy-Eight – Horse Holiday
Chapter Seventy-Nine – Seed of Doubt
Juliette and WickhamAlistair talk. Wickham realizes that Juliette wants Darcy to father her child so she can throw it in her husband’s face. So, he suggests that they bootblack his hair and since they’re of similar stature, they can let him be glimpsed leaving Juliette’s chambers and then spread the rumor that actually Darcy fucked her, and Wickham can father her child instead. Just as good, right? But Juliette isn’t really open to this idea because she’s still convinced that if she can just get Darcy into her bedchambers he’s going to lose control and they will have incredible sex…despite all evidence to the contrary.
Chapter Eighty – Duelling Duo
Chapter Eighty-One – Lucifer Lies in London
After nothing continues to happen, Darcy runs into Sir Howgrave and through conversing with him suddenly realizes that Alistair Thomas must actually be Wickham, because evidently Wickham wasn’t careful enough with the fake name he chose.
Chapter Eighty-Two – The Devil & Cyril Smeads
Smeads (who used to work for the Darcys until he was let go because he was a douchebag) runs into Wickham posing as Mr. Darcy, and realizes if he plays his cards right, there will be blackmail to be had. It isn’t, because Wickham kills him off-screen.
Chapter Eighty-Three – Going Snacks
Sally finds out Wickham is alive, because, naturally, in a city as big as London, it’s really easy to discover that someone whose entire appearance has changed and is living under a different name is still alive.
Chapter Eighty-Four – The Boast
Darcy is aghast.
Darcy was aghast! (page 316)
He decides he needs to find a way of warning Sir Howgrave that Alistair is actually Wickham, and will do so through a third party. But he decides to warn Juliette directly, because that way, we can get another scene where she tries unsuccessfully to seduce him.
Juliette and Wickham are fucking, but she continues to worry because Wickham only has a family jewel. A twig and a solitary berry. A cojone. Or, as Berdoll puts it:
Alistair’s ball-sack was half-empty (page 318).
Anyway, eventually Juliette gets a card and realizes that Darcy is calling upon her.
Chapter Eighty-Five – Flux and Femininity
Elizabeth dreams about Darcy fucking Juliette and wakes up in a snit.
Chapter Eighty-Six – Forewarned
So, Darcy warns her about Wickham, she flirts, he shoots her down, and Juliette is crushed when she realizes that Darcy actually doesn’t have the hots for her any more. So she goes for the Hail Mary and explains that she will, on the other hand, require money from Darcy for his son…the one he planted in her many years ago. Darcy doesn’t buy it and bids her farewell and leaves.
Well. I’m glad we spent the entire goddamn book building towards this climax of nothing happening.
Chapter Eighty-Seven – Noblesse Oblige
Cressida (the Darcy’s dog) dies.
Chapters Eighty-Eight – Ninety
Chapter Ninety-One – Prometheus and the Eagle
Wickham is in Juliette’s chambers when Sir Howgrave pops in and realizes what’s going on. Howgrave promptly assaults both of them, slapping Juliette a few times before charging after Wickham. However, after his attention is diverted, Juliette picks up a gold letter-knife and stabs Howgrave into the side and he falls to the ground dead. Wickham immediately starts scheming on how to best profit from this and starts by pulling out the gold letter-knife because it’s worth a lot of money. Juliette considers her options for a moment and then begins screaming and tearing at her clothes. A moment or two later a group of footmen kick the door open and see Juliette disheveled, Howgrave dead on the floor, and Wickham holding a bloody knife.
Chapter Ninety-Two – To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Darcy gets back home and he and Elizabeth talk about their wedding night and they have incredible sex with simultaneous orgasms.
Chapter Ninety-Three – Dead Reckoning
Wickham is charged with Murder and Attempted Violation of a Lady. He pleads his innocence but it doesn’t work, especially when Juliette takes the stand and explains how he attempted to rape her and then stabbed her husband when he came to her aid.
He’s sentenced to twenty years. Hard labor by day, chained inside a prison-ship at night. Which means that if Berdoll ever gets around to writing a fourth volume, she can have him escape again so he can be the main villain since she’s not able to come up with a new villain.
Chapter Ninety-Four – The Dance
Elizabeth and Darcy are still in love.
That’s it. What a crock of shit.