Chapter One – Under Heaven
The year is ’18. We get information about Darcy. I take it that he has aged a bit, but he’s still good-looking, someone reserved, and generally awesome. However, in private he displays affection for his children, because of course he does, because Darcy is perfect.
Darcy and Elizabeth are more in love than ever.
Chapter Two – How Does Your Garden Grow
That is one of the most suggestive chapter titles I’ve ever seen. Although, on further thought, it sounds like it’s talking about Elizabeth’s pubic hair, which is kind of a weird place for the chapter title to take us.
But we’re just getting started.
It was a fair estimation to say the Darcy marriage had remained… well-tended. Despite their duties to hearth, park, and children, they consoled each other’s enduring appetence with great enthusiasm (page 8).
Really, Berdoll? Appetence? I’ve said this before, but owning a thesaurus and using the most obscure word does not make your writing
Austenesque, nor does it make your writing any good.
Elizabeth’s twins like running to their parents at night, and Elizabeth is very forward-thinking, so she has given strict instructions to the nurses and maids that their children are allowed to come in to their room whenever they like. Which means they frequently do, which makes having sex somewhat challenging, because they don’t bolt the door anymore. Now, to get their freak on, Elizabeth and Darcy are forced to find creative places to fuck like rabbits…frequently, out on the grounds. Now, I have nothing against outdoor sex. At the same time, I have this image in my mind of England being a rather cold, somewhat rainy or otherwise damp climate. I can’t imagine there would be all that many good days for bumping uglies outdoors.
This isn’t the case, however:
(One particular spot so well-used as to be absent of all but the most unflappable wildlife) (page 8).
That’s right. Elizabeth and Darcy fuck so often in one location that they have SCARED OFF THE WILDLIFE.
Anyway. The kids come in and sleep in the bed. Darcy wakes up and carries the children out to the nursery, still asleep, and pass them off to the maid. Upon returning to their bedroom, he sees Elizabeth awake and shucks off his nightshirt.
Well-honed and well-hung, he sported a rather magnificent genital tumescence, one that gently swayed with every step he took in her direction.
Was she given to histrionics, she could have managed a swoon. As it was, she had to stifle an anticipatory gasp. She knew well that his sexual capital included, not only immoderately appointed loins, but a penchant for passion that included the bestowal of pleasures upon her person so exceedingly well-executed that her toes curled at the very thought of them (page 9).
As a straight man, I’m not exactly qualified to make any judgments about this. It’s certainly possible that the sight of an erect penis will make a woman gasp in anticipation. It certainly holds true in mainstream pornography, and we all know how rigorously accurate porn is. That being said, they’ve been married for a good 10 years now, and have sex, on average, once per day. Some simple math tells me that Elizabeth has seen Darcy’s penis at least 3,650 times, and Berdoll is trying to convince us that it still makes her gasp with excitement? Just seeing it?
Darcy hops into bed, hands go exploring, and we swiftly and mercifully fade to black.
Chapter Three – Speaking of Love
There were four dining parlours in Pemberley House (page 10).
YES. That is how to pull a coitus interruptus, Berdoll. Get your reader all hot and bothered with some red hot Darcy sexing, and bam! Cut to talking about the parlours.
They eat breakfast and Darcy decides that they need to hire a second nurse. He brings this up to Elizabeth, who agrees.
He continued, “Despite the troubling economy, I do believe Pemberley can afford to take on addition help.” (page 11)
Uh. In today’s terms, Darcy’s a multimillionaire. I don’t think you’re going to have any problems hiring a single nurse.
They have breakfast. The children, who are about four, are a little rambunctious, but extremely obedient. If they do something wrong and Darcy reprimands them, they immediately apologize to each other contritely. And they’re adorable, which is not surprising, since they are from the loins of Colin Firth.
Nothing happens for awhile, and then someone named Mrs. Littlepage shows up to talk to Elizabeth.
Chapter Four – Passion’s Gift
Because yeah. Elizabeth has a bun in the oven again.
They talk about it and nothing happens for a few pages, until they get horny and slide down to the floor.
There was no denying that a very generous concomitant of desire had raised its head – so to speak (page 17).
Setting aside the ridiculousness of the word ‘concomitant’, which doesn’t even make sense, what does Berdoll have with penises? I get that she’s into sex and having the Darcys bang on every few pages, which is okay, since this is a trashy romance, but why, on every. single. sex scene does she need to describe Darcy’s erection? We get it, Berdoll. Men get erections before they have sex. You don’t have to comb through your thesaurus looking for another euphemism to describe Darcy growing hard every single time.
The kids suddenly burst in, so Elizabeth is forced to pretend they were on the floor looking for her shoes. The kids buy it, and the nurse herds them off, so the Darcys pull out the mirror they have beneath their bed and get it on.
Chapter Five – Golden Eggs
We get backstory about things that happened in the last book which was a whole lot of nothing. Then the tale of the Darcys returning home is retold, with some additional details: the traitor butler, who was working for Lady Catherine all along, had apparently been charging people tuppence each to let them into the house to view the Darcy children. Darcy is not particularly pleased, but Smeads, the butler, has already vanished so there isn’t too much that can be done.
Neither Darcy nor Elizabeth can figure out why Smeads would do something that odd for a few pennies. It doesn’t make sense. I’m guessing this is some kind of plot point that will become important later.
Elizabeth wonders why Smeads would do that. Darcy has the perfect response:
“I am reminded of the story of the man who killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.”
Raising an eyebrow, she asked, “In this tale, are we the goose or the eggs?” (page 21)
To refresh your memory, this guy has a goose that lays golden eggs, and figures the goose must be full of gold, so he kills the goose and cuts it open to get it all and finds nothing and now he has no goose to lay more eggs. And somehow this is related to the butler letting people pay him to see their children.
Yeah, I don’t get it.
Chapter Six – Open Arms
Nothing happens for a few pages, and then Georgiana Darcy comes back with not one, but two kids. Not twins, though. She popped out one of her own, and Lady Anne de Bourgh had her own daughter and promptly died. And apparently Lady Catherine had no problem with someone taken her only remaining heir away, which I’m going to call bullshit on.
Chapter Seven – The Guests
The Bingleys are moving in nearby, and once that has finished, Darcy wants to throw a ball. After three and a half pages of nothing happening, we finally get to the good bits: They have to invite this one chap named Sir Henry Howgrave and his wife.
It was an honour Elizabeth would have thought nothing of except for one small bother.
Darcy and Howgrave’s wife had once been lovers (page 27).
Holy shit! How utterly appalling.
I’m guessing Elizabeth will fret about this.