DEAREST BLOODIEST ELIZABETH
by Colette L. Saucier
#2 Confession of Mr. Darcy, Vampire
Historical Paranormal Romance
Southern Girl Press
Formats available: Electronic and Hardcover
Pub Date: 8.8.16| Pages: 266
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
Ebook provided by author for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
In this lurid, lusty sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, death shadows the newlywed Darcys from Pemberley to the parlors of Regency London to the courtyards of Antebellum New Orleans. As Elizabeth discovers the trials and travails of marriage to a vampire, can Darcy ever believe that she loves him as he is? Or will his jealousy tear them apart? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30849189-dearest-bloodiest-elizabeth
The wedding is over and let married life begin. Huzzah! But no, the universe isn’t done complicating William and Elizabeth’s lives. A passionate, soul-searching, and dangerous journey of the heart awaits them. Tests come their way and if they can’t trust in their love and each other, the life they have together will not last.
DEAREST BLOODIEST ELIZABETH is the second book in a series that works best read in order. While the first book holds close to Jane Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice tale, this sequel takes the story and the characters along a different, darker path.
DEAREST BLOODIEST ELIZABETH easily brought me back into the story begun in Pulse and Prejudice. I was impressed with the author’s choice not to make a pairing of human and supernatural not so easy. William is revolted by his own nature that was forced upon him and must fight almost daily to accept himself and govern his darker needs. Elizabeth thought she was prepared just because she accepted the existence of vampires and accepted William, but learns quickly that she was woefully naive and must fight the internal battle all over again.
There is a balance of strong internal and external conflict. Pacing varied particularly when the characters were facing down their own demons or engaged in dangerous moments.
I loved that this story moved from the London ballrooms and drawing rooms to New Orleans of that time. It was a wonderful setting. The author worked to paint in with accuracy details of the place, the society, the social norms, and characters of the times of post-War of 1812 Louisiana. I enjoyed the details of how the results of the war affected things. And it was a creative choice to let William and Elizabeth feel like fish out of water as they tried to navigate the city and its High Society so different from the rest of America and England.
The wider cast of characters were an interesting blend of friends, family, and hidden troublemakers. Wickham is an ‘is he or isn’t he?’ type that kept me guessing, but then so is Fitzwilliam because I couldn’t figure out what he was playing at behind his stubborn anger toward William. The addition of the Countess was fun. She is a great character for adding a light and gentle tone to an otherwise stormy and heavy atmosphere from the other characters.
Sequels sometimes can offer weak, insipid romance because the happily ever after has come and gone. But in this case, it was really only the beginning. It’s one thing to say ‘we can make this work’, but then when your husband drinks blood and snaps a villain’s neck before your eyes, yeah…
There was also lack of communication on Elizabeth’s part and jealousy on William’s that resulted in a lot of added tension and turmoil. Yes, I did want to shake them until their teeth rattled.
Even if they have their struggles and issues, this is one passionate pair. Elizabeth lets her husband guide her and their desires and needs soar. They explore and have freedom to love in their special way. It is only later that Elizabeth learns that what she has with her husband in the bedroom is not shared by many married women of the time. Does she let this shame her or can she learn to revel in it? With each barrier and difficulty, it is their love that brings them back together to face it as a couple.
So, in summary, this was a strong sequel that ended the previous story arc, but left things open for a new direction possibly. What happens after the happily ever after is explored well as is the character growth for the couple paired with an intense vampire hunt through the dark streets of New Orleans. I can easily recommend this one to those who enjoy spicy historical paranormal romance blends and to the more adventuresome Austenesque lover.