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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2014
This book contains 3 Darcy stories by different authors:

Christmas Present by Amanda Grange
A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan
Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart

Out of the three , Amanda Grange's story is the best one. She appears to have kept to the original characterisations by Jane Austen and has written a really lovely piece in the style of Jane Austen. As I have read quite a few books by Amanda Grange all very good this doesn't surprise me.

As for the other stories - one appeared to be written in the style of Scrooge with a spirit from the past, present and future appearing before Darcy. This didn't appeal and the story was not easy to follow as the scenes changed so rapidly it was sometimes hard to keep up. The other story is written in the form of different consecutive Christmases with Darcy and Elizabeth and the children as they appear. As each chapter represented only one christmas, you only touched the surface of the new characters as they appeared and the other thing was it was all sexed up and a bit racier then any Jane Austen admirer would probably have liked.

I am not sure what the appeal is of writing all these Darcy based novels, I was happy just to read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but for some reason there seems to be no end to the Darcy based obsession out there just by looking at the number of these spin off novels on sale. I downloaded this book because it was a freebie on Amazon, Amanda Grange was one of the authors and it had a Xmas theme attached but otherwise I don't think I would have read it.

The only upside to this book is Amanda Grange's little story! for which I would have given a higher rating if it had been a standalone novella.
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on 22 April 2017
What wonderful books! A mixture of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. My favourite character? It surely has to be the handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy!!!
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on 29 January 2012
Darcy Christmas by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan & Carolyn Eberhart

I would point out that I am a big Jane Austen fan (and have been for more than thirty years) and authors that use her work but change the style, characters and general feeling of her stories annoy me. I feel strongly that if someone's books are used by modern authors, the least that they can do is respect the original creator's work by not changing it or deviating from the original intent. This is a personal opinion and I know that many readers have enjoyed "seeing" Darcy as a vampire or other characters as zombies etc but I admit to being a bit of a purist where Austen's work is concerned. This personal opinion will obviously effect my enjoyment of adaptations and the reviews that I give them. This is never more so than when adaptations and variations of my favourite (of 31 years standing) fictional book, Pride and Prejudice, are produced.

SPOILERS CONTAINED.

Mr Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart

I'm afraid that I didn't like this story. It felt clichéd and the language used stumbled about, confused in its style. Some descriptions seemed overly verbose without actually creating any kind of substantial imagery.

Pride and Prejudice does not give a lot of detail about Darcy's Father but we do know that he was a good, kind and considerate man, who looked after those less fortunate than himself. In this story he is the first ghost, wearing chains he forged in life ~ supposedly from lack of consideration, pride and conceit! In Pride and Prejudice Mrs Annesley is Georgiana's companion. In this book, Mr Annesley is Darcy's tutor ~ there is no mention of the two being connected but it seemed odd to use people with the same name in such close connection to the family. In this story Darcy's Father says that George Wickham will not be educated with Darcy but will receive an education appropriate to his station in life. However in Pride and Prejudice (in Darcy's letter to Elizabeth) he clearly states that Wickham was educated (funded by Darcy Snr) at Cambridge. There is a strange scene in which Mr Darcy Snr waits in the coach, whilst he sends his daughter in to the school to collect Darcy ~ The schoolmaster then takes the two young people in to his rooms and gives them tea and cake (after sending some wine out to the coach) ..... I find it hard to believe that their Father (considering his position in society) would have sat patiently in a cold coach whilst they sat down for tea and cake! In another scene Darcy's spirit-Mother takes him to a house where his younger self is dining with a female companion. There was then a confusing conversation. I initially thought that his Mother was talking about being replaced but it was actually the companion ~ however this wasn't initially made clear. There is then a brief and unwarranted scene showing Anne and Frederick from another of Austen's books, Persuasion.

The book, I felt, steadily deteriorated from there on. Darcy is transformed into Scrooge, actually uttering the immortal "bah" and "humbug"! Not only did this caricature seem vastly clichéd but it was very harsh, as fans of Pride and Prejudice know, Darcy did have a good heart ~ it was just hidden behind shyness and misplaced familial pride. This story then deviates even further from the original tale by the timing of Mr Darcy's second marriage proposal to Elizabeth. This is irritating, as the book takes big chunks of text from the original story but doesn't stick to the original plot. Then to complete the cliché Darcy and Mr Gardiner apparently meet the real Scrooge!

The author has tried to blend two stories that have no similarities. It feels like a piggy back ride on the recent resurgence of Austen's popularity. Despite the incohesive dates of the two stories and the unsuitability of the characters, the author has taken The Christmas Carol and tried to force beloved Pride and Prejudice characters into its mould. It doesn't work and the inconsistencies, inaccuracies and clichés become rather annoying. The story felt contrived. I thought that it was a shame that I didn't really get a feel for this author's style or ability as it was hidden in the uncomfortable blend of two classic but dissimilar stories. This has not encouraged me to seek further work by this author.

Christmas Present by Amanda Grange

I have been a big fan of Jane Austen's work for more than thirty years. I have intermittently read work based on Austen's stories and up until a friend gifted me a book by Amanda Grange, have always been disappointed. Since then, I have read a lot of her books and have loved every one. This story was not an exception. I enjoyed this one too. Amanda Grange has a way of writing Austen's characters sympathetically, without deviating from either their style or content. Elizabeth is portrayed as her normal feisty self. Darcy is learning to compromise and to tease under his wife's guidance. We witness their love in the comfortable way that they interact with each other. The other characters are transported into this story without losing any of their natural tendencies ~ Caroline is still manipulative and bossy, Bingley and Jane far too nice and easy-going for their own good and Mrs Bennett as domineering and oblivious as ever.

This was another enjoyable story by Amanda Grange, written with her wonderful ability to imitate Austen's style whilst letting her own imagination and talent shine through.

A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan

I would have enjoyed this author's writing style in another book but was not enthused about the format of the story. It covers two decades of Christmases celebrated by Fitzwilliam Darcy and his family. The author's writing style has its own attraction but I did not think that it lent itself to Pride and Prejudice. Due to the nature of the story, a chapter per Christmas, the rhythm and flow was lost. The reader is given tantalising glimpses of characters but they are never allowed to develop any depth, which is a shame as it was Austen's characters that helped make her work so popular.

The thirteen month old Alexander shows a remarkable grasp of language, as I have rarely met a child that age that is able to speak with the fluency that he does. I find it hard to believe that Mrs Bennett would live separately from her husband for long periods of time. She may have been bossy and domineering but she was also very needy and would have been unable to cope without the constant support of either her husband or elder daughters. I also think that her husband and son-in-law would be loathe to leave her unsupervised for any length of time.

There is little doubt that Darcy and Elizabeth would have enjoyed a passionate relationship. However, their position in society would have demanded that they be circumspect whilst in public and it was with incredulity that I read that they were supposed to have made love on a beach!

I would read another book by this author if it were unconnected to Austen but would be hesitant to do so otherwise.

This collection has done little to sway my original opinion that apart from the work of Amanda Grange, I prefer my Austen written by the original and will probably continue to avoid adaptations by modern authors.
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on 10 December 2011
This book contains three novellas about the Darcys Chritsmases and each one is delightful in their own way. The three authors really gave us an amazing Christmas present and you should read it sitting cosily next to the fireplace -if you got one!-and a nice hot cocoa! Complete bliss!
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on 18 December 2010
Three different authors writing on the same theme - Christmas with the Darcys. I really liked what the new author, Carolyn Eberhart, has produced. She has taken my favourite Dickens story "A Christmas Carol" and woven it through with Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" to create a very interesting hybrid (although I'm afraid purists may be extremely critical of it). Amanda Grange has surpassed herself with her contribution but she has kept the characters of the characters more or less as Austen portrayed them, which is comforting. Sharon Lathan has also surpassed herself with her Christmas story (apart from the strange use of the word "prior" when she might have used "previous" or "former" to greater effect - maybe it is one of her many odd "Americanisms"). Still, all three stories made a great read - well, I enjoyed them all anyway. (I have the Kindle edition).
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on 23 September 2012
I really enjoyed the three stories of Christmas with the Darcys. All were different and engaging and delightful. I am sure that the purists will not like this book but if you would like to see three different versions of Christmas spent with the Darcys, then this is the book for you. Two of the authors have already written very good "sequel" books and the third is new and she doesn't disappoint. Well worth having a read.
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on 15 February 2013
This book is quite a good read, although I think there are a little too many 'Darcy' books on the market now.
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on 22 March 2014
This book contains three novellas. One, 'Christmas Present' by Amanda Grange, is readable and just about acceptable, though very lightweight. The other two are almost unreadable - Mr Darcy's Christmas Carol based on Dickens' novel of similar name and A Darcy Christmas very odd indeed. Borrow from a library if you must
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on 2 January 2014
I did enjoy this book but I preferred the Sharon Lathan stories. Amanda Grange's too was okay but not keen on the very first story. However, I would recommend it and it does get you into the Christmas spirit.
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on 15 December 2013
This is a collection of short stories which are each quite fun in their own rights, although not all stay true to the original Austen plot or characters!
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