Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Share in the Conversation...Second Glances

My reviews of the trilogy continue with Second Glances.

Second Glances: A Tale of Less Pride & Prejudice Continues by Alexa Adams

Alexa Adams does it again with Second Glances. Her writing is still much like Jane Austen’s with wit and humor plus a great command of Regency language. The words flow onto the page.

Second Glances begins a year after First Impressions ends. The Darcy’s, the Bingley’s and the Collins’s are happily married, Kitty and Lydia are in Bath attending school and the Wickham’s haven’t changed. Mr. Bennet is still a bit of a matchmaker but he is much more subtle about it than Mrs. Bennet, who continues to try to refrain from gushing.

Kitty and Georgiana have remained close friends, a friendship that was begun in First Impressions. They are so close that Kitty has been invited to London to join Georgiana for her first season. This is a big step for Kitty but one that causes much jealousy with Lydia. Kitty has become a young woman of finer tastes and behavior and is no longer the shadow of the thoughtless Lydia. When Kitty is nearly run down by a curricle in Bath, she shows some of the same impertinence and spunk of her older sister, Elizabeth. The scene was quite diverting!

Two new characters, who play very significant roles, are introduced. Simon Brooks and Sir James Stratton, as neighbors, grew up together. They are likable fellows, add much to the story and have a big part in the plot. Sir James, who is spontaneous and a little reckless at times, is a longtime friend of the Darcy’s. He has become one of my favorite created characters.

There is still good Darcy and Lizzy time in this tale although the book centers more on Kitty and Georgiana. Their characters are matured and Kitty is delightful. I love the relationship that has developed between Darcy and Kitty.  He has literally become the big brother, caring for her and protecting her as he does Georgiana. Charming!

Although the first book, First Impressions, is complete by its own right, the second book fills in some blanks and adds much to the story. It is another quick read but is gratifying. The title is perfect! I love your writing style, Alexa Adams! You weave a good yarn with satire and energy that is a pleasure to read. Well done.

5 out of 5 stars

Following is a short comment from the author and then an excerpt from her upcoming book:

I’m very pleased to share a few excerpts from my next novel, The Madness of Mr. Darcy. This is still a work in progress and subject to change. I hope to have it published by early 2015.

The following scene takes place shortly before Mr. Darcy leaves Pemberley for Ramsey House, a private mental asylum.

Darcy walked up the ramp to the freshly painted door. He made certain conditions at the cottage were maintained perfectly. Though other areas of the estate might suffer neglect, this place saw none of it. The gardens were tended and walking paths maintained with the same attention devoted to the big house. The inside had been refurbished with the most modern conveniences and contrivances, all installed with the occupant’s condition in mind. No detail was left unattended.

“Good morning, Mr. Darcy,” the plump woman he hired as both housekeeper and nurse to George greeted him.

“Good morning, Mrs. Able. How are you?”

“Tell Darcy he needn’t mind the pleasantries, Hatty,” the familiar voice called from inside. “If he did, he wouldn’t be here at all, for nothing about his visits are ever pleasant.”

“Hello, George,” Mr. Darcy replied, entering the cheerful front room. Wickham sat by a large window that framed the pleasing landscape bounding the cottage’s south side, examining the scene with a determination born out of a refusal to face his guest.

“What do you want, Darcy?”

“I have something I need to tell you.” He remained standing, staring at the back of his former friend and longtime enemy’s head, which suddenly twitched to the side, revealing the briefest glimpse of profile.

“Oh, do sit down man! Still stubbornly formal, I see. It’s a trait I’ve always detested in you.” Darcy perched himself upon the nearest seat, but he could not abandon his rigid posture, quite necessary for his endurance of this ordeal. “What have you to say?” demanded Wickham, with renewed focus on the scene outside.

“I’m leaving Pemberley for a while, and I am not sure when I will return.”

“What! Will you deprive me of your precious company?” he huffed. “I didn’t think you had much occasion for mixing with the world anymore.”

“I don’t.”

The wheeled chair in which Mr. Wickham sat suddenly lurched forward and around to confront Mr. Darcy directly. Unwillingly, Mr. Darcy flinched at the sight of George’s scarred face. “Then where do you go?” he demanded.

Mr. Darcy looked him directly in the eye, trying not to stare at the disfigured flesh. “To a mad house, if you must know.”

“A mad house?” the harsh visage softened with incredulity. “You mean you go willingly?”

“The man who runs it offers hope, and I have none other before me.”

“You must be mad, Darcy, to consent to such a thing! And if you aren’t, you surely will be before long. Do you not know what happens in such places?”

“I have spoken to the doctor myself, and he has described his methods. I know what to expect.”

“Like hell you do! Good riddance to you, then. We shall not meet again.” He turned back to the window.

“I am not leaving for some weeks.”

“I see no reason to beleaguer our goodbyes.”

“Nevertheless, I will come see you before my departure, and I’m sure I will see you again before the year is out,” Darcy told the balding head before him, rising to leave as he did so. Upon receiving no response, he continued, “I will leave instructions regarding your needs.”

A bitter laugh escaped Wickham. “I did not think you would leave me unguarded.”

“Take care of yourself, George.”

“Just go, Fitz.” He moved towards the door, but hesitating he turned back and stood for several moments, staring at the rigid head. “Oh for God’s sake, Darcy! What is it?”

“The man who runs Ramsey House is an old friend of Lord Matlock,” he said softly.

“And why should that matter so to me that you must stand there in silence like an imbecile?”

Darcy forced the words out. “The matron who works beside him is called Mrs. Bennet.”

The head twitched. “I see,” Wickham said.

“So you do recall the name?”

The crippled man spun his chair around with surprising force. “Of course I remember the name, Darcy! What do you take me for?” he spat angrily.

Numbly, Darcy replied, “The kind of man who would destroy an innocent, wreaking havoc upon an entire family in the process.”

“Oh, yes!” Wickham smirked. “I had forgotten about that.”

Darcy felt his hatred for the man swell up for the first time since the fire. “I do not see how you could,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Yet you just expressed surprise that I recall the name Bennet! Do make up your mind, Fitz: am I a complete heartless cad, or will you grant me the humanity of having a conscience?”

“Do you?” Darcy asked wearily.

Wickham held his eye. “It does not matter how I reply. You made up your mind as to my character many, many years ago.” He turned back round to the window. “So you think Mrs. Bennet is a relation to those of Longbourn?”

“It seems possible,” Darcy admitted reluctantly.

“Be sure to send her my regards, should she prove an acquaintance.”

“You make me sick, George.”

“I have no desire for your presence, either, Darcy. Do take yourself off already.”

Darcy left without another word. Once he heard the door shut, Wickham rolled himself over to the front window, where he watched Darcy mount Jason and ride hastily away. Had the master of Pemberley bothered to turn round, he might have perceived the vigil, one silent tear making its bumpy way down a distorted cheek.

Another heart-rending excerpt to tease us and make us want more, Alexa. Thanks for sharing!.

Alexa Adams is generously giving away one of the three books being reviewed, to two lucky people. A domestic winner will have the choice of a paperback or eBook. An international winner will receive an eBook. To be entered leave a comment below as I always love reading your 'share in the conversation'!  As a reminder, if you leave a comment at each review, you triple your chances of winning! Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with (at) instead of @. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway will end at midnight, April 2, 2014.


  1. It's very heartwrenching. Why Is Wickham at Pemberley and how did he her in this condition? Where is Elizabeth & what happened to the Bennets? Why is Darcy going to an asylum? More questions than answers. I news to addthis to my wish list. Wonderful excerpt. Looking forward to having my questions answered.

    1. Hi Deborah Ann. These excerpts are going to make it very hard to wait until 2015 for the book's release! I have all those same questions and I want answers too! Please help us, Alexa Adams! :)

      Be sure and comment on the review for First Impressions to increase your chances to win in the giveaway.

    2. Hi Deborah Ann! Wickham was injured in a fire, and as Darcy is to blame (part of his mental issue), he takes responsibility for his nemesis's care. This is taking place in 1832, about 20 years after the events of P&P. I hope that answers some of your questions. So glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  2. While I enjoy the reviews of the trilogy you are featuring, Janet, I must confess this Madness of Mr. Darcy is intriguing!

    1. Regina, the excerpts far outweigh my reviews! They are most definitely the draw! Thank you though and I am glad that you are enjoying the reviews anyway! :)

  3. I would like to see the relationship of Darcy and Kitty. Nobody really writes about their relationship for more than a paragraph. The storyline sounds interesting especially the tidbit about Mr. Bennet being a matchmaker.

    What I found fascinating was the excerpt. My mouth is left open with so many questions. Why are they living together, even after going through the events in pride and prejudice?Madness? I am very excited and anxious for the book to come out.


    1. It is a very good relationship between Kitty and Darcy. It was so nice to see him protective of her like he is with Georgiana. The author developed it well.

      Aren't these excerpts tantalizing? They do cause one pause and create many questions! We will be anxiously awaiting this one, won't we!

    2. Hi Marcia! The book is based on the concept that Wickham never marries Lydia. Twenty years have passed, and Darcy has endured a series of traumatic events that have left him unstable. He injured Wickham in a fire and has taken responsibility for his care. So glad to have captured your interest!

  4. I loved this second installment too. Kitty has really come into her own. I love seeing her get the limelight and like you, I loved the new original characters.

    Impactful excerpt! I have so many questions now. Looking forward to that one.

    1. Oh, the new men in this one were so good. Kitty has grown and matured so much and I loved this Kitty.

      Yes, yes...I agree with your assessment of the excerpt!

  5. This excerpt brings more questions than answers! Just the way I like them! LOL Can't wait to read the book!!!

  6. Wow! For the review and the excerpt. Both get 5 stars. jjjking(at)juno.com

    1. Thank you, thank you, Joy. I'm so glad you enjoyed both!

  7. Gaaah! Why do I read excerpts?! Especially of books that aren't coming out for ages?! It sounds a little worrying though, because they seem older, and if Darcy doesn't know who this Mrs Bennet is then presumably he hasn't married Elizabeth, which is just plain wrong!

    I have the Second Glances book too, I've been meaning to read both of these for a long time. Interesting that you refer to the Wickhams and to Lydia being in school, so who is Mrs Wickham?

    1. P.S. please don't tell me who Mrs Wickham is, rhetorical question!

    2. I won't tell you, I promise! I try hard to do my reviews without giving away major plot lines or even minor ones!

      These excerpts are getting to all of us, aren't they? We are all going to have a tough time waiting for the book's release. These are all so enticing!

      Thanks for commenting, Ceri!

    3. Hi Ceri! They are older. Much older. A marriage never took place, but I promise to reunite our hero and heroine (hint: Mrs. Bennet IS Elizabeth. She took the title for professional reasons).

  8. This sounds very intriguing and I am looking forward to read about the madness of Mr. Darcy. And what has happened to the other characters? Would love to receive this book. Marti

    1. Doesn't it sound good? I can hardly wait. Alexa Adams has my attention.

  9. So many questions. Must wait to read it.

  10. Oh dear!!! 2015 is soooo far away, you are killing us Alexa! Looks like a long span of time has passed between these two excerpts! So curious to know what has happened to Lydia, Wickham, Darcy, and Elizabeth! :)

    1. I know! Isn't it terrible? I keep hoping maybe it will be sooner....Alexa??? So many questions!

  11. My mind is jumping to all sorts of conclusions a very clever choice for an excerpt!

  12. I enjoyed Second Glances and look forward to the Madness of Mr. Darcy!! I read First Impressions some time back and cannot find my copy. Would like to read it again. I don't know if we can choose which books we would like to win. Since I have Second Glances and First Impressions, I would be interested in winning Madness of Mr Darcy. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Catherine Commons

  13. My comment above was not completely correct. I seem to be doing this a lot!! Madness of Mr. Darcy will not come out until 2015!! Ugh! I would like to be in the drawing for Holidays at Pemberly. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Catherine Commons

    1. That's okay, Catherine! I understand all too well!