Amanda Grange picks up where Pride and Prejudice ends. Jane and Elizabeth are getting ready for their double wedding, both eager and anxious about the life spreading out before them. On the way to the wedding, Elizabeth experiences a brief foreboding chill but shrugs it off as wedding nerves. The ceremony goes smoothly, Darcy’s vows stirring deep emotions in both.
It’s when they leave the reception that things start taking a turn for the worse. Through the reflection in the glass of their carriage Elizabeth spies a flash of torment crossing Darcy’s features, but a quick look at the real man shows smooth features. Elizabeth believes she has imagined it… unexpectedly he changes their wedding tour plans and routes them from the Lake District to a direct route to France over the channel.
Elizabeth is unconcerned about this change, but wholly concerned with Darcy. She can’t help but compare her expectations to the reality of her marriage to Darcy. He does not visit her bedchamber the first night or the next or the next. When they are together during the day Darcy is everything attentive, kind, and devoted, but at night he disappears.
As Elizabeth struggles to find reasons for this strange behavior, she meets a dizzying array of friends, family, and strangers over the continent. Some people and places inspire a great deal of trepidation in Elizabeth and she spills her worries to Jane in a series of letters.
It’s not until the last one hundred pages that things really begin to unravel and Darcy’s mysterious behavior is revealed. I was surprised by how flawless the transition was from Austen’s Regency romance to Grange’s Gothic flavored romance. Grange has a talent with words and uses this talent to create a believable paranormal filled with stunningly chilling atmosphere and mystery.
Rating: 3.5 Stars