Review: 'Holidays at Pemberley' by Alexa Adams (2013)
Both a Christmas celebration and conclusion to Tales of Less Pride & Prejudice, Holidays at Pemberley begins where First Impressions ends, with the marriage Fitzwilliam Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet, and spans the course of Second Glances to conclude their story.
As the Darcys enjoy their first years of marriage, Charlotte Lucas is often invited to join them. Watching as the Bennet sisters, one by one, marry to both outrageous advantage and with great affection, her only ambition remains independence and respectability, stubbornly blind to the virtues of a love match. Miss Lucas thinks she has found an acceptable husband in David Westover, rector of Kympton and determined bachelor, but he remains oblivious to the implications of befriending a Miss Lucas. It may mean some heartbreak, but if Mrs. Darcy's pragmatic friend will only surrender to Cupid, she may find wild fantasies do come true, even for ladies dangerously close to thirty.
Last year I was lucky enough to be contacted by author Alexa Adams about possibly reading and reviewing her series of 3 books based on Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice.' As some of you might know by now, I'm a big fan of anything Jane Austen related, so I was really excited about reviewing Alexa's books. I ended up loving the first two parts of the series, but decided to save the third part for now, since it's set around Christmas time. I know some people can easily read Christmas novels all year round, but I do definitely prefer to sit down with a festive read in December. I had high hopes for this one, since it combines two of my favourite things: Jane Austen and Christmas, so I hoped the book would manage to reach my expectations!
'Holidays at Pemberley - A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice Concludes' is, as the title already suggests, the concluding part of Alexa Adams' 'Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice' series, set during the holiday season. While the other two novels focused mainly on the Bennet sisters and their luck in romance, this book is mainly about one of the secondary characters in Austen's original novel, namely Charlotte Lucas. Charlotte's story differs tremendously from the original in this series, and in this part we get to see how everything will work out for her, while at the same time getting to know more about the married lives of Elizabeth and Jane, and of course the well-being of the other Bennet family members.
What I loved most about the first two parts of this book series is how well author Alexa Adams manages to recreate Jane Austen's style and voice, while still adding her own personal touch to it all. Thankfully, this last part of the series did not disappoint and was a true joy to read, especially for an Austen fan like me. It took me a few pages to get back into the story, but as soon as I was once again fully immersed in the world of these characters, I simply didn't want to leave. Especially the festive setting of the story made it even more enjoyable; the descriptions of Pemberley at Christmas time immediately made me long for a Regency Christmas party at an amazing country estate!
It was great to read more about Charlotte Lucas, who plays a significant but not really big role in Austen's original novel. I loved the alternative ending Alexa Adams came up with and it once again proved how fun and fascinating retellings of classic stories can be; I honestly loved it. I do recommend reading the other two parts of the series first, because I think that makes the reading experience much more enjoyable than reading this simply as a stand-alone. Overall, this series is a must-read for Austen fans with a fabulously festive story to end it all; one of my favourite retellings of 'Pride and Prejudice' I've had the joy of reading so far, and one that comes highly recommended!