cover image The Second Mrs.
\t\t  Darcy

The Second Mrs. \t\t Darcy

Elizabeth Aston, Author . Touchstone $14 (300p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9729-5

Aston's latest novel (after The True Darcy \t\t Spirit) focuses on another woman in the tradition of Elizabeth \t\t Bennet, Octavia Melbury. Tall and outspoken, Octavia fails to find a husband in \t\t London and is dispatched to India, where she is to live with relatives. There, \t\t she marries Capt. Christopher Darcy, but their happy union is cut short when he \t\t dies from an insect bite. Christopher's spiteful cousin, George Warren, nabs \t\t the estate and leaves Octavia with a pittance. However, a surprise and sizable \t\t inheritance comes Octavia's way, and she travels back to England, where she \t\t keeps mum about her newfound fortune while her conniving half-sister Theodosia \t\t schemes to marry her off. Octavia takes a shine to her smart, headstrong niece, \t\t Penelope, who, in turn, fancies a man of lower stature than her mother will \t\t accept. Not so for Octavia, whose rocky repartee with Lord Sholto Rutherford \t\t matures, inevitably, into love. Meanwhile, George realizes Christopher's \t\t inheritance isn't as large as he had thought and plots to steal Octavia's \t\t fortune. Aston's villains may be one-note wicked, but the lengths to which \t\t their puerile greed sends them make for good reading. Fans of the series will \t\t enjoy this chronicle of reversals of fortune. (Mar.)