This book was referred to me by one who described it as "not a bodice-ripper". While I can say that it does not go to the extreme that some of the P&P sequels I've heard about do, I wouldn't exactly call this give-to-your-Grandma clean, either. There is some "minor" language that I didn't appreciate (I say "minor", even though there is no such thing in my book. Foul language is foul language. I say "minor" merely because there are those who would not consider taking the Lord's name in vain, the word "bas***d", or the word "d**n" as foul language). However, what really bothered me the most about this book was the allusions to Mr. Darcy's illicit affairs with widowed women and his lustful fantasies about Elizabeth. Ew! I have nothing against sex between a married man and wife, but I certainly do not need to read about it. And call me a prude if you like, but I've always imagined that Mr. Darcy lived a chaste life until he met Lizzy. I understand that it was all the rage for gentlemen to take mistresses. But you will never convince me that it was something Mr. Darcy did.
Ms. Simonsen certainly gave us a new picture of Anne de Bourgh, however, as a feisty schemer who plots a way to bring her cousin and Elizabeth together at Pemberley. This is certainly an Anne we need not feel sorry for, as she is quite capable of taking care of herself thank you very much.
She did not paint Georgiana in quite the same way, either. In this story, Georgiana is a bit flighty, hopelessly obsessed with gothic novels and tragedies. At Ramsgate, Georgiana discovered on her own what a despicable cad Wickham was and was preparing to tell him off when Darcy entered the scene---quite a bit different than any other version of P&P I've read. This Georgiana is far more independent than the Georgiana I am accustomed to and doesn't really seem to need the loving instruction from new sister Elizabeth.
Jane also gets a makeover--and a backbone--in Ms. Simonsen's book. Will a curious (and odd) new suitor throw a monkey wrench in Bingley's plan to win back Jane's heart?
In the end, no matter how well the story may have been written (I'll grant Ms. Simonsen that), I just could not get over her portrayal of my favorite literary hero. A pervy Darcy is one I just cannot stomach. Give me the gentlemanly Darcy any day.