The Second Mrs. Darcy
Mrs. Octavia Darcy, second wife, now widowed, of Captain Darcy, is surprised to find she is a very wealthy woman. She decides to leave her beloved India and return to England to learn about her unexpected inheritance. She plans to establish a comfortably independent existence for herself. Octavia prudently decides to keep her inheritance a secret from her selfish half siblings, who already seek to control her in all things, until she better understands her situation. She goes to live in London at the house of her overbearing half-sister, and there meets her delightful niece, Penelope. On a trip to visit her cousins, Octavia is rescuing library books from a house fire when the owner, Lord Rutherford, ruthlessly carries her out of the house. Instead of being grateful to Octavia, he is angry with her. They seem doomed to an antagonistic relationship until they find Octavia’s niece and Lord Rutherford’s best friend are in love. This relationship is not likely to be welcomed by Octavia’s family, since Lord Rutherford’s friend has no fortune or title. Octavia begins to reveal her wealth, and to enjoy herself in the literary and political world of Regency England, when a shadow in the person of George Warren casts itself over her rosy, independent future.
Aston weaves an entertaining tale of situations and manners, rich in character and humor. There is never a dull moment in this novel. Jane Austen would be proud!