Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter Review & Giveaway

5 stars

I’ve probably said this before but when I start reading a Joana Starnes book my question is not whether I’m going to love it, but how much I will love it. Her latest release, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, went off the charts and became one of my favorites from Joana Starnes. One would think she could not come up with something I would love as much or more than The Unthinkable Triangle, The Falmouth Connection or The Subsequent Proposal, but here she is surprising me once more!

Before going into many details I would just like to say that the only thing I don’t like about Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is that it is so good that my job at reviewing it becomes extremely difficult. Even so, it almost kill me to have to wait until today to review it, I’ve been eager to discuss this book with everyone else 🙂

I would also like to give you some advice: before reading this book make sure that there is no one in the house to interrupt you (you won’t want to stop until the end); you have some tissues near you (I doubt many people will not cry), chocolate is at hand (you’ll need it!) and that your heart is strong enough to survive intense emotions (this will be a hard one).

That being said, this is one of the best books Joana Starnes has ever written and I’ve loved them all, so that says a lot!

In this variation, while Elizabeth is at Kent and just before Col. Fitzwilliam reveals Mr. Darcy’s part in separating Jane from Bingley, Mr. Bennet has an attack that leaves him in a very bad state. Afraid that he will not survive, and knowing Mr. Collins will not be very welcoming to his family, Mr. Darcy decides to offer to Elizabeth to protect her from a most trying circumstance. He would propose on that day anyway, so he just anticipated the proposal a few hours 😉 Thinking of her family and the consequences to leave them unprotected against Mr. Collins entreaties, Elizabeth accepts Mr. Darcy’s proposal. This is a plot that we have seen quite frequently, but the way Mrs. Starnes develops it is quite unique!

Elizabeth marries without loving Darcy, but another thing Mrs. Starnes is an expert at is creating the most loving moments between our dear couple through the most simple and daily moments, so with time and despite their several discussions and differences, we see Elizabeth falling in love with her ever strong and caring husband.

In fact, the first half of the book will satisfy the need for romance and endearing moments between Darcy and Elizabeth. Yes, she will have her reserves, but Mr. Darcy will be the best husband someone could hope for, and he will be so happy that our heart will break just thinking that probably that happiness will be shattered once he realizes she doesn’t love him. Poor, poor Darcy! I love how Joana Starnes makes him suffer in the most agonizing way…but I digress.

I have always believed Elizabeth deserved to suffer as much or even more than Mr. Darcy, and I’m proud to say that I am a member of the “Lets Torture Elizabeth club”. I thought that Joana Starnes had done a pretty good job at it in Miss Darcy’s Companion… until I read Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. While reading the first part of the book I felt Elizabeth deserved to suffer a little, but after seeing her treatment of Mrs. Bennet, who was in my opinion marvelously developed by Joana Starnes, I no longer believed, but knew that she deserved to suffer. I mean, everyone had someone to give them comfort before and after Mr. Bennet’s death except Mrs. Bennet. She was always alone during this trial, with no one to protect or care for her so I believe Elizabeth could have been a little more understanding towards her mother who was only guilty of being herself. Taking this into consideration, when I realized Mrs. Starnes was going to make Elizabeth suffer a little, I was happy. When her suffering continued I thought Mrs. Starnes had overwhelmed herself in this book, and as I continued reading, something happened to me for the first time since I started reading JAFF: I wanted Elizabeth’s suffering to stop! I couldn’t take it anymore, it wasn’t poor, poor Darcy anymore, it was poor, poor Elizabeth, and that was when I realized this was clearly and without a doubt one of the best books Joana Starnes would ever write!

We all know Joana Starnes is the angst queen, few are able to do it so well as her, and In Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter we could see the clouds approaching, we could sense a storm was coming, but when it arrives, it is not just a few drops of rain, it comes as a full force Tornado!


“Sleep came at last, for both, and they drifted in soothingly calm waters, blissfully ignorant of the storms to come”


I believe one of my comments while reading this book has been shared with you, but taking the risk of repeating myself, I think nothing can describe this better than my thoughts at the time “It can’t get any worse than this!… Wait, it’s a Joana Starnes books, of course it can!”

This was such an anticipated book that most people have probably read it by now, but those who have not, prepare yourselves! Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is a roller-coaster of emotions, it will surprise you at every turn, make you turn the pages frenetically until the end and haunt you for days, until you give up and re-read it!

The raw emotions I have when reading a Starnes book always make me too emotional when writing the reviews, hence not very objective or straight to the point, but most works of art leave us speechless don’t they? So I hope you can understand through this disarray I’ve written how absolutely marvelous this book is.

You can find Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter at:


*** Book Blurb***

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?


***Author Bio***

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

Joana Starnes is the author of:

* From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley’, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel

* ‘The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion’

* ‘The Second Chance’ ~ A ‘Pride & Prejudice’ ~ ‘Sense & Sensibility’ variation

* ‘The Falmouth Connection’, – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

* ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

*’Miss Darcy’s Companion’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation


You can find Joana Starnes on:

Facebook: All Roads Lead to Pemberley/ Joana Starnes Facebook Page

Twitter: Joana Starnes/ Twitter

Goodreads: Joana Starnes Goodreads Author Page

Amazon:  Joana Starnes Amazon Author Page


***Blog Tour***

The blog tour is just starting so you will have a lot of opportunities to learn more about this book with the interviews, guest posts, excerpts and reviews that are to come.

Follow the several stops to be better acquainted with this story and increase your chances of winning a copy 😉


November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway

November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving

November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway

November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway

November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway


***It’s Giveaway Time***

Joana Starnes would like to offer one ebook copy of Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter to the readers of From Pemberley to Milton. The giveaway is international and is open until the end of the blog tour on December 2nd.

All you have to do is comment on this post and let us know your thoughts on this book or Joana’s previous works 🙂

Good Luck everyone!



Filed under 5 stars, giveaway, Joana Starnes, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

79 responses to “Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter Review & Giveaway

  1. Theresa M

    Oh my….a definite for my TBR pile for sure. I have a very hard time picking my favorite Ms Starnes book….maybe The Subsequent Proposal????

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary

    Rita,I take my hat off to you! This is one of the best reviews you’ve ever written!! Your enthusiasm,positivity and sheer joie-de-vivre at having
    read this book are so evident,that I read your words with a big smile on my face!! Wow!!!

    I haven’t read if yet,but I bought it and hope to start it soon!
    Perhaps then I’ll be able to empathise with what you’ve said about Elizabeth
    suffering at Joana’s hands!
    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you Mary!! It made me so happy to hear you say this is one of my best reviews :))) I’m always afraid that I don’t make justice to some books, and this one certainly deserves to be praised 🙂
      I’m sure you’ll love it! And you will feel pity for Elizabeth as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really was such a fabulous review, Mary, wasn’t it? Thanks again, Rita, I’m SO happy that you liked it so much!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the book, Mary, and thanks for stopping by to read and leave this lovely message. All the best and have a great weekend!


  3. Thanks ever so much for your amazing review, Rita!!! I’m over the moon, incredibly honoured and absolutely speechless 🙂 THANK YOU for your wonderful words, you’ve really made my day!!


    • You know it’s an honest review Joana! And this book deserves all the praise I can give it :)))
      But if you must thank me, I can think of no better way to do it than to write another one very, very shortly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Huge XXL thanks, Rita :)))
        I’d love to do that! Maybe we should meet up and talk about it, VERY soon. Hugs and thanks for the wonderful welcome and the fabulous encouragement, it means the world to me!!


  4. I’ve read 2 of Joana’s books and enjoyed them both. Would love to read this too, thanks for the giveaway and congrats on a new publication 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review! You know I was so desperate to share this with someone, that I read Mrs Reynolds account to my husband lol. I’ve never thought about whether or not I want Elizabeth or Darcy to suffer more, it’s an interesting thought. I am in agreement with you that Elizabeth’s suffering went far but when you know how much he loves her you can understand his reaction, however its was excruciating to read. So glad Charles said his peace or I would have lol!! ‘Watch yourself!” Capital!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I loved Charles protectiveness as well Tamara! Now that I think about it, it’s a bit humurous to imagine him saying that to stern Mr. Darcy 🙂
      I love seeing Elizabeth suffer, or better, pine over Darcy, but I’m ready for some Darcy suffering right now! Do you think Joana will take the hint? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • So lovely to hear that, Tamara! Our poor husbands, what they have to suffer!!! 😀

      LOL yes, there was a very interesting debate with Rita, Claudine, Anji and other lovely ladies about ‘Let’s Torture Darcy’ V. ‘Let’s Torture Elizabeth’ club. So glad you understood his reaction and especially that you liked the Bingley backbone. It was great fun to write that, exactly for the reason you mentioned, Rita. Fantastic fun to imagine him being the boss of Darcy for a change. And yes, I think I can take a hint 😉 I’m ready to swap the badge and bonnet and give Elizabeth an easy ride again. Fingers crossed!!


  6. What an amazing review Rita! You’re so right about it being an emotional read and a roller-coaster ride. When one particular event happened, my jaw dropped and I realised exactly what you meant by your statement “It can’t get any worse than this!… Wait, it’s a Joana Starnes books, of course it can!”

    Definitely one of the standout JAFF novels of 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this premise. Definitely will go on my must read list, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow, Rita, you wrote such a heartfelt review! Knowing your voice, I could hear your words coming through here, it’s such a lovely endorsement of Joana’s book.

    I love the way you described Joana’s portrayal of Mrs Bennet. I’ve always liked her more than other readers, I think. With that said, I also loved the way Joana made her such a three-dimensional character.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with Tamara; the angst is so heavy because Darcy’s hurt is just so tormenting for him as well. I thought he caught Elizabeth in one of the worst situations possible from Darcy’s perspective.

    Last thing I’ll say is this; thanks for your support with this blog tour and for agreeing to post the first review for Joana. Your efforts are truly appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Claudine! You were the one receiving text after text about this book, so you know how much I loved it!
      I did think that Mrs. Bennet was an interesting character on this one, and I felt truly sorry for her. Joana Starnes did a great job at showing her soft side and I could not blame her for what happen as Elizabeth did. Oh…and I did love the scene for which Elizabeth blamed her mother! Loved it! (I’m trying not to spoil too much by saying what happens in that scene). Anyway, for me the scene at the stairs is heartbreaking not only because of Elizabeth’s reaction in contrast to Janes, but mainly because of Mrs. Bennet. And yes, poor Darcy! What he must have suffered. I could imagine him loosing his strength and getting to the ground when he heard that! And I don’t blame him for his reaction, in fact, I love him because of his reaction :))))
      Thank you for allowing me to be the first to review this book :))) it was an honor 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • I really can’t thank you enough, Rita and Claudine, and all the lovely ladies welcoming me on the blog tour, for the wonderful experience that launching MBDD turned out to be.

      I’m ever so happy that you liked the book so much, your wonderful encouragement means the world to me!!! Such beautiful words about Darcy and poor, scatter-brained Mrs Bennet 🙂 I could never see her as evil either, just unbearably embarrassing and a little selfish (OK, more than a little 😉 ).

      As for Darcy’s reaction, I’m ever so glad you sympathise!! It really was the worst setting & audience for the revelations, just as you said, Claudine, and awww, Rita, so wonderful to hear that you loved him all the more for his reaction!!

      Huge thanks again, for everything, you’re awesome!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glynis

    Well Rita you obviously loved this book as much as I did! I was reading it in bed although why I bothered going to bed I know not as I couldn’t put this book down. I did stop reading a few times but only to dry my eyes. I love all of Joana’s books but this is just outstanding. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway. 😢📕😘

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Carole in Canada

    I agree with all the others! Your review is fantastic and so heartfelt. I too love all of Joana’s books and can’t wait to delve into this one! Let’s hope she has another already in the works too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Emily

    Such a wonderful, heartfelt and beautiful review! I can’t wait to read this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, my first ever JAFF book was The Unthinkable Triangle and, besides Rita’s passion about the genre, was the main reson I was hooked! So Joanna Starnes has a lot of weight when it comes to my JAFF reading habits.
    If Rita’s reactions is this strong and passionate, I can only expecto to be overwhelmed by this book – and I do love me some romanece where the couple is (wholly or partly) unwilling to marry and then love flourishes from the sharing of daily life ❤

    As always, Mrs. Starnes is also incredibly generous, giving us these opportunities to enjoy her incredible talent and also win a free book!

    Good luck everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this wonderful comment, such a pleasure to read it! Ever so glad that your first JAFF book was The Unthinkable Triangle, and I have Rita to thank for that. I hope you’ll like Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter too. What a beautiful way to put it, love flourishing from the sharing of daily life. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Unthinkable Triangle is still on my top 3 of Joana’s books Sonia, but this one is trying to steel TUT’s place. I’m sure unsure which one I prefer… But that’s a good thing I guess 🙂 It means they are all amazing! I’m sure you would love this one too.
      Good luck in the giveaway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sophia Rose

    Your excitement for this story just leaps off the page and I love your list of items needed while reading this one. 😉
    I completed my first Joana Starnes last week and am now ready to move forward with all her books. Her writing engaged me quickly. I’ve got two more on the shelf so I can’t wait to get to those- but… you really tempt me to leap into this one just like you did with Miss Darcy’s Companion. 🙂

    Nice review, Rita!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Sophia 🙂 Which one did you read? Lately I’ve been struggling to decide which would be my top 3 of Joana’s books…This one is making my decision realy hard! I love her writing and it is no secret she is one of my favourite authors :))

      Liked by 1 person

      • All of Joana’s books are wonderful, Sophia, but until now, The Falmouth Connection was my favourite. This may just have pinched top slot in my Joana Starnes league table, though there are probably only two places in that table; equal first and equal second. To make any of them third, fourth, fifth or sixth would be an injustice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Falmouth Connection is also on my top 3 Anji, but it’s becoming harder and harder to pick a favorite isn’t it?


      • Sophia Rose, I’m so happy you liked my book! Huge thanks, so lovely to hear that! Much appreciated!!

        Thanks ever so much for your wonderful words, lovely ladies! I’m absolutely overwhelmed and ever so grateful for your encouragement and kindness!!! You can’t imagine how much it means to me!!! THANK YOU ❤


  14. Maria

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book! I love blog tours and the generosity of our authors! I can’t wait to get my hands on this novel!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This story sounds really good, I’d love to read it 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  16. BeckyC

    Looking forward to reading. Joana is always guaranteed a wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. KateB

    Your review is spot on, Rita. I would add some soothing tea to the supply needed to read this book. Poor D&L, but there is a HEA.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Joana. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I have to agree with you about Elizabeth — unlike most Janeites, Elizabeth Bennet is one of my least favourite heroines. (Not that I think she’s particularly heroic, but you know what I mean.) From my first adult reading of P&P I found her to be a vain gossip-monger, as well as sanctimonious and self-righteous, and felt that if Darcy needed to work on some of his “faults” she needed to work twice as hard on her own. And that Darcy could do a lot better than her for a wife, but the heart has its reasons that reason does not know. So having her suffer in JAFF doesn’t bother me much; the only reason I don’t like to see her suffer too much is because Darcy suffers along with her; other than that, torture away! So I look forward to reading this book — which has been on my Must-Read and Xmas Wish lists since I encountered the first review (somewhere) and even more so now thanks to your wonderful and heart-felt review. Wow! Many thanks for the review and for the giveaway offer. (And KateB is correct; how does anyone read canon or JAFF without a pot of good tea nearby?)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Janis!
      I actually like Elizabeth Bennet, she is my favorite Austen heroine, but I consider her as human as the next person, and for that reason has faults. I agree with you that if Darcy needed to work on some of his faults so did she and that is why I like to see her suffer I guess. But I do think she is his is perfect match and irony believe he could find a more suited wife 🙂
      But from what you said on this comment I’m quite sure you will LOVE this book! You’ll see Darcy teaching Elizabeth a lesson :))

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do hope you’ll like the book, Janis. For once it’s not as plain-sailing for Elizabeth, quite the contrary. Of the pair of them, she’s the one whose opinions and prejudices are challenged the most, and has to learn to change them to be happy. For Darcy the pain of soul-searching is ‘of short duration’. He and I have Rita and Claudine to thank for that, they were the founding members of the ‘Let’s Torture Elizabeth’ Club 😉 because she is strong enough to take as much as he and, as Claudine pointed out, for all her financial disadvantages and the embarrassment caused by some of her relations, she’s the one with the nicer and more supportive family. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


  19. Sheila Majczan

    Love Joana’s books. They are all 5 star reviews from me.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I am just hoping that the Colonel doesn’t suffer like Joana made him suffer in the unthinkable triangle

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no, he is a very happy and cheerful man on this one Vesper 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry I’m turning up so late to reassure you, Vesper! So glad Rita already had, so by now you know the dear Colonel is perfectly fine and not suffering at all at my hands. No trouble for him in matters of the heart and for once (Hip-Hip-Huzzah!!) he’s NOT in love with Elizabeth!! In fact, at some point he doesn’t even like her very much. Many thanks for following the blog tour and best of luck!


  21. Dung

    Lovely review Rita! Love how Joana includes angst in her books as much as torture to ODC as it add so much more to the story! Congrats on such a successful launch of your new book! Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. carylkane

    Excellent review, Rita! Joana, I’m looking forward to reading this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Heard so much about this book that I was intrigued, and then your review and warm endorsement tipped me over the edge, Rita. Bought and read it in every spare moment this weekend, LOL. Oh, my heart, what a ride! Brava to Ms Starnes for a poignant and gripping Elizabeth and Darcy story–not to be missed.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I loved this book, too! My review will be posted tomorrow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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