“When had her life come to this?”-review and giveaway – Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes

mdbb-final-6_9_mI’m afraid, I have to start all my Joana Starnes book reviews with the same instructions. Before you buy the book, go to the shop and buy at least 2 bars of chocolate, a box of tissues and ice cream and make sure you can read the book in one sitting. Only the number of chocolates and tissue boxes are increasing with each newly published book. Actually, I’m going to introduce a new rating system. Starting with this review, I’ll rate the books by the number of the above mentioned three essential ingredients on a 0-5 scale.

As it is a tale of unrequited love (without Darcy knowing it) it is clear that there are more angst and quarrel than idyllic scenes, but you still can’t imagine what happens towards the end of the book. It wouldn’t be a Joana Starnes book if there was no major plot twist when you thought everything was alright. From the best to worst: 12 pages. It takes 12 pages for the author to ruin everything in the worst possible manner. The guy who must not be named has to have his share in the events, but he is not the major villain.

It might be quite a picture, but if Ms Starnes has put Lizzy through the wringer for the first 60% of the book than for the next 30% she dunked her all the way in ice cold water. I thought her ‘cruelty’ regarding torturing her characters reached its highest in The Unthinkable Triangle or Miss Darcy’s Companion, but I was mistaken. I have to say, it’s well done! My favourite book of hers! Probably until the next one where she will take torturing poor characters to the next level.

Normally, in a book I find one or two scenes which are exceptional. In this book, I found at least 4. My favourite scenes are: Lizzy and Elizabeth talking after the engagement, the Hatchard’s scene, Mr Darcy and Mr Collins having breakfast together, and as brutal as it may sound how Mr Bennet death is pretty romantic and witty.

It’s very clever of the author that the characters are saying sentences which will ring the bell to Elizabeth and reminds her what Mr or Mrs Bennet, Lady Catherine or Mr Collins had said. In this way Ms Starnes can quote the most famous lines from the original book with grace and ease.

Joana Starnes writes with perfection what Darcy is good at. Insulting without realizing it: talking about love and insulting in the same sentence. To be honest, as bad as it is from the story’s point of view, these lines are the funniest to read.

I love how the author plays with sentences which most likely are Elizabeth’s thoughts (in the beginning of the story, later other characters’) not directly quoted, but can be interpreted as the narrator’s own shock about Darcy’s acts or speeches.

Astonishing how considerate Ms Starnes is when she is dealing with the wedding night: I mean the way she describes how attentive Darcy is. I love the line: “He kissed her again. Leisurely. An unhurried kiss that was sufficiently unnerving under the circumstances, […]” The seemingly idly thrown “Leisurley” gives the essence of the whole scene. The whole wedding night shows that the author understands Darcy.

I think my favourite character is Mr Bingley. What a wonderful man, brother-in-law, husband! The way he steps up and cares for Elizabeth and Jane is something everyone would like to experience.

The epilogue starts with Mrs Reynold’s point of view which proves to be very interesting to read as we have a quick peek into her journals. Her love toward Darcy and Georgiana, then Elizabeth rises from the pages. What a brilliant way to finish the book!
5choc5 chocolates     5ic 5 ice creams    5tis5 tissues

Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter – Amazon UK
Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter – Amazon – US

If you would like to win a copy of Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter (ebook), share the review, comment or like it. Open internationally until Nov. 23. GMT 20.00

(Each blog runs their own giveaway, so you have 13 chances to win!) Good Luck!


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 & Prejudice’ variation where Jane Austen’s beloved characters are compelled to leave their tame and reasonably peaceful lives in the south of England and travel to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few – if any! – are what they seem to be…
* ‘The Unthinkable Triangle‘, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ variation that dwells on the most uncomfortable love-triangle of them all. What if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Miss Bennet’s hand and heart is none other than his dearest, closest friend? And how can they all find their ‘happily-ever-after’?
*’Miss Darcy’s Companion‘ – a variation that explores what might have happened if the warm-hearted Miss Elizabeth Bennet were employed instead of the scheming Mrs Younge.

You can find the author 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: Nov. 17 – Dec. 2.

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

37 thoughts on ““When had her life come to this?”-review and giveaway – Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes

    1. Such wonderful reviews!! Huge thanks to you both, Mira and Rita, they’re amazing!!!

      So sweet to hear that about poor Mr Bennet and LOL, yes, I hope we haven’t shocked anyone. If we did, fingers crossed they might forgive us in a little while 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you discovered Mira’s lovely blog, Maria! The name says it all, I’m sure you’ll LOVE visiting here. Thanks for coming to read Mira’s wonderful review, best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part.


  1. Thank you, Mira, for such a great review to read and reread! Your chocolate, tissue, and ice cream ratings are fabulous.

    I love the scenes you mentioned here; sweet and not-so-sweet reminders of what I loved so much about this book!

    Thank you for your support throughout this blog tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you both, Mira and Claudine, for your wonderful support!! Much, much appreciated, MBDD and the launch would NOT have been the same without you (more about this in the interview you’ve ever so kindly organised, Claudine 😉 )

      OMG, Mira, I LOVE your ice-cream/chocolate/tissue box rating, and the tick-list for things to do before staring to read the book 🙂

      I’m over the moon that you liked MBDD. Huge thanks for this amazing review, it was so thoughtful, so in-depth and ever so funny!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by to read Mira’s great review! Hope it might reassure you to hear that at least Mr Darcy is happy for all but some 50 pages in the book. Well, they do say that ignorance is bliss 😉
      Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!


  2. I am so scared to read this now! Triangle was sheer torture, but I found ‘Miss Darcy’s Companion’ to be more manageable angst-wise. Now I see this! I think I will have to wait until the Christmas holidays when I have nothing going on and can hole up by the fire with the book and ignore everyone around me. 🙂

    Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a great review, Elizabeth, wasn’t it? Mira has such a way with words, and I loved the new-style rating 😀

      Thanks ever so much for stopping by and leaving this lovely comment, so nice to picture you with a book at the fireside! Don’t worry, it’s a different kind of angst than in TUT, at least for Darcy. Short sharp stab in the back (or at least it looks like that to him) rather than drawn and quartered for an entire novel 😀 Hugs and have a lovely weekend!


    1. Miss Laurie May, if it comes to book- (or Kindle-) throwing I think Mira should add bubble-wrap to the shopping list 😀

      Hope your Kindle is well-padded and you’d be tempted to throw it very far! All the best and thanks for the lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review Mira and a good piece of advice. Chocolate, ice cream and a lot of tissues are needed to read this book. Fabulous story, Joana. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was a wonderful review!
    It delighted,intrigued and piqued my interest…yes,all in one go!

    I bought this book recently and cannot wait to find out what everyone has bean taking about.

    As for the 5 boxes of tissues? I know that no book has moved me to tears since reading the end of Anbe of Green Gables,and that,I assure you,was many moons ago!

    Perhaps I’ll be proved wrong and will be forced to eat my words, while rushing to the shops for another box of tissues,to quell the flow!!Now wouldn’t that be something!
    Please don’t include me in the giveaway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really was a wonderful review, Mary! THANKS, MIRA!!! Ever so thoughtful, detailed, funny and absolutely wonderful. I do hope you won’t have to rush out for tissues, Mary, but I hope you’ll like the book 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for your wonderful support!


    2. Ooops! So sorry, Mary!!! Scratch the ‘Best of luck in the giveaway’ 4 days ago, what was I thinking? (I wasn’t!! 🙂 ). I’m so glad you didn’t have to rush to the shops for tissues after all!! Fingers crossed, if you didn’t need them for the thunderstorm you’ll read about the HEA without them. Thanks ever so much for following the blog tour and all the best!


  5. 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 — she really does not deserve him! — 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 when 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. Whether I’m lucky enough to win or whether I end up buying the book (which I do sooner or later when I do not win giveaways), I’ll be sure to have the chocolate, as well as my usual pot of tea, to maintain my equanimity while reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s much truth in what you say, Janis, and isn’t it galling when some girls get away with almost anything just because they have fine eyes and a cheeky smile? 😉

      I hope you’ll be pleased to hear that Darcy suffers along with her just for a very short while, so fingers crossed your equanimity won’t be threatened for very long, but it’s lovely to imagine you with tea and chocolate at the ready 🙂

      Best of luck in the giveaway, thanks for taking part and I hope you’ll like it.


  6. How can you do this Joana Starnes!! I have no time to read at the moment! I have been searching for Jane Odiwe’s Captain Wentworth for weeks with no end in sight and now I have this angst fest that I just have to read too. It’s no good! You will have to come and paint walls while I read!! It’s a good job I love you! 🙂 Please don’t enter me Míra as I already delightfully have a copy, just no time to read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BAD ME, Hazel!!!! Very, very bad!!! Yes, that sounds right, I should come to paint while you’re reading. Or get it on audiobook. Or ring you up and read you it over the phone (fingers crossed, my phone deal includes Denmark). Good luck with redecorating and I hope you’ll post lots of photos when you’re done. Hugs and thanks for this, you’re always wonderful!!!


      1. Having said that, I have just read the first few pages while Keith is watching the rugby!! But I must find Captain Wentworth first! He’s been lost for so long now poor man! Decorating is coming on nicely and the kitchen is nearly finished!! Soon be ready for a shipment of bacon! Hope you have a great blog tour, Míra’s review is wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, the good Captain MUST be found, Hazel!!! Jane Odiwe writes so beautifully, so sensitively and with so much emotion! Wonderful to hear the decorating’s going well and that you’re getting the meat safe ready for the bacon shipment 😀

        Mira’s review is just fabulous!!!! Extremely funny and deeply moving at the same time and she says everything but gives nothing away. Huge thanks to you both and fingers crossed see you soon!


  7. Amazing review, Mira! Wish I’d known about your new rating system when I first read MBDD a couple of weeks ago. All I had in the house were the tissues! Oh, and some nicely chilled white wine. I guess that had to stand duty for the chocolate and ice cream, along the lines of: torture Elizabeth a bit – have a sip of wine, repeat several times; torture Darcy a bit – have several sips of wine!

    Obviously, you don’t need to enter me in the giveaway. Hazel, you’re in for a treat both with this and Captain Wentworth.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh definitely, Hazel!!! To me the only scenario that’s likely to need more than 6 is if any of them marries somebody else, and you’ll ALWAYS be safe from that as far as I’m concerned 😀 Hugs and I hope you’ll like it!


    1. The new rating system is priceless, Anji 😀
      Great to hear you had the tissues and the chilled white wine to hand and loved the ‘prescription’. Thanks ever so much for all your support and the lovely comments! Now that’s not fair, you make me smile and I’m driving you to drink!! And Hazel too, that’s so wrong 😀 Hugs to you and Hazel and Mira and next time I’ll try to tone down the angst a bit (at least that’s the good intention).


    1. So glad to hear you read and loved some of the others! Hope you’ll like this one as well, despite the label warnings 😀 Many thanks for stopping by to read Mira’s wonderful review and best of luck in the giveaway!


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