"You know, speaking of the ball, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lady Matlock these last few days - what a wonderful person, indeed. She is very fond of Lizzy and so polite and kind - one can easily observe the effect of a proper education. That is my idea of good breeding - and those persons who fancy themselves very important and only open their mouths to give offense, quite mistake the matter."Go Mrs. Bennet! I love that. As this occasionally lovable matron hints, the crux of the plot rests upon Elizabeth's first ball. Relishing their privacy, she has yet to be properly presented to society, and Lady Matlock is guiding her through the process. Another great moment for Miss Bingley occurs when she is bullying Elizabeth about her preparations, and Jane cooly informs her Lady Jersey is coming. Very satisfying!
I also really enjoyed the devotion the staff shows their new mistress. I don't want to provide any real spoilers but this story does take place a year in to the marriage, Elizabeth is having a hard time sleeping, her appetite is lacking ... draw your own conclusions (mine were set a few pages into the book). Anyway, she has a fainting spell at one point and Darcy's valet, obviously feeling the need to act on behalf of his missing master, swoops the protesting Mrs. Darcy into his arms and deposits her in her bedroom. I laughed pretty hard upon reading that, and even more so when a distraught Mr. Darcy comes home and yells at his excessively devoted servants, who of course understand he is just anxious and have forgiven him long before he apologizes for his transgressions. Silly old Mr. Darcy!
Like most Lory Lilian books (two of which I have reviewed: Rainy Days and His Uncle's Favorite), things can get rather steamy from time to time, but while the more intimately romantic scenes in this tale can be lengthy, they are not terribly graphic, which I greatly appreciate. I happen to have been told by Ms. Lilian herself that her next book, My Husband, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, will be similarly discrete in its sexual depictions. The book should be out soon and explores what would have happened if Darcy and Elizabeth were forced to marry before coming to their own understanding. Can't wait! I really enjoy her books.
The Perfect Match makes a perfect summer read, especially for a distracted mom at a beach, pool, or on an airplane. The story is not so emotional that you can't put it down, yet it provides a thoroughly happy escape into a world of wealth, romance, ton, and it even gives us a little bit of Christmas in July, if you hurry up and read (or reread!) it in the next three days. A very pleasant diversion, indeed!