Regina Jeffers turns Pride and Prejudice into a gothic novel, in which suspense and sexual tension play a large part. Darcy is now a dhampir (In Jeffers’ words: the product of a union between a vampire and a human) that has sworn never to marry or have children, to stop the family curse that turns every male first-born into a dhampir. Enter Elizabeth Bennet, who soon dominates his thoughts and feelings. While their romance unfolds, both get entangled in a fight to stop the arch enemy of Darcy: the vampire George Wickham.
Having read Austenprose’s preview of Vampire Darcy’s Desire a few weeks ago, I knew I had to read this book sometime or other. I don’t regret ordering the book as soon as I could. While the book starts out with some of the scenes that would seem familiar to any reader of Pride and Prejudice, Jeffers didn’t simply copy out the story while adding the elements of Wickham being a vampire and Darcy a dhampir. Instead, this is a true original story wrapped up into the world of Pride and Prejudice, with some of the original Austen dialogue.
Having read Jeffers’ preface, I couldn’t help but feel she did a good job at recasting Pride and Prejudice into a gothic novel. It’s interesting to see how that works out. Especially since Austen lived during the times that gothic novels were immensely popular, as her making fun of the genre in Northanger Abbey shows. Vampire Darcy’s Desire is never too over the top or ridiculous, like the recent Quirk Books retellings are. Instead it’s a highly enjoyable story that combines both Twilight and Austen in a way that I think will make many Austen fans like it, although there are probably always some purists around that had better stay away.