I have an odd relationship with this writer's Jane Austen pastiches; despite the fact that the books never get more then a meh 3 stars from me, I keep coming back for me. I can't figure out if this makes me an optimist or masochist.
Yet I can't stay away, mostly because her ideas are ones I've personally wondered about (excepting Vampire Darcy =0) as I read the novels, particularly the diaries. Darcy's Diary I own and Wickham's Diary I just regrettably finished but I had to try Colonel Brandon's Diary after my last re-read of S&S. And I have to say, I'm rather impressed.
Of course I need to mention my issues with the vocabulary (a good attempt but not a great reproduction of the time period's style), characters (most seemed as 2-D as the ones in Austen's novel), and social situations (some are rather unbelievable -(show spoiler)
) But there was so much I enjoyed.
I loved getting a look inside Brandon's head. We also get to see his back story, meeting Eliza, his father, and dissolute brother as well as seeing his time in the army. While others faded into the background, he got a chance to shine and I nearly found that a worth-while trade. Through him we also see the other side of Willoughby - which made him even more detestable. We see more interactions between Brandon and Marianne, but the best part of this book was how it cut through the...flourishes of S&S and gave a concise plot. Huzzah!
All in all, a satisfying book, though I'd like to see something more along the lines of Darcy's Story - which reads like a contemporary work. I own another book of Grange's, I'll try to move it further up the list.
The cover of my library's book looked like this: