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Much Ado in Meryton by Riana Everly ~ Review + Excerpt

Title: Much Ado in Meryton
Author: Riana Everly
Genre: Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare mashup
Publisher: Bay Crest Press
Release Date: November 2nd, 2021
Number of Pages: 286
Version Read: Kindle ebook
Buy: Books2Read

Synopsis: "Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably." – Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2

Mr. Darcy's arrival in Meryton raises many people's disdain and Elizabeth Bennet's ire. An insult at a dance is returned in full measure, and soon the two find themselves in a merry war of words, trading barbs at every encounter. Matters go from bad to worse when Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves living under the same roof for a time, and their constant bickering frays everybody's nerves.

Will a clever scheme by their family and friends bring some peace to Netherfield's halls? And what of Mr. Wickham, whose charming presence is not quite so welcome by some members of the party? When the games get out of hand and nastier elements come into play, will everybody's chances for happiness be ruined forever?

This clever mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing casts our beloved characters in a fresh light, uniting Jane Austen's keen insight into love and character, and Shakespeare's biting wit.

My Review: I have never read Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare so I really don't know how faithful the author stayed to the original work but I'm sure it's fine. That being said I really enjoyed this novel and kudos to Jane for growing a backbone towards the end of the book. To me, it seems like Darcy and Elizabeth wouldn't have gotten together if certain characters hadn't interfered even though their motives were purely selfish. So I didn't like how Bingley just went along with Wickham's plan even though he didn't know the man. That makes no sense whatsoever. I love how everybody gets what they deserve by the end of the novel.

Rating: 4 stars

*I received a copy from the author. All opinions are my own. 

But Jane and Charlotte were not there. Nor were they in the breakfast room or the large salon where the ball had been held just the previous night. Elizabeth returned to the back parlour in case the two had returned, but the room was still empty. She was about to go in search of Caroline Bingley when there came a tap at the door and Mr. Darcy appeared.

How tiresome! She expected him to take one look at her and stalk away or utter something unpleasant, but instead, he bowed to her and smiled.

She gaped.

Mr. Darcy could smile?

“Miss Elizabeth,” he spoke in the most elegant of tones. “I trust you are well.”

“Er, yes, very well thank you.” She furrowed her brow. What could this be about? Was it some manner of joke? Was he seeking some new means by which to belittle her?

“I trust you enjoyed the dance last night. Was it all to your liking?”

Was he hoping to chide her for her taste in music? “Indeed I did. Did you not?”

He smiled again. He was really quite handsome when he smiled. What a pity about his character. Although, she considered, he was being not unpleasant at the moment.

“I did enjoy the ball. Miss Bingley outdid herself.” Had he ever offered a compliment to anybody before? “I particularly enjoyed the music. For so small a band, and engaged so shortly before the event, they performed remarkably well. I hear the fiddle player is a servant in this very house. I must find him and give my compliments, and perhaps a small token of my appreciation as well. Did you dance?”

“Aye, that I did, sir.” What a strange conversation. She must make some effort to be polite. “Will you sit?”

He nodded and moved to the chair opposite where she was standing. He gestured for her to take her seat and then sat as well. He was smiling, polite, friendly even, and was exhibiting good manners she never knew he had. Perhaps the man was ill. Ought she to call for Mr. Bingley?

But Mr. Darcy continued. He praised the food, the size of the room, even the pleasant company to be had amongst the officers and villagers. He then lit upon the book lying upon the low coffee table and asked about it as well.

“No, it is not mine,” Elizabeth replied. Aha, this was his point! He wished to trick her, only to decry her deplorable taste in literature. “I confess I do enjoy novels, but this particular book is one that Charlotte brought earlier.”

“The Old English Baron,” Darcy read the title. “I have not read this one, although I very much enjoy a good novel.” He leaned back and crossed his long legs. “I rather enjoyed The Monk, even if I found it quite horrid. Have you read it? It is, perhaps, not quite the thing for delicately bred young ladies, but you seem to be made of stiffer stuff… Oh, do not take that amiss, Miss Elizabeth! I mean it in its best sense. But I—”

He broke off. Annie entered the room, looking red in the face and quite uncomfortable.

“Miss Bennet… I must… that is, if I may be so bold…” She shuffled her feet and stared at the ground before her.

“I am afraid, Miss Bennet, that my presence is excessive to the issue at hand, whatever it may be. I shall take my leave and bid you farewell… for now.”

Darcy stood and pulled himself to his full height, then executed a most elegant bow, and with one final smile, left the room. The man was surely mad! And yet, Elizabeth decided, she did not dislike him so much thus.

Author Bio: Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specializing in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11 and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Riana’s novels have received several awards and citations as favorite reads of the year, including two Jane Austen Awards and a Discovering Diamonds review.

You can follow Riana's blog at, and join her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@RianaEverly). She loves meeting readers! 
2 comments on "Much Ado in Meryton by Riana Everly ~ Review + Excerpt"
  1. Thanks for the post, enjoyed this excerpt

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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