5 Books to Read if you Love Pride & Prejudice

From Laurence Olivier and Peter Cushing to Colin Firth and Matthew Macfayden, Mr. Darcy has been a socially awkward, eloquent dreamboat we’ve all fallen in love with, and it’s no surprise that Jane Austen was a master of romance. In that same vein, Lauren Layne has gifted us with five books she would recommend if you have also caught the Darcy bug. The first book in Lauren’s Wedding Belles series, To Have and to Hold, is on sale now.


I’ll admit it. When it comes to my literary crushes, I don’t have even a lick of originality.

I. Love. Mr. Darcy.

I still remember watching the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice with my mom years ago, back before I knew who Jane Austen was, back before I understood that Mr. Darcy was a thing. And like so many girls/women before me, I fell hard for Darcy (Colin Firth’s version in this case, although I’ll confess to loving all the Darcies equally!)

In fact, I was so obsessed, that I knew exactly which of our 6-tape VHS set of Pride & Prejudice (this was before DVDs, definitely before streaming!) had the BEST Darcy scenes. My favorite being video tape #4 where Elizabeth visits Pemberly and starts to see that Darcy’s not the total prick she thought he was. Those awkward moments when Mr. Darcy’s obviously wanting so badly to make an impression but doesn’t know how… heart melts.

Eventually those old VHS tapes started to wear out, and I realized it was time to get my Darcy feels somewhere else. Right around this time, I picked up my first romance novel and learned that Mr. Darcy left quite the legacy of romance heroes. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite taciturn Darcy-esque heroes. These book boyfriends are so chilly to start, and then slowly begin to thaw in a way that makes my stomach flip every darn time.

Slightly Dangerous | Mary Balogh
An oldie-but-goodie (literally, as this one’s historical!), I’ve always wondered if Mary Balogh wrote Slightly Dangerous as a deliberate homage to Pride and Prejudice, because no other hero transforms quite so wonderfully from alpha-cold to deliciously hot as the reserved Wulfric Bedwyn. I’ve read this book at least a dozen times, and I still get butterflies as we watch the reserved duke fall for the bubbly Christine.

Epic Fail | Claire LaZebnik
Okay, yes, I’m sneaking a YA onto this list, but retelling of P&P with teenage character is particularly charming in that it’s all about the looks and nervous encounters, and not about the sex, which I think Austen would heartily approve of. The author skillfully stays true to the original story, but brings it wonderfully into the high school setting. And let’s face it, we ALL wanted this sort of love story when we were sixteen!

To Have and to Hold | Lauren Layne
Oh, WHOOPS!? One of my own made the list?! 😃I had to though. The first in my Wedding Belles series, Seth Tyler has the Darcy-routine down pat, right down to the icy glare and occasional social awkwardness. The sassy Brooke is everything he thought he didn’t want, and everything he can’t stop thinking about. I’ve never had so much fun unraveling a hero.

All I Ever Wanted | Kristan Higgins
I love absolutely everything Higgins has ever written, but All I Ever Wanted is the one that’s warranted the most rereads. Why? It’s all about the hero. Ian is Mr. Darcy reborn in contemporary perfection. A little aloof, maybe a tiny bit shy, and an exquisite combination of vulnerable and alpha.

What I Did for a Duke | Julie Anne Long
Regency fans, look no further than this one for your Darcy fix. Yes, it’s part of a series, but it doesn’t have to be read in order (although you really should read the whole series, it’s exceptional!) Long’s Duke is everything you want him to be—he’s so wonderfully cold and a little bit ruthless that you’ll watch his slow fall for the sweet Genevieve with your heart in your throat.

Okay, hit me! Which Mr. Darcy-esque heroes is this list missing?!

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From This Day Forward

From This Day Forward

Lauren Layne

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne's The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding but their own.

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To Have and to Hold

To Have and to Hold

Lauren Layne

USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken) in her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true… but their own.

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For Better or Worse

For Better or Worse

Lauren Layne

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time.

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To Love and to Cherish

To Love and to Cherish

Lauren Layne

Now that her Wedding Belles business is thriving, Alexis Morgan decides it’s time to focus on her personal life, and she approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not part of that plan is Logan Harris, the one person who’s been there from the start. But Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with a kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

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Slightly Dangerous

Slightly Dangerous

Mary Balogh

London is abuzz over the arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the biggest event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention. But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke…all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.

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Epic Fail

Epic Fail

Claire LaZebnik

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. In this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

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All I Ever Wanted

All I Ever Wanted

Kristan Higgins

For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home.

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What I Did For a Duke

What I Did For a Duke

Julie Anne Long

Of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he'll seduce Ian's innocent sister, Genevieve—the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he'll capture her heart... and then he'll break it.

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