Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy"

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos
3 out of 5 stars

This was an impulse pick-up from the library the other day. It looked cute, so I thought why not? And I did enjoy it, even though it wasn't the best read ever. I think I'd like to read more Jane Austen soon, this kind of world and the fandom she produces is intriguing to me. Maybe November? October is going to be some scary Poe stories and December A Christmas Carol, I think. :)

Anyway, this book...I read it in 2 days, so it's a fast read. Chloe Parker is totally obsessed with Austen and all things Regency era. She's in her late 30s, divorced, has an 8 year old daughter (who seems either 4 or 14 at different times), and has a failing business in handmade paper products. When she hears about a Jane Austen documentary-type TV show in England, she decides to try out and of course, gets picked. So she packs up, sends her daughter to her parents, and jets off to sunny rainy England. Does it really rain that much there? We're in the middle of another drought here in Texas, so I can't really imagine soaking showers every afternoon.

When Chloe gets there, she is shocked and dismayed to realize that this isn't going to be a trivia-inspired documentary like she thought...instead, she's now competing with several other women in a Bachelor-esque dating competition. I hate The Bachelor/ette. After that Brad guy (or whatever his name is) decided not to choose either girl, I decided to boycott lol. Okay, so Chloe is pretty pissed, but she didn't exactly read the contract very closely, so I kind of didn't feel for her that much. She has to decide if she's going to stay and suffer thru this or go back home. The prize money is the deciding factor for her...$100,000. Oh and the hot guy and his equally hot younger brother. They help too.

Yeah, she decides to stay. I would too. Even though that now means she is completely immersed in the world of 1812 England: dress, mannerisms, dating, eating, everything. That means no cell phones, deodorant (lemon wedges), real underwear (!), indoor plumbing, showers, electricity. That also means lots of meat killed from the lands (she goes veggie real quick), chaperoned dates, no speaking to a man until "properly" introduced, etc...and then there are the competitions: how to mend a pen, make ink, ride a horse, trim a bonnet (whatever that means)...can she make it? Will she win the guy and the money?

Well, I'm not going to tell you. ;) If you like Austen or contemporary type romances, I would suggest this book. It does get a little dirty in a few parts, but I'm okay with that hah! There are far too many mentions of the "1995 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice" and Colin Firth with his wet shirt. I still haven't seen it yet, I know, shame on me. The ending is highly predictable, but that's okay. There's some misdirection and plenty of man candy in their tight "breeches" and a typical sassy, flippy-haired, smart-mouthed girl who excels at every competition and is here to win her a man and some land, by gosh!

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