Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year-old divorced mother, she runs her own anique letterpress business, is a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society, and gushes over everything Regency. But her business is failing, threatening her daughter's future. What's a lady to do?
Why, audition for a Jane Austen-inspired TV show set in England, of course.
What Chloe thinks is a documentary turns out to be a reality dating show set in 1812. Eight women are competing to snare Mr. Wrightman, the heir to a gorgeous estate--and a one-hundred-thousand-dollar prize. So Chloe tosses her bonnet into the ring, hoping to transform from a stressed-out Midwestern mom to genteel American heiress and win the money. With no cell phones, indoor plumbing, or deodorant to be found, she must tighten her corset and flash some ankle to beat out women younger, more cutthroat, and less clumsy than herself. But the witty and dashing Mr. Wrightman proves to be a prize worth winning, even if it means the gloves are off...
I Give This Book:
Imagine 'The Bachelor' combined with 'Pride & Prejudice' and you get 'Definitely Not Mr. Darcy'! A fun concept and a engaging story. From the beginning of the story, I had an inkling what would be the outcome - and I was right! However, even knowing what the ending would be, I still found this book very enjoyable.
I found all the details about how life was back then very interesting. One of them was how people would only bathe once a week and everyone would use the same water - disgusting! They would bathe in order of rank and so by the time a couple of people had bathed, the water would be ice cold - not to mention full of other people's grime.
I know that most people nowadays are very loose in their moral character, and that is portrayed in this book - though it isn't mentioned in great detail. I thought the author captured perfectly how most people behave on a lot of reality dating shows. The way all the women throw themselves at the man, even though they don't know him at all - just because they want to win.
Lady Grace was so aggravating! She was cast as a titled lady, so she was allowed to do things (like shoot a gun and ride a horse astride) that the other ladies in the house weren't allowed to do, and she made sure to rub it in Chloe's face.
Mrs. Crescent was cast as Chloe's chaperone and she was so much fun - even though she was a sticklier to the rules of the show. When she first meets Chloe, she is largely pregnant with her sixth child. Chloe learns that she is on the show because William, her son, needs medical treatment and the money she would get if Chloe wins the show would help him to get it sooner.
The man that they are all trying to win is Mr. Sebastian Wrightman. I thought that Sebastian was a self-centered jerk and I couldn't believe how all of them were swooning over him. They all thought he was handsome, but that is a shallow reason to like someone.
There was also Sebastian's younger brother, Henry, on the show. Being the younger brother, he wasn't going to inherit much money and had to work for his income. Henry is not as handsome as Sebastian, but he is much more considerate of ladies' feelings. Chloe is having a hard time trying to convince herself to concentrate on winning Sebastian, because Henry is much more charming and she is beginning to care for him.
There were a couple things that I didn't like:
1. The ending was very brief. So unless there is going to be a sequel to this book (which I doubt), I didn't feel as though the story ended in a way that completed the story.
2. I thought at first the idea of the accomplishment points seemed like a fun and interesting way to earn time with Sebastian. However, they never seemed to follow the point system and so it really seemed pointless (pun intended).
Overall I thought 'Definitely Not Mr. Darcy' was enjoyable and would recommend it.
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Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 Original edition (September 6, 2011)
Available at Amazon