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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Guest Review: DEFINITELY NOT MR DARCY by Karen Doornebos

Today's review comes from Sophia Rose, author of a number of Austenesque short stories, and a name most Austen in August repeat visitors will be familiar with. She's sharing her thoughts on a book on my own to-read list, from an author who has been feature in AIA before! Check it out below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

11107818Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos
Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Berkley, Published:  9.6.11
Pages:  374
Rating: 4
Format:  Trade Paperback
Source:  Gift
Sellers:  Amazon
     Barnes & Noble
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11107818-definitely-not-mr-darcy
GoodReads Blurb:
There's no place for pride in this Austen misadventure. Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year- old divorced mother, she runs her own antique 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, along with a $100,000 prize. So Chloe tosses her bonnet into the ring, hoping to transform from stressed-out Midwest 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 was thrilled to get the opportunity to participate in Austen in August.  Thanks so much for putting together this fabulous blog event and allowing folks to drop in as guests, Misty!
[Edit from Misty: you’re welcome! And thank you for taking part!]

A divorced, middle-aged woman with a failing business, little girl, and fading dreams needs to catch a break, but is the prize money from winning her 'Mr. Darcy' really the way to do it?  Chloe Parker is about to find out when the Jane Austen documentary she thought she signed up for becomes another animal entirely.  She's a challenger to win the hand of the wealthy Mr. Wrightman in a Reality TV show challenge.  Too bad her eye strays toward the wrong Mr. Wrightman.
I had a good time with this standalone chick lit.  The scenario of a game reality show with points for how well the ladies do at Regency Era accomplishments, deportment, fashion, and winning the eligible gentleman was too delicious for words.  Of course there was the requisite conniving mean girl type and a host of mishaps for Chloe as she fumbled and bumbled her way through as modern woman trying to adjust to living two hundred years in the past.  She does manage to catch the eye of both Wrightman brothers, but only the ineligible one for the prize stirs her.

Chloe has been a dreamer and left looking for something more most of her life.  She believes in romance, Mr. Darcy, and the dream of living in a genteel Austenesque world, but the story shows her the stark reality when she gets to have what she's always wanted.  You know what they say about getting what you want...  She's an engaging heroine and I was rooting for her to win, but at the same time, I wanted her to open her eyes and really see what was going on rather than the illusion.  It was obvious to the reader for a long time what the real deal was with the situation, but Chloe was on a journey of the heart and had to find her own way.

There are reflective times, humorous moments, sweet moments, and sad ones.  I did feel that the story dragged in the middle and I just wanted to get on with the heart of the conflict which did happen in the latter section.  I also wanted a little bit more at the end, but that was because I wanted to see more romance after all the earlier misunderstandings.

The author provided some fun side characters around Chloe and totally convinced me that I might enjoy a visit to Regency times, but I definitely am glad I don't live there.  I found this a perfect light, summer read and can definitely recommend it to those who want a modern story not necessarily focused on romance with some humor and heartwarming along with the soul searching moments.

Sophia’s Bio:
sophiaroseavatar_nSophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Writing has been a compelling need since childhood. Being published is a dream come true.
Social Media:
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13418187.Sophia_Rose


  1. I like the conflict but the post conflict stuff - i also want more of that!

    1. Yes! It hinted at some stuff and then just ended. I was left wondering on a few things and wanting to see some face to face when they weren't keeping secrets and misunderstanding.

  2. Great review, Sophia Rose! I loved this book! I love Karen's sense of humor, and I enjoyed hearing about some of the less glamorous sides of living in the Regency period.

  3. Yes, the humor had me giggling. I loved the moments when she was faced with some really weird thing from the past she had to do.

  4. Oh yay! I've been wanting to read this one for awhile. I'm glad it was a good read for you!

    1. Same here, Beth! I had this setting on my shelf for-e-va and was glad that I finally grabbed it and read it. I would guess that you'd have a good time. :)

  5. I love the review Sophie. I have never read this book nor added it to my TBR, but I think now I must. It sounds intriguing.

    1. Thanks, Deborah Ann! It will be a good time for you. Some of the modern gal in Regency life situations were a hoot.

  6. This one's on my to-get-to list. I can't remember if I have a copy kicking around or not... lol

    1. Hopefully so. There are some funny parts and thoughtful ones with an engaging heroine.
      I need to snag the author's other one, too. Love its title already (Undressing Mr. Darcy).


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