Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
About the Book
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…
Everything is not as it seems in this Regency-styled dating reality TV show. Definitely Not Mr. Darcy earns four stars for its humor, romance, and great characters.
Chloe becomes one of several contestants fighting for a rich gentleman's hand in marriage — and $100,000 that could provide for her daughter and save her failing business. And she seems to be in the lead, much to the annoyance of the other contestants. The only problem is that Chloe's falling in love with the gentleman and his brother.
The contestants range from an arrogant woman with a centuries-old axe to grind, to an Austen fan who embraces the all-too historically accurate accommodations. Chloe tries to fit in with the group and the time period, with varying results. Her verbal sparring with the contestants and gentlemen is one of my favorite parts of the book.
There is a hefty dose of bodice-ripping romance as well. Some of it's Chloe's fantasies, but some of it is very real inappropriate behavior between a gentleman and a lady!
Other than that and a fast wrap-up, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy is a great book about romance and the dangers of romanticizing. Definitely worth a read!