Title: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Karen Doornebos
Publisher: Penguin, 2011
Sexy Rating: 4
Description from amazon.com:
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…
For a semi-successful business woman Chloe is not at all attentive to details. For example she didn’t read the film maker’s contract thoroughly and ended up not on a documentary but on a reality TV show. It also didn’t occur to her that she would have to give up her cell phone and for three weeks would be without contact with her daughter back home in the states. Quite a bit did not occur to Chloe and that made for a really delightful reading experience full of humor. Another plus was the plethora (love that word) of Regency England attitudes, rules and mores. I have read many Historical Romances set in the Regency period and often the social conventions are alluded to but not really explained fully. Not so in this book. We are treated to all those answers that may have been raising questions in our other reading experiences. The Regency period is eviscerated and we are shown the not so nice and not so convenient way of life.
Karen Doornebos has done her Regency homework. Her writing is good. Her side characters were fun to read. If it became a bit silly every now and then it was forgivable for all the pluses this novel delivered. If you like the Regency period then I’m sure you will enjoy this take on modern vs Regency.