Friday, 6 May 2011

Book Review - A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly
Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint (Avon)
Release Date: 16th September 2010
Genre: Adult fiction/Chicklit

Summary (Amazon):

Katherine Roberts is fed up with men. As a lecturer specialising in the works of Jane Austen, she knows that the ideal man only exists within the pages of Pride & Prejudice and that in real life there is no such thing. Determined to go it alone, she finds all the comfort she needs reading her guilty pleasure - regency romances from the pen of Lorna Warwick - with whom she has now struck up an intimate correspondence.

Austen fanatic, Robyn Love, is blessed with a name full of romance, but her love life is far from perfect. Stuck in a rut with a bonehead boyfriend, Jace, and a job she can do with her eyes shut - her life has hit a dead end. Robyn would love to escape from it all but wouldn't know where to start.

They both decide to attend the annual Jane Austen Conference at sumptuous Purley Hall, overseen by the actress and national treasure, Dame Pamela Harcourt. Robyn is hoping to escape from Jace for the weekend and indulge in her passion for all things Austen. Katherine is hoping that Lorna Warwick will be in attendance and is desperate to meet her new best friend in the flesh.

But nothing goes according to plan and Robyn is aghast when Jace insists on accompanying her, whilst Katherine is disappointed to learn that Lorna won't be coming.

However, an Austen weekend wouldn't be the same without a little intrigue, and Robyn and Katherine are about to get much more than they bargained for. Because where Jane Austen is concerned, romance is never very far away…

 I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, but I can’t really call myself a fan. I’ve watched every film adapted from her books. I’ve every book I can get my hand on that have stemmed from her books. I’ve even been to visit her house and grave! I know nuggets of facts about her, I read everything about her…but I haven’t read her books yet. Isn’t that just criminal?!

 Naturally, the title and cover drew me in instantly. I heard good things about it leading up to the release date and so I bought it and devoured it as soon as I could get my hands on it. The problem is I didn’t love it. I only liked it. It was missing something in some of the plotlines I think. Things like Robyn feeling like it’s a duty to stay with Jace due to something in the past, which I found to be a bit lame for an excuse when I found out what it was.

 I liked Katherine. Katherine is strong, independent and leads her life how she wants to lead it, but there’s that age-old problem she’s having- the want of a good man. Katherine’s storyline was the best bit about the book and I wanted to read more of her and less of Robyn, especially when Robyn was so weak when it came to Jace. I’m not a fan of characters like that.

 Then there’s Warwick, pretty much the only man at the weekend, with a bit of a hidden agenda for going, and I couldn’t help but fall for him as a character. Victoria did a fab job of creating him, as he really was a modern day Jane Austen hero- secret included!

 Most of the book is based over the Jane Austen weekend (oh how I wish this really happened…anyone know of one?) and the story is a quick, light read, with well-written moments but I just couldn’t love it. It was missing the magic that I usually find in Jane Austen linked books. But it was still a pleasurable read so I’ll definitely be reading the rest in this trilogy.

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