Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy-Karen Doornebos

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
Karen Doornebos
Berkley, Sep 6 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425243824

Though she thought she signed up for a documentary, not fortyish single mom of a young daughter, Chloe Parker leaves Chicago to join a reality show set in Jane Austen’s England because she needs the $100,000 prize money as her antique letter press business is failing. The participants are eight bachelorettes who accept the conditions of Regency England in order to win the heart of Mr. Wrightman. Chloe gives up indoor plumbing, central heating, phones and much more in anticipation of men in tights.

However, Chloe finds she fails nineteenth century activities as sewing is a foreign skill and the use of a fan seems inane. Her odious rival Lady Grace makes it worse as her shenanigans are to get Chloe kicked off the show by setting up the ancient moron to look even more like a loser. Her other rivals are just as young, beautiful and shark-like as Grace is. Then there is the prize.

Just when a reader would think that there is no knew take on Jane Austen, Karen Doornebos provides a fresh amusing spin by combining 1812 Regency England within a modern day reality show. The story line is amusing as Chloe competes with women younger, prettier and nastier than she could ever dream of being. With a nod to the 1900 House reality show, fans will agree that Mr. Wrightman is Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, but to Chloe he may be the right man.

Harriet Klausner

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