Thursday, 19 September 2013

Blog Tour: My Own Mr Darcy by Karey White

My Own Mr Darcy (Goodreads)

Being a committed Jane Austen fan, I couldn't resist this when I saw it offered as part of a blog tour. The gorgeous cover alone was enough to draw me in and the premise was fun. . .

At sixteen, Elizabeth was dragged to see the Pride & Prejudice movie by her mother. The moment Matthew Macfadyen, who played Mr Darcy, appeared on the screen, she was smitten. By the time the movie ended she'd made a vow that no man would ever be good enough for her unless he was identical to Mr Darcy. Her dream guy even had to look like Matthew Macfadyen!

Years, and many unsuccessful dates later, her best friend forces her to agree to give the last guy she went out with ten dates. Enter Chad. He's the charming, sweet guy of the story. Sadly for Chad, shortly after starting her dating challenge with him, she meets her Matthew Macfadyen lookalike. Pity he's an absolute creep with whom she has nothing in common . . . It takes much of the book for Elizabeth to realize this, but in the end we get our happy ever after.

So much for the plot, did I enjoy it?

Yes, I did. It was fun, light-hearted and squeaky clean (a refreshing change from so many other contemporary romances I've read lately)

The characters - while not exactly deep - were nicely penned. 

I especially liked Chad - but then, I was clearly meant to. Karey White made very sure that her reader knew exactly who the 'good' and 'bad' guys were in her story. This is perhaps my deepest criticism. It all felt a little too black and white for me. Her treatment of Matt left us in doubt that he was the 'bad' guy. The trouble was that his flaws reflected badly on Elizabeth's character. Her obsession with her Mr Darcy-ideal-lived-through-Matt made her appear really stupid at times. I found myself shaking my head, wondering how she could bear to be with a guy who treated her so badly when she could have been with an infinitely nicer - and far more suitable - guy like Chad. But I guess that is what obsession is all about - it robs the victim of reason.

Because of Elizabeth's obsession, the plot allowed for some good character development. Happily Elizabeth finally comes to her senses and sees Matt and Chad for what they really are. Although I was delighted that she ended up with the right guy, I think Chad forgave her a little too easily. Also, I felt the ending was wrapped up too quickly. The book would have benefited from an epilogue.

For all my criticisms, would I recommend it? 

Definitely, especially if you love a contemporary romance and Jane Austen. One of the strengths of the book was that it wasn't just a retelling. It was a fresh story built on the bones of Pride and Prejudice. I really liked that.

Number of stars?
I give it three enjoyable stars.

PS. I received a free copy of this book as part of the blog tour.

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