Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

From the Victoria Connelly website:

Dr Katherine Roberts is a lecturer at Oxford University and an expert on all things Austen. But she has a guilty secret; a love of racy Regency novels by Lorna Warwick. She’s even struck up a long-distance friendship with the novelist and the two of them have been sharing their closest confidences.

When Katherine gets her yearly invite to a Jane Austen Conference at the magnificent Purley Hall in Hampshire, she sincerely hopes that Lorna will be in attendance as well. She can hardly wait to meet her new friend, but it seems that Lorna may not have been completely honest with her…

Meanwhile, hopeless romantic Robyn Love is at her happiest when her head is stuck in one of Jane Austen’s novels – if only her boyfriend Jace Collins could be more like Colin Firth.

The weekend retreat is the perfect opportunity for Robyn to escape from reality for a few days – especially when she meets handsome stable hand Dan. But Jace isn’t going to be so easy to shrug off.

With misunderstandings, muddles and a few shocking revelations, the weekend proves to be even more than they bargained for. Like all true Jane Austen heroines, Katherine and Robyn will discover that finding their own Mr. Darcy is far from easy…

*          *          *

A few years ago, before writing for The Calico Critic, I read Shannon Hale’s novel Austenland.  It was one my first forays into the genre of Austenesque fiction and I just adored it.  Since then I have read other novels with the similar theme:  Modern Janeite women who are obsessed with Austen, looking for their own Mr. Darcy.  Some of the titles I have read were fun and enjoyable, others less so.  Fortunately, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy falls into that more positive category.

Victoria Connelly’s plot is fairly simple—two Janeite women meet at a Jane Austen conference and become entangled with new love interests of their own.  Each has their own separate story but are connected by their new friendship.  They enjoy the conference they’re attending, but encounter obstacles in their quest for true love with the men that they meet.

Weekend’s overall story was easy to foresee, but that did not make it boringly predictable in any way.  I loved Connelly’s light style of prose and how she chose to develop the characters.  Their journey to the unquestionable ending was romantic, full of anticipation and even sometimes humorous.  I was completely hooked at the end of Chapter 2, fifteen pages into the book.  On more than one occasion I was kept up far past a respectable bedtime, struggling to put the book down.  Each chapter was delicious, and I always wanted “just one more bite”.

As a modern novel, there is a small amount of adult material within the story.  However, Connelly handles any premarital goings on with tact and very little colorful detail.  As a conservative reader, I highly appreciated this.  She got her point across without salacious illustrations of bedroom activity.  Thank you!

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy was such a delight, the best of its type since the aforementioned Austenland.   It’s a perfect read on your own weekend away this summer, and I highly recommend it.  If you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s work, or the many film and movie adaptations, or even the huge industry of Austenesque novels that have cropped up in recent years, you will love this title.  Connelly’s love for all things Austen is highly apparent, and she connects with her Janeite readers in a delightful, fresh way.  A Weekend with Mr. Darcy is time well spent.

This title was provided by Sourcebooks Landmark.
No obligation other than a honest review was required.


  1. I will be reading this book over the weekend. Sounds like I'm in for a treat. I also really want to read Austenland. I've heard lots of good things about that book.

  2. Anna:

    Austenland is so great! I not only read the text, but listened to the audiobook in the car when I wasn't able to open the book. Loved it.


  3. This one sounds like a really fun, enjoyable read! Thanks for reviewing it!

  4. I liked Austenland and this one sounds delightful. I really need to track down a copy of it!
    2 Kids and Tired Books



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