Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway -
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Fledging illustrator and Darcy fanatic Kay Ashton settles in the seaside town of Lyme to finish her book, The Illustrated Darcy, when a film company arrives to make a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Kay is soon falling for the handsome bad boy actor playing Captain Wentworth, but it's the quiet screenwriter Adam Craig who has more in common with her beloved Mr. Darcy. Though still healing from a broken heart, Adam finds himself unexpectedly in love with Kay. But it will take more than good intentions to convince her that her real happy ending is with him.

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Victoria Connelly’s second book in her trilogy featuring Jane Austen addicts, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is a fun follow up to A Weekend with Mr. Darcy. Kay Ashton is a new resident to the seaside town of Lyme Regis, renovating an old building to be a bed and breakfast for the local tourism industry.  As one of the pivotal locations in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Lyme is a magnet for Janeites on holiday and for the occasional movie production.

Before she’s even ready to receive tenants, Kay is beset with a large portion of a film crew, in town for a new iteration of Persuasion.  Amongst their number are the famous and beautiful, and Kay quickly becomes infatuated with Oli Wade Owen, the young man cast to play Captain Wentworth.  She also becomes acquainted with the film’s quiet screenwriter, Adam Craig.  Kay pines for Oli while Adam falls for the oblivious bed and breakfast hostess.

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy gleans its name from the fact that Kay has a tendency to fantasize about fictional Austen men, a la Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice and Captain Wentworth of Persuasion. This is why she was more apt to fall for Oli Wade Owen than the more realistic, kind and thoughtful Adam Craig.  The assigned title of this novel is fine, but if the marketing had worked, it would have been more aptly titled Dreaming of Captain Wentworth.  There are some mentions of Darcy throughout the story, but the book gleans more from Persuasion and even Emma than from Darcy’s novel.

Connelly almost makes Lyme a character itself, and her love for Austen’s final novel is very evident in the frequent mentions of the book’s characters and scene locations.  Her work here has increased my desire to visit this coastland town quite a bit. And Kay’s role as a clueless matchmaker so reminded me of Emma that I had Romola Garai in mind as I cast the different parts in my head.

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy was an enjoyable read.  I liked Victoria Connelly’s characters and the journey on which she takes them throughout her story.  While at times fantastic (Local townie gets to go on dates with a mega superstar?), the tale still felt realistic and genuine as well. Connelly keeps the adult content to a minimum, with a mentioned bedroom scene with no details.  There were times of humor, family drama and of course delightful romance.  And while there’s a wink to the previous A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, this title stands on its own very well.  Janeites (and Persuasion fans in particular) will enjoy this one, and I look forward to the third book in the collection, Mr. Darcy Forever.

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Dreaming of Mr. Darcy Giveaway!

If you'd like to enter to win my Advanced Copy (ARC) of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Also take note of the following contest guidelines:

  • The contest period ends at 12:01am EST on February 5th, 2012.
  • Make sure you leave your email address in the one required portion of the Rafflecopter form. Should you win, I will contact you on Sunday the 5th.  Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message. ( You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
  • The winner must supply a U.S. mailing address for prize shipment.
  • You may tweet about the giveaway once per day for bonus entries. Please report the direct URL to the tweet in the Rafflecopter form.
  • Entries will be verified.  Fraudulent entries will be deleted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more chances to win?
Here are some other Dreaming of Mr. Darcy giveaways!



  1. Thanks so much for the giveaway! This one sounds like a great read!

  2. Jessica:

    You're quick! Good luck-- it's a fun read!

  3. Looks like a fun book! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  4. gosh this looks so cute!! her covers are the best!!!

    (not entering b/c i have too many to read!)

  5. Carrie:

    I know what you mean-- so many books, so little time!!


  6. I haven't read either of Victoria's books yet but they sound really good. I love the idea of Kay doing The Illustrated Darcy. I'd love to read that.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds very interesting.

  8. I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. oh my goodness- how fun! I'd love to read this book over a weekend, nice break from work and stress!

  10. I have been wanting to read this series since I went to the last JASNA meeting in Texas!

  11. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! Looks and sounds like a book I'f like to read:)Maaan~ I'm crossing my fingers now:))

  13. I LOVED A Weekend With Darcy so I am looking forward to reading this one as well. I loved the writing, very funny and it flowed naturally with no sudden changes. Very good!

  14. Would love to win...sounds great!



  15. Love anything that has to do with Austen :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Thank you for the chance to win your giveaway.
    Love, Love, reading Pride and Prejudice and all the sequels.

  17. I loved the first one in this trilogy and look forward to reading the second one. Thanks for your post and for the giveaway opportunity.

  18. Love Jane Austen, of course, LOVE Midnight in Austenland... so this looks fun! Thx for the opportunity! I'm a new GFC, so, nice ta meet ya!



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