Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy - A Review by Jakki Leatherberry

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. (from the Publisher - Sourcebooks)

In Dreaming of Mr. Darcy,* Kay Ashton lives in her own dream world, forever dreaming of “the perfect hero.” But what does he look like? Is he the libidinous and charming Oli Wade Owen, who just happens to be playing the role of Captain Wentworth, or the compassionate and gentlemanly Adam Crain, or does he exist only in Kay’s dreams?

In her quest for the perfect hero, Kay faces many obstacles.  She chooses to overlook many signs that she is currently heading down the same road her mother traveled, always falling in love with the wrong man, never finding Mr. Right. With her wild imagination, Kay imagines that there is more to her relationships than there really is. When her hero winks at her, Kay’s imagination is let loose, taking them from innocent flirtation to marital bliss.  Kay fails to see that guys do this all the time. Disregarding red flag after red flag, Kay is continually setting herself up for another heartache.

While searching for her perfect hero, Kay takes on the role of a matchmaker. Believing Gemma and Adam like each other, in true Emma Woodhouse fashion, Kay does her best to get these two to see just how much they love each other, all the while missing signs that prove otherwise.

As much as I wanted to grab Kay by the shoulders and shake the dreamer out of her, I do have to give Victoria Connelly credit for creating characters readers recognize and can relate to. Kay typifies those women who think they will be the one to change their dream guy, the ones who are willing to sacrifice their desires and goals in order to make a man happy.  We all know someone like that, and I am sure readers can also recognize an ex-boyfriend in Oli and an insecure, yet sweet, friend in Gemma.

Although I thought Connelly captured human nature and tendencies in her characters, the one thing I found unbelievable was how quickly her characters fell in love. After their first day together, Adam is ready to declare his love to Kay. It’s not that this cannot be done; I just think Connelly failed to execute this in a believable manner.

While I did not enjoy this novel as much as her first, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, I am looking forward to see what Victoria Connelly’s has in store with the third novel in her Jane Austen Addicts trilogy, Mr. Darcy Forever.

*Titled in the UK as The Perfect Hero; I believe that is the perfect title for the book, considering that it is also the book’s main theme.

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is available on Barnes & Noble.
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is available on Amazon


  1. I agree that the characters fell in love a bit too quickly, but it didn't really bother me. Overall, I thought this book was a lot of fun. I agree that the UK title is more fitting, but I'm sure "Dreaming of Mr. Darcy" grabs more attention these days.

  2. Thanks, Anna! I am looking forward to reading Connelly's next one! I think anything with "Darcy" in the title is sure to grab more readers' attention. :)

  3. Great review, Jakki! I haven't read this, or "A Weekend with Mr. Darcy". Sounds like I need to put these on my TBR list. Actually, I think I have the first on my kindle...I'm so behind!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Candy! I honestly do not know if I will ever get caught up on reading. There are just too many books- especially when they go on sale.

  5. Great review! I got this book from the library and will be reading it very soon. I haven't read A Weekend with Mr Darcy yet but thankfully it seems they're all stand-alone stories.

    Your characterization of Kay reminds me of something I once heard, that "women marry men hoping they'll change, and they don't; men marry women hoping they won't change, but they do."

    1. Monica, that's a great saying. ;) Quite funny. Oh, Kay reminds me of so many people I knew when I was in high school and college (maybe even a younger version of me too) ;).
      Connelly does a great job of creating characters that you know.
      I am really looking forward to Mr. Darcy Forever. *sigh* I just love that title.

  6. Great review, Jakki! It seems we are on the same page for this one, I like hearing other people echo my thoughts!

    1. It is nice knowing others see the book or certain aspects of it the way you do.
      Thanks for stopping by, Meredith!