This was a cute piece of Jane Austen related fluff. I went into it looking for nothing more than that, and at first, I thought I wouldn’t be disappointed. And perhaps I shouldn’t have been disappointed in the last half, either.
Summary via Goodreads:
Fledgling illustrator and Darcy fanatic Kay Ashton settles in the seaside town of Lyme to finish her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy, when a film company arrives to make a new adaptation of 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.
Certainly, the Jane Austen references were lots of fun. Since the book revolved around the production of a movie version of Persuasion, those are the ones that I was expecting, but many more elements were borrowed from Emma, which I am immensely more fond of. These aspects are responsible for lifting the book from 3 to 3.5 stars, and were enough to leave me happy that I read the book.
I’m satisfied with the plot, which primarily needed to frame the Jane Austen references and the characters themselves.
My problems with Dreaming of Mr. Darcy are all in the characters, which are really what I read books like this for.
All of the characters were somewhat flatter than I’d like– not enough to be fatal to the book, but not well rounded enough for me to care what Gemma decides to do about her movie career, or to be surprised by the twist near the end (which I did see coming, there was no other reason for some of the material setting it up to be there).
But really, I just didn’t like Kay. Granted, many of her flaws were patterned after Emma, but Emma had a little more texture to her, and just never felt quite so clueless to me.
Kay is star struck, and when she meets the actor playing the object of her dreams, the fantasies fly. That’s not a problem, although the direction her fantasies went didn’t resonate with me. It’s where she goes with them that doesn’t work for me. If she’d pursued them with a real sense of laughing at herself while doing so, I could have loved her for it. But as it was (and I don’t want to give too much away)she just wasn’t my kind of heroine.
Beyond that, I never felt the chemistry between Adam and Kay. I liked him well enough, but just didn’t feel what he was feeling for her,in spite of being told it was happening.
I can see this book working much better for someone else, someone that values following your dreams, wherever they take you.
I received this book for review from the publisher. Thank you, Sourcebooks!