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by Victoria Connelly

Of course she's obsessed with Jane Austen...

Surrounded by appalling exes and fawning students, the only thing keeping professor Katherine Roberts sane is Jane Austen and her personal secret love for racy Regency romance novels. She thinks the Jane Austen Addicts conference in the English countryside is the perfect opportunity to escape her chaotic life and finally relax.

But then she encounters a devilishly handsome man at the conference who seems determined to sweep her off her feet. Is he more fiction than fact? Or could he be the hero she didn't know she was looking for?

PRAISE FOR VICTORIA CONNELLY: "Witty and original. "―The Romantic Novelists' Association

Download A Weekend with Mr. Darcy epub
ISBN: 1402251327
ISBN13: 978-1402251320
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Women's Fiction
Author: Victoria Connelly
Language: English
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Original edition (July 1, 2011)
Pages: 352 pages
ePUB size: 1281 kb
FB2 size: 1505 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 895
Other Formats: txt docx lrf docx

I really had high hopes for the premise of the book, since others rated it so highly, but I feel the back cover did the story far too much justice. This is actually the story of two women, modern Austen heroines, or some semblance of that, and it really could have been wonderful. But neither the women in this story or the men have very much depth to them and in the end every single one of them was extremely disappointing.

Our Professor, though seemingly the epitome of wisdom, lacks anything resembling it. She comes across as a desperate woman, failed in past relationships because she is actually mentally incapable of discerning character. She is willing to share the bed of anyone, even a complete stranger, who drops a few pretty lines at her feet. She's an idiot for not knowing these are actually HER lines she wrote previously in a letter to a friend. The fact that there is a funny twist in plot shared between her and her beau doesn't make her any less a ninny and him any less a charlatan.

The other heroine is a complete dolt. A flower pot, or perhaps a salad fork would be more interesting to read about. At one point we are almost convinced she was hiding some deep, dark secret and at this point the reader is desperate to find some redemption in her shallow character but no; she holds no other secret except she trusted her happiness to a complete moron and let him use their shared past against her as a form of domestic bondage. Yay for her for finally seeing that.

The only connection to Austen is that they are at a conference about Austen, but the author seems to have missed the mark in emulating Austen's wit, her sense of romance and any substantial satirical commentary about men and women and their traditional roles. Let's hope the author wasn't really trying to do that.

Your time (and money) is better spent elsewhere.
3.5 stars

At 5% into my kindle edition the fact of Lorna Warwick's true identity was verified to readers. It was not that difficult to figure out. The plot was very predictable for me. There were no surprises and the one twist was uncovered, as I said, very early in the book. I especially found the men in this book to be very shallow, too predictable and with little appeal to one who loves to read about "Mr. Darcy”. Even the friendship between Robyn and Katherine had little connection for me. Don't pin "prejudiced" on mother and my sister worked as secretaries and my opinion is that "administrative assistants" run most offices. But Robyn and Katherine seemed to just “check-in” with each other and there was not depth described to any conversations between these two women. They did give each other histories of events but not any depth of feelings and questioning of choices or even asking for each other’s advice or guidance.

I found Robyn's story had more draw for me in reading the two female protagonists’ situations. Maybe it was that her "man" came galloping onto the scene and loved animals or maybe it was that all the difficulties were clear to both parties, even if one of Robyn's choices clearly disappointed Dan. Maybe it was the almost “Mr. Darcy with a wet T-shirt” type scene as she watched him labor in the stables with the horses. Jace's place in Robyn's life is not presented correctly in some of the reviews...he was the shoulder she cried on when her brother died while she was a teenager. And he played that sympathy card so well. But he was also lazy, selfish and totally inconsiderate. Really, placing a wet coffee cup on one of Robyn's Jane Austen books? Lock him up! I do understand her reaction to his “big” question while on horseback at the JA convention...he played that whole "do it in public so she doesn't dare say, "No" card to the nth.

I felt a definite connection to Katherine Roberts’ love of historical romances while being, at the same time, a professor at St. Bridget’s. I have met more than a few Janeites who are not at all shy about looking down their noses at those of us who read and love JAFF or just plain old escapism historical romances. It is considered a pollution of one’s tastes to give attention to such “trash”. But I will not apologize and neither did Katherine. Why did Lorna Warwick decide to answer her fan letters over any others? That was not spelled out very clearly. But I found Katherine’s running away and not staying and having it out with Warwick verbally an act of cowardice. How she could say on one hand that she was in love and then not put her hands around his neck and shake him was beyond me. I wanted them to confront each other’s opinions and actions: Darcy and Elizabeth style. Beat him over the head with his actions and words, let him explain, and then, maybe, have that time when all things are considered.

I liked the premise of this story. It reminded me of The Jane Austen Book Club in some ways. There were many references to Jane Austen’s characters, to her own life and fate, to whether marriage would have changed her destiny as an author and then there were all the references to the historical buildings (and a cemetery) which were part of her life. This story had some vague parallels to Jane’s books but in no way in which I could say this was a modern re-telling or take-off on any one story. The characters themselves would at times state that this or that, he or she, reminded her of something from her novels.

This was a pleasant read, but not one which kept me enthralled.