As with most Austin-ites I have an almost morbid fascination with Mr. Darcy. I remember my introduction to him clearly. I was sitting in my High-school library (probably pouting about something ridiculous like global warming) when the Librarian Mrs. Ashmore dropped a book on the floor in front of me. Ignoring my well practice stare-down to her rude interruption she began to preach.
“Misty, I have known you since you were 8.” I continue to glare. “And now that you are 15 and in my capable hands I think it’s my duty to introduce you to literature that doesn’t suck.” “Are you allowed to say suck?” “Shush! On the ground in front of you is Pride and Prejudice. No, it is not about murder…like those depressing books you carry around about Al Capone, and yes it is a romance, but I think you will enjoy it.” “Probably not.” “There is a character in this book that likes to put on an arrogant front and is often misunderstood. Much like someone else I know.” “Are you trying to insinuate something?” “Yes, I’m insinuating that you are a pain in the ass. Pick the book up and read it.”
So I did. And she was right. (As she so often annoyingly was.)
After 17 years Pride and Prejudice still holds the title as my favorite book, and whenever I am bored (which is more than I’d like to admit) I pop in the movie adaptation and watch it. Over and over. (It’s obscene actually, I should probably see a therapist for it or take some type of pill.) And because of my somewhat sick fascination with this misunderstood, arrogant, prejudice, prideful, naive, and stubborn as all hell man…I pretty much buy anything that has his name on it. Like this book.
Fledgling 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.
So…do you remember about 5 seconds ago when I was making an ass out of myself rambling about my love for Mr. Darcy? Well, then I’m sure you can understand my totally devastating, want to hit myself in the head with a frying pan, disappointment when I got halfway through “Dreaming of Mr. Darcy” and realized that this book had VERY LITTLE to do with Darcy (or the similarities drawn between Connelly’s Adam and Austen’s Darcy (“Adam Craig who has more in common with her beloved Mr. Darcy” as the synopsis implies) and everything to do with Kay’s hero-worship of Austen’s Captain Wentworth (who I’m not bashing…just pointing out the false advertising.)
Let’s get to the obvious first. Adam is nothing like Darcy, or at least not entirely. Yes, he is shy. Yes, he is open to second chances, but that is pretty much as far as it goes. Darcy is a captivating character! He is (as I said above) arrogant, and prideful. He doesn’t extended pleasantries because a woman has pretty “toffee-colored” hair. Adam on the other hand gushes about everything. Is constantly mucking about, and never exudes confidence. (Which I find a little concerning since he is supposed to be this big shot screenwriter.)
And…even more alarming, Adam really isn’t even the focus of the book 80% of the time, the dashing (womanizing, total pig, movie star hotshot) Oli Wade Wilson is. (For the record: his full name was used almost every-time he was in a scene which was part of the reason I needed the frying pan.) Which makes his position as the “hero/love interest” much more meh than yeah.
As if that wasn’t enough to send me hurling over the edge of despair (wow…Austen talk really brings out the melodramatic in me) Kay was a character disaster. For the first 10% she was likable. She was a woman dealing with loss and trying to find herself. By 20% she morphed into a completely pathetic/ridiculous version of her former self. She daydreams continually (which would be ok, if her dreams didn’t want to make me lose my lunch.)
She could see it now. Oli’s Mystery Girl, he headline would read, and there would be a photo of the tow of them driving off together or one of them running into a restaurant together, Oli’s arm protectively around her shoulder.
Speculation has arisen over the girl the handsome star is dating, and there are even rumors that the two of them are engaged. Could this be the future Mrs. Wade Owen?
She constantly makes excuses for everyone’s bad behavior. She assumes she knows what everyone wants without asking (aka makes a mess of pretty much everyone’s relationships – ala Emma) and becomes drunkenly distraught when (the man who was sleeping with 3 different women) took off with his baby momma instead of her. Top that off with a slightly sad revelation that the nice dude had been right in front of her face the entire time and what you get is a predictable plot with annoying characters that say the word “whilst” ALL OF THE TIME!
In short, not what I expected…with sub-par writing to boot. Take a pass people, you will thank me later.
Happy Reading Kindle-ites and remember: if you see a man doing the walk of shame one night and then tries to drop your panties the next…chances are he isn’t in it for the long haul.
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