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I bought this book for the Kindle a few years ago when it was on a ‘deal’ for 99p. I finally read it earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It is set at the mansion of Lady Pamela , who hosts an annual Jane Austen conference.
Attendees at the conference include Katherine, who is an Oxford lecturer that has been invited to speak. Katherine is also a fan of trashy historical romances by Lorna Warwick who she has struck up a written correspondence with, newly single, she is looking forward to a relaxing girlie weekend. Robyn is a young lady in a relationship with her school sweetheart but is beginning to wonder if he is really suitable but not sure how to broach the subject. Warwick is a man hoping to meet a pen-pal at the conference. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, lots of things actually, not least Robyn’s dreadful boyfriend showing up, and Katherine discovering the truth about Lorna Warwick (revealed to the reader very early on), however the weekend does bring a lot of positives to the lives of these two ladies. The book is quite humorous, there are some interesting supporting characters and events happening at the hall including a glamorous regency ball to look forward too.
This is really a light, chick-lit read cashing in on the popularity of Austen. I’ve read a few of these ‘spin-offs’ and for the most part I found them lacking, but I rather enjoyed this book. It was a lot of fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. The writing was warm and easy to get into, the story won’t challenge you, but sometimes it is just what you are in the mood for and I recommend this to Austen fans and chick-lit fans as this is one of the better novels in the genre.
I saw this advertised in the Kindle store and as I have read only one of Victoria Connelly's books before and loved it (Molly's Millions) I decided it was definitely worth my 99p!
The book begins when we meet Katherine Roberts. She isn't exactly enjoying her life as she finds her job as a lecturer dull and she has recently split from who she thought was the love of her life...until she found out he was married. Her only escape is when she loses herself in a novel by her favourite author - Jane Austen but modern day life isn't really like Austen times...is it?
Robyn is a young lady in her twenties who is just bumbling along with life really. She has been in the same job as a secretary since she left school, she lives on her own in a small but cosy Yorkshire cottage and she is in a long term relationship with Jace. But Robyn knows something is missing. Jace seems afraid to commit and still lives with his mother. Robyn's not sure where her relationship is going anymore but how will she decide what to do?
The similarity the two ladies have is that they are both ardent Jane Austen fans. They are both due to attend an Austen weekend in Hampshire which will throw the pair together. Will the two get on? Will the weekend result in a weekend which would fit right into an Austen novel?
I had high hopes for this book because Molly's Millions is one of my favourite books. Right from the beginning of the book I found that it was really easy to get to know both Katherine and Robyn. They both seemed very down to earth characters who were both friendly, reliable and kind however neither of them are particularly happy with their day to day life.
The first few chapters set the scene and allow us as the reader to get to know the two ladies a little more before the conference. I really liked this way of not throwing us straight into the conference because it really allowed us to get to know the pair and then when the conference did arrive it was easier to understand both women and their actions.
The plot flows well. In the middle of the book it didn't slow down but I just found I was less interested in the plot for some reason so found it difficult to keep picking up for a while however it soon picked up and by the ending I couldn't put the book down.
I liked the plot as it was something that I haven't really read before so it provided a refreshing story. I'm ashamed to admit that I have not actually read any Jane Austen books myself however this did not matter and although several references were made to her throughout the book I didn't find myself confused or not understanding.
The writing style is very relaxed and laid back and it really felt like I was actually at the conference myself, watching everyone. I had no problem picturing the scene and I thought the writing style was great as it flowed so well and was extremely easy to take in.
The ending was ultimately what I was expecting but there were certainly a few twists and turns that were unexpected along the way. The ending is in my opinion the correct ending and it wrapped everything up really nicely.
The book is written by Victoria Connelly.
It is available on both kindle and in paperback.
It was first published in September 2010.
It has 387 pages.
The kindle edition is currently £1.99 on Amazon with the paperback costing £4.19.
Fun laid back novel which is perfect for any chick lit fans or any fans of Austen. Perfect for a lazy summers afternoon!
Katherine Roberts is miserable! She is a lecturer specialising in Jane Austen and has come to a point in her life where as she feels her "Mr Darcy" can only be found on the pages of a book, and has now decided to give up looking for her Mr Right.
She has been invited to talk and do a presentation at Lay Pamela's home, which is going to part of a Jane Austen weekend, which she is really looking forwards to, if only she can persuade her newest friend, and author of trashy romance books Lorna Warwick to come, though she assumes the reason she can't is due to purest Jane Austen fans thumbing their noses at Lorna's take on the sexy Jane Austen brand!
Robyn Love has been looking forwards to her Jane Austen long weekend break, her name makes you feel as if love is due to her, but her life is far from perfect. Living with her childhood sweetheart as should be rosy, but things have been getting worse within their relationship, and Robyn knows what she must do, but will she have the courage to do it, or will the delectable Dan (Lady Pamela's brother and estate keeper), help her decide what she must do?
Warwick has a secret! A secret that may well end in tears if his true identity is revealed, the only problem is he has fallen in love with a woman he has not meet yet, and who has been writing to him under the impression that she is writing to a female friend, after she asks him/her to attend the Jane Austen weekend with her he is torn as what to do........
This book is such a fun read and for someone like me (a self confessed Jane Austen fan) a really enjoyable read, about a well explored subject!
There is of course plenty of romance to be had, all mixed up with the sumptuous surroundings of Lady Pamela's home (she is a well known actress who has spent her acting life playing Austen characters!), and with the constant references to all things Austen, especially the more romantic of the male leads Mr Darcy (who is my favourite main man too!)
I love how all the characters have started to gauge their lives around how they think Jane Austen would view a situation, which is comical as she died a young unmarried woman, with only her 6 books as a legacy, though which have undoubtedly lived on in many peoples minds.
There is a good mixture of romance, up to date chick lit and Austerian facts to keep the book flowing beautifully and this in turn makes this a fantastic read!
Unlike the Austen books there is a far bit if bad language and some sex, but for me a good chick lit book would be lost without at least the sex scene's!
This was a really enjoyable read, nice and light, funny and romantic, and all wrapped up in Mr Darcy's wet breeches.........recommended!
Price wise this is available from www.amazon.co.uk for £4.99.
Thanks for reading x
Katherine Roberts is officially off men and the only men she's even willing to give head-space to is the fictional ones she reads about in her much-loved Jane Austen books as well as the regency romances of Lorna Warwick, with whom she has also struck up a friendship with and is hoping to meet at a Jane Austen conference. Despite her name, Robyn Love isn't really feeling the love for boyfriend Jace any more and when she happens across the chance to head to a Jane Austen conference she jumps at the chance to clear her head of her romantic entanglement, until Jace decides to go with her. As Katherine and Robyn head off to the Jane Austen conference, Katherine is looking forward to finally meeting Lorna Warwick after so much letter-writing whereas Robyn is just thrilled to be going full stop. But nothing goes according to plan and despite Katherine being off men and Robyn having a boyfriend, true love could be in the air for the pair of them.
Last year I read Victoria Connelly's first book to be published in England (her first three were published in German) called Molly's Millions and I really enjoyed the sweet story of a florist who wins the lottery before going on the run before her stingy family can get their hands on her fortune. So I was thrilled when Victoria said she was working on a new, Jane Austen trilogy and that the first book A Weekend With Mr Darcy was due to be released in 2010. I've never read an Austen book but because I loved Victoria's previous book I was still looking forward to her new one and I was thrilled to receive an early copy and I began it in earnest.
A Weekend With Mr Darcy quite aptly follows a group of people who are attending a Jane Austen conference, you guessed it, for an entire weekend at Purley Hall in Hampshire. In fact, it's more like a long weekend as it begins on Thursday before ending on the Monday. There's Katherine, a University lecturer tired with the men in her life and then there's Robyn, who has been together with her boyfriend since school but things have recently become stale between the pair. Then we have the mysterious Warwick who is hiding something from the entire group, and Katherine in particular, and finally there is Dan, who works in the stables of Purley Hall. There are many more characters who attend the conference but the main story is made up between Katherine, Robyn, Warwick and Dan.
I loved the fact that the majority of the book took place over the course of the Jane Austen weekend, five days in total. The backbone for the entire book was the fact that all of the character were united by one simple thing: their love for Jane Austen and despite having never read a Jane Austen novel as I've already mentioned, I liked that she was the main focus of the book and the reason all of these such different characters converged for that special weekend. Surprisingly enough there is a lot that happens over the course of the weekend at Purley Hall and it was fascinating that we got to know all of the characters so well over such a short period of time. Even more so that the characters themselves got to know each other so well, with a couple of love stories peppered throughout the pages.
Of the four main characters the one that caught my eye more than the others was Robyn Love. She was such a wonderful and warm character and I could see why she felt the need to stay with childhood sweetheart Jace despite not loving him anymore and getting to know Dan a bit more. I thought Katherine was a bit more of a closed book and it was only as the novel progressed did we really get to see the real Katherine, the one she refused to show whilst lecturing at Oxford and it turns out she was rather lovely. As she got to know Warwick more, the more she opened up and the more we got to see what she was like underneath her academia. I also really loved both of the men featured in the book, Dan and Warrick. Dan had me from the first page he appeared on and I thought he was so incredibly sweet. As for Warrick, I liked him more as I got to know him more. The reader knows early on he's hiding something and what it is he's hiding but it's nothing too terrible so I was able to like him pretty easily. I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Jace, Robyn's boyfriend. He just seemed a bit off to me and couldn't seem to grasp the fact that it probably wasn't going to work between himself and Robyn and the way he kept crashing Purley Hall in a bid to see Robyn was more annoying than endearing.
A Weekend With Mr Darcy was really well written, told in the third-person and constantly flitting from Katherine to Warwick to Robyn and back again and it made us able to see what anyone was thinking at any given time. All of the Jane Austen aspects and references were fantastic and Victoria Connelly must either really love Jane Austen to enthuse so much or is just a very, very good researcher. The purist in my hopes it's the former as it's a better story and the love for Jane Austen really does come off the pages. In fact it's so strong I'm sorely tempted to pick up a Jane Austen sometime soon so I can see what all the fuss is about! Victoria Connelly has managed to write another winner with A Weekend With Mr Darcy and I for one can't wait for the next book, of three, in the series.