Thursday, September 19, 2013

Definitely not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year- old divorced mother, she runs her own antique letterpress business, is a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society, and gushes over everything Regency. But her business is failing, threatening her daughter's future. What's a lady to do?

Why, audition for a Jane Austen-inspired TV show set in England, of course.

What Chloe thinks is a documentary turns out to be a reality dating show set in 1812. Eight women are competing to snare Mr. Wrightman, the heir to a gorgeous estate, along with a $100,000 prize. So Chloe tosses her bonnet into the ring, hoping to transform from stressed-out Midwest mom to genteel American heiress and win the money. With no cell phones, indoor plumbing, or deodorant to be found, she must tighten her corset and flash some ankle to beat out women younger, more cutthroat, and less clumsy than herself. But the witty and dashing Mr. Wrightman proves to be a prize worth winning, even if it means the gloves are off...


Living in the early 1800's is not easy: chamber-pots, chaperones,  corsets,  shared water for the weekly bath.  Somewhat predictable with little character development, I still enjoyed the novel because of the humour and references to how things were used and made in regency life such as making your own ink, twigs for toothbrushes and rags being used as toilet paper.  Not a great story, but an cute, light read.

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