Review: Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos
Release Date:  December 3, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Penguin
Pages:  369
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

Taking it off in the name of history…

Thirty-five-year-old American social media master Vanessa Roberts lives her thoroughly modern life with aplomb. So when her elderly Jane Austen–centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a very private man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted,” as Jane Austen would say.

Hardbound books, teacups, and quill pens fly in the face of her e-reader, coffee, and smartphone…

…Until she sees Julian take his tight breeches off for his Undressing Mr. Darcy show, an educational “striptease” down to his drawers to promote his book and help save his crumbling estate. The public relations expert suddenly realizes things have gotten…personal. But can this old-fashioned man claim her heart without so much as a GPS? It will take three festivals filled with Austen fans, a trip to England, an old frenemy, and a flirtatious pirate re-enactor to find out…

 

Review:  Blending history, literature, technology and romance all make for a delightful read in Undressing Mr. Darcy.

PR guru and techno-addict Vanessa Roberts is doing pro-bono work for “Mr. Darcy”, aka Julian, an author who spent a year living as Mr. Darcy did in Regency England – that’s right, no phones, no technology, writing by the light of a candle.  He’s in Chicago to promote his book at the Jane Austen Literary Festival, spearheaded by her aunt.  Vanessa’s hands are full as she tries to tweet/facebook/message/email all details about “Mr. Darcy” to his fans, keep an eye on her aunt who is suffering from what may be diagnosed as Dementia, fending off a flirty pirate (a man she actually went to school with), and trying to keep her heart safe from Julian’s gentlemanly ways.

Vanessa soon grows to realize that she’s really falling for Julian, even though he lives “across the pond” and is leaving at the end of the week.  But she has another possible suitor in the form of Chase, who shows her he’s interested in her as well.  After a really hot and steamy night with Julian, she’s desperate to see him after he’s gone back to the UK.  So she books herself on a plane and flies to Bath, England to attend a nine day Jane Austen conference, deep in the heart of Jane Austen-land.  Her frenemy Lexi tags along, as well as Sherry, a new friend and fellow Jane-addict.   Chase surprises her and is in England as well for his auction business.  But his attentiveness soon turns to anger when he finds out about the night Vanessa spent with Julian.  She quickly realizes that even though it’s Julian she thinks she wants, she still wants Chase as a friend, so she chases him down (pun intended), and begs his forgiveness.

Darcy soon comes to realize that she’s too attached to her technology, and that people are what matter most.  So as she begins to let go of being online/connected 24/7, relationships become all the more dear to her.

I read this book in an afternoon – I couldn’t put it down.  I was all gung-ho for Vanessa and Julian to be together, but as she begins to track him down on his own turf, things come to light that make me begin to feel otherwise.  Having majored in English Lit in college, and being a fan of Jane Austen, I also loved all the history and references made throughout the book.  The author clearly did her homework in all things Jane, as well as the Regency period.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen, and good romantic stories.

 

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