Review: Building Mr. Darcy by Ashlinn Craven

Building Mr. Darcy by Ashlinn Craven
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Pages: 239
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



It is a truth universally acknowledged . . . that Jane Austen set the bar for romantic male leads way back in 1813. What mortal man could live up to the gruff yet golden-hearted Mr. Darcy?

Now programmer Zoe Bunsen thinks she has the cure to two centuries’ worth of female disillusionment: a new artificial intelligence program that looks, talks, and thinks like Darcy. No way will she let the chauvinistic atmosphere at her company nor her stuffy colleague, Max, get in the way of her wildest dream – creating the perfect man. Even if he isn’t quite human . . .

Max Taggart, project manager extraordinaire, has crossed a continent to secure this high-profile position. His frustrating teammate Zoe may not know it, but everyone’s jobs depend on not only the duo meeting the nearly impossible deadline but the new AI being a huge success. Mr. Darcy needs to sell, even if that means selling out a few literary details.

When the AI starts using its scary degree of emotional intelligence to reveal their individual secrets, Zoe and Max must rethink everything, and a surprising connection begins to develop. Will these two unlikely cohorts cling to their prejudices or toss pride aside and admit love is stronger than a fantasy?


Review:  I have a confession to make; I never read Pride and Prejudice. Oh the shame! I know, a romance fan and I confess this mortal sin. I have no excuses, I’m sorry. However, I really liked this book, and the reader doesn’t need to read Pride and Prejudice in order to appreciate this story.

This book is romance, and it was really good, but there are no sex scenes. I wanted to mention this before I got into my review so that the readers know the kind of book this is before they decide to buy it.

The first thing I thought of when I read this book was a computer class I took once years ago. There was this paperclip that was there that held on the documents that the student completed for the course. The paperclip batted it’s eyes and winked and was just down right cute as it sat there while the student worked on whatever assignment was needed for that day. It was not really being flirty or any other human emotion that we thought it was doing. It was only following whatever code that was into the software to make it do those cute little flirty moves that it made.

The point to my story is that Darcy is the same way. It’s not a real person; it has no real emotion, or feelings. It’s just following whatever code was installed. I liked how real he seemed, and how with more and more information it was given, he was almost human. He was funny, and thoughtful, and he was a great tool used to bring Zoe and Max together throughout the story.

At first I didn’t like Zoe. I thought she was difficult and confrontational, not a team player, and just difficult on perpose because she wasn’t getting her way. She had this romantic idea of what the robot Mr. Darcy was supposed to be and I think she put too much expectation on the reality of what Mr. Darcy was as a robot.

As I read the book, I found that Zoe wasn’t being difficult for the sake of being difficult; she wanted to make sure that she was heard. Her opinions were often belittled and ignored; she was often belittled and ignored. She was trying to get ahead in a male dominated environment where her creativity and sensitivity were not looked at as valuable.

Max was a likable character even with his flaws. He was sweet and sensitive. He was creative and intelligent. He was funny and wanted to be liked by those he worked with. He was a programmer, understood code, and complex math, and felt safe and comfortable there. He did not understand human emotions, feelings, and why people did things on a purely emotional level. He understood facts, not fiction.

There were several secondary characters, but the one that really lit up the pages was Max’s older brother Malachi. He was a charming rogue that I wasn’t sure if I liked or not. He was definitely entertaining.

Zoe and Max lit up the pages with their wit and the chemistry they had. They learned to understand each other and learned about themselves as well.

Everyone needs to give this book a try. It was cute and funny and was very entertaining.