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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now a Regency Fan!
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy is about divorced mother Chloe who goes to England thinking she will be participating in a documentary in the Regency times only to discover she's actually going to be a contestant on a Regency Reality Show. Chloe must woo the `bachelor' to win the $100,000 prize, which she needs to be able to afford her failing business and keep custody of her...
Published on September 6, 2011 by Stephanie Elliot

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "All is not as it seems."
In "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy," by Karen Doornebos, thirty-nine year old Chloe Parker (who is divorced with an eight-year-old daughter) leaves Chicago to participate in a reality show set in England in 1812. First prize is $100,000. To win it, she will have to outperform the other lovely contestants and convince a hunky and wealthy landowner, Sebastian Wrightman, to...
Published on September 25, 2011 by E. Bukowsky


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now a Regency Fan!, September 6, 2011
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy is about divorced mother Chloe who goes to England thinking she will be participating in a documentary in the Regency times only to discover she's actually going to be a contestant on a Regency Reality Show. Chloe must woo the `bachelor' to win the $100,000 prize, which she needs to be able to afford her failing business and keep custody of her daughter.

The premise was attractive because not only is Bachelor Mr. Wrightman a hottie, his younger brother is thrown into the mix and he is a quite gallant chap himself! (ooh, that sounds like such a regal regency phrase, does it not? The book rubbed off on me!)

I loved learning about the quirkiness of the times, like how the women wore their gowns, how they didn't bathe but once a week, what they used for deodorant, what they DIDN'T use for underwear, how they tied up their busts, what fanology was, and the hobbies they did. It has all made me very thankful for the comforts of our times!

I loved the author's quick-witted writing, and her characters were charming and flawed, in the very best possible of ways! I enjoyed imagining what those times were like as well, and found myself longing to jump back into the book during the day when I had other things to do. You'll find that after you read Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, you'll look around at the men in your life and think, "Seriously, chivalry IS TOTALLY DEAD!"
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "All is not as it seems.", September 25, 2011
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
In "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy," by Karen Doornebos, thirty-nine year old Chloe Parker (who is divorced with an eight-year-old daughter) leaves Chicago to participate in a reality show set in England in 1812. First prize is $100,000. To win it, she will have to outperform the other lovely contestants and convince a hunky and wealthy landowner, Sebastian Wrightman, to propose. Think of it as "The Bachelorette" meets "Pride and Prejudice." On the set of the show that bears the cheesy title, "How to Date Mr. Darcy," everything appears authentic: no electricity, showers, deodorant, modern rest rooms, television, cell phones, or computers. Chloe and her British competitors all have maidservants to fix their hair, dress them, and tend to their every need. In addition, contestants are asked to demonstrate their skills at archery, needlework, and playing a musical instrument in order to earn "Accomplishment Points."

At first, Chloe is delighted and enthusiastic to be living her dream. After all, she is a walking encyclopedia on everything Jane Austen. Still, Chloe soon misses her daughter and longs for the pleasures of basic hygiene (even soap and hot water are considered luxuries) and electronic communication. Nor is she thrilled to have cameras following her around. Fortunately, Chloe is pleasantly diverted not only by the gorgeous Sebastian, but also by his devastatingly attractive brother, Henry.

Doornebos has a feel for the Regency period and she effectively captures the atmosphere of Austen's novels. There are stately dinners, formal balls, a mock fox hunt, and semi-chaste courtships. Readers will be amused by some nice comic touches: One of the contestants frequently has her way with dashing footmen, another suffers from chronic allergies, and Chloe is a klutz who is forever putting her foot in her mouth and messing up her fancy dresses.

"Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" is a light and frothy send-up of silly reality programs, but it does not have the mandatory romantic buzz. Most readers will be able to predict where the plot is headed, and the love scenes are as synthetic as the show itself. Chloe is a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, she is needy and desperate for the prize money. Yet, in a few short weeks, she suddenly becomes independent and strong-minded. Although there are some entertaining moments in this humorous novel, "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" is too long, drags towards the end, and does not fully deliver on its initial promise.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Approximately Austen, November 2, 2011
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
I wavered between 3 and 4 stars because while this book was entertaining, it didn't really have much depth...in fact it was pretty shallow, and highly predictable. That being said, it is still a fun little read. I finished it in a day, and it certainly kept me interested enough to see it through.

The story centers on Austen-aficionado Chole, who lands a spot on a Regency-era reality show...little does she know she is actually entering a dating contest to win the heart of the handsome (and very wealthy) Mr. Wrightman. Rife with cutthroat fellow contestants, tricky social situations, and not too dull humor, this tale has our heroine on her slipper clad toes the whole time.

One of the things that kept me intrigued throughout the book was the research done into real Regency life. Though the period is just the backdrop for the dating show, it reveals to the readers tons of little known facts about life for women at the time...and I must say, it doesn't sound as pleasant as Jane Austen makes it. In truth, life was a bit more difficult without the convenience of baths, the plethora of ridiculous undergarments, and the somewhat questionable food. It was details like this that made this story feel a bit more real and bit less Lifetime Movie.

In short, I enjoyed this book, simple as it was. I recommend it for a fast, fun read, but caution away those who are looking for something with a bit more profundity.

Caitlin Warnock
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too predictable, December 15, 2013
About a third of the way into the book, I could already see how the story was going to end and the rest was just tedious to get through. There was nothing consistent with the main character. She's supposed to be discerning, but she doesn't pay attention to any obvious details. She's supposed to be a deep thinker, but she's just as shallow as the other women in the book. She's supposed to be a Jane Austen/Regency England expert and yet most of her Jane Austen references come from the 1995 A&E film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I have nothing against that film, in fact, I love it, but even I, a non-expert, can talk about the character of Mr. Darcy in an intelligent way without referring to Colin Firth's portrayal of him. I did learn some new things about Regency life, but that's about all I got out of this book. I agree with another reviewer, if you want something to read that's all fluff and no substance then this is the book for you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a terrific read!, September 7, 2011
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
I was so happy to receive an ARC of this book to read. I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and the regency period so I was thrilled to begin reading. Chloe is a terrific heroine...she is flawed and imperfect and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. She is not model perfect in any way (which makes her a perfect character for me). The author obviously spent a lot of time researching the Regency period because thee was no detail missed in the descriptions. I liked the characters; I liked the surprises and I liked the twists and turns. I was so sorry to see it end; I was anxious to finish it, but wished I could have read more. I look foward to reading more from this author. Is it wrong for me to hope we'll see a Regency-era reality show in the future? Someone should send a copy to Mark Burnett.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This was not what I expected..., February 21, 2012
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
Although this was a cute story idea, I did not like it as much as I thought I would. I bought this book based on others reviews. But it took me a while to get into the book, probably because it wasn't as smooth of a read as I'm used to. It felt choppy throughout, and I had to keep stopping to re-read parts. I feel like the characters and storyline needed to be resolved more than it was in the end. Wish I would've checked it out at the library first before buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing ending, March 31, 2014
I was ready to give this book 4 stars up until the last 10 pages. I forgave the book for having a predictable plot anyone who has read Shakespeare could easily uncover and a heroine to old for her silly antics. But it was charming and funny at times so none of that bothered me. Until the end. Then the author u-turns the book into an as but-Austen, pro-modern feminism platform that makes her character seem even sillier and more foolish than when she finds Regency garb to join a reality show. The author disregard the feminism of Austens pioneering women of their day and instead takes the uni-dimensional view that marriage is diminishing to women and that modern view s of marriage and sexuality are the only emancipated options.

In fairness, she tried to restore the charm in the last two paragraphs but it was to little too late. Too much would in form of personal, modern philosophy dressed in sheep's clothing of light-hearted chick lit
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Better, May 17, 2012
By 
J. Kurtz (Princeton, ID USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
I liked the misdirection but the heroine's outrage was a bit much. She also was quite the whiner. I would have liked more detail at the end. It was as if the author just got tired of writing. This is very similar to the reality show, Regency House Party.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, July 9, 2012
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy is the light and fun story of Chloe, a middle-aged divorced mother who is convinced she belongs not in the present but in Regency England. Chloe is an avid Jane Austen fan, and fantasizes about living in the regency period. Her dream becomes a reality when she gets chosen to be on to what turns out to be a reality dating show, a la The Bachelor, set in Jane Austen's time. The reader follows Chloe as she tries to win the money and the heart of Mr. Wrightman, while also trying to survive what turns out to be a not-so-idyllic world in the historically accurate set of the game show.

Ms. Doornebos does a fantastic job with this lighthearted and fun novel. Any Austen fan will love it. How many of us have dreamt of living in the romantic time of the Regency period, with the dresses, the horse, the balls, the men? Anyone who has ever dreamed of living in the world of Elizabeth Bennet will love to join Chloe in her Regency experience.

Chloe is a charming character with a humorous personality. Doornebos even includes a Caroline Bingley character, and the cast is reminiscent enough of Pride and Prejudice to be fun for the Austen fan while not crossing the line of trying too hard. Not only is the story fun, but Doornebos also has a great grasp of the Regency period- from costume to activity to daily life-giving the book a nice historical side.

One of the best things about this book is that it doesn't stray into cheesy, sappy, love at first sight, happily ever after territory. It's more real than that, not shying away from real problems, though it definitely remains light at the same time. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great beach read or something to curl up with at night, especially Austen fans!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Regency Reality/Modern Magic, March 23, 2012
This review is from: Definitely Not Mr. Darcy (Paperback)
I enjoyed this lively quick read. I made a vow to write more reviews and this was second on my list of books that I said I must critique. I met the author and bought the book back in January and thoroughly enjoyed the evening listening to her speak about the Regency period at Women and Children First in Chicago. Both that night and in this delightfully comic novel, her knowledge of the period shone through. For all those women who think Jane Austen is a romance novelist and would love to travel back to 1812 and become Elizabeth Bennet on the path to a most delightful marriage, 'Definitely Not Mr. Darcy' points out the numerous unpleasant truths in such a wish becoming a reality. I particularly loved the juxtaposition of the protagonist's struggle with the pros and cons of the modern era as contrasted to those of 1812. I thought that was extremely well woven into the plot. However, I kept thinking of the Luddites who were politically active during the time period in which our tv show is set. Those textile workers jobs were being eliminated by the relentless push of technology in much the same way as Chloe's business is struggling to compete with new cheap printing methods being the fashion. Those loom smashers were facing the death penalty (Lord Byron made his first speech in the House of Lords in their defense) and Chloe has to agree to throw away her rights and dignity in order to have a chance to survive in modern times. The reader is constantly struck with that debate as the witty dialogue unfolds. The news for women has not been great lately, so I think the verdict might still be in doubt. Chloe definitely has better information with which to make her fresh start. Sebastian was eerily like Willoughby. I think he is Austen's depiction of a sociopath before the term was coined so I didn't fall with all the other women--even if he did have money. I am sure Mrs. Crescent is glad she got to experience a bit of both eras.

My one criticism is that I wish there had been a bit more of Austen's biting irony and astute psychological assessments of the characters. That is what I love most about the woman that I consider to be the mother of the modern psychological novel. I also question whether Chloe understood that about Jane Austen. She read 'Pride and Prejudice' at 11 and fell in love. I heard nothing to indicate she reevaluated her appreciation with age and wisdom. I didn't get it at all my first time through. It was not until I was in my early 20's and read all of her novels a secon time that that I became enamoured with her biting wit.
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Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos (Paperback - September 6, 2011)
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