MR. DARCY BROKE MY HEART
Claire Prescott doesn't understand Mr. Darcy's appeal. She's been uncomfortably dating Neil, a nice -- if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when she agrees to stand in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England, she finds herself holding a lost version of Pride and Prejudice. Scholars thought Austen's original manuscript was destroyed centuries ago, but as Claire reads the beloved author's first draft, she discovers that Austen didn't always have Darcy in mind for Lizzie Bennet.
And when a tall, dark, and dashing stranger crosses Claire's path, will she suddenly discover her inner Lizzie Bennet? Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her true romantic lead, and she discovers that finding the right hero can be more difficult than she ever imagined.
TRUE CONFESSION: I'VE NEVER REALLY UNDERSTOOD ALL THE FUSS OVER MR. DARCY. HE WAS JUST SO STUFFY AND OVERBEARING AND SNOBBISH. I KNOW, I KNOW HE WENT THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION BY THE END OF THE BOOK, BUT FRANKLY, I WOULDN'T HAVE GIVEN HIM THE CHANCE. MIND YOU, I'M MORE INTO THE SALT OF THE EARTH KIND OF GUY -- GIVE ME A GARDENER OR A CARPENTER ANY DAY. ANYWAY, THAT'S WHY I COULDN'T RESIST THE LURE OF A HEROINE WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND MR. DARCY'S APPEAL.
BETH PATTILLO STUDIED IN LONDON FOR ONE SEMESTER IN COLLEGE AND I THINK SHE DREW ON THAT EXPERIENCE TO BRING AUTHENTICITY TO CLAIRE'S WEEK LONG STAY AT OXFORD. I FELT LIKE A WIDE-EYED TOURIST AS I SAW ENGLAND THROUGH CLAIRE'S EYES.
I LOVED THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF A LOST JANE AUSTEN MANUSCRIPT -- AND THE EXCERPTS CLAIRE GOT TO READ. PATTILLO DID A GREAT JOB OF INTERWEAVING THE PROBLEMS IN CLAIRE'S LIFE WITH THE PASSAGES FROM 'FIRST IMPRESSIONS'. VERY CLEVERLY DONE. THE WHOLE CONCEPT IS GENIUS.
A FRESH, WHIMSICAL, HEART-TUGGING STORY THAT CAPTURED MY FANCY AND HAD ME READING IT FROM COVER TO COVER IN ONE SITTING .