Dec 272013
 

Undressing Mr. Darcy final high resA Janeite Tour de Force

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

With Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, author Karen Doornebos takes readers on a diverting and hilarious ride on the set of the fictitious reality dating show โ€“ How to Date Mr. Darcy. For Definitely not Mr. Darcyher second Austen-Inspired novel, Karen Doornebos brings readers on a tour de force of Jane Austen conventions and festivals through Chicago, Louisville, Bath, and London! (Have your traveling bags and I <3 Mr. Darcy gear ready, friends!)

Leading us through these incredible celebrations of Janeites and their love for all things Austen are:

  • Vanessa (a PR specialist who has been raised by her Austen-loving aunt ever since her parents separated)
  • Aunt Ella (Vanessa’s darling aunt who has lately shown signs of having dementia)
  • Julian Chancellor a.k.a. Mr. Darcy (author of My Year as Mr. Darcy, keynote speaker at this year’s JASNA Annual General Meeting, and owner of a crumbling historical estate in England)
  • Paul (owner of antiques auction house and special friend of Aunt Ella)
  • Chase MacClane (works for Paul when he is not impersonating Captain Jack Sparrow, claims to have gone to the same high school as Vanessa)
  • Sherry Pajowski (a JASNA AGM attendee with the most enviable Darcy T-shirt collection imaginable ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
  • Lexi Stone (former PR partner and friend of Vanessa’s)

What a fantastic mixture of characters โ€“ die-hard Janeites, helpful friends, men in billowy shirts, a social-media maven/non-Janeite, and Jack Sparrow…*ahem* Captain Jack Sparrow. I fell in love with all of these well-drawn and intriguing characters, and took great pleasure in witnessing the conferences and festivals with them. I find that Karen Doornebos’s characters are always believable and extremely likable (even the villains!) In addition, I was delighted to see a cameo of Chloe and Henry from Definitely Not Mr. Darcy during the conference! So great!

My favorite aspect of this novel was attending all the Jane Austen events, talks, workshops, and balls. Quilling Paper, Cravat Tying 101, Swordsmanship, Regency Dance, and we mustn’t forget the Undressing Mr. Darcy lecture and…demonstration โ€“ how awesome it was to observe and โ€œsit inโ€ on some of these talks and workshops But perhaps my favorite event was the โ€œDash for Darcy Scavenger Huntโ€ that had everyone bounding across London and Bath! (I must know, can one really purchase a life-size replica of Colin Firth?!?)

Another aspect that I greatly enjoyed throughout this novel was witnessing Vanessa’s transformation from feeling indifferent towards Jane Austen and being too attached to her smartphone, to devouring her books and chasing after love in England. She learns a lot about herself throughout these events and does some soul-searching โ€“ Mr. Darcy isn’t the only one shedding some layers! She may be a little blind-to-the-obvious sometimes, but overall I found Vanessa’s personal growth to be well-portrayed and gratifying to witness. My only complaint is that the same cannot be said for one of Vanessa’s suitors (purposely not saying his name to avoid spoiler!) I kind of found one suitor’s actions to be a little baffling and inconsistent, and I was left with some unanswered questions.

Readers who like to โ€œgeek outโ€ over Jane Austen will find much to admire and appreciate in this adventurous and humorous medley of Jane Austen festivals, conferences, and sites. With Karen Doornebos’s vivid descriptions and first-hand experiences at these events, readers will truly feel like they were attendees themselves! I think it is only appropriate that I end my review like this: #MustRead #DefinitelyRecommend #EveryoneNeedsALittleMrDarcy

Note: A few scenes get pretty steamy! Recommended for Mature Audiences.

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  13 Responses to “Undressing Mr. Darcy – Karen Doornebos”

  1.  

    Knowing how much I loved ‘Definitely Not Mr. Darcy’, ‘Undressing Mr. Darcy’ is on the top of my TBR list! I must say though, I do love the cover of this book too! As for the ‘life-size’ replica of Colin Firth, I don’t know if you can, but I’m sure it is possible! I do think my husband would draw the line on that…lol! My question is, would he be attired as Mr. Darcy?

    •  

      I hope you get to read it soon, Carole! Like Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, it was such an incredibly fun read!

      LOL! Not sure Mr. Bingley would go for the life-size Colin Firth either… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2.  

    I really loved this book! I enjoyed “attending” all the Jane Austen events! And Mr. Darcy’s presentations was very educational! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great review, Meredith!

    •  

      Thank you so much, Candy! I greatly enjoyed your review too! I bet it was especially fun to read about the events because you’ve actually been to some of them in real life!

  3.  

    I think all the ‘geeky’ Janeite stuff in this book will be as interesting to me as the romance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4.  

    This sounds really good Meredith, and different to the type of thing I’d usually read too.

  5.  

    This sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the review. I’m all set to geek out about Jane … and find out if I really can get myself a life size replica of Colin Firth. My fingers are crossed.

    •  

      I hope you enjoy your “tour” of all the Jane Austen conferences and festivals, Heather! LOL! There is also a “Ask Mr. Darcy” app that I was wanting to get too!

  6.  

    I loved her first book and the storyline of the new one is not typical at all ๐Ÿ™‚

  7.  

    I really enjoyed this one, too, and yes, I wanted Sherry’s Darcy clothes! My review goes up tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

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