Mar 212014
 

Accidentally YoursChanging Places with Darcy!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

Yours by Design, Robin Helm’s new and inventive trilogy, takes place in a “Freaky Friday” world where the phenomena of exchanging bodies is a possibility and the characters of Pride and Prejudice were real people. After a terrible car/pedestrian accident, twenty-first century Will Darcy (a name that may be more than a little coincidental) swaps bodies with the hero of Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy, who after delivering his infamous letter to Elizabeth, is unexpectedly thrown from his horse and slammed against a tree. For Will Darcy, this may be an answer to his prayers – for years he has searched for an Elizabeth Bennet of his own, but has yet to find her. For Fitzwilliam Darcy, this is also an answer to a prayer (albeit an unintentional one) – he wished never to see Elizabeth Bennet again, be careful what you wish for, Darce! 

What a fun premise! Kind of reminds me of Laurie Viera Rigler’s time travel novels (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict), except this time the main characters are males and not females! One thing loved was how we got to see the story from both Darcys’ perspectives and how each chapter alternated in point-of-view. It was satisfying to see both sides of the coin and flip back and forth between the two worlds.

Another aspect of the story that was a lot of fun to witness was how each Darcy handled their new bodies and surrounding environments. While Will Darcy might miss modern conveniences such as hot-water heaters, sweat pants, and proper toothpaste, he is thrilled at the opportunity to meet his dream-girl and tackle the mess Fitzwilliam Darcy made during the Hunsford Parsonage proposal. And even though Fitzwilliam Darcy finds the fashions, manners, and customs of 2013 to be very off-putting, he is immensely entertained with the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice and re-runs of Fraiser. (I loved seeing his reactions to“that Firth fellow” and his approval of David Bamber’s portrayal of Mr. Collins! Hilarious!)

One element of the story that didn’t sit well with me is the fact that this Fitzwilliam Darcy isn’t very likable. Perhaps it is Ms. Helm’s intent to portray Jane Austen’s Darcy a little unfavorably? Or perhaps he will become more likable later on? So far though, he hasn’t done much to win my regard…his thoughts about Elizabeth during the proposal scene were a little surprising and dismaying:

Your father should have taken a sterner hand with you. Women and horses require breaking, and had you accepted me, I could have done it handily. (page 62)

The harridan! he thought. I am well out of this. Elizabeth, you are no lady. Caroline Bingley is a paragon of virtue and a bastion of gentility compared to you. Birth will always show. You have proven your inferiority in every conceivable manner. (page 64)

It also perplexed me a little that Darcy would go about his proposal in the same way, or expect a positive reaction when he overheard two conversations (including the one where Colonel Fitzwilliam mentioned Darcy saving a friend from an “imprudent marriage”) in which Elizabeth reveals her dislike and unfavorable opinion of him. After hearing that, wouldn’t Darcy expect her anger? Wouldn’t he feel the need to explain his actions before plunging ahead with a proposal? I’m curious to see how Ms. Helm develops Fitzwilliam Darcy further, he definitely seems to be more irresponsible and disdainful than I expected.

My other minor quibbles were with the fact that it took quite a bit of time to set up the story (at seventy-plus pages, the exposition felt a little long) and that a lot of characters seemed to easily accept the phenomena of swapping bodies. While I know that some degree of “accepting the unexplained” or “suspending disbelief” is needed with time travel or time slip novels, it did surprise me that characters in the Regency world didn’t declare Darcy mad and consign him to the attics of Rosings Park! (Mr. Darcy is treating his inferiors as equals, standing up to Lady C, and flouting customs and fashions??? The man has surely lost his marbles!! Call the apothecary!)

Despite some misgivings, I am very eager to see how the rest of this series pans out! Will each Darcy find love and happiness in their counterpart’s world? Or will they return to their own world and eventually find it there? Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Because she is awesome, Robin Helm has offered two lovely copies of her newly released novel, Accidentally Yours: Yours By Design, Book 1 (1 paperback and 1 ebook), for me to giveaway to TWO lucky winners!

Accidentally Yours  Accidentally Yours

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review.

  • The giveaway of the ebook is open worldwide, the giveaway of the paperback is open to US residents.  Thank you, Robin!
  • This giveaway ends March 28th!
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  45 Responses to “Accidentally Yours: Yours by Design, Book 1 – Robin Helm + GIVEAWAY!!!”

  1.  

    I just came across this book and am looking forward to reading it.

  2.  

    Looks intriguing!

  3.  

    I usually stay away from time travel books, however this one has caught my interest. I would love to explore beyond my norm:). Thanks for book giveaway.

  4.  

    I won’t give too much away except to say stick with it. Darcys tend to change and grow whether they want to or not ;). I really liked this one, getting 2 Mr Darcys for the price of 1 – even if one of them is not quite how we like to see him. I will say that I read it as a WIP so it may have changed some, but likely not in essentials. I have a copy already so please don’t enter me into the giveaway. 🙂

  5.  

    I am trying to imagine Jane Austen’s Darcy in sweat pants and failing (thankfully)

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  6.  

    Thank you for the review. I am rather intrigued over your protrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy so it will be interesting to see how he is developed. Oh, the idea of Will Darcy in Regency England sounds great!

  7.  

    Thanks, Meredith. I appreciate your honesty. By way of explanation, one key plot point is for the reader to see the changes in Fitzwilliam Darcy by the end of the series. You aren’t supposed to like him in Book 1. Additionally, some of my most faithful readers have never read Pride and Prejudice. (Really!) I felt that exposition was needed in order for them to know what was happening.

    Thank you for the comments, everyone. Have a great weekend.

  8.  

    Since I enjoyed Laurie Vier Rigler’s Confessions of a JA Addict and Rude Awakenings of a JA Addict, I’m sure I will enjoy Accidentally Yours. I hope I win the paperback!
    Thanks, Meredith, for your in depth reviews! They are a great help

  9.  

    Can’t wait to read about Darcy’s reaction to Colin Firth! HA!

  10.  

    I love this body swap premise. It sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Meredith.

  11.  

    Well balanced review. I’ve only recently begun to enjoy these time travel variations on P&P. This one sounds intriguing!

    •  

      Thank you for saying so, Regina! I appreciate it! Time travel + P&P is a lot of fun! I’ve enjoyed mostly all the books I’ve read in this area. Only one I couldn’t really like was Seducing Mr. Darcy.

  12.  

    This sounds like an intriguing premise. Time travel, body swaps and P & P all mixed up together. I wouldn’t worry about not liking FD at the start. He can come across as unlikeable at times in the original, though we eventually find out that there’s a good reason for it. It would be very interesting to read what Regency Darcy thinks of “that Firth fellow” and David Bamber’s portrayal of Mr. Collins.

    Hope I’m lucky enough to win. The e-book version would be better for me as I live in the UK and I guess you folk are probably from the USA.

    •  

      Very true, Anji! 🙂 Pre-Hunsford Parsonage Darcy isn’t the one who wins our hearts! I guess I was just a little surprised at some of the things he was thinking. Loved seeing FD react to the BBC P&, how he would remark about certain aspects being spot on or clever. So fun!

  13.  

    would love to read this!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

  14.  

    Sounds like a great twist in Mr. Darcy’s character! 😉 What an interesting change, and I’d love to see how things work out for both Darcy’s! Thank you for the giveaway!! 🙂

  15.  

    Interesting concept. I wonder if the author is making regency Darcy unlikable in order to match Elizabeth wtih modern Will. I will definitely have to read the book to find out.

  16.  

    Any chance of an audiobook version?

  17.  

    I agree with your assessment on Darcy, Meredith. If Fitzwilliam Darcy privately had this antiquated thoughts on women in his head, I will not like him too. I hope Ms Helm will better portray the hero as crafted by Jane Austen in her second and third book.

    I would love to enter for e-book giveaway, please. Thank you very much for your generous donation, Robin.

  18.  

    Actually, I did not like the 21st century Darcy at all. The 18th century version seemed more of an authorial (Austen, not Helm) work-in-progress and as such seemed to be more “authentic”. Personally, I do not care for Ms. Helm’s work; but, I did read this one because I thought it might be entertaining. I buy my own books and do not take anything from publishers for a positive review.

  19.  

    I am not sure what I’d make of this! I tried reading a time travel one before and it just made me uncomfortable, I like my 1800s Lizzy with my 1800s Darcy. I’ll be interested to see what you make of the follow ups!

    •  

      Have you read any JA time travel? Like Laurie Viera Rigler, Mary Simonsen, or Jane Odiwe? If you have and liked it, you may want to give this one a shot, Ceri.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

      •  

        I haven’t read LVR or Jane Odiwe’s time travel ones so far, but I tried the one by Mary Lydon Simonsen, was it called something like Becoming Mrs Darcy, and that was the one I didn’t get on with, but in that case Elizabeth and Darcy were already married when the time travel happens, which is different to this book.

  20.  

    Interesting premise. When is the next scheduled for release

  21.  

    Body swap? Sign me up! I loved Rude Awakenings… You get the best of sci-fi type novels and Jane Austen. How could that not be great!

    Meredith,

    Thanks for the review! It looks interesting!

  22.  

    Wow I thought your excerpt on page 62 was out of order until I read the one on page 64!!! Although I will say it makes a refreshing change to be mad with Darcy as most of the books I have read recently have me feeling sorry for Darcy and annoyed that Elizabeth is so blind. Do you know when the next ones will be published?

  23.  

    I love finding fun, unique twists to our favourite characters. Thank you for the giveaway.

  24.  

    This sounds like a fun series. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

  25.  

    OK, I am just finding this site in looking for the second book in the Yours By Design series by Robin Helms. Is this “Meredith” the same one who writes reviews on Amazon in connection with Austenesque Reviews? I have always looked for her/your reviews as they seem to reflect mine. I did read Robin other trilogy and was struck by her Christian slant. I have myself on the Amazon list to be notified when anything else she publishes comes out but am searching to see if I can/may follow any WIP. I do have four of her stories.

    •  

      Hi Sheila! Yes, that is me! 🙂 I’m so happy you found me here, I’ve always enjoyed your comments on my reviews. 😀 Everything I post on amazon I post here first, plus fun things like author posts, giveaways, and what not.

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