May 062019
 

Reality and Relationships

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Austen-Inspired, Sequel to Ditching Mr. Darcy

SETTING: Takes place in modern-day, England, several months after Ditching Mr. Darcy

SYNOPSIS: Last year Elizabeth Barker was in a terrible car accident that put her into a coma where (in her mind) she was transplanted into the body of Elizabeth Bennet. Now several months later, Elizabeth is out of her come and moving on with her life. Even though she fell hard for someone in the Pride and Prejudice world of her coma, Elizabeth finds someone just like him in her modern-day world (yay!). And things are going wonderfully for them until Elizabeth starts experiencing some dreams that take her back into Elizabeth Bennet’s body and their relationship is dealt a few walloping punches…Can Elizabeth find happiness in this world? Or only in her Pride and Prejudice dream-world?

NOTE: Potential readers should be made aware that even though the author often includes context of events that occurred during Ditching Mr. Darcy, this book is a sequel and it is recommended you read Ditching Mr. Darcy before reading this one.

WHAT I LOVED:

  • A Well-Balanced Romantic Comedy: Even though this book touches on some serious subjects and our heroine experiences a very sad loss, the overall tone is lighthearted. I appreciated how the sad parts were handled sensitively and sympathetically. And to help the reader get through any sadness and angst there are plenty of hysterical, playful, and sweet moments for the reader to enjoy.
  • An Endearing Heroine: Elizabeth Barker is such a likable and sweet a character, she reminds me of a cross between Catherine Moreland, Jane Bennet, and Bridget Jones with her naiveté, readiness to think the best of everyone, and hilarious mix-ups (lol! the fancy-dress party!) Elizabeth faces some challenges in this story, mot to mention experiencing some significant life changes in quick succession… I so wanted to be Elizabeth’s best friend; I wanted to help her through all she is going through!
  • Nerdy and Adorkable!: Between Elizabeth’s passion for Pride and Prejudice, Charlie’s James Bond persona, and Millie’s hardcore Harry Potter obsession (this was the literal best!) there is plenty of love for geeking out over fandoms in this story! It was so fun to see these characters celebrate the things they love and to spot references to books and movies – I especially loved the wet-shirt scene and Wonder Woman bits!
  • Charlie and Millie: As mentioned earlier I love Elizabeth, but I also loved these other characters as well. Charlie is amiable, adorable, fun-loving, and I love all that he does to make Elizabeth happy *swoon!* I also adored Elizabeth’s new roommate, Millie, with her geekiness and strong and unapologetic personality. I especially loved her fierce protectiveness of Elizabeth, what a great friend!

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • I Really Did Want to Shake Them: We’ve all experienced this feeling before, and I don’t mind feeling it – it means we are emotionally wrapped-up in the story! Although in this story I felt this feeling with several characters, several times. (SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!) I wanted to shake Elizabeth for her lack of curiosity and action – she never questions Charlie about his past when she definitely should, and I didn’t really understand why she didn’t reach out to him in the end…Gah! How could you wait? I also wanted to shake Charlie for his secret keeping (sorry, dude, not cool at all, I don’t care if she asked you to do it…they were becoming friends…that’s a big no-no!). And lastly, I wanted to shake Jane for being so oblivious – what kind of sister doesn’t notice when someone is verbally attacking and hurting someone you love?! Where is your empathy and sisterly-protection? I know most of these can be easily explained away, but at the same time, it did make these characters feel a little less perceptive and more passive.

CONCLUSION:

While it may not have as many Pride and Prejudice ties as its predecessor, this tale is full of delightful originality, endearing characters, and enthralling developments. If you are like me, and have some fondness for Mr. Bingley, you should definitely check this series out!!

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  9 Responses to “Becoming Mr. Bingley – Samantha Whitman”

  1.  

    I enjoyed the first book and am looking forward to reading this sequel. Thanks for sharing.

  2.  

    Great review. I have not heard of this book or author. I just purchased the first book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3.  

    Ah yes, you remind me that I need to get busy and read the first one. Glad this follow up was a fun one.

  4.  

    I put both books on my ‘to read’ list. I just finished a contemporary P&P a couple days ago, and you know me, ‘Miss drag her kicking and screaming to read a modern’ so I’m not really ready for another one yet. But the premise sounds interesting. Is the ‘sad part’ really sad, or is it more angst? And you don’t mention this with your reviews, not that you need to, but does this one have a lot of *&%$# language. The one I just read did, and although the story was good, that really pulled me out of the story. (So hypocritical since I use that language myself sometimes, but coming out of Lizzy’s mouth? uh-uh.) Samantha Whitman is a new author to me and I wish her all the best. Very balanced review, Meredith. Thanks as always.

    •  

      I’m so proud of you for reading a modern – which one was it if I may ask? The sad part is a sad event…but it isn’t dwelled on too heavily and it isn’t too angsty. In answer to your question I think there was just some mild use of profanity, nothing too explicit.

      Thanks so much for checking out my review, my friend!

      •  

        The contemporary I recently read was ‘President Darcy’ by Victoria Kincaid…love her writing. Thanks for the info on the mild use of profanity.

        I believe some discussion was had in replies to a review, or perhaps one of your lists in years past regarding the use of profanity and meanness or snarkiness of modern JAFF. I again confess to hypocracy here because I’m not as pure as the driven snow where language is concerned (not in public though.) However I would kind of wince when I would read such language in this setting. I was just thinking ‘what a mouth she has on her.’ colloquialism I still loved the story.

        I guess in my mind that the Elizabeth Darcy in Regency England with her wit, education and intelligence, sparkling personality, ability to endure and laugh at ridiculousness….just doesn’t quite translate to modern times to snarkiness and potty mouth. How hopeless am I, Meredith??? I still find Samantha Whitman’s stories interesting and I’m looking forward to reading them.

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