Title: Unleashing Mr. Darcy
Author: Teri WilsonISBN: 037377835X
Release Date: December 31st 2013
Book Source: NetGalley
One has to admit for a big Pride and Prejudice fan, this title would be mighty tempting. Which is obviously why I immediately requested the book the second I saw it. I really am a huge fan of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as well as most of the other retellings and interpretations of it. So with a title like this, in addition to the beautiful cover, I was definitely sold.
The problem is, I don't think this is one of those retellings.
Let's back up and Explain.
Elizabeth Scott is temporarily suspended from a job she really loved due to an issue with one of her students and his father. So as not to dwell on it, she accepts a job as a dog nanny to a British couple she met while showing her dog. There she gets reacquainted with Mr. Donovan Darcy a renown dog show judge and spend more time than she expected with the dashing Englishman. Then a mess of employment troubles, family, paparazzi and dog shows ensues.
Normally, just reading the above paragraph would imply a cute, simple, contemporary read. And frankly it really really could have been that. Okay it was still cute, I mean, there were puppies for God's sake, of course it was cute. However, what prevented me from actually liking it was, irony of all ironies, the Pride and Prejudice references. This book had only minor factors that relate it to the aforementioned book, and most of it was actual phrases quoted from the book. I winced every time I read those, I really did. It reached a point where every time I tried to enjoy the book and it would work for maybe a few pages, something happens that drags me back to disliking it. It wasn't an actual retelling of the story as it was picking some things that may have been a part of the book, and messing around with others so they're nothing like the book, and it just stopped being a fun simple read and became annoying.
There were a lot of things in the story that annoyed me. The most prominent one was the protagonist, Elizabeth Scott. She was very contradictory and annoying just for the sake of being annoying. I mean, I think she was meant to be portrayed as independent, and proud and that's why she hated rich people and valued her work ethics. But for me she just came out as an arrogant and flighty commitment-phobe. Another thing that annoyed me about her was her trip to England. I mean, I didn't buy how close she got with Sue even if she did spend the entire day at the show with her, hell I didn't get it when she was invited to her birthday party. But then to up and offer her a job in England, fly her there and Elizabeth not question it or give it some rational thought? She only saw Sue once or twice and she was accepting a job all across the world with her? I mean, I get that for the storyline to proceed she needed to go to England and oh-so-accidentally run into Donovan. But still, I think it could have been done in a more believable way. I also think none of the characters were well developed, none of them sounded real.
It was a very frustrating read for me. And very predictable, and overboard cheesy. I really didn't like it at all.