Title: Unleashing Mr Darcy
Author: Teri Wilson
Opening lines: ‘…It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband…’
UNLEASHING DARCY is an amusing modern day ‘Pride and Prejudice’ retelling set in the world of dog shows. As dog showing is a world I am familiar with and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a book that has been a long-time favourite of mine I could NOT miss out on reading it.
New Yorker, Elizabeth Scott, is not planning on walking down the aisle anytime soon despite the universal truth, in fact she’s not even looking as she is over men at the moment. Elizabeth teaches at an exclusive school and failed a student who deserved to fail. The student’s father first tries to reason with her, then to bribe her, then makes a pass at her and when Elizabeth refuses to comply he puts in a formal complaint about her saying she is trying to extort money out of him in exchange for a pass mark. She is stood down from her position as teacher while the matter is investigated. To cheer herself up Elizabeth takes her puppy to a dog show to get some pretty ribbons and ends up meeting a lovely English couple who ask her to fly over to London to care for, and show their dogs. She also meets Donovan Darcy a very snobbish Dog judge. Sparks fly between the two, and the misunderstandings start at almost the same time as the attraction. Darcy flies back to England and is stunned when he finds out that Elizabeth is now staying next door to him.
There are lots of parallels to Pride and Prejudice – the scene where Elizabeth and her sister see Donovan get out of the swimming pool – well *** fanning self *+* Colin Firth’s lake scene anyone? Elizabeth and Darcy are both Cavalier King Spaniel dog owners and passionate about the breed. Darcy breeds his own dogs and has a reputation for being one of the best breeders in England; while all Elizabeth wants is to win more pretty ribbons. It is soon clear that Darcy is infatuated with Elizabeth, but sadly this Elizabeth is harder to win over than Austin’s version. Her prejudice is reverse snobbery and refusal to listen to reason. I did get a bit cross with her for being so silly but luckily for her Donavon Darcy is so in love that all he wants to do is make Elizabeth happy, even if she continues to reject him. All the major ‘Pride and Prejudice’ characters are here, albeit with different names, but their roles and sub stories are pretty much similar to the 1813 version. Elizabeth’s sister Jenna (aka Jane), her romance with Henry (aka Charles Bingley) even the detestable Helena (Caroline Bingley) was there to help add to the big showdown in the Ballroom; and what a wonderful scene that was. The dog shows were a special moment of amusement for me – The witty repartee between Elizabeth as a competitor and Darcy as the judge were a joy to read, and it was a laugh out loud moment when Darcy started to quote the breed standard of the dog he was examining and made each of them sound like a sexual innuendo – wonderful piece of writing by someone who knows what breed standards are.
UNLEASHING DARCY is a romance so there is a Happy Ever After and a delightful one it is too. Overall it is a fun read, and even if you have never read Pride and Prejudice you would enjoy this sweet little story.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.
For more about the author – Click Here
With thanks to Harlequin (Australia) Mira and the author for my copy to read and review