REVIEW: The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman

The Marrying Type Book Cover The Marrying Type
Laura Chapman
Chick Lit
322

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

My test of whether an e-book I read is truly good or not is whether or not I pop over to Book Depository and put it on my (rather long) wishlist, so that I can add a hard copy to my library. Guess what? I just added The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman to my wishlist.

Straight off the bat, I loved Elliot, the main character. She sees a problem and sets her mind to fixing it, showing a strength of character that I really appreciated. My heart ached for her losses and the crap her family pulls on her, and sang when things went her way.

As much as I loved Elliot, she was by no means the only great character in this book. Handsome, philanthropic, successful and kind Eric was a dream (it’s so unfortunate that fictional men aren’t on the market in reality), crazy Heloise would remind any girl of someone she knows, and beautiful bride-to-be Sadie was a darling, and gay bestie Smyth was a hoot. With such a great cast of characters, it would’ve been hard for Chapman to go wrong.

Luckily, the plot was also strong. Not everything was about romance romance romance. Elliot was a business woman, and it was interesting to read about how she pulled weddings together. Plus, the added element of being on a reality TV show at the same time gave another dimension and was quite interesting.

This book was hard to put down, and left me with a smile on my face – albeit a little sad that I don’t have an Eric of my own to live happily ever after with! I’d love to read more about what happens to these characters after this book ends (Laura, that’s a hint to write a sequel!!), and definitely recommend this one to chick lit lovers everywhere.

Amazon

Keen for some goodies, and copies of Chapman’s other books? Click the link below for a giveaway!

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I received a copy of The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman from the lovely Samantha at Chick Lit Plus, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

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REVIEW: The Boardwalk Antiques Shop – a novel in 3 parts

The Boardwalk Antiques Shop Book Cover The Boardwalk Antiques Shop
Tangerine Street
Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather B. Moore
Chick Lit
315

Welcome to Tangerine Street

Tangerine Street is a must-see tourist stop with a colourful mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques, unique restaurants, eclectic museums, quaint bookstores, and renowned bed-and-breakfasts. The Boardwalk Antiques Shop is an exclusive shop where every antique has a story, and each story possesses the gift to match true love. The customer who buys an antique also buys its story and soon discovers that its story unites the past with the present, creating an unexpected romantic future…

“Where Every Antique has a Story”

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Jennifer is newest owner of The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, inherited from her aunt. When Jennifer arrives in Seashell Beach, her first priority is to meet with a realtor to sell the place. She laughs out loud when she discovers the realtor’s name is Mr. Studly. But the more Jennifer gets to know Paul Studly, the more she finds reasons to stay and run the antiques shop herself.

SOLVING FOR X: Abbie is only a little bit obsessed with antiques, okay, a lot. So when Holden, an out-of-town business executive, tries to purchase the tin soldiers that Abbie’s had her eye on, Abbie refuses to back down. The antiques shop owner issues a challenge: whoever comes up with the best story for wanting the soldiers, will become the new owner. Abbie isn’t about to let some fancy executive beat her out, no matter how charming he is.

A STITCH IN TIME: When Cate learns that antiques dealer Henry Lancaster has purchased the sewing machine left to her by her grandmother, Cate is determined to get it back. What she isn’t counting on is that Henry has just as much claim as Cate. And it doesn’t help that Henry is good-looking and apparently single. Getting to know Henry becomes an unexpected surprise, sending her life into a sudden detour.

The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather B. Moore, was written in a very unique format. It is made up of three short stories, set in a small town. Each story is written by a different writer, but each story overlaps, and has a connection with the Boardwalk Antique Shop.

I love books about women running creative small businesses, but I’m not always sold on short stories. So, I started this novel with mixed expectations. Pleasantly, I was surprised! Each short story had very different leading women, and I quickly got involved with their stories and decisions. While each story was short, they were self contained and loose ends were nicely tied up. Of course, there’s an element of suspended reality when a couple can meet and fall in love within a hundred pages, but that was helped by the fact that the stories took place over the span of months, not days. We might just have read a snipped of their story, but in their timeline there was more than a few days between first-sigh and love.

Although each story was written by a different writer, their styles were very similar and they flowed together nicely. That said, the main characters were all very unique, which meant that the stories were set apart from one another. In fact, the stories were interesting enough that I would have liked to seem them expanded into full length stories, particularly the story of Jennifer taking over her Aunt’s antiques shop.

For lovers of chick lit and happy endings, I would recommend stepping into the world of Seashell Beach. The Boardwalk Antiques Shop was the centre-point for this novel, but there is another book in the series, featuring the Fortune Cafe, with the same three-part format, aptly named The Fortune Cafe. I’ve already downloaded it, and am looking forward to reading about more of the characters in Seashell Beach!

Amazon

I received a copy of The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather B. Moore from Inspired Kathy of Book Blasts and Blog Tours, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

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REVIEW: All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes Book Cover All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
Betsy St. Amant
Chick Lit
320

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself her is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

Have you ever seen Cupcake Wars? Loved it? Then this sweet as pie Southern baking adventure will be right up your alley! Basically, this is the story of that baking competition (with a different name…), from the point of view of a contestant.

Kat Varland is a creative baker trapped in a traditional bakery. Her best friend, Lucas, enters her in the bake-off to boost her confidence, and win her love (which, unbeknownst to him, he already has!). However, he didn’t read the fine print – if she wins, she’ll be moving across the country. Without him.

Written from both Kat and Lucas’ points of view, the book is slightly frustrating in that the reader immediately knows that the characters are in love with one another, but the characters themselves are a little slow figuring that out.

That said, the characters are interesting and well-written, and I always like chick lit that explores the narrative from the man’s point of view. The supporting cast could have been more developed, because I actually really liked them and felt they could have been even more involved.

The competition was well described – having watched the TV show (which is never directly referenced as inspiration… but it clearly was), I knew the set up and appreciated reading about how everything unfolded! Plus, cupcakes are my weakness, and there were lots of tantalising cupcakes being baked and eaten throughout!

Definitely another good chick lit read – I’ve been on a roll recently! FYI, this is another ‘clean’ book. Nothing full frontal here! Worth a read, especially for the budding bakers out there.

Book Depository | Amazon

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REVIEW: Under a Georgia Moon by Cindy Roland Anderson

Under a Georgia Moon Book Cover Under a Georgia Moon
Cindy Roland Anderson
Chick Lit
266

Addie Heywood thought she was doing okay after her fiancé dumped her just weeks before their wedding, claiming he’d found someone else more compatible with his health food tastes. But when he marries the other woman three months later, Addie needs to get away. Leaving her home in Idaho, she escapes to Mitchel Creek, Georgia to visit her Aunt Janie. She just wants to spend the next two weeks enjoying her aunt’s southern cooking, not dodging the guys her aunt is determined to set her up with.

Chase Nichols isn’t looking for love. His dream is to trade his computer mouse for his guitar and make it big in the country music world. If he can land a job in Nashville, he might have a shot at getting discovered. His plans get derailed when he does his neighbor a favor and picks up her niece, Addie, at the airport. Things get even more complicated when his ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture. That’s when he hatches a new plan. Since Addie wants to avoid her aunt’s matchmaking schemes, and he wants to avoid his ex-girlfriend, they’ll fool the world by pretending to date. What neither of them counts on is actually falling in love.

This book was a charming ‘clean’* Southern romance, and I really enjoyed it. The story was simple, and somewhat predictable, but it was a great afternoon chick lit read! Main character Addie was sweet and spunky – I was rooting for her. It was also interesting to read the story from Chase’s perspective as we went along; I suppose it’s not often that you read about Southern courtship from the perspective of a restrained Christian male.

Although it was fairly obvious that Addie and Chase were going to become an ‘item’, that didn’t bother me at all. Let’s be honest, most Chick Lit has an easy-to-spot romance appear in the first chapter or so! When you pick one up, you’re hardly expecting to be surprised by it. Really, it’s all about how the romance UNRAVELS! And this romance is particularly sweet, which seems to be the Southern way.

I liked all of the characters, particularly Aunt Janie and her baked goodies, although there wasn’t a huge focus on anyone other than Addie and Chase. I also liked how gentlemanly Chase was – he was kind-hearted, thoughtful AND cute! It was a nice change of pace from an arrogant or rude male lead, who needs to be ‘changed’. Chase was great as he was, and the focus stayed on their struggle to fit relationships in with their career dreams.

Both Addie and Chase were reluctant to give up their dreams to pursue a romance, and it was interesting to see how they worked through their priorities. I felt it was a realistic dilemma (even if their solution may have  been an uncommon one!).

Overall, for a quick, feel-good romance, I’d definitely recommend this book. It may not have been ground-breaking, but when I put it down I was more than satisfied, and it stuck in my head for several days. There was even a little mystery and danger thrown in! What more could I ask for?!

Amazon

* Stay tuned for my thoughts on ‘clean’ romances, and why I’m using inverted commas, later this week.

I received a copy of Under a Georgia Moon by Cindy Roland Anderson from Kathy at Book Blasts and Blog Tours in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

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REVIEW: The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon

The Tea Chest Book Cover The Tea Chest
Josephine Moon
Chick Lit
368

Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.

Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again.

When the three women's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision for London's branch of The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other.

With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what's important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?

An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it's a world you won't want to leave.

I absolutely devoured The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon. Of all the chick lit in the world, I love the stories where people build something out of nothing (think following a cupcake dream, opening a vintage store, creating a dream…). This book was just right!

First, the characters were great. Particularly Kate, completely out of her depth while taking over the business after the death of her partner, was well-written. I really felt her dilemma; she was used to being the artist, not a boss, and everything was a little overwhelming! With Kate as the Leading Lady, I felt like the other ladies were a perfect complement to her personality – Leila was business like and optimistic, while Elizabeth was no-nonsense and ready for a change. Together, they counter-balanced Kate’s dreaminess and her fears of failure.

This book wasn’t about romance (of course, there was a teeny bit included for good measure), instead focusing more on these women’s business journey and their personal development throughout. Kate, Leila and Elizabeth grew in confidence and it was a very uplifting read.

I also loved all of the tea-talk. As a tea lover myself, I loved the descriptions about how Kate created and blended new flavours of tea, and sourced the products for her new store. It was really interesting, and beautifully written.

Plus, the fact that the book was split between Australia (woo for home!) and London (who doesn’t love London!?) was an added bonus. Not only do I love a glimpse of home when I’m reading, but the contrast between laid-back Brisbane and high-street London made for a great story.

I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of The Tea Chest. Perhaps save it for a rainy day, brew a cup of fragrant tea, and put aside an afternoon – I guarantee you won’t want to put this one down!

Book Depository

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Review: The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley

The Divorce Diet Book Cover The Divorce Diet
Ellen Hawley
Chick Lit
241

Abigail loves her baby Rosie, her husband Thad, and food. She takes great joy and comfort in concocting culinary delights to show the depth of her love and commitment to her family. Imagine her surprise when Thad announces, this whole marriage thing just doesn't work for me. Abigail can't believe he really means what he's said, but he does. Abigail and Rosie move back in to her parents' house, where she regresses into her adolescent self. She diets, finds work, and begins to discover the life she really wants, and a man who really wants her.

I received a copy of The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley from the lovely Lisa at TLC Book Tours, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Abigail is on a diet. And then her life falls apart. Coincidence? I think not! Diets never end well…

Ok, perhaps it wasn’t the diet that caused all of her problems… Abigail’s asshole husband, Thad (her words, not mine!), played a large part in the demise of her upper-middle-class dream world, when he decided that marriage wasn’t for him. It would seem that he preferred the carefree flings of a single man, above the responsibilities of a husband and a new father. So, Abigail finds herself living with her parents and lying on job applications to hide her serious lack of any job experience. A lover of food, caught in the struggle between enjoying her passion and living the ‘natural’ diet life that her weight loss book insists will change her life, Abigail fights the good fight – but ends up where most of us do, sneaking chocolate cake out of the laundry hamper.

This book follows Abigail as she tries to rebuild her life, and discover who she really is and wants to be. At the beginning of the book, all she really knows is that her beautiful daughter Rosie is the centre of her universe. Throughout, she talks to the guru from her diet book, who insists that her life will be perfect if only she can follow the books advice.

As someone who has been on a perpetual diet since age seventeen, coupled with appetite suppressants, gym regimens and metabolism boosters (thanks PCOS, you’re not making it easy for me!), I know all too well the voice of the diet guru. It’s the voice in my head that tells me that I shouldn’t be buttering my bread – or eating bread at all. It’s the voice that says I don’t need a sugar in my bitter coffee, and reminds me not to eat grapes, because they used to fatten up my great-grandmother every summer. It’s also a voice that I regularly ignore, against my better judgement, which comes with a sharp reprimand from the guru and a side of guilt. Every time Abigail laments the use of fake butter, questions the validity of refried beans, and scoffs at the notion of a healthy ‘beanadilla’ for lunch, I understood her perfectly.

As well as empathising with her battle with the diet guru (and inevitable realisation that she’s better off loving herself for who she is), I was rooting for Abigail to overcome her lack of confidence and figure out how to turn her talents and passions into a career. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for, really?

It took a little while to get used to the somewhat fragmented style of writing, as Abigail banters with the voice in her head, but it was so relatable that I overcame the initial clunkiness to realise that the writing style closely resembled my own thinking – and that of women all over the world, I’m sure. It was the overall message of the book that really appealed to me. That diets (even when lauded as a ‘lifestyle’, not a diet) aren’t sustainable – or fun, that women need to love themselves as they are, that everyone else should love them as they are too – and that if they don’t, they’re not worth having around. This is the eternal struggle of my life. I liked the kinship I felt for Abigail, and it positively impacted how I saw the book. Perhaps if you’ve never felt the need to diet, or never dated/married a scumbag, you may not enjoy it as much as I did, but I definitely recommend it!

Amazon | Book Depository

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Review: The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman

The Reluctant Elf Book Cover The Reluctant Elf
Michele Gorman
Chick Lit
129

Meet Britain's Worst Innkeeper

Single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie, has five days to become the ultimate B&B hostess to save her beloved Aunt Kate’s livelihood.

When Aunt Kate ends up in the hospital, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter are called to rural Wales to stand in at the B&B. Without the faintest idea how to run a hotel (she can barely run her own life), Lottie must impress the picky hotel reviewer and his dysfunctional family who are coming to stay over Christmas. Without the rating only he can bestow, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.

But will Danny, the local taxi driver who she hires to help her, really be Santa’s little helper, or the Grinch who stole Christmas?

I received a copy of The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

I love a little bit of Christmas reading to imbue me with the holiday spirit! In fact, I think I like the lead up to Christmas day, filled with pretty decorations, good will, and holiday traditions, better than Christmas Day itself! Gorman sent me a copy of her latest short story, and it was super quaint – a great holiday read, and in a perfect, one-sitting size!

When Lottie’s beloved Aunt ends up in a coma just before Christmas, Lottie is left to rescue her dilapidated bed and breakfast from foreclosure. With just a few days, no helpers, and no DIY expertise, Lottie is in a Christmas pickle. Luckily, she and her daughter manage to enlist the help of their taxi driver, and together they plug holes in plaster with toothpaste, improvise a Victorian era Christmas, and manage to please their important guests – thus saving Christmas! There’s an added little sprinkle of romance, for good measure.

This brief story was vert well executed. Sometimes short stories don’t have enough time to satisfy my curiosity. Gorman, however, managed to give the main character enough backstory to make her actions more understandable, and successfully began and wound up the entire story, with no loose ends. There was humour and love, the most important elements in a happy Christmas season. It definitely fulfilled my desire for a little Christmas cheer in word-form!

I’ve still got a few more Christmas reads I’d like to get to; such as It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley, Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson, and The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown. I’ll let you know if they’re good! Otherwise, if you need a recommendation RIGHT NOW to kick of your Christmas, check out my review of the Merry and Bright Christmas Anthology.

Amazon | Book Depository

Christmas Books 2015

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REVIEW: Pink Prosecco by Traci Andrighetti

Prosecco Pink Book Cover Prosecco Pink
A Franki Amato Mystery
Traci Andrighetti
Mystery
274

For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home.

Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears.

I received a copy of Pink Prosecco by Traci Andrighetti in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

When a book begins with a woman stalking her boyfriend and displaying some serious jealousy, you never know how it will turn out. Luckily, the second instalment of the Franki Amato Mystery series quickly threw in a cast of quirky characters and an unusual mystery, the likes of which led me to like the first book in this series so much. I reviewed Limoncello Yellow earlier this year, and enjoyed the unlikely mystery, so was pleased when the second book came out – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Private Investigator Franki’s jealousy turns out to be well founded, as her boyfriend’s new secretary isn’t what she seems to be. But Franki can’t focus on unveiling this woman’s true colours, because she has several other mysteries on the go – involving historic plantations, a moon-loving medium, poisonous plants, and a best friend (and boss) who is definitely keeping a secret. I like they layers of mysteries in this book; they add intrigue, and keep the story moving quickly.

I felt the first book in the series was a little better at giving life to Franki’s best friend, ex-stripper land lady, and unusual co-workers. While Prosecco Pink did bring to life some unususal characters, and did a great job at describing the weird and wonderful New Orleans, I did miss the detail in some of the main characters.

That said, the unexpected mystery kept me guessing until the end, and the underlying mysteries had me hooked too – and that’s really what you want in a mystery novel! Definitely check it out if you prefer your chick lit with a side of crime, or your mysteries with a hint of girl power!!

Amazon

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REVIEW: The Beauty of a Second Chance by Lori Jones

The Beauty of a Second Chance Book Cover The Beauty of a Second Chance
Lori Jones
Chick Lit
366

Sixteen years after their European adventure, ex-fashion models Star, Joanne and Casey reunite over lunch and realize they have a lot to talk about.

On Star’s wedding day, her mother-in-law drops a bomb that threatens her marriage and future security. Joanne becomes a reluctant volunteer out to protect a park against development while hesitant to lower her guard for love. Casey struggles to find a job while trying to be her daughter’s friend instead of enemy, and wonders how she can get her son’s Little League coach to play fair.

Now, older and wiser, will these three women use this second chance at friendship to help one another find success and happiness.

I received a copy of The Beauty of a Second Chance by Lori Jones from the author herself, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

Star, Casey and Joanne are three grown women who have been a little beaten down by life; be it vengeful mothers-in-law, piggish baseball coaches, or smarmy politicians. When these three ladies cross paths after years without seeing one another, their days of modelling in Italy seem very far away. However, they soon pick up where they left off, and together they face their battles and come out stronger on the other side.

Individually, I really liked the characters and their stories. I felt they were very relatable, particularly Casey’s. I think I understood her the most; difficult teenager, a run of bad luck, not enough money, and some dreadful men in positions of power… all things I could understand. I felt each woman’s story started from a place that didn’t leave me hanging if I hadn’t read the first book (Growing Up Beautiful, about the girls when they met in Italy, during their modelling careers), and came to a satisfying conclusion.

I did feel, however, that their stories could have overlapped a little more. Jones didn’t go into much detail about exactly how they rekindled their friendship; they sort of just bumped into each other one day, and were besties again the next. They also only occasionally turned up in each others stories, to add a line or two of advice. It didn’t kill the book, but I would have loved a little more detail there, to add some more depth!

Overall, I’d say this would be a great beach read. It was definitely good to see some happy endings for these down-trodden ladies!! Even though it made total sense as a stand alone, I’d like to read the first book too, just to see what the ladies were like as teenagers!

Amazon 

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REVIEW: My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

My Own Mr Darcy Book Cover My Own Mr Darcy
Karey White
Chick Lit, Young Adult
289

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth's life changes when Matthew Macfadyen's Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love.

During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren't Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she's dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she's forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

I received a copy of My Own Mr Darcy by Karey White in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

I’ll be honest, I initially had mixed feelings about this book. It’s premise was that protagonist Elizabeth fell for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy on the big screen – and then refused to settle for anything less than a carbon copy in real life. I know that everyone loves the dashing Darcy (I prefer the Colin Firth version myself), but there’s a difference between wanting someone who ardently admires you, and refusing to entertain the idea of anyone who isn’t tall, dark, and brooding.

If the intention of the book was to illustrate that what you think you want isn’t aways when you need, then I can understand it a little better… I grew up thinking I’d end up with a certain type of man, based on what my parents expected, what the movies showed me, and the men I’d been raised with. In reality, the guy I’ve ended up with is nothing like I expected, in great ways, but it still took some adjusting to! So, I guess I could emphasise with Elizabeth after all.

I was frustrated that Elizabeth would fall for a man based solely on the fact that he was tall, dark, and aloof. His physical and superficial similarities to Darcy seemed to blind her to the fact that he was actually snobby, condescending and, frankly, a bit of a douche! Meanwhile, even though her roommate forced her to go on ten dates with a guy, she dismissed him immediately because of his sandy-coloured hair and easy-going disposition – crazy!

As the book went on, and Elizabeth started to realise that maybe she had taken her Darcy-obsession to ridiculous heights, the story became much more enjoyable. As her design career and supportive relationship with Chad progressed, I started to root for her! I also enjoyed the role the secondary characters played; I was appropriately appalled by the bitchy ex, fell in love with the kind-hearted couple who gave Elizabeth her first job, and felt the energy of the indie bookstore (even if it was owned by the not-so Darcy love interest).

In the end, I did find myself enjoying the story, it just took awhile for Elizabeth to get me onside. For Pride and Prejudice lovers out there, particularly those who have an unhealthy obsession with finding their own Darcy/Macfadyen, this book could definitely be worth checking out!

Amazon | Book Depository

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