Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

( 38 )

Overview

There's no place for pride in this Austen misadventure.

Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year- old divorced mother, she runs her own antique letterpress business, is a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society, and gushes over everything Regency. But her business is failing, threatening her daughter's future. What's a lady to do?

Why, audition for a Jane Austen-inspired TV show set ...

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Overview

There's no place for pride in this Austen misadventure.

Chloe Parker was born two centuries too late. A thirty-nine-year- old divorced mother, she runs her own antique letterpress business, is a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society, and gushes over everything Regency. But her business is failing, threatening her daughter's future. What's a lady to do?

Why, audition for a Jane Austen-inspired TV show set in England, of course.

What Chloe thinks is a documentary turns out to be a reality dating show set in 1812. Eight women are competing to snare Mr. Wrightman, the heir to a gorgeous estate, along with a $100,000 prize. So Chloe tosses her bonnet into the ring, hoping to transform from stressed-out Midwest mom to genteel American heiress and win the money. With no cell phones, indoor plumbing, or deodorant to be found, she must tighten her corset and flash some ankle to beat out women younger, more cutthroat, and less clumsy than herself. But the witty and dashing Mr. Wrightman proves to be a prize worth winning, even if it means the gloves are off...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Doornebos gives the historical romance novel a hilarious update in this delightful debut. When 39-year-old single mom Chloe Parker agrees to participate in a bachelor reality show set in Regency England—forsaking technology, plumbing, and condoms—she envisions glamour, smoldering men in skintight breeches, and the prize of ,000 should the dashing Mr. Sebastian Wrightman propose. But Chloe's transition to early 19th–century England is fraught with mistakes and worry once she realizes that her sewing, dancing, archery, and fan etiquette are simply not up to par. As the competition intensifies, Chloe must withstand fellow competitor Lady Grace's schemes to embarrass and oust her, while simultaneously managing her lustful feelings for Sebastian and her increasing affection for his intelligent, penniless younger brother, Henry. The amusing secondary characters, sidesplitting faux pas, and fiery romance will make Doornebos an instant hit with readers. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425243824
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 693,156
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Doornebos is an English Literature graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She lives in Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Don't miss this fun book!

    I was fortunate to receive an ARC of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy and didn't want to put the book down. Thirty-nine-year-old Chloe Parker is a divorced mother from Chicago who thinks she's auditioning for a Jane Austen historical-recreation TV show and finds herself instead in a Regency-era version of The Bachelor. It's a great premise that more than pays off in this debut novel. Chloe finds herself in over her head more than once and discovers that living in the past isn't all she expected. I enjoyed this book even more than I thought I would. It's funny, insightful, and ultimately very satisfying.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    No

    I hated this book, for starters Chloe got on my ever-lovih nerves! She wanted to be in Regency times no she NEEDED her cellphone, she loved Sebastian no she loves Henry, she really needed to win no she can' t live without deoderant.....Ugggh! For a woman who was well over 20 years old she was just stupid! And by the way the author spent waaaay too much time on the details of every little thing, do I really need to know how the candles melt in Bridesbridge? Please people don't buy this book, I borrowed it from the library and wish I could get my money back!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Poorly written and disjointed

    This was such a difficult book to read because it was so poorly written. Terrible grammar, awkward phrases, and abrupt plot changes. The ending seemed completely tacked on and was completely unsatisfying. I'm actually deleting it from my Nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    A MUST read!!

    Hilarious!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2014

    This book is almost a complete copy of Austenland by Shannon Hal

    This book is almost a complete copy of Austenland by Shannon Hale, except the plot involves a contest and not a vacation. The text is disjointed and awkward. The characters are one-dimensional and the action is unbelievable. This book is too silly for words.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Definitely Not Mr. Darcy mixes modern life and the Regency throu

    Definitely Not Mr. Darcy mixes modern life and the Regency through the creation of a reality show styled after The Bachelor. Contestants immerse themselves in the time of Jane Austen's writing with the promise of money and maybe even a fiance if they win the rich British bachelor's affection. In order to win time with the eligible bachelor and his brother, the girls must complete everyday tasks of the eighteenth-century woman. The conflict happens when the protagonist begins to have feelings for the bachelor's brother, as well as the bachelor.

    Chloe, the protagonist, comes across as very real. She is a middle-aged divorcee whose friend and daughter encourage her to enter the contest without telling her it's a dating show. She stays after realizing on the show because she desperately needs the prize money to keep her paper shop afloat and retain custody of her daughter. Even though she's an aficionado of all things Austen, Chloe struggles with living in the Regency era with many endearing blunders.

    Doornebos is very devoted to including the facts of the Regency era, bringing a dose of reality to readers who romanticize this time period. As an Austen-obsessed girl, I loved the little references to her novels that Doornebos slips in throughout the book and the hilarity of making the Regency courting traditions into a show.

    Definitely Not Mr. Darcy was entertaining to read, often causing me to laugh out loud or smile at its cuteness. I highly recommend this book to any Austen/Regency lovers who are looking for a quick read. I'm really looking forward to Doornebos's next book, Undressing Mr. Darcy next month.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    I want a sequel. I want to know that they made it off camera.

    I want a sequel. I want to know that they made it off camera. No Bachelor endings here. LOL Pieces of this novel reminded me why I DON'T watch reality shows...catty much? Sheesh. But it was a great read. My only let down was that it ended before I was ready for it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The premise was enterta

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The premise was entertaining (and not at all unlikely) and the characters were funny. The book offers a lot of interesting historical facts about the Regency Era throughout, and Doornebos does a nice job of using these facts to point out how easy it is for the modern reader to romanticize Austen's England. Like Chloe, the idea of a Austen-themed dating show might seem ridiculous to the reader, but Chloe's likeable character and the author's attention to detail make it very easy to get sucked into the plot. Doornebos's fresh and amusing spin on Austen makes for a fun and interesting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Loved it

    A must read if you're an austin fan

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!

    If you love romance and Jane Austen...then you have to read this. I couldn't put it down. It's funny, addicting and I loved Chloe! Could anyone as a Jane Austen fan really go back in time and live in 1812? Chloe does her best and takes us along for the ride. I seriously hope that Miss Doornebos continues the story with a follow up book. And this would make a cute movie....Austen meets The Bachelor! If there is ever a show like this....SIGN ME UP! I want my own Henry! :)
    I can't recommend this book enough!

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Humorous read reminding us that we over romanticize Regency England

    What better way to honor Jane Austen’s 236th birthday, then with a review of a contemporary version of Pride and Prejudice? Karen Doornebos’s Definitely Not Mr. Darcy is just this novel, complete with rakish gentleman, misconstrued personalities, mistaken identities, and a good dose of scandal!

    Chloe Parker is in a slump. She’s quite close to 40, divorced, and her antique letterpress business, which she started and runs herself, is failing. Fearing that this loss will make the financial future for her and her daughter too unbearable, she must do something quickly to right their financial ship and save them. Relying on her love for all things Jane Austen, Chloe decides to sign up for a Jane Austen inspired reality show set in England, for which she will be paid and have the chance to win a grand prize. She’s in for a shock, however, when she discovers that what she thought was an innocuous documentary-style show is actually a dating contest set in 1812 a la The Bachelor style format. The man of the hour is a Mr. Wrightman, and she must battle eight other women for his hand. Upon arrival she finds 2 Mr. Wrightman’s and realizes quickly that she is falling for the wrong one. Will she be able to win despite the numerous setbacks against her? Will following her heart lead her down the wrong road?

    If Doornebos’s debut novel is any indication of what she’s capable of as a writer, then we’re in for following her long career. She creates characters that you can relate to. Chloe is the epitome of an Austen fan. She’s in love with Regency England, wishes (like most of the rest of us) that we could step back into that time of gentlemanly manners and courting. While most of us would love to take a trip back in time, Doornebos does a god job at reminding us of how wonderful technology and progress is. With the talk of chamber pots, chaperones, and the low social standing of women, Doornebos reminds us of how romanticized the period is.

    While the ending of the novel isn’t really a surprise, the steps to conclude the story were as gratifying as I thought they would be. The ending lived up to my expectations. I’m excited to see what Doornebos comes up with in the future. Regardless if she writes Jane Austen fan fiction or not, I think we’ll be intrigued by her stories and her funny and snarky characters. If you’re looking for a fresh, contemporary take on the “Austen” genre, then look no further than Karen Doornebos.

    Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Loved it!

    Let me just say this... three cheers for Henry! Im assuming research went in to make things as accurate as possible andnif so, yikes! It was a great read though and the reality show angle workes so well... i would so watch a show like this in real life!

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    A really fun read!

    When I read a book like this I want to be swept away: and swept away I was. Chloe is an 'everywoman' protagonist whose motives you can really relate to. I became so immersed in her character that I found myself rooting for whichever man she favored at the time; be it the rakish George, the unbearably sexy Sebastian, or the sweet, sensitive Henry. Throughout the book I didn't know which of them I loved, until Chloe did.

    The regency rituals Chloe and the girls must go through provide a whole new side to the supposed glamour or wonder associated with life in the period. From bathing to ball gowns, there is something visceral in what Chloe must endure for historical accuracy. But while the story portrays much of the more 'uncomfortable' side of regency life, it never loses its deference for the period, and while she finds it as difficult to cope as you would expect, nor does Chloe.

    I particularly loved the book's ending; it gives you the strong possibility of a 'happy-ever-after' for Chloe, but never relies on it for the story. The optimist and romantic in me assumes everything works out, but it is lovely that the book anchors itself in the modern world by keeping the final resolution from being too clean cut.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great Book

    A Little wordy, but great debut!

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    A great romance novel- with only a bit of bodice ripping...

    ** spoiler alert ** OMG- this book was amazing. I love romance novels and this one was wonderful. I would love to see a sequel to this- showing how things went after the email. I read some reviews where people said that the social media references were wrong- maybe I have a newer edition- it is the ebook- but mine said tweeting like it should have. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance novels- and a great- probably happy ending. Now I, unlike some other readers, did not see the twist at the end coming- it was a great twist. I always like Henry more- glad Chloe did too!

    PS- the author is super nice- I wrote to her to tell her that the book was AMAZING- and she wrote me back- personally- within a 1/2 hr- and it was 9:00 at night on a weekday. It is nice to see a writer that is good to her fans! I will most definitely buy her next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    Must read!!!

    I loved this book!!!! I hope Karen Doornebos writes a sequel to this book!!!

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Not quite what I expected

    This story had an interesting plot; the idea of this story drew me in. It was fascinating to learn about all the 19th century customs as I read. I hope it was historically accurate, but regardless, it was interesting. The one thing about the book that was disappointing was the ending. It was rather abrupt; maybe not quite the romantic happily-ever-after I was expecting. Nevertheless, it was a pretty good read overall.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Tedious, embarrassed that I paid for it.

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted September 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book made me LOL

    Definitely Not Mr Darcy by Karen Doornebos is a fun book to read. It's a cross between The Bachelor and a Jane Austen novel. I absolutely adored this novel from beginning to end. It's enchanting, humorous, delightful book that I couldn't get enough of.


    Chloe Parker is a single mom who thinks she's going to be a part of a documentary but instead ends up on a reality show set in regency times. The producers of the show want it to be as authentic as possible so the contestants can't bring any modern day convenience. It's so authentic that the contestants have to use chamber pots instead of a toilet. Chloe, although apprehensive, agrees to be on the show. She needs the money to help her antique letterpress business from going under. The contestants are competing for $100,000 and the heart of Mr. Wrightman.


    I really liked Chloe's character. She had real motivation to stay in this competition. I laughed out loud at her reactions to some of the situations she was put into. The characters had to win challenges such as trimming a bonnet and making ink to spend time with 'the bachelor'. Chloe finds herself drawn to Mr. Wrightman's brother, Henry. Henry is the younger brother, a doctor, and is helping Sebastian choose his future wife. This book has a plethora of interesting and stereotypical characters that worked perfectly.


    The story line in this book is great. It's a bit predictable but a joy to read. It has some really great moments and a few spicy scenes (you know, for regency times). I would never want to compete in a regency dating show but I would definitely watch it if it was on television. This is a wonderful book to read and I would undoubtedly recommend this to all my Austen loving friends.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Definitely a terrific read!

    I was so happy to receive an ARC of this book to read. I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and the regency period so I was thrilled to begin reading. Chloe is a terrific heroine...she is flawed and imperfect and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. She is not model perfect in any way (which makes her a perfect character for me). The author obviously spent a lot of time researching the Regency period because thee was no detail missed in the descriptions. I liked the characters; I liked the surprises and I liked the twists and turns. I was so sorry to see it end; I was anxious to finish it, but wished I could have read more. I look foward to reading more from this author Is it wrong to hope we'll see a Regency-era reality show in the future? Someone should send a copy to Mark Burnett.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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