Dreaming of Mr. Darcy

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy

by Victoria Connelly


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A Romance Worthy of Jane Austen Herself

Praise for A Weekend with Mr. Darcy:
"Sunshine on a rainy day. A charmingly written slice of warmhearted escapism." — Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of Roommates Wanted

"Lively, funny characters ... the romances of this novel brilliantly reveal one thing that Miss Austen always knew: true love is often a complicated, but beautiful, mess." — Luxury Reading

Fledging illustrator and Darcy fanatic Kay Ashton settles in the seaside town of Lyme to finish her book, The Illustrated Darcy, when a film company arrives to make a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Kay is soon falling for the handsome bad boy actor playing Captain Wentworth, but it's the quiet screenwriter Adam Craig who has more in common with her beloved Mr. Darcy. Though still healing from a broken heart, Adam finds himself unexpectedly in love with Kay. But it will take more than good intentions to convince her that her real happy ending is with him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402251351
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Victoria Connelly's first novel was promoted in Germany to celebrate World Book Day and was adapted into a TV movie. Her second was published as a lead title in the UK and chosen as a Closer magazine "hot pick." Her new trilogy features Jane Austen addicts. Connelly lives in London.

Read an Excerpt


Peggy Sullivan leant forward in an attempt to get the pillows behind her just right.

‘It's my eyes I miss the most,' she said to the young woman sitting by the side of the bed. ‘I wasn't too bothered when my legs went. I was too tired to walk around much anyways. I didn't even mind when my right ear went last month, but I do miss my eyes.'

The young woman leant forward and patted her hand.

‘It's so kind that you come and read to me, Kay,' Peggy said.

‘It's my pleasure.'

‘It can't be easy for you, my dear. Coming here, I mean.'

Kay looked at Peggy for a moment before answering. ‘It wasn't at first. I kept seeing Mum everywhere-sitting in the conservatory gazing out at the gardens or serving everyone tea in the sitting room.'

‘We all miss her so much. She always loved taking care of everybody-just like you do.'

Kay nodded. ‘She used to call me "Little Mother" when I was growing up.'

Peggy smiled, but then her expression changed to one of bemusement. ‘How you came to work at Barnum and Mason's, I'll never understand.'

‘It was the first job I was offered,' Kay said with a shrug. ‘I took it thinking I'd be there only a little while. I was hoping-'

‘Someone would discover your paintings,' Peggy interrupted.


‘They're taking their time, I must say.'

They were silent for a moment, and Kay looked out of Peggy's window. She was on the ground floor of The Pines and overlooked the communal garden, which was shivering under a layer of early snow. The poor Cyclamen were doing their best to survive, but one more fall of snow, and they'd be buried alive, Kay thought.

Buried. The word sent a shiver through her. It had been only a month since her mother had been buried in the local churchyard after a brief but devastating illness. She'd been sixty-seven-not old by today's standards-and Kay missed her more than she could say. Perhaps that was why she was spending time with Peggy. She'd met her whilst visiting her mother, and the two of them had clicked. Both had a profound love of the novels of Jane Austen, and when Kay had discovered that Peggy was blind-a fact that she'd kept marvellously hidden-Kay had offered to read to her.

Peggy never seemed to have any visitors, and Kay couldn't quite give up visiting The Pines.

‘I do wish I could see your paintings,' Peggy suddenly said.

‘I do too, Peggy.'

‘Tell me about your new ones.'

‘I've got only one new one. I'm afraid work's been a bit hectic, and-'

‘That ratbag Roger still working you late?'

Kay grinned.

‘I remember him when he was a lad. I knew his father. Lived in my road. Bullies-both of them. You mustn't let him push you around, Kay.'

‘I don't.'

Peggy nodded. ‘Because I'll have words with him, if he's bullying you. I've got one of them portable phone jobbies. It'll only take one call.'

‘It's all right. There's no need to call him.'

Peggy shifted forward, and Kay got up to rearrange her pillows.

‘So, tell me about your picture.'

Kay's eyes took on a wistful look as she thought about her latest painting.

‘You know the last chapter of Persuasion we read together? That moment when Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth see each other for the first time since he went away?'

‘I love that scene,' Peggy said, her face glowing with the pleasure of remembering it.

‘I chose that moment when Jane Austen writes "a thousand feelings rushed on Anne".'

‘Wonderful!' Peggy said with enthusiasm.

‘And "a bow, a curtsey passed".'

‘Yes, yes!' Peggy said. ‘I can see it now. All those pent-up emotions they still have for each other. Oh, I wish I could see it.'

‘I've always wanted to capture that moment when their eyes meet,' Kay said, tucking a strand of toffee-coloured hair behind her ear. ‘It's fleeting, yet so much happens in it.'

‘Which scene are you illustrating next?'

‘One of the Lyme Regis ones. I want to paint that wonderful seafront with the sweep of the Cobb. I only wish I could visit it.'

‘You've never been to Lyme?'

‘No,' Kay said, her eyes taking on a dreamy look again. ‘I've always imagined myself living by the sea one day, and I think Lyme would be just the place to be.'

‘Then what are you doing in landlocked Hertfordshire?' Peggy asked. ‘I mean now that you don't have any family ties.'

‘My job's here. My house is here.'

‘Oh, rot!' Peggy said. ‘I know it's a terrible cliché, but if you don't take charge of your life, nobody's going to do it for you. Think of Anne Elliot and all those years she wasted.'

‘But I've got a mortgage to pay. I'm kind of stuck here.'

Peggy's mouth narrowed. ‘I don't like to hear such excuses. If you want to live near the sea then you should. It's as simple as that.'

‘I wish it were,' Kay said. ‘I really wish it were.'

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Dreaming of Mr. Darcy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Dreaming of Mr. Darcy. Considering it was more about Captain Wentworth, including plenty of references to reading Persuasion, I felt like it should have been Captain Wentworth that we were dreaming about! That wouldn't have lost me for one second. When our heroine settled into Lyme and her new B&B, she didn't seem to be some lovelorn woman trying to shake off a dodgy past. Instead, Kay seemed to be a sweet girl who was living her dream to live on the sea coast. I really loved the premise behind Kay settling into Lyme and opening her B&B, only to have the newest film crew becoming her first customers. There is a fun, bumpy love story between Kay and the star playing Captain Wentworth, but a variety of other love interests for other characters are also running about. The biggest love triangle though becomes one that no one knows about other than Adam, who has fallen for Kay from first sight, but can see that she is falling for the big movie star. In short, he can see what's going on, but can't resist his love for Kay.If there was one wish I could have made for this fun, romantic sort of modernization, it would be a slower build up to the relationships. Call me a cynic, but I would have liked to see Adam come to realize his interest in Kay and not be smitten from the first moment. I think that would have helped me cheer him on a bit, rather than see him as a romantic sap. He was such a lovable character that I spent a good portion of the book feeling like our flighty heroine might not be good enough for him! In the end, it all works out and there are moments of delightful tension. Overall, I would say that it is the perfect night by the fire type of read and one that I'll be sharing with my girlfriends who love Austen-esque stories. Now, where can I get myself a good deal on a little place on the English coast? It sounds pretty promising.
RivkaBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review originally published on my blog: AWordsWorth.blogspot.comeARC provided by publisher for reviewSince she first met him, Kay Ashton has dreamed of Mr. Darcy. Actually, she loves all of Jane's heroes, but her special favorite is Mr. Darcy. Until the day she moves to Lyme-Regis, purchases Wentworth House and opens a bed & breakfast. Nestled in the heart of Jane-country, Kay finds herself unexpectedly housing the cast of a new film adaptation of Persuasion. Including the smashingly handsome Oli, playing Capt. Wentworth. Kay falls. Head-over-heels. The stuff dreams are made of, coming true before her very eyes. Or are they?Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is one of those fun reads filled with quirky, human characters you could easily see yourself curling up for cocoa with. And, of course, there are tons of Austen references (which automatically make it an awesome read)! I loved Kay's responses and reactions to the unexpected changes occurring in her life - from making her dream come true to becoming friends with movie stars, Kay takes life in stride with a smile and a daydream. She's a character I could relate to, as was shy Gemma. And, of course, what fun romantic comedy of a novel doesn't have intriguing male leads?! Connelly delivers on this score as well, and as much as I wanted to dislike charmer Oli, he did get under my skin. My only problem with the story is that everyone is so in love with Persuasion - but that's just because I fail to see the attraction in Anne Elliot. And hey, I'm more than willing to let others (even fictional characters) have their own personal favorites, if they allow me mine.Definitely a great summer-y read, and I'm looking forward to more from Connelly!
ljldml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dreaming of Mr. Darcyby Victoria ConnellyPublished by Sourcebooksavailable January 2012received from NetGalley for reviewVictoria Connelly does it again. Her second novel in the Austenesque trio of books is a winner. The story revolves around an Austen loving illustrator named Kay who opens a bed and breakfast in Lyme Regis. She is literally invaded by a group of actors/actresses and directors filming a version of Persuasion. The book is a roller coaster ride of interactions between the characters. Kay learns the hard way that just because someone is playing an Austen character, doesn't mean they are similar to the character. The individuals of this story were very diverse. Some were likable, some were incredibly unlikable. I think my favorite character is Nana Craig. Who is Nana, you ask? Read the book. You'll love her and her grandson. The book itself was somewhat slow moving. I spent a great deal of time rolling my eyes at Kay and laughing at her matchmaking incompetence.The end was as I had hoped. A thought to leave you with- from the book- "Does Jane Austen ruin lives by giving people false expectations about love? Were her heroes just too good to be true?"I would recommend this book to any Austen lover. I think anyone who doesn't appreciate Jane Austen would perhaps not enjoy this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story andwell written bt f yo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many Austen adaptations. This one was average. It did not mirror Persuasion like I expected. The characters were shallow and fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat. It was a little repetitious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
This is author Victoria Connelly's second entry in her "Austen Addicts" series I was utterly delighted with this effort. From the first page, Ms. Connelly draws the reader in with the comparisons to Jane Austen's Persuasion, most notably the stunning location of Lyme Regis. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I was secretly envious of Kay, stepping into the role of bed and breakfast owner. Wouldn't it be fabulous to run a cozy little bed and breakfast in the charming village of Lyme? Kay was a marvelous heroine for this book, the right balance of sweet and spicy, sensitive and headstrong. Certainly she did a few things that made me say "oh no!" out loud but they were frustratingly realistic and not actions that were merely to move the plot forward. Ms. Connelly treats the reader with a smorgasboard of savory characters, from the sexy leading man portraying Captain Wentworth in the production of Persuasion being filmed in the village to the diva-like supporting actress, to the quiet and introverted leading lady and the humble writer, Adam. We know from the get go that Adam is the "Mr. Darcy" in Kay's world but her journey to discover that is a fun and exciting one. In that regard, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy has shades of Emma, where the heroine has her dream man right in front of her but doesn't see it immediately. In fact, despite the "Mr. Darcy" in the title, there is little other commonality with Pride and Prejudice. My favorite character, however, is the seaside town of Lyme Regis. The writing provides gorgeous mental pictures of Jane Austen's beloved village, from the largest to the smallest detail. Ms. Connelly writes of the town with such love and care that I dare any reader to walk away from Dreaming of Mr. Darcy without a serious yearn to jump on the next flight across the pond. I was thoroughly enchanted with my time spent in Lyme Regis and saddened to have it come to an end, despite the very satisfying for conclusion for all characters involved. I am somewhat gratified in knowing that a third offering in Ms. Connelly's series is forthcoming this spring. I would not hesitate to recommend Dreaming of Mr. Darcy to any devoted Jane Austen fan, particularly those with an affinity to Persuasion and/or Emma. ©Psychotic State Book Reviews, 2012
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mediocre writing (at best) and completely predictable storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a romantic book that will thrill any Austen fan and pull and your heart strings with a romance in our times.
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LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
Kay Ashton loves everything Jane Austen including the seaside town of Lyme, the setting of Persuasion. So she purchases a bed and breakfast there and sets out to finish her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy. Life gets interesting when the cast of a movie adaptation of Persuasion invades her place and Kay falls head over heels for Oli, the famous and handsome actor who plays Captain Wentworth. But she is oblivious to the attentions of Adam Craig, the shy screenwriter and producer of the movie. This was a fun and lighthearted novel. Kay is warm and honest, and her daydreaming made me reminisce of when I did that in my youth. She is somewhat like Austen's Emma who thought she was a good matchmaker. The story is filled with misunderstandings, quirky characters, and references to Austen's work, all happening in the charming setting of Lyme Regis. I liked Adam's grandmother, Nana Craig in her quaint cottage with her colorful clothes and personality. I don't usually read chick-lit, and it was a little too fluff for me, but I still enjoyed it. Kay was a little too naive when it came to Oli, and Adam and Gemma's misunderstanding could have been cleared up rather quickly. This is a light, quick read that is good after a heavy novel, if you're looking for a funny diversion, or if you like contemporary Austen spin-off novels.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Just give me a hint of the book ¿Persuasion¿ being part of a book and I¿m in. Sometimes I¿m disappointed but with this book I was not. This book primarily tells the story of Kay, who inherits some money and decides to open a B&B in Lyme and work on her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy. Shortly after her arrival, a movie company comes to film a new version of Jane Austen¿s Persuasion and most of them end up in Kay¿s B&B. The actors include Gemma, who is somewhat insecure about her abilities; Beth, who is a major shrew; Teresa, the woman director and Oli, the handsome leading man. Also added to the mix is Adam the scriptwriter who develops a tender for Kay. Kay fancies herself in love with Oli who is happy to play along. She decides to be matchmaker with Adam and Gemma, being totally oblivious to Adam¿s feelings. There is a secret relationship that comes to light in the end of the book and is hinted at earlier. Gemma¿s mother, an overbearing has been actress, shows up to add turmoil to the situation. It is quite the cast of interesting characters, all of whom are realistic and well written. I found this to be a very enjoyable read. It was interesting and well-paced, something that you don¿t always find with Brit-lit. I had read Ms. Connelly¿s earlier book in the trilogy ¿A Weekend with Mr. Darcy¿ so I knew I would enjoy this book. This book was previously published in the UK as ¿The Perfect Hero¿. There is a third book called ¿Mr. Darcy Forever¿ which will come out in April. It¿s definitely on my to-buy list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading reviews, I decided to read Jane Austin's Persuassion before this book. All I can say is I ended up enjoying Jane Austin but being completely unimpressed by this book. The story line was meant to be cute and quirky but it just dragged on. The plot was predictable, the characters were not that great and the only things I really enjoyed were the references to Jane Austin's books. I will not be reading any more books from this author.