Title: Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.
Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs—her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy…and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?
Teri Wilson’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy is a clever novel that bears a few similarities to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Fans of the original work will enjoy this updated version but this cute story will appeal to anyone who enjoys light-hearted contemporary romances.
After being forced to take a leave of absence from her teaching position at a prestigious private school, Elizabeth Scott eagerly accepts a job offer as a dog nanny in England. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, her new boss lives across the street from dog breeder and show judge, Donovan Darcy, the man who annoys her to no end. Underlying Elizabeth’s annoyance with Donovan is an undeniable passion that she finds almost impossible to resist.
Elizabeth and Donovan are wonderful protagonists and I really enjoyed watching them fall in love. Elizabeth is very cynical about marriage due to her years working in the family bridal business. Her brushes with the wealthy have also left her with a few self-esteem issues that come to the surface during her tempestuous courtship. Their mutual love of dogs brings them together but the vast difference in their socioeconomic backgrounds is a major stumbling block for Elizabeth. It was nice seeing her change some of her long held opinions and finally give their relationship a chance.
Donovan is a quintessential British aristocrat who is surprised by the strong emotion and desire he feels for Elizabeth. In a refreshing change of pace, he is quicker to embrace his evolving feelings than Elizabeth. He intuitively picks the right gestures that cheer Elizabeth up when she needs it most.
The banter between Donovan and Elizabeth is quite witty and spirited. Their relationship is on again/off again for much of the novel and the final resolution of their romance seems drawn out a little too long. The backdrop of the dog show world is unique but a little too much emphasis is placed on the inner workings of the shows. The story is a slow moving with very little action and there is a lot of introspection by both Donovan and Elizabeth. While the overall storyline is a little predictable, Ms. Wilson throws in a few unexpected plot twists.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy is an angst free romance with charming characters and adorable dogs. Teri Wilson’s writing style is quite engaging and her retelling of a favorite classic is fresh and innovative. All in all, a sweet, romantic read that I recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary novels.