Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
Genre: Adult Fiction
Form: ARC Book
Claire Prescott doesn't understand Mr. Darcy's appeal. She's been comfortably dating Neil, a nice - if a bit negligent - sports fanatic. But when she agrees to stand in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England, she finds herself holding a lost version of Pride and Prejudice. Scholars thought Austen's original manuscript was destroyed centuries ago, but as Claire reads the first draft, Austen's own struggle to find the right hero for Elizabeth Bennet.
And when a tall, dark, and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner Lizzie Bennet? Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead, and she discovers that finding the right hero can be more difficult than she ever imagined.
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that falling in love may be the biggest adventure of all and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected places.
~Source: back of book
First of all, I must say that I love the cover of this book. It's beautiful and romantic, and if I hadn't agreed to read this book, I probably would have picked up and checked out the back summary based on the cover alone!
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was a very enjoyable read for me. I really liked the characters, especially how each and every character was expressly different. There are many times when you read a book, and while the main characters are allowed to develop and express their personalities, the minor characters of the book sort of take on a cookie cutter appearance. There may be physical descriptions that distinguish who they are, their characters are very robotic and are the main point of their presence is to offer support to the leads. Beth Pattillo developed all of her characters into people I could see in my mind's eye as well as gain an understanding of on a personal level. Kudos for that!
I also enjoyed watching Claire discover herself, or rather discover that she had no idea who she was. Even her purpose for going to Oxford to the seminar was made as a favor to or in a "care taker role" for her sister, and not as a decision of her own. Soon you discover that there is very little about Claire's life that is her own choice or will. So it is no surprise when she meets James at the seminar and feels the buzz of attraction between them, that the part of Claire that just wants something for herself steps up and takes control. Their relationship develops rather fast and furious, as they are swept up in the romance of London and Pride and Prejudice. Add this in with the revelation if First Impressions, the secret first draft of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and the world becomes an interesting, if not complicated break from what has become Claire's life.
My favorite part, outside of the ending which I won't blow for you, was the presentations at the seminar. I loved hearing everyone's different opinions and thoughts about Pride and Prejudice. It has opened up a desire to go back and revisit the book for myself, looking at from more than just a head-on approach. The only thing I was a little disappointed in the book was I really wanted more resolution between Harriot and Eleanor. I know that Harriet pointed out that no matter how you raise your kids, they are cut from a particular cloth and that is how they are going to be, and that should have been resolution enough, but I was harboring a desire for an understanding to come between them.