Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson is a fun modern P&P rewrite with more to offer than just the same old re-hash.
Just finished this masterpiece after two sleepless nights up reading! Loved the book more than my sanity apparently, but happy to reveal to those concerned about the dark circles under my eyes, that sleep deprivation was cause by the best modern Darcy adaptation I’ve read in years.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy stars what you’d expect, a middle-class Lizzy and an aristocratic Darcy. But although there are some similarities in this retelling, I was happy the author really built a different sort of tale around our two favorite leads.
Elizabeth Scott is a middle-class school teacher, caught up in a high-society scandal at a NYC boarding school. As they give her a leave of absence to “investigate”, which she knows is code for “make her disappear quickly”, she takes a friend up on a job offer in London. As an amateur dog trainer, Elizabeth becomes involved in the British dog show circuit and meets judge, Donovan Darcy. Donovan is everything we Janites love to see in a Darcy. Handsome, well-built, dressed impeccably, with just one flaw. He falls head over heals for Lizzy at first sight despite his family, high-social standing, and even his own better judgement.
True, the author borrowed some of our favorite lines like, “Allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” But her story line is truly unique in that she changed many of the main plot twists. I loved seeing Darcy’s point of view as he struggled to keep himself under control. I was glad Elizabeth stood up for herself and was a strong sort of woman of today that didn’t at once cower to his attentions.
The bad guy/gal were evil enough, but not so irritatingly harsh that it depressed me. The sub-characters were fun and surprisingly entertaining – especially Sue Barrows, who I am sure was Lizzy’s fairy god-mother in disguise.
I really enjoyed the intimate scenes between Darcy and Lizzy – something missing from the original text. The way the author was able to make even a brush of fingertips mean something, gripped me. I felt I was more invested in the love affair working than the characters, if that’s possible.
The funny thing about all of this praise is that I am not an animal lover. I don’t care much for dogs and would never watch a dog show on TV, much less attend one in person, and yet, I loved this book. A very enthusiastic five stars from me. I’d love to see her tackle Emma or Sense & Sensibility.
For those of you interested in the Romeo and Juliet trope, Teri also has a book with that theme. I’m not much of a Shakespeare lover, but her take is sensual and yummy. Find out about that book here: Unmasking Juliet.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson can also be found on Amazon.