ISBN-13: 9780824947934
Publisher: Ideals Publications
Published: January 2010
260 pgs
Source: Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists
(This is an advance reader's edition from uncorrected pages.)

I loved Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy is no doubt one of the most intriguing heroes I read among others so naturally any spin off of Jane Austen's novels or mention of Mr. Darcy will catch my attention (however I am not so keen when they are linked with paranormal), thus I jumped at the chance when Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists offered me the opportunity to review Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart.

Claire Prescott is unsure where her life is taking her especially after she has lost a job as a pediatrician office manager and that her relationship with her boyfriend, Neil, is just a blah. It is not like she is not working hard enough to make the relationship work, but the thing with Neil is he is a sports fanatic.

Claire has a younger sister named Missy and being the elder sibling, she takes charge in most of their things since their parents died when she was eighteen. Now Missy has received a grant to attend a weeklong seminar in Oxford as part of her continuing education for her teacher certification but due to pregnancy complications, she wants Claire to stand in her position and present her papers on Pride and Prejudice. Claire does not understand Mr. Darcy's appeal but she agrees to Missy's request anyway.

Claire met a lot of interesting people at the seminar; one of them certainly reminds her too much of the fictional Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice because of his aloof attitude when they first met. His name is James Beaufort and he works in a publishing firm which is a family business. During the introduction, Claire did not tell them the truth of her designation, after all it is only a weeklong seminar and she is sure no one will remember her once they left the seminar for home. Nonetheless, Claire and James left an impression on each other's mind and it is not long that they are attracted to each other.

A chance encounter allows Claire to meet the elderly Harriet, who kindly show her the first draft of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, originally titled as First Impressions but Claire has doubts in Harriet because she seems to suffer from early stage of dementia. Nevertheless, Claire read the manuscript and is very taken in the story which is so different from the printed Pride and Prejudice.

However, when someone raided her room did Claire realize that this manuscript might not be authentic after all. The story gets more complex when Neil unexpectedly arrives in Oxford and Claire has to question her true feelings between Neil and James.

I had a fun time reading Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart. There is a little suspense surrounding the manuscript but then the suspense is not to an extent that it would lead to murder or anything. I have to say this is more of a character study where the readers will read the change about Claire and how she deals with issues such as the kinship with her sister and then of course, love. I won't tell you what happened to the manuscript, as I think that is not the main point of this story (though I did enjoy reading a few sections of that manuscript and find it to be quite refreshing on top of the story itself) but I can tell you I loved how it is wrapped up in the end.

On an unrelated note, what do you think makes Mr. Darcy an iconic romantic hero? And which actor would you like to see to play the role of Mr. Darcy?

15 Responses
  1. Violet Says:

    Love the cover and the title. I'm putting this book on my wishlist.

    I think Mr. Darcy is THE iconic romantic hero. No one else comes even close, well maybe, Rhett from GWTW :)

  2. Julia Says:

    I thought the cover art are beautiful made. Very interesting that Mr. Darcy character is in this book. It just seem that Mr. Darcy is getting to be popular around authors book titles too ;)

    Great review, and glad to see you enjoy the book :)

  3. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I've not read any of the P&P spinoffs yet. I'm keeping it close to my heart! And I don't think I will ever be able to get Colin Firth out of my head for Mr. Darcy after seeing that movie. He is the perfect Mr. Darcy! I think if I would meet him in real life, though, I'd think him an ass! I suppose his appeal is his deep emotions and good heart buried under all that pompous exterior.

  4. Iliana Says:

    I tend to resist most of the Austen spin-offs mainly because I still haven't read some of the major books like P&P! But, this book sounds really cute and I love the cover. Glad you enjoyed Melody and I'll be adding this to my list.

  5. Anna Says:

    I agree with Sandy...Colin Firth is a dreamy Mr. Darcy. You know, I've asked myself this question before, about what about Mr. Darcy makes women swoon. It's hard to answer, but something about him letting down his guard when he falls for Elizabeth makes it all romantic.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  6. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds really good, I love the cover and the title.
    Great review!

    I totally agree with Violet, Mr.Darcy and Rhett Butler are on a whole nother level as iconic romantic heroes. I think it's because they are strong, yet sensitive as well. And they know how to treat thier ladies!
    Colin Firth made a great Darcy, and I also liked the latest actor who played him opposite Kiera Knightly.

  7. bermudaonion Says:

    The book sounds so good and the cover is great too. I'm going to throw my vote in for Colin Firth as well!

  8. Melissa Says:

    I think it's that he changes *so* much over the course of the book. And the CHEMISTRY. You can't get enough of the tension between Darcy and Lizzy. And there is no other Darcy than Colin Firth. (I feel bad for him, sometimes, and wonder if he regrets doing the miniseries...)

    This one's next on my pile of books. Can't wait to read it.

  9. Melody Says:

    Violet - I've yet to read GWTW so I'm hoping to squeeze this book on to my reading list this year!!

    Julia - This is a spin off of Austen's P&P. Mr. Darcy is one of the most intriguing heroes I read so I can understand why there're more heroes like him in the books today no matter if they're historials or contemps.

    Sandy - I suppose his appeal is his deep emotions and good heart buried under all that pompous exterior. I'm so with you on this one, Sandy! And Colin Firth is definitely charming and sexy!

    Iliana - I don't mind reading spin-offs but still, P&P will always remains the top among all in my heart! ;)

    Anna, Naida - I'm with you ladies on those iconic romantic heroes! They're simply irresistable!

    Kathy - I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it! Colin Firth is definitely a hot favourite! :P

    Melissa - You're so right about the chemistry and the tension between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I haven't read any of the P&P spinoffs, but I have one to read for a challenge. This is one of the first spinoffs that has looked interesting to me. Great review!

  11. Ladytink_534 Says:

    I've lost track of the number of Jane Austen spin-offs I've seen in 2009 and now 2010. I know it was a WHOLE lot though!

  12. Melody Says:

    Stacy - Thanks! I look forward to your review for the challenge.

    Jen - I agree there're too many of these spin-offs, but I think it's kinda fun reading them.

  13. Alice Says:

    Ahhh... Mr Darcy...

    Thanks for the review, Melody!

  14. Melody Says:

    Alice - I'm sure most ladies wouldn't resist Mr. Darcy's charm, hehe.

  15. Stephanie Says:

    Thanks for letting me know about this book - it sounds interesting!!

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