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on 26 May 2011
'The Perfect Hero' is the second in a triolgy of books by Victoria Connelly centering around Jane Austen. Now, I have never read a Jane Austen novel or watched an adaptation of any of her works on the TV, and yet I have still loved both of the books, therefore, you don't have to be a fan of Jane Austen to enjoy them.

'The Perfect Hero' tells the story of Kay, a bed and breakfast owner who finds herself housing the cast of a new production of Persuasion. We then get to meet various members of the cast, including heart-throb, Oli Wade-Owen, and shy leading lady, Gemma Reilly, as well as the writer and producer, Adam.

What I liked about this book was the constant character changes which allowed me to understand and know what was going on in their minds, while another character believed they were feeling something entirely different. I found all the characters enjoyable to read and discover and very down-to-earth and true to life. Although, I did feel that Kay's constant day-dreaming was a bit too much at times, and it made her come across as being younger and more naive than she really was.

Overall, though, this is a good, light-hearted read. Jane Austen and her work are referenced throughout the story, while the main story flows at a great pace that kept me engrossed enough to finish the book in two days.
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on 22 February 2012
I was looking forward to this book arriving. When it did, this morning, I began to flick through the pages. Copyright 2012....... but, wait, the opening page seemed very familiar. Flick to back cover of the book......the whole story seemed familiar.
And why?
This is not a new book - it was published last year with the Copyright 2011 as " The Perfect Hero".

Please do not be misled. Whether you read it as The Perfect Hero, or Dreaming of Mr Darcy, no matter, it is a good read but you don't need both = it is the same book. I'm not sure whether this is one of these "novels have to have different titles in the UK/USA" situations = but it is very misleading = and moreso when sales sites, such as Amazon do not flag this information.

The story itself I would give 4/5 stars to - the one star is to alert those of you who may already have read the book.

The Perfect Hero Dreaming of Mr. Darcy
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on 6 June 2011
"Maybe Jane Austen's fans are destined to be disappointed by love because nothing could ever live up to the happy endings created in fiction". This is what Adam Craig, one of the main characters in Victoria Connelly's latest novel, thinks. The same can be said of the perfect hero: who might live up to Mr Darcy's charm or Captain Wentworth's passionate loyalty? Maybe... your favourite actor? Someone you admire and dream about? Imagine that he, a real dream-come-true, arrives where you have just opened a B&B and is one of your first guests with the director and a bunch of colleagues. Imagine also that he starts flirting with you disguised as Captain Wentworth since the cast you host is shooting Persuasion. Add to these facts that this dream man is the most handsome you've ever laid eyes on, with his blond hair and blue eyes. Wouldn't you think the perfect hero has landed into your real life? I'm sure that, like Kay Ashton, you would.
Let's cool our enthusiasm and give this story some order.
Die-hard romantic Kay Ashton uses her inheritance to open a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme Regis in Dorset and is dumbstruck when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend, needing a place to stay. Kay can't believe her luck - especially when she realises that heart-throb actor Oli Wade Owen will be sleeping under her very own roof!
Meanwhile, co-star Gemma Reilly is worried that her acting isn't up to scratch, despite landing a plum role. She finds a sympathetic ear in shy producer, Adam Craig, who is baffled by the film world as she is. Kay thinks the two, Gemma and Adam, are meant for each other and can't resist to try herself at matchmaking like Austen's Miss Woodhouse.
Then when Oli turns his trademark charm on Kay, it seems that she has found her real-life hero. But do heroes really exist? Or do they only exist in movies and books?
Kay is a lovely heroine who reminds partly Emma, in her funny attempts at matchmaking, as well as Marianne, in her romantic, passionate, naive vision of love. Oli Wade Owen in Wentworth's uniform has the aspect of Rupert Penry Jones but the impertinence of a George Wickham.
Gemma Reilly recalls Anne Elliot in her initial little self-confidence overcome little by little in her journey through the book.
Adam Craig ... well, Adam, not to give away too much is ... my favourite character together with his hilarious grandmother, Nana Craig. She is funny, colourful and terribly noisy. She has hated actors since she was left by her husband, in search for fame in the movies, for a beautiful actress. She has brought Adam up and their relationship is definitely unique.
Could I not like a romance set in Lyme Regis, with a glamorous cast shooting Persuasion involved, written with a light touch and witty prose, featuring gorgeous heroes and beautiful sensitive heroines? There's too much of what I like best not to recommend it to all of you, Janeites like me, or fond of romances in general.
If you liked Victoria Connelly's A Weekend With Mr Darcy you can't miss this!
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Kay's friend Peggy dies and leaves her some money and Kay decides she's going to buy a property in Lyme Regis and make a new life for herself. She is a great fan of Jane Austen - particularly of `Persuasion' - which is why she chose to move to Lyme Regis.

Unfortunately properties are very expensive and she finds the only way she can survive is to buy a run-down B&B - Wentworth House. Kay is thrilled when her first guests are members of the cast of a new film production of `Persuasion' especially as one of her guests is the gorgeous Oli Wade Owen.

But what makes the perfect hero? Kay thinks she knows. So does Gemma - the actress playing Anne Elliot. Are they right? Maybe the real heroes aren't the obvious candidates. I found this book a little slow at first and Kay irritated me as she seemed to spend a lot of time day dreaming but she did grow on me. Perhaps she was too nice.

I liked Gemma and I liked Adam - the scriptwriter - and his cat Sir Walter. I found Oli just too irritating and I couldn't really see him as anyone's perfect hero as he's a philanderer with no idea of how to relate to people in a normal everyday manner.

I enjoyed reading this book and I think it may repay a second reading. I don't think it is as good as Weekend with Mr Darcy, A I liked the storyline and some of the characters but others were not so convincing.
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on 16 May 2011
I read Victoria Connelly's first book, A Weekend With Mr Darcy and thought it was great. Although The Perfect Hero is not a sequel, it does still have a heavy Jane Austen influence on the form of her book Persuasion. Unfortunately Persuasion is the only Austen book I haven't read (this is soon to be remedied) but for review purposes I can say that this wasn't a bad thing as I don't think I missed anything in The Perfect Hero.
Kay is a very likable character, she hasn't had a great life so when she unexpectedly comes into some money, she knows she has to grasp the opportunity with both hands. She has always wanted to live by the sea and Lyme Regis has a particular pull due to it featuring in Jane Austen's Persuasion. Kay is a true Austen fan and her real passion is illustrating Austen's books. She knows that her illustrations are good but she hasn't found the courage to send them to any publishers yet.
Kay buys the B&B in Lyme Regis and hasn't even finished decorating when the cast of Persuasion check in. They are filming on location and Kay finds herself surrounded by film stars that she had previously admired from afar. Oli Wade Owen has Kay completely star struck and she soon has a full on crush. Oli is happy to turn the charm on but he isn't all he seems.
Gemma Reilly is playing the lead role of Anne Elliot but she is painfully shy. She has been pushed into acting by her famous mother but her heart really isn't in it. Gemma gets on well with Kay but is confused as to why she is trying to match her up with producer Adam when it is clear that he has had a crush on Kay from the very start.
I really enjoyed The Perfect Hero, it is very reminiscent of Austen, with the gossip, intrigue, mysterious male leads and misunderstandings in love. Victoria Connelly's writing is extremely witty and I love her enthusiasm for Austen and her ability to recognise and represent a true Austen fan,
I would highly recommend both of Victoria Connelly's books. I found The Perfect Hero to be very entertaining and it has finally made me put Persuasion at the top of my TBR pile.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2011
I had never read a Victoria Connelly before but I thought this sounded like a good story. Apparently this is the second in a trilogy but it didn't seem to make a difference. I have also never read a Jane Austen but this didn't affect the story either.

It's a nice story. The main character, Kay, opens a B&B in Lyme Regis and the cast of a Jane Austen novel, Persuasion, descend on her. She falls for the lead character, who turns out to be not as nice as he seems and can't see the affection being shown to her by the producer.

The story plods along but it is slightly unbeliveable. I didn't feel myself really wanting to read it and it took me just under a week to finish, which is incredibly slow for me. The ending was predictable and I could have guessed it from the beginning. It didn't really make reading the book worthwhile.

It was an ok book but nothing special. I don't think I would read anymore by this author.
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on 2 May 2011
Kay Ashton is left some money from an old friend; she gives up her
office job and moves to Lyme Regis, she buys a Bed and Breakfast called
Wentworth House.
Kay is a romantic and daydreams, the cast of the production Persuasion
descend on her she is very happy because the gorgeous Oli Wade Owen his
with them and will be sleeping just doors from her.
Gemma Reilly worries her acting skills aren't up to scratch as she has
landed a big role, she confides in Adam Craig the producer, Kay tries
to match make them but gets it horribly wrong.
But what happens when Oli starts to take an interest in Kay? Although
Adam has warned her about Actors, Adam also has feelings for Kay but
who does she choose?
I have read all the books by this Author, I loved this book, it was
very easy to read and follow, I would definitely recommend.
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Kay Ashton uses her inheritance to set up and open a B&B in the sunny seaside town of Lyme Regis. Romantic Kay is then amazed when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend on her little business, and even more dumbstruck when she sees heart-throb Oli Wade Owen. What follows next is a fun story full of match-making, laughs and romance.

I must say I really enjoyed the story, it was a fun, light-hearted read that is perfect for a holiday or a beach read. The story is very easy to follow and I looked forward to picking the book back up and returning to the story after being out or doing housework. I really loved that the story was set in Lyme Regis. I have been to Lyme Regis for many holidays as a child, and so reading the descriptions made me smile and it brought back my own memories of the town.

Victoria Connelly has created a mix of characters which worked wonderfully together. I really liked Adam Craig, I warmed to his shy personality straight away, I think I developed a bit of a crush on him, and I always looked forward to the parts where he featured. Nana Craig was AMAZING! She made me laugh out loud with her comments and the book would have not been the same without her! Admittedly I didn't warm to Oli very much, but I did enjoy what the other characters brought to the story.

The Perfect Hero is a light read that is ideal for a holiday or a relaxing afternoon. If you are a fan of Austen novels, if you love chick-lit or even if you are looking for a fun read, then try this one!
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on 22 October 2011
Having read and enjoyed A Weekend with Mr Darcy I decided to download this too. I actually enjoyed this one more than the first book. If you're looking for nice lightheared escapism then this book fits the bill. Along with plenty of references to Jane Austen and some humour. A curl up by the fireside book.
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Kay Ashton runs a Bed and Breakfast in the seaside town of Lyme Regis (yes, the one whree Louisa Musgrave fell!) and is fairly gobsmacked when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend upon her. The actor playing Captain Wentworth, one Oli Wade Owen (where did the author get that name from?) is the latest hearthrob and she is thrilled to bits that he is actually sleeping under her own roof.

Seems the leading actor, with whom Kay Ashton falls madly in love, has not the integrity of Wentworth himself and he embarks on a brief affair with Kay and we all know it is going to end in tears and so it does. But lurking in the background we have a real Captain Wentworth, the producer Adam Craig, who is content to wait for his love to realise his true worth and fall into his arms.

Does she? Well, is Richard Armitage gorgeous? Delightfully light hearted and amusing book and a must for all those of us who love Jane and, in particular, Frederick Wentworth by far and away my favourite Austen hero. Yes, I know but Darcy is a bit of a pain let's face it....
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