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on 13 December 2010
I am not even a big fan of Jane Austen but I loved this book.

If you enjoyed Victoria's first novel, 'Molly's Millions', then you are in for a treat as this is even better. From the moment I picked it up, I found it impossible to put down.

The book focuses on two love stories that take place over a Jane Austen weekend. The author has clearly done her research well and writes with confidence and authority about Austen's novels. She also writes about her heroines and their love stories with passion and depth. There was a particularly romantic scene in the moonlight in the middle of the book that is so charming you cannot read it without a big smile on your face.

The best thing about this book is the tone which is gloriously uplifting - the book shines with such warmth that it feels like taking a dose of happiness medicine.

I have heard there will be a sequel out next year and I can't wait to read it. Victoria Connelly is my new favourite romantic comedy author.
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on 15 October 2010
I picked this book because of the appealing title and cover and wasn't disappointed. Katherine Roberts, a lecturer specialising in Jane Austen, goes to the annual Jane Austen conference at Purley Hall hoping to meet with a friend with whom she'd been corresponding, but it seems she hasn't turned up. Robyn Love, a life long Jane Austen fan also attends the conference but she has her annoying boyfriend in tow. Both women hanker after the type of man who seems to exist only in Jane Austen's novels. This book is a mix of contemporary romance with a historical flavour and is great fun, with a few surprises along the way. Modern day heroines being pursued by men in tight breeches make for a great read.
Another absorbing contemporary read with a historical twist I thoroughly enjoyed was Coming Home
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on 11 October 2012
Deviating from my usual choice of novels ( and loving anything to do with Austen) I read this one rainy day while waiting for an Amazon delivery. I dont like chick lit, nor sequels of JA's works but this was a really sweet, uplifting read. It's a quick read, one for a wet afternoon to pass a couple of hours but do you know I was so surprised how much I enjoyed it! Centered around a few main characters who meet at an Austen weekend, all of whom have a short backstory so you know where you are, and how they relate to each other, forming friendships, romantic or not, its just so lovely. It made me feel all warm inside, the storylines were believable and I really cared for the characters and what became of them as I reached the end. Its littered with snippetts and sayings from Miss Austen herself so thats a bonus but where this could have been incredibly boring and slushy, it wasnt. Really nice and I am so glad I didnt pre judge this and overlook it, try it!
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on 6 May 2011
I guess that most people who want to read a book with the title "A weekend with Mr Darcy" will probably read it because they love Jane Austen's stories. Unfortunately this book has neither the wit nor the depths that make the original Austen books stand out. That being said I actually quite liked this one. I didn't expect much and was positively surprised. I've been reading it over a couple of months as an in between book or when I just wanted some light entertainment. And entertained I was :) It is quite predictable, but there are some funny scenes and characters - and seriously, who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall at a Jane Austen conference...
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on 28 September 2012
A book title containing the word `Darcy' is certainly going to catch my attention, Pride and Prejudice being one of my favourite classic romance novels. Hence I decided to give this novel a try, and I was pleased I did because it was a fun, diverting, romantic read.

The action of the story centres around a Jane Austen weekend held at Purley Hall, Hampshire, at which Austen experts and fans alike come together to discuss the writer and her works. Love blooms at the event for two women; and without wanting to give anything away and spoil the plot for the reader, plenty of twists and turns lead to a satisfying ending.

What stood out for me in this book was its successful narration of not one, but two romantic stories. Usually books have a main plot, following a woman and a man, and then perhaps one or two subplots, with other romances having much less impact on the tale. But in this book the subplot that follows a second couple is all but equal to the main plot. Because the two plots follow different women and the different men with whom they fall in love, there was plenty of interesting material to keep me turning the pages.

The best element of the book, for me, was the Austen-related content. Connelly has researched her subject superbly, and as a result I found the Austen details really interesting. In fact, by the end of the book I was sorely tempted to log on to the internet and search `Jane Austen weekend', so fun did the experience seem!

I also really enjoyed the connection to romance writing in the book, which of course appeals to me given my own writing. There's an interesting discussion raised in the book about how modern-day romance writing such as my own compares to that of authors like Austen; and why it is that some people scoff at the passionate, evocative books that so many women (and men - read the book!) love.

In short, a great summer read - easy to gobble down in one or two sittings out in the garden in the sunshine. I guarantee it will have you reaching for your Austen novels afterwards and dreaming of Darcy.
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This is the first in a set of three romantic novels called the "Austen Addicts' trilogy - the addicts concerned being the heroines of the books. The other two titles in the trilogy are

The Perfect Hero
Mr Darcy Forever (Austen Addicts' Trilogy)

This book nearly got me into serious trouble with my wife. I bought it for her to read and then made the mistake of taking what was meant to be a quick glance at it before going home at the end of a long day at the office. A couple of hours later having read the whole thing I suddenly realised that it was now ridiculously late ...

This is a double romance set at a "Jane Austen" weekend in a Hampshire country house, Purley Hall, near to Miss Austen's home and the church where she worshipped. There are two heroines and two heroes, but it takes a while to become obvious who the heroes are.

Oxford college lecturer Katherine Roberts is fed up with men, as her few relationships have been disasters. She specialises in the works of Jane Austen, and wishes that real men could live up to the characters within their pages. As a guilty pleasure, which she is careful not to let her work colleagues know about, Katherine also enjoys more modern and racier Regency romances, particularly those written by bestselling author Lorna Warwick. In fact, Katherine enjoys Lorna's books so much that she wrote to the author and they have become penfriends. Katherine knows that Lorna was considering attending the same Austen weekend in Hampshire at which she will be giving a lecture, and is hoping that she might finally meet her penfriend ...

The author who writes under the pen-name "Lorna Warwick" is indeed planning to attend the event, and would love to meet Katherine Roberts. But "Lorna Warwick" has a carefully kept literary secret which the author does not wish to become public knowledge - so the weekend will have to be approached with great care ...

Robyn Love has a romantic name but a very unromantic life. She has a boring job which she could do with her eyes closed, and an unimaginative boyfriend she has known since primary school and who does not appreciate or understand any of the things in life which give her pleasure - but she can't quite bring herself to break up with him, because there have been occasions in the past when he was there for her when she needed someone.

Once a year Robyn can get away from it all by attending the annual Jane Austen Conference in Hampshire, but unfortunately this year her boyfriend Jace insists on coming down with her. Robyn is aghast when she thinks how out of place he is likely to be, but to say that she has underestimated his capacity to disrupt the weekend is something of an understatement ...

No weekend dedicated to Jane Austen could be compelte without intrigue and romance, and Robyn and Katherine are about to get much more than they bargained for.

Very entertaining and amusing, and I can strongly recommend this book.
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on 24 September 2012
Lesley for Big Book Little Book

I am an Austen fan, I enjoy her books, but with the wealth of material out there to read I don't re-read them all that often. Books about books I also enjoy and if that comes packaged in the form of a good story so much the better. This novel is a good story, does relate back to Jane, her life and her books, and does use the themes of her writing in its own weaving. On top of all that I thought this sounded like a bit of a giggle and it was that too, in particular the scene at the conference where Jace rides into the dining room on a horse!! I will leave it to you to find out more...

The blurb above covers the beginning of the story well and to tell you more I would have to include a huge spoiler! I saw it coming a few paragraphs early, but you can't talk about the story much without giving the game away so I won't do that.

Victoria has written interesting characters, I liked both Katherine and Robyn. Katherine has been a bit battered by her love life and brings that to the situations she finds herself in. As an Austen lecturer she is very knowledgeable and her thought s are often turning to Austen and Darcy in particular. She gives voice to that feeling that we might all have that it is unfortunate that there is only one Mr Darcy and no-one else quite seems to measure up. Robyn on the other hand has got stuck in a rut in her love life but is much more naïve than Katherine, and although she also is in love with the thought of Darcy she is romantic enough to believe it is possible (although maybe not for her...).

There is more than one love story in this story, which I enjoyed, shifting the focus between the two women also allowed Victoria to use different parts of Austen, falling in love with the wrong people, the help of chaperones, waiting for the right time and the right man, overcoming deceit, dealing with first impressions, following your own heart, not settling for second best and so on. I could see Persuasion, Emma, Pride and Prejudice themes all coming out. These themes are often there in romantic literature but with this being an Austen book you can't help but feel this is not accidental. More than one love story also provides more good looking men to read about too!

Verdict: So in short, if you enjoy Austen (but are not snobby about it) and enjoy a good romance then you should definitely read this. A great light read.
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on 23 August 2012
I've read several novels by Victoria Connelly as well as short stories, and truly enjoyed them, but "A Weekend With Mr Darcy" has that extra ingredient. I loved the set-up, the writing is outstanding, and there's a little twist in there as well (don't worry, I won't give it away!). Perfect for curling up with when life is getting you down. Oh, and that first line... Jane Austen has a lot to answer for!
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on 30 August 2012
I have read this book countless times now and I never get tired of it. If your looking for a story that pulls at your heart strings then this is the one for you, I have laughed and cried along to this book and it never fails to cheer me up. You don't even have to love Jane Austen to enjoy a storyline like this one.

A very easy read that is hard to put down once you have started. If you are buying the paperback version, as I have, it is very slim and can be slipped into your bag for those boring times of the day and you can slip into the romantic story any time you like.

A really fantastic book to buy, very good quality, and if you're a romantic like I am you will love it :).
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on 8 November 2010
I loved Victoria Connelly's previous book 'Molly's Millions' and so I was really looking forward to reading her next offering 'A Weekend With Mr Darcy'. The story follows two main characters - Katherine and Robyn, who are Jane Austen fanatics, as they venture to Purley Hall for the annual Jane Austen conference.

I have never read a Jane Austen novel before and nor do I know very much about her or her books, however, I didn't let this put me off reading this book and I found that the little bits and pieces Victoria has added to this story - such as the Austen quotes and facts were interesting and they helped me to understand why Jane Austen and her novels are so well known and loved.

Overall, this is a great read and defintely one I would recommend to Jane Austen fans. And if like me you're not an Jane Austen fan then it's nice to discover more about her and her books while at the same time enjoying the story and journey of Katherine and Robyn in this book.
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