If you like Victoria Connelly, you'll love this. Had ordered it from another supplier who failed to deliver but as always Amazon saved the day. From the moment it arrived my wife could hardly bring herself to put it down - very happy! Well done.
"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!
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.
'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.