Title: Undressing Mr. Darcy
Author: Karen Doornebos
Published by: Berkley, 2013
Rating: Five stars
In her first offering, Karen Doornebos took readers on a romp through a Jane Austen-themed reality television show, in a similar vein to Austenland, but much better written in my opinion.
This time, the author of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy explores the world of the Jane Austen festival, a Comic Con for Janeites, complete with Regency attire and cravat-tying lessons, in her second book, Undressing Mr. Darcy.
Now before you go jumping to conclusions about the title, rest assured, there is only some mild spice here. This is not “Fifty Shades of Grey meets Pride and Prejudice.” That would be a travesty indeed.
Vanessa Roberts specializes in social media and public relations and is about as plugged in as anyone could possibly get. As a favor to her elderly aunt, Vanessa takes on promoting one of the keynote speakers for the aunt’s Jane Austen Society annual meetings, one Julian Chancellor who has written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy and whose speech about attire for the Regency male is entitled “Undressing Mr. Darcy,” in which he offers an educational striptease down to his breeches to raise money to restore his crumbling inherited estate.
Oh, yeah, and he’s hot. Like more than Colin Firth hot.
Doornebos throws in all sorts of scenarios, including a madcap tour through London and Bath rife with enough trivia to appease even the most ardent Austen admirer.
Simply put, I loved this book. It was fun, well-plotted, and just delightful. Doornebos’s writing flows easily and makes readers feel like they are right there, amid the chaos, with vivid descriptions and a wonderful cast of characters.
Well done, Ms. Doornebos. Well done.