I've had quite a constructive evening already, I'm quite proud. I've done my exercise (just got Camilla's Cardiodance Workout, which thus far I'm rahter enjoying), I've submitted my article to Costume Chronicles and finished my book. So it's the book that I'm going to blog about.
A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly tells the story of Katherine Roberts and Robyn Love, both of who are Jane Austen fanatics attending a Jane Austen conference, and the romances that may or may not happen around them.
To be honest, I don't really like books that use Austen or Darcy or similar to get attention for their book when they don't necessarily need to. Victoria Connelly does better than most, the idea of the Austen conference works well as a background to the 'action' of the novel, even so, I think putting Darcy in the title is cheating a bit.
Katherine and Robyn are both perfectly likeable, as are the majority of the characters, Doris Norris is lovely (really, that's her name), a charming (in my head, little old) lady, although I don't think that you ever actually find out whether she is a little old lady or not. Mrs Soames is in the model of Austen's matriarchs, although not really given enough time in the foreground to be a Lady Catherine DeBurgh or similar. Dame Pamela Harcourt is another matriarch (with a fabulous butler), although much less imposing and very keen on helping the plot along, although she really only gets involved in the second half. Of course, as we have two heroines and this is Austen inspired we have to have our heroes as well, I'm not really going to say anything about the heroes incase anyone reads this and feels inspired to read the book, because it's difficult to say much about the heroes without giving a lot of the plot away.
Her characters I like, the setting, again, quite liked, didn't feel anywhere near as contrived as I suspected that it was going to however, the plot. It's typical chick lit fair, and I don't really know why I keen reading chick lit because it often irritates me. It's very contrived. There are some crowbar plot points, people asking really stupid and obvious questions 'Who would possibly be able to do this?' So that ten chapters later a character can suddenly go 'I know how to solve this problem', but this is chick lit and we do kinda expect it, so I don't know why I moan.
Anyway, did rather enjoy it, pretty much raced through it, although I found myself skim reading hte last 5 or so chapters, she took a little to long to get to the end and then when she did get to the end stopped rather adruptly. But rather enjoyable, pretty brainless, nice chilled reading.