Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Connelly’

A Weekend With Mr Darcy

Victoria Connelly

Katherine Roberts is fed up with men. As a lecturer specialising in the works of Jane Austen, she knows that the ideal man only exists within the pages of Pride & Prejudice and that in real life there is no such thing. Determined to go it alone, she finds all the comfort she needs reading her guilty pleasure – regency romances from the pen of Lorna Warwick – with whom she has now struck up an intimate correspondence.
Austen fanatic, Robyn Love, is blessed with a name full of romance, but her love life is far from perfect. Stuck in a rut with a bonehead boyfriend, Jace, and a job she can do with her eyes shut – her life has hit a dead end. Robyn would love to escape from it all but wouldn’t know where to start.
They both decide to attend the annual Jane Austen Conference at sumptuous Purley Hall, overseen by the actress and national treasure, Dame Pamela Harcourt. Robyn is hoping to escape from Jace for the weekend and indulge in her passion for all things Austen. Katherine is hoping that Lorna Warwick will be in attendance and is desperate to meet her new best friend in the flesh.
But nothing goes according to plan and Robyn is aghast when Jace insists on accompanying her, whilst Katherine is disappointed to learn that Lorna won’t be coming.
However, an Austen weekend wouldn’t be the same without a little intrigue, and Robyn and Katherine are about to get much more than they bargained for. Because where Jane Austen is concerned, romance is never very far away…

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.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: eBook
Pages: 453/387KB
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult book review
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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Molly’s Millions


Victoria Connelly

Hard-up florist Molly Bailey has just won a fortune in the National Lottery. And she wants to get rid of it… fast!
Tom Mackenzie is on the verge of losing his job. He needs one hell of a story if he hopes to secure his future in journalism. And his luck may have just come in…
With a strong belief that sharing her good fortune is the only way forward, Molly unwittingly becomes the most sought-after person in the country as she distributes her wealth to the masses. With only her terrier pup, Fizz, and her trusty Beetle for company, Molly embarks on the journey of her life. But with Tom hot on her heels, will she succeed before her family and the media catch up with her? And, with Tom leading the pack, would that really be such a bad thing…?

I picked this up needing a little light relief after reading a more weighty tome and this was the perfect antidote!This story is chick lit at its best; a funny, romantic, well-paced ride through the English countryside with a bit of substance as well.
Molly Bailey is a lovely girl who has managed to stay lovely despite the un-loveliness of her family. She owns her own florist shop and has escaped the family home and all the scrimping, saving, penny pinching men who live there. Her brother Marty,(married to her friend Carolyn) is a chip off the old block however. Molly’s mother, Cynthia, left when Molly was still a child and Molly still has many unanswered questions about what happened.

On a whim one day Molly buys a lottery ticket and Bingo(!) hits the jackpot coming away with £4.2 million. Despite Lottery advice to do nothing too quickly Molly knows that once the Bailey men discover the news about her win there will be no stopping them dividing it up and packing it off to the bank, never to be seen again. Molly wants none of this so she decides she is going to give it away, the only problem…to who?

So Molly begins her journey in her brilliant, bright yellow VW bug. She shuts up shop and leaves discovering good causes as she drives through England. She begins anonymously leaving donations with a calling card; a yellow sunshine daisy and having a wonderful time. She gets into some hilarious situations and meets fantastic people. But the fun really starts when those Bailey men find out what’s happening and come after her. Molly is desperate to stay one step ahead and the ensuing chase around the country is fabulous.

In addition to all this Molly is also being chased by Tom, a journalist, and his 10 year old daughter Flora who is along for the ride. He is the reason her family discover she has the money and causes a fair bit of friction until Molly figures out how to use him to her advantage. He also provides the will they/won’t they part of the story.

During all this there is depth too, Marty and Carolyn’s rocky marriage is really put to the test, Marty learns some valuable life lessons about money (its too late for the older members of the family!!) and Molly does get to find out more about her mother and what happened long ago.

Verdict:The ending is great, literally the high point of the book. This is definitely a story I will re-read, it would be a brilliant cheering read if you were a bit down too. Very funny and I loved it.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Allison and Busby
Publication Date: March 2011
Format: Kindle
Pages: 352/454KB
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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