Saturday, February 6, 2016

Book Review: Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
Harlequin Publishers

My Rating

❤ Goodreads Synopsis ❤ 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.

Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she's crossing the pond with the only companion she needs; her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn't count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon's a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy, and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

(I deliberately chose to NOT write a synopsis because I didn't want to actually take the time for a book that had so much potential and which I ended up disliking so intensely.)

❤ Now, on to the good stuff . . . my opinion. ❤

It is the opinion of this reviewer that Mr. Darcy, the real Mr. Darcy, would denounce Donovan Darcy as a womanizing cad devoid of honor.

The facts are these. Jane Austen's Elizabeth and Darcy were restrained individuals of decorum, Darcy mostly, but Elizabeth certainly. Their relationship focused on that restraint. In Teri Wilson's Unleashing Mr. Darcy the entire story is about breaking restraint, unleashing passion, etc. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was not a complete and total reversal of character. Turning Mr. Darcy into a teeming sea of sexual passion set my teeth on edge as did upending Elizabeth's character so she seems more foolish than sprightly.

Literally, the tipping point was almost exactly at the halfway mark. Up until then there was some actual plot, some substance, albeit fluffy, to the book. After halfway, everything was about Donovan and Elizabeth stealing moments together so he could back her into a wall, kiss her breathless, and get his hands either under her skirt or on her blouse. Not to mention the absolutely ABSURD moments in the dog judging ring when he can't keep his eyes off her while she's bumbling around, making an absolute idiot out of herself because she's so distracted by the perfect Windsor knot in his tie.

Oh, but wait, they're not entirely sure they love one another. Because it's possible to be sexually attracted to a man you despise, not that I ever fully understood Elizabeth's so-called stance against the wealthy. Who cares if you lost your teaching job because of a wealthy man's attempts to abuse his power? NOT ALL WEALTHY MEN ARE LIKE THAT! Plus, am I wrong or weren't the Bennet family attempting to find wealthy husbands for their gaggle of daughters?! Pride & Prejudice to my recollection really didn't involve the evils of wealth. It has been quite a few years since I've read it, although I'm going to have to reread it now, just to get the bad taste of this pathetic retelling out of my mouth and off my brain.

Don't get me wrong. There were moments at the beginning when I found the story enchanting, simplistic and pure fluff, but still very engaging and fun. Up until the moment when every single encounter they had ended with Donovan being aroused and Elizabeth conflicted on whether she hated the man or not. I'll be honest, there is nothing more disturbing that an "aroused" Mr. Darcy who can focus on nothing but her "pillow pink lips." I'm shuddering in horror just remembering.

The much-dreaded SCENE occurs in chapter 21. To be honest, I'm amazed they got that far with their chastity still fairly in place with so much steam rising off the pages. I skimmed it just to see how graphic it would be and to be fair, Teri Wilson avoids certain words and descriptive phrases during the scene. But it was still a sex scene and all I could think of was how mortified the original Darcy and Elizabeth would be at such immodest and immoral behavior that cared so little for their reputations and honor. Who knew that a version of Darcy could ever become Wickham in my estimations, which he did. When Elizabeth describes the affront she felt when Grant Markham made insinuations against her, held her arm firmly, and kept his gaze wrapped around her breasts, Darcy is green with rage. Yet he does the exact same thing to her. Why is one man acceptable and the other isn't when the behavior of both men is equally insulting?!

I suppose the inclusion of dialogue from Austen's masterpiece was intended to warm my heart and draw me closer to this poor rewrites. But it did not. Instead, my blood boiled at the injustice of having Austen's work so maligned. Remarkable as it might sound, I might be more interested in a story about Darcy and zombies where they at least get the characters right. And while I know Hallmark for some UNKNOWN reason has made this book into a movie, I fully intend to skip it. Why would I waste my time?

Unleashing Mr. Darcy is a travesty. Avoid it at all costs.

❤ Horror Worthy Quotes ❤

"This isn't the nineteenth century. Just because we slept together doesn't mean you  have to marry me." - the soooooooo respectable Elizabeth Scott

"Whatever the two of them were feeling wasn't real. It could only be an illusion - just part of the afterglow of really great sex." - another agonizing quote by Elizabeth Scott

I'm leaving out all of the painful quotes about Donovan's fascination with Elizabeth's perfectly pink little tongue and her plump little lips.


  1. BLEAH!!!!!!!! I'm going to have to expunge even just the quotes from this review from my brain! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    ::Runs away shrieking::

    1. I confess that I was vehemently negative in this review, and actually enjoyed every second of it. What really angered me is that Teri Wilson has written quite a few romances for Love Inspired, which is a Christian franchise. What was she thinking writing this novel the way she did?! It was a complete waste of the characters!

    2. Heh heh. So you're saying it's like potato chips? Soooooooo tasty at the time, and then you're like, "That was terrible for me! How could I have eaten all of those? Ack!"

    3. Whoops, I worded that wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed being vehemently against the novel, not that I enjoyed the novel. I think sometimes my best writing comes when I'm deeply offended by something. Do you ever have that happen? This review is the result of one of those moments.

    4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I get it now. You thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being vehement, not of the book. And yes, I have pounded out annoyed, angry, or desperately offended reviews with great glee. As Duke Ellington said, "I like to write when I feel spiteful. It's like having a good sneeze."

  2. Lol. Oh man this novel sounds sooo bad. Just... everything. And why is it that there are so many Grant Markham incidents in stories nowadays; both guys treat a girl the same way, but one is okay and the other is not. Like, huh?

    Your review was really good! Made me laugh and want to never read this book, ever. :D


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