Due to the flagging American economy, business for expensive invitations, cards and letters with the letterpress art has dwindled and Chloe is now facing losing her business. This comes at the worst possible time when she learns her former husband is re-marrying and is now in a stable place to sue for greater custody of their daughter, Abigail. Chloe, a life-long Jane Austen fan does the unthinkable, she volunteers for a period-based documentary of Regency Life (such as the PBS show, Regency House Party) that turns out to be a commercial reality TV show in the vein of The Bachelor.
Chloe is drawn to the Mr. Darcy (or Mr. Wrightman) of the group, Sebastian, who not only fits the bill in physique, but based on the real-life bio the producers send her, is her ideal partner. But Chloe is there for the big prize — a one-hundred-thousand-dollar prize to whichever lady secures a “proposal” from Mr. Wrightman by the end of the show. Oh, and there’s another catch, quality time is determined by completing period-appropriate tasks on a points system and as Chloe, or “Miss Parker” finds out too late, all the other ladies have several week’s head starts.
Starting late out of the gate isn’t Miss Parker’s only problem as she has competition from the very Miss Bingley-esque, Lady Grace, and she’s made an initially poor impression of Sebastian at an inopportune moment. There’s also the problem of George, the married producer that Miss Parker finds attractive and Mr. Wrightman’s younger, penniless brother, Henry, who seems to fit a sort of Colonel Brandon-role in the story.
This book was a fun read, one that belongs on the shelf right next to Austenland and Regency House Party (DVD).** (09/02/13 Update: Over the past year, I’ve read a lot of Jane Austen-inspired chick lit and this novel definitely makes the Top 10 list. Check it out!).
Is this book more of a Sense & Sensibility, a Pride & Prejudice or a mixture of several of Jane Austen’s stories? What do you think?
Grab a cuppa and let’s chat!