Between A Pirate of Her Own and Me and Mr Darcy, I’d choose the latter for its timeless appeal and modern application than the rather dated pirate tale that has no new story arcs to thrill me.
Serenity James, who’d always dreamed of being a writer and lives vicariously through the characters she reports on in her father’s newspaper, was surprised when one of her characters looked her up. Morgan Drake had feared that his identity may have been compromised by Serenity’s article and sought to determine how much the idealistic closet reformer know. When a well-meaning buddy of Morgan’s abducted her and stowed her away on his ship to avoid a bounty hunter tracking Morgan down, the story development became interesting yet predictable. Of course they fell for each other but both were stubborn about admitting it.
I’m not going to dwell on the plot here. Suffice to say, I didn’t think this was a keeper and returned it to the store when its loan was up.
Now, Alexandra Potter’s Me and Mr Darcy, written in the first person, proved to be fun chick lit with some lessons for the modern gal. Sharply written and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good romance had Emily Albright and Spike Hargreaves stepping into the roles of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy.
Emily has had it with modern man after a series of disastrous relationship. Why can’t her dates be like honourable, intense and smouldering with repressed passion Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? So, when her best friend invites her to a vacation in Mexico to spice up her love life, Emily decided to take a risk and book a guided tour to Jane Austen country.
Amongst the sea of retirees, she had the bad luck of meeting, and running into several small disagreements with the rather cute but obnoxious journalist Spike, who joined the tour to write his article on why most women would love to date Mr Darcy.
To cap it off, Emily finds herself face-to-face with Darcy himself and even going on several ‘dates’ with him. The rest of the story, I’ll leave you to find out. Of course, I gave away the plot a little earlier, didn’t I?
I love the way Potter built the story with memorable secondary characters like Maeve and Rose, two pensioners who became Emily’s friends, and even the ‘villain’ modeled after Wickham although with huge age difference to Maeve. Lest you brush this off as another fluffy chick lit, there are tender moments, ironic parallels of how modern women sabotage themselves with their hang-ups and touching revelations that sometimes reality may be even better than fantasies. Most of all, I enjoyed that sparring between Emily and Spike.
As Emily found out, Darcy can be ‘very self-absorbed, and really intense’. However, perhaps we all need to believe something incredible once in a while, as Emily discovered. Because if she hadn’t gone in search of the wonderful fantasy that is Darcy, she wouldn’t have fulfill her love in reality with Spike.