Book Review: Engaging Mr. Darcy by Rachel John

Engaging Mr. Darcy

Author: Rachel John
Publisher: ?? (May 12, 2018)
eBook, 189 pages
Goodreads     Amazon 
(available on Kindle Unlimited & Prime Reading)

“Angry people are not always wise.” – Jane Austen 

After a standoff in the pizza parlor, Elsie Bennet has decided Fitzwilliam “I-Throw-Fitz” Darcy is the worst customer she’s ever encountered. Also the best looking, but that’s beside the point. She’s horrified to discover Will is not just passing through her small town, he’s her new neighbor. 

Will Darcy has all the money and time he could ask for, and yet life never seems to meet his expectations. When his best friend, Charlie, starts dating Jane Bennet, Will becomes their unhappy third-wheel. The solution? Bring along Jane’s sister, Elsie, a girl who challenges him, makes him laugh, plagues his thoughts, and unfortunately, hates his guts. 

Will might control a lot of things, but he won’t control her. Elsie’s already been warned away by her new friend, Jeff Wickham, who found out the hard way that Will is not someone to be crossed. Things would be so much simpler if she was attracted to Jeff. But she’s not. She’s attracted to Will, and the tug-o-war between her mind and her heart is going to drive her mad. 

A modern day take on Pride and Prejudice with all the characters you know and love.”

Rating: 4 stars

As the title says, this is an Austen Inspired Romantic Comedy. It’s a very literal translation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and is very faithful to the source text. Like, so faithful that if you’ve read P&P or seen basically any movie adaptation, there aren’t really any surprises here. That being said, it’s still a really enjoyable read, and I loved the tweaks Rachel John made to manipulate the story to fit the modern time. 

One very big (and enjoyable) change from the original version is thatEngaging Mr. Darcy gives the reader insight into Will Darcy’s character and makes him someone that I was actually sympathetic to and – dare I say it – liked. I am in the majority of Austenites that doesn’t care that much for Pride & Prejudice. Actually, it might be my least favorite of Austen’s novels (keeping in mind I haven’t read Persuasion yet…) Because I do not, nor do I think I will ever, understand Darcy’s appeal. At least in this book, the reader is given some insight into why he acts the way he does, and gets to see exactly the ways in which Elsie (the modern-day Elizabeth counterpart) is misunderstanding him. (Which, btw, Elizabeth/Elsie isn’t a very lovely character either. If I have to choose a character in the P&P realm, Team Jane Bennet all the way, thanks much.) 

I really appreciated that Rachel John depicts both Will and Elsie as kind of crotchety loner assholes (because they are!!), and thus people who are perfect for each other. Also, she nails Charles Bingley’s personality on the head as well. And the depictions of the rest of the characters is just *chef kiss* MWAH! Lovely and spot on. This is perfect if you’re not sure if you’re in the mood for a re-read of some Jane Austen or a rom com – get you a book that can do both!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Engaging Mr. Darcy by Rachel John

  1. This sounds fun, and I love that the author made Darcy likable. I have not read P&P, but I think all the retellings I have read also made Darcy likable. Otherwise, I would not have enjoyed it.


  2. Pingback: 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (#ContRom2019) – Elley the Book Otter

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