Book Review: Hiring Mr. Darcy by Valerie Bowman

Book Review: Hiring Mr. Darcy by Valerie Bowman

Hiring Mr. Darcy

Author: Valerie Bowman
Publisher: June Third Enterprises (September 28, 2020)
Kindle edition
Romance, Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Goodreads

Summary

She ’s hiring…
Meg Knightley is a history professor with a little OCD and a lot of competitive spirit. When her similarly nerdy history professor boyfriend tosses her over for a starlet on the eve of the Jane Austen Festival and Games, she needs a new Mr. Darcy STAT.

He’s the man for the job…
Jeremy Remington left a lucrative tech job to follow his dreams—but getting his custom woodworking business off the ground isn’t cheap. When his best friend’s sister offers good money for little more than acting the gentleman, he jumps at the chance. After all, how hard could it be to fly over to England and wear a cravat for a few days? 

Until things get real.

She hired him to play the part of a proper gentleman, so why can’t she stop thinking about what’s underneath his waistcoat?
And when Meg finds out Jeremy has had a crush on her for years, will she toss him out on his ear…or will the job turn into a permanent gig?

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I wanted to DNF this books so many times because of Meg, but Jeremy kept me reading. Jeremy a swoon-worthy dream. Meg basically has all of Lizzy’s pride and all of Mr. Darcy’s prejudice and it’s… not a good look.

I was so mad reading this book I made myself notes in an app on my phone!
* Fat shame – Meg repeatedly refers to her “pot belly” and to being “short and squat” in a way that makes it clear she finds them unattractive. As such the book like one star per my no fat shame in romance policy. For someone who is SO full of pride and prejudice, Meg sure has a lot of self hate, and I just wasn’t here for it.
* Repeated use of “OCD” to describe Meg because she is neat, particular, likes list, and has a stick wedged wayyyyy up her ass. No actual evidence of OCD. Please stop using an actual illness to describe characters who are neat freaks – it’s not cute.
* God, Meg’s just so JUDGEY. I get that she’s supposed to be this Pride & Prejudice obsessed nerdgirl who doesn’t realize she’s actually more Darcy than Jane, but good lord. I also really dislike Mr. Darcy and think Pride & Prejudice is overrated, so maybe if you’re a Mr. Darcy stan this won’t bother you?
* Meg repeatedly blames another (very attractive) woman for her own insecurities and bad behavior. Things like she was never jealous before Lacey came into her life, etc.

“Why the heck did you keep reading this book?!” you may be asking me right now. And the answer is Jeremy. Swoon. Also, I love the idea of a Jane Austen Festival & Games in Bath. I would absolutely go to something like that, and I love that Meg made all her costumes by hand. I maybe sort of aspire to someday hand-sew my own Regency style gown. Plus, did I mention Jeremy? He’s Meg’s hired Mr. Darcy to be her partner in the competition and he’s a dream. Tall, dark, and handsome (as any good Mr. Darcy should be) he’s also kind, intelligent, patient…

The book is told entirely from Meg’s point of view and I really wish we’d gotten some chapters from Jeremy’s POV. The potential for angsty longing is so great, and I really feel like it was a missed opportunity. Hiring Mr. Darcy is Valeria Bowman’s first foray into contemporary romance. I’ve really enjoyed some of her Regency romances, and a contemporary about a Regency-obsessed heroine was a really smart move on her part to bridge the gap.

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the author for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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