This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I love a friends-to-lovers romance so I was more than agreeable when I was asked to read this one. It wasn’t too many pages in when I cracked up recognizing yet something else that I love. Baseball, Jane Austen and the Boy Next Door Charming Hero, it’s a dream come true.
It might have been my imagination- probably because I see Jane Austen everywhere, but this one felt like a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Okay, I saw the references to Mr. Knightley and Miss Bates so I don’t think I’m that far off the beam. Anywhazit, whether it was or not, it was still a sweet romance about a woman writer who has to learn the difference between the perfect romance hero and the perfect man for her.
The story opens with Best-selling author, Darcy Butler, disappointed in yet another blind date. Her thirtieth birthday is bearing down on her and in her mind she has nothing to show for it, romantically speaking that is. She feels it is just wrong that a successful writer of romance has no romance in her life. Oh, her life isn’t awful or anything. She has a loving supportive family, a career she loves and two best friends that she can’t do without. Irascible Laura has been with her since grade school and keeps her life colorful and fun and then there is Sweet Josh with the boy next door charm who has been there for her since college letting her use his shoulder from Cheating Ex-Fiance’ and now through the string of guys that don’t cut it. Everyone keeps telling her that the Perfect Man doesn’t exist, but Darcy just knows he’s out there somewhere. And he is…Dr. Blake Garrett steps right out of the pages of her book and into her life.
Josh watches helplessly as Darcy meets the man of her dreams and knows that he can’t compete. He has loved her from the day he set eyes on her, but circumstances never aligned right for him to speak up and then the day came when she announced him as firmly in the best friend category. Josh didn’t want to lose her all together so he kept his peace and hoped that someday she would get her head out of the dreamy romance cloud and see him, really see him. But with Blake being all that she ever dreamed for, Josh prepares to move on for good and figure out how he will cope with seeing Darcy with another man. He focuses on his goal to make law partner in her dad’s firm and focuses on his charity organization and free work. But then in an odd moment, he shares a kiss with Darcy. It was just as he always imagined, but now there is the distinct possibility that everything between them is ruined.
This book elicited so many emotions for me as I read, but most were on the mild side. Darcy and Josh split the narration, but this is really Darcy’s story. It was the old adage of being careful what you wish for because you may get it. Darcy had to learn the hard way. She thought that as a romance writer that she knew all about romance and heroes, but she has to go through several experiences to see that she only believed in fairytales and not the good kind.
Her godmother, Gloria said it this way:
[quote]”You’d better lower your sights, or you’ll find you’ve imagined your life away, while real life, the one that counts, has passed you by.”
Darcy lifted her chin. “Mr. Right’s out there. I know he is. I just have to be patient.”
“Mr. Right may be out there, but he won’t be Mr. Perfect, and the sooner you get that through the fairy dust in your head, the better.” Loc. 14% Gloria and Darcy, Dreams of Perfection[/quote]
Darcy’s issues captured my attention and I settled in to see how she would handle Dr. Perfect and when she would see the real and golden qualities of her best friend. Speaking of her best friend, Josh is a guy that won’t be everyone’s idea of hero. He is one of the unsung beta heroes. He is so nice and selfless that he won’t even push himself forward to tell the girl he loves how he feels about her. He is the everyday hero that cleans up nice and everyone will agree that he’s nice with a heart of gold, but he won’t ever be a dashing Blake Garrett who looks like a hero, who oozes confidence and who saves the world and a life all in a days work. No, he’s the guy who you come home to and get comfortable with as you share your life’s disappointments, that you high-five when your shared sports team scores a run, that you can just be yourself with through ugly tears and snorting laughter. Now that being said, Josh can do sultry as well as charming. Josh just after a shower wearing a broke-in pair of jeans with the top button popped answering his door is a sight to make a gal’s mouth dry. Darcy sure enjoyed the view and Josh showed her what a real perfect kiss and night of passion could be like.
So, in the end, I’m still convinced that I read an Emma retelling with an engaging cast of characters and a heart-warming easy paced story that was more sweet than spice though spice did make its appearance. I’m thrilled to see that best bud Laura gets her story next. And here’s a little dialogue between Darcy and Laura to give you a taste:
[quote]”I wasn’t paying attention and I sort of…tripped over the curb,” she finished lamely.
“You broke your finger because you tripped over the curb while flipping-off a cab driver?” Darcy’s brows flew up as concern turned to astonishment, and astonishment became amusement.
“It’s not funny! I not only broke my finger, I broke the heel on my favorite Louboutins,”Loc. 15% Laura and Darcy, Dreams of Perfection[/quote]
Contemporary Romance or even Women’s Fiction fans would probably enjoy this one.
My thanks to the author via her assistant for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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