Contemporary Romance

ARC Review: Hiring Mr Darcy – Valerie Bowman (Austen Hunks #1)

Rating: 3 out of 5.


She’s hiring…

Meg Knightley is a history professor with a little OCD and a lot of love for Pride and Prejudice. 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 ASAP.

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 the job turn into a permanent gig?


Hiring Mr Darcy has an amazing premise: the heroine, a cute but nerdy History Professor, gets passed over by her boyfriend, another Professor, (for “career” reasons) and needs to find a replacement Mr Darcy so she can compete in a Jane Austen Festival in Bath. Anyone who enjoys either the P&P book or any of the film adaptations and enjoys contemporary romantic comedies would immediately be hooked by that premise.

Unfortunately for me, the execution fell a little short. The heroine, Meg, was very smug, judgmental and full of self loathing that I found it very hard to like or relate to her. A decent portion of this book is simply Meg complaining about her protruding stomach, short stature, hobbit feet or being super judgmental about other people and using those judgments to either solidify her reasons for not liking someone or feeling superior to the other person. Other than those qualities, the fact that she puts up with the most boring (and carbon copy to her personality) boyfriend and her knowledge of Jane Austen, there’s really not a whole lot more to her. Also without giving too many details away, I also really didn’t understand her flip flop career decision at the end.

Making up for what Meg lacks, however, is the hero of this story: Jeremy! He was such a lovely, down to earth and all around good guy that it definitely made me keep reading. He does everything in his power to help Meg out and performs his role beautifully as Mr Darcy. He also teaches her to put aside her own pride, prejudice and plans for the future so that she can learn that true happiness doesn’t necessarily come from a check list.

Another great point in this story was the actual Jane Austen Festival. It was super entertaining to hear of each of the rounds such as costumes, dancing, acting out a scene etc. I’m not sure if a festival such as this actually exists in the world but if it did, I would absolutely check it out.

Overall though, while there were several elements that left me very frustrated, it was an okay read and there were just as many elements (aka Jeremy) that made up for it.

Disclaimer: Thank you to une Third Enterprises/Xpresso Book Tours for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Buy now!

Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA


3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Hiring Mr Darcy – Valerie Bowman (Austen Hunks #1)”

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