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Love Manor #1

Dating Mr. Darcy

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Is it a truth universally known that a girl must compete on reality TV to win a modern-day Mr. Darcy's heart?

Clothing designer Emma Brady is having serious doubts about how far she'll go to promote her new activewear line. Sure, being on a reality show would be great for business, but is putting up with Mr. Darcy-wannabe Sebastian Huntington-Ross really worth it?

Sebastian is straight out of an Austen novel. But it's hard to focus on his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and wickedly sexy accent when all Emma can see is his pride, arrogance, and smug demeanor.

But Sebastian has a secret reason for being on the show, and when Emma figures out what it is, her heart warms to him — without her permission.

Will Emma hold fast and keep the aristocratic Sebastian at arm's length? Or will she put her reservations aside when the lines between reality and "reality show" start to blur?

Dating Mr. Darcy is a laugh-out-loud feel-good rom com for fans of Bridget Jones's Diary, Sophie Ranald, and Sophie Kinsella.

307 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 25, 2020

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About the author

Kate O'Keeffe

35 books603 followers
Kate O'Keeffe is a USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author who writes exactly what she loves to read: laugh-out-loud romantic comedies with swoon-worthy heroes and gorgeous feel-good happily ever afters. She lives and loves in beautiful Hawke's Bay, New Zealand with her family and two scruffy but loveable dogs.

When she's not penning her latest story, Kate can be found hiking up hills (slowly), traveling to different countries around the globe (back when we used to be able to do that), and eating chocolate. A lot of it.

Get a free book when you sign up to Kate's newsletter at kateokeeffe.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 348 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
2,578 reviews402 followers
December 21, 2021
Pride and Prejudice meets The Bachelor?! You know I'm there for it. Or at least, I'm there for the Kindle freebie I got from Freebooksy. I wouldn't pay money for this.
In fact, if I had paid money for it, I'd probably rate it lower.
I didn't count but I think Dating Mr. Darcy references Downton Abbey more times than it does Pride and Prejudice. And when it does mention P&P, it is typically along the lines of: "that wet shirt scene, tho."
Which, you might recall, IS NOT IN THE BOOK.
Cue rant about authors confusing Janeites with wet Colin Firth fans.
The book feels even more egregious because none of the girls on this dating show actually know squat about Jane Austen or the Regency period. They throw a collective tantrum when required to don period appropriate clothing. And don't get me started on the corsets. (At least this book never mentions cinching in the waste.)
The closest this main character comes to showing an inkling of Austen-knowledge (besides her repeated "I can't be falling in love! It is the Mr. Darcy Effect!) is when she tells him to pick her friend because her friend's last name is Bennet. And Mr. Darcy should marry a Bennet. Get it? (To Mr. Darcy's credit, he points out his last name is not actually Darcy, he's playing the role.)
The romance aims for enemies to lovers but reads more like: "She irrationally, passionately hates him but then has a single freakin' conversation and realizes maybe she's misjudged him." Rinse and repeat until they fall madly in love with even less explanation.
Finally, this book really lost with me all the cattiness. Sure, there are some friendships that emerge, but primarily the book just bashes the other contestants. They're portrayed as either awful human beings or delusional idiots. With that kind of lineup, I guess we have an explanation for the insta-love on Mr. Darcy's part.
The inevitable misunderstanding-fueled climax was straight up stupid and I booed throughout the conclusion.
Overall I'd say it falls short as a nod to Austen and as a Bachelor Nation rip-off. But hey, not egregiously. It is quite unobjectionably meh.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,500 reviews32 followers
September 14, 2020
This is a very entertaining romantic comedy combining a modern Pride and Prejudice variation with a parody of reality TV programming (specifically The Bachelor).

The plot: Emma Brady manages to get herself onto Dating Mr. Darcy, a reality TV show where a dozen hopeful American bachelorettes vie to become engaged to the program's "Mr. Darcy," Sebastian Huntington-Ross, who's British and owns a Pemberley-type estate in England.

Emma actually has no interest in winning; she'll be happy if she manages to stay on the show through the first three rounds of elimination. Her only goal is to garner publicity for her struggling business, Timothy activewear, which she frequently mentions is "super comfortable."

The other contestants range from Kennedy and Reggie (as down-to-earth as Emma) to Haley and Camille (the Mean Girls) to Shelby (delusional) to Phoebe (super sweet), with several additional types across the spectrum. Mr. Darcy's best friend, Johnathan Penfold, acts as the MC of the program. Mrs. Watson is the humorless woman instructing and herding the young ladies off-camera.

The story is related by Emma herself and does have some vague similarity to P&P. The plot has a number of twists that kept it more interesting than I expected from a rom-com. The strength of this book, though, is this author's sense of humor, which kept me chuckling and occasionally laughing out loud, especially when Emma describes her fellow-contestants.

Case in point, regarding Hayley:
With her distinctly orange fake tan and her cream petticoats and lilac pelisse, she looks like an Oompa Loompa in period drag.

And here's Emma's impression of Phoebe:
She’s so sweet I half expect chirping cartoon birds to fly around her head like she was Snow White.

It's light, fluffy, and fun.
Profile Image for Sally Britton.
Author 37 books851 followers
November 18, 2021
I read Dating Mr. Darcy on the plane yesterday. I have mixed feelings about this book. For what it is - a light-hearted romp of a romcom mixed with a reality TV show - it's a lot of fun. I have to give it full credit for that. As a historical romance author, the many historical details the author got wrong made my eye twitch - but if I remind myself this is a contemporary book not meant to be historically accurate, I can be okay with it.

The story was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed Emma's POV. I wished very much for a better look at Sebastian's feelings. I'm all for an oblivious heroine, but I do like when readers get a few more hints about a hero, even if the heroine ignores her own observations.

All in all, a fun read, a light romance, and a perfect way to pass the time in an airplane.
Profile Image for Christine Indorf.
722 reviews118 followers
December 7, 2020
I have been reading Christmas books like crazy and needed a break and a good laugh. I got them both with this book. Funny and romantic this book is a great read. I usually read Christine Fiction but eventhough this is not, it is really clean with only a few cuss words. Dr Darcy and Emma are both great. I usually hate dating shows and read a book recently that was like that and didn't like it, but this one is just great. The girl on the show are real and have fun during the process and become great friends, only a few are out to really win. At First, like Emma, you don't like Mr Darcy but the more Emma and Mr Darcy learn of each other the more you fall in love with his character. Now the reason I gave it a 4. I didn't like the ending. I didn't expect it to go that way. This could be a good thing but I just didn't like it. It ends on a great note but still thought that part could be written so much better. But I loved the book all in all and am excited to read book 2! I would recommend this book for anyone who needs a great Rom Com to read!!
Profile Image for Nicole.
70 reviews
November 12, 2020
I debated logging whether I read this because I was actually embarrassed by this book, but I realized I should just do it so I don't forget that I read it and am then subjected to whatever the hell this was once again. I'm sure this was for some people, and that's great for them but it was definitely not for me.

The dialogue was atrocious is really all I can say. Also this is offensive to the spirit of Jane Austen; please let the woman enjoy the afterlife, she doesn't deserve this. There's a lot more wrong with it, but I would prefer to put this as far behind me as I can and move on to something I actually enjoyed. 🙃
Profile Image for Meredith (Austenesque Reviews).
892 reviews313 followers
January 5, 2023
Austenland Meets The Bachelor

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Austenesque Jolabokaflod

TYPE OF NOVEL: Austen-Inspired Original


Emma Brady is coerced by her business partner and best friend to be a contestant on the show Dating Mr. Darcy – not because they hope she finds love – but because they want the publicity to promote their new activewear brand. And so Emma must play the part and pretend she is looking for love and is there for “the right reasons.” But what happens when something real starts to develop off the set of this dating show? And Emma’s goals begin to change?


- The Concept: I love the combination of a feisty heroine, a swoon-worthy hero, and a houseful of women competing against each other! Sebastian Huntington-Ross makes an excellent Mr. Darcy, with his reserve and haughty manners. Like Emma, I was trying to figure out why he agreed to go on this dating show. I also loved seeing all the contestants spotlighted in this story. There was quite a variety of personalities, some were delusional, some were hopefully romantic, some were catty, mean girls, and some were laidback realists.

- The Jane Austen Connections: The women were there because they want to “date Mr. Darcy.” And so the contestants needed to dress the part, act with Regency etiquette, and take part of Regency activities such as learning country dances, riding horses, and displaying their musical accomplishments (that part was brilliant). It was great fun to see these modern women endure this different lifestyle and unexpected challenges. It put me in mind of Austenland a little bit.

- What Is Real?: Our heroine does not believe real love can be found on a reality TV dating show and yet she shares many real moments with Sebastian. I loved all their private conversations and the humor and honesty of their exchanges. Their playful teasing is adorbs. And when Emma starts to recognize some unexpected feelings for Sebastian she needs to figure out if they are real or is it just the “Darcy Effect?” Can you really fall in love in an artificial reality? Can the relationship survive “real life?”

- Reality Show Realities: I enjoyed how the author poked at the falseness in reality shows with their outrageous reveals, manipulations to keep “entertaining” contestants around, and determined fishing for juicy and revealing confessions.

- Emma: Like Elizabeth Bennet, Emma is independent, headstrong, and isn’t overly concerned about what others think of her. I loved seeing her loyalty to her friends, blunt honesty, and her hilariously humbling moments of clumsiness and awkwardness. However, the one aspect of her character I did not like was how prejudiced and judgmental she was towards Sebastian. It felt a little extreme given there wasn’t as strong a provocation like Mr. Darcy’s infamous insult to support her instant dislike of him.


- Unanswered Questions: Why do these characters fall in love with each other? What admirable and attractive traits did they discover about each other? I think I needed more convincing since the romance felt a little fast and light.


Dating Mr. Darcy is a fun and entertaining Janeite fantasy! How many of us Jane Austen fans would watch this show? I know I would! I enjoyed this playful look at fantasized love, manufactured drama, and reality TV. I’d recommend this fun read to fans of Austenland, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and other romantic comedies.

Austenesque Reviews
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,356 reviews99 followers
September 9, 2020
3.5 Stars. This was pretty cute. I liked the dating reality show concept. I liked the romance, but thought it could have been developed a little more. It felt like they only had a couple real interactions before they were "in love." I'd be interested in reading more from this, author.
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 51 books1,099 followers
August 31, 2020
So many laugh out loud moments. Glad I found this book and look forward to reading more by Ms. O'Keeffe.
471 reviews4 followers
August 14, 2020
Just like Emma went into Dating Mr. Darcy with no expectations to make a connection, I also did not expect to love it as much as I do especially since first books usually has some growing pains. I am pleased to say that just like Emma, I was wrong as I was immediately invested into the characters and readers will find themselves pleasantly surprised how easily they get drawn into this book.

A cross of the Bachelor seasons of Matt Grant who was British and Lorenzo Borghese who came from a prominent family, you get Sebastian here looking for love. Just like many reality dating shows, you have the means girls, those who are looking for love and those not here for the right reasons, to promote themselves or increase followers to become a social media influencer.

What makes this story endearing is the romanticizing of Jane Austen references, Pride and Prejudice and the period wear that really transports you to a different time.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,362 reviews14 followers
August 24, 2020
A surprisingly wonderful book! Emma and her partner are looking for a way to promote their new clothing line. What better place to do that than on a reality dating show. Sebastian is the bachelor, a perfect Mr. Darcy with an English accent and a mansion in England. Emma is feisty and determined. I delighted in the interplay between these two, each with their own secrets. The other characters are varied and interesting, the relationships feel real and the humour made me laugh-out-loud. I recommend this book. I received a free copy of this book. The honest opinions in this review are my own.
10.1k reviews112 followers
August 17, 2020
Absolutely delightful story. Emma is a Fashion Designer, but she really wants to promote her line. Is going on a Reality Show worth it. Loved it.
Profile Image for Ashlee.
292 reviews8 followers
August 22, 2020
Oh. My. Word. I honestly could not put this book down. If I didn't have real life responsibilities getting in the way, I feel like I could have finished this book in just a few hours. The whole premise was amazing. A Bachelor-esque type dating show where the main character was portraying Mr. Darcy and was frequently referred to as Mr. Darcy? Loved it. And I don't even like watching The Bachelor as a show. But I do love Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen.

While this is not a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Dating Mr. Darcy had a lot of great tie-ins from that book and other Austen works. From Emma being the main character to a cute English gentleman who at first appears pompous but isn't really to large manor homes to Regency clothes to another girl with the last name Bennett.

Emma, much like Elizabeth Bennett, first finds Sebastian (AKA Mr. Darcy) to be arrogant and full of himself. She wants nothing to do with him and only agreed to the reality show to promote her activewear line which is in some serious need of sales boosts. But, just like Lizzie, she gets to know him more and opinions, of course, change.

I highly recommend this book for rom com book fans, especially if you also enjoy Pride and Prejudice and/or Jane Austen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and I'm leaving an honest and voluntary review.
Profile Image for Kristen Lewendon.
6,827 reviews38 followers
August 24, 2020
I laughed so hard my sides still hurt. In this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with a reality-TV spin, we get humor, sweetness, angst, drama, and a dose of just plain crazy. Emma is just adorable. She’s the everywoman-kind of character that I can relate to easily. She’s occasionally clumsy, often snarky, and someone I just couldn’t help but cheer on to victory. Sebastian could be the poster child for the classic British reserve and stiff upper lip. But he’s hiding a world of secrets that could bring them closer or tear them all apart. I think this is the first book I’ve read from this author, but it certainly won’t be my last.
I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book through Hidden Gems Books.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 19 books410 followers
August 8, 2020
Oh, man. I loved everything about this book. I had to stop and think before posting this review because the only words in my head when I finished were "Holy $h1t amazeballs!" I was sneak reading while letting my toddler play on his own. (What? It's good for him.)

I’m generally not a huge fan of Pride & Prejudice (I know, I know!) but I do love the remakes. Especially Bridget Jones’s Diary. But this wasn’t a straight remake, and it truly is one of the best books I’ve read in ages. I devoured it. Highly recommended, especially if you are someone who, like me, adores reality TV in all of its myriad forms.
Profile Image for Robin Vroman.
313 reviews
September 10, 2020
Austen fun.

Okay, if you're looking for something a tad, shall we say, edgier, this is perhaps not the book for you. However, if you want something light, laugh out (at least snicker) loud funny you've come to the right place. This is not quite a cliff hanger, but close enough. Book 2 will be out in November,. Happy reading! ☺
Profile Image for Cj.
32 reviews4 followers
August 28, 2020
Such a fun read in these trying times. A great escape from reality.

If you grew up with stories of meeting Prince Charming then U will love this.

I am a huge fan of this author and especially love the Books set in NZ and especially the ones in my beloved Wellington
Profile Image for Megan Besing.
Author 3 books128 followers
November 24, 2020

Cute. Fun. Happily ever after. Clean romance. Few cursing. Overall well done. If you love mr. Dacy, this story is for you.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,877 reviews1,878 followers
August 28, 2021
Ok this one was super cute y’all. Emma is trying to launch her activewear clothing line with her BFF and figures that competing on a reality tv dating show may be the perfect way to get tons of exposure. She goes into things with a game plan and never expects to actually like the suitor, she’s focused and driven and not even interested in looking for love. Since it’s a modern take on Jane Austen you get some super sweet and romantic moments but then you also have the cutthroat world of a reality tv dating show which just made this one super fun for me. It was funny, warm and adorable and a total comfort read that I would recommend for people that enjoy sweet romance ans Bachelor type reality tv shows.
Profile Image for Laura.
792 reviews55 followers
August 19, 2021
I just finished this book last night! It was so so cute! I would totally watch this dating show. I would love to dress up in regency dress until I read about all the layers lol. Omg Emma was the best!! Their banter and his Henry Cavill goodlooks made for a great story and show! 
Profile Image for Carina.
121 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2023
Emma is iconic. I laughed a lot with her. 😂

Emma for most part of the book "I don't want to fall in love with Mr Darcy". We all know what happened 🤭

Great book for people who love Price and Prejudice and The Selection.
Profile Image for Geovanna.
105 reviews24 followers
September 4, 2020
This was an amazing contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. This was a really great feel-good rom-com! I loved Emma and her straightforward humor while she goes through this Bachelor like reality TV show it was hilarious. I have never been the biggest reality tv fan but I could definitely see myself watching a show like this just for the period wear. We get a few mean girls, Mr. Bingley, and bloomers in this book Lol! Loved seeing a modern take on one of my favorite classics. Its a fantastic rom-com and I am looking forward to book 2 to see how this continues.

Emma is in the middle of starting a new business with her friend Penny. Penny thought the best thing they could do to promote their new Activewear is if Emma competes in the new upcoming reality tv show Dating Mr. Darcy! Emma just has to stay on the show for a couple of episodes then get sent home and things can go back to normal right? All seems fine until Emma meets the modern-day Mr. Darcy Sebastian Huntington-Ross! Along with his amazing body and hot accent, there's also pride and a smug demeanor to accompany it. Can Emma keep her priorities straight when it comes to Sebastian? Is he really as arrogant as he appears or could this Modern day Mr. Darcy be hiding a few secrets of his own?
Profile Image for Victoria.
3,346 reviews
August 24, 2020
I'll be honest and say I started this book not in the best of minds due to personal stuff, I wasn't feeling great and wasn't sure I was going to like this as much as I ended up doing. I am very glad I did read it as it has left me feeling so much happier than I was.

This book had me sniggering, rolling my eyes, closing my eyes not sure if I wanted to read what happened next, sighing, smiling, going 'oh no!' and laughing out loud. I fell in love with the story and the characters. I didn't always see things that happened coming which made for a great read. This story is told from Emma's point of view which made me feel a strong connection to her, she was someone who I would have been friends with. I really wanted Emma and Sebastian to end up together so much.

I cannot wait to read the next two books in this series because I want more wacky moments, more romance, more Austin moments (please, please, please the pond scene), more gestures of love and a completely HEA for Miss Emma and Mr Darcy.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Bookgyrl.
1,303 reviews15 followers
August 17, 2020
In order to promote her fashion line Emma decides to apply for the new television dating show 'Dating Mr Darcy'. She has no expectations at all, but during the filming of the show she forges new friendships, gains enemies and falls in love with said Mr Darcy... but can she win his heart?

I remember years ago I watched a reality tv show called 'Outback Jack'. All those women competing over 1 man... They were vicious and mean to each other, but some were really nice. And you know what? The man playing 'Outback Jack' married the winner and they started a family (still married I believe). So I know it is possible, but I never watched shows like this again.

In this story we have Emma and Sebastian, who both have their own reasons to be in the show and no, it is not finding love.
I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more of this author.

*** I received an ARC via Booksprout. This is my honest and voluntary review. ***
August 22, 2020
I’ll admit I’m a sucker for all things Pride and Prejudice, but I was pleasantly surprised by Dating Mr. Darcy. Emma is our spunky heroine who goes on a dating reality show for all the wrong reasons, only to find herself developing feelings for the lead.

What I loved about this book is that P&P is a setting for the book and there are a few plot references, but it doesn’t completely follow the storyline. Emma is written with a strong voice. I liked her and believed her. Sebastian is a little less defined, but he was still suitable to fall in love with. The real gems in this novel are the interactions between the contestants and the interviews with the producers. I loved some of the girls. I hope Kennedy and Reggie gets their own books, and I was especially pleased with one unexpected happy ending.

It did feel a little rushed at the end. It’s not often that I wish a book was longer, so well-done for this first-time author!
Profile Image for Trish- Late Knight Luna Reads.
1,312 reviews5 followers
August 23, 2020
I was given an ARC for my honest review by the author.

Oh my goodness! I absolutely loved this book. I'm always up for a sweet, funny Rom-Com and this book was it.

Emma signs up to be on dating show, "Dating Mr. Darcy" which is a playoff of Pride & Prejudice. The women are the Lizzies and Sebastian is Mr Darcy himself. Emma is on the show to promote her clothing line, not to fall in love.

This book was funny and was a great read. The chemistry between Emma and Seb is amazing. I'm a big fan of when the characters are from America and England. I loved the secondary characters, the other Lizzies, they were a good combo of good, funny, sweet, crazy and of course the back stabber. I wouldn't mind if "Dating Mr. Darcy" was an actual dating show. I would watch that for sure. I can't wait for the second book in this series to come out.
894 reviews
August 26, 2020
I've read other books by Kate O'Keefe and remember laughing out loud at some of the crazy antics and characters. Dating Mr Darcy didn't disappoint. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite movies so I could appreciate the references (which also had me thinking of funny scenes from a certain Julia Kent book). Emma grabbed my attention with her quick wit and "real" personality amidst some very interesting characters on this reality dating show. Sebastien took a while to show his true personality, but he, too, had humorous moments along the way. OK. It's not all fun and games, and feelings are hurt... big time... but I really enjoyed how these two characters who went onto the show for the wrong reasons ended up finding love in all the right ways. Looking forward to seeing what comes next in this series.
54 reviews1 follower
August 25, 2020
I should not like this book. I do not watch The Bachelor. I am not a huge Pride and Prejudice fan (even though I do love Bridget Jones!) and I don't like reality tv. It made no difference as I really enjoyed this story. Emma is a clothing designer who goes on a Bachelor type show to publicize the brand. She had no expectations, but what fun would that book be? I enjoyed the story of Emma's adventures dating her Mr. Darcy and, as usual, I loved Kate O'Keefe's character development. She has a way of making her characters seem like my friends and I miss them when the book ends. Thankfully, it looks like this is a planned series.

I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bandora.
156 reviews3 followers
August 26, 2020
I enjoyed this quirky and unique story. I was pretty much hooked from the beginning and enjoyed the comic relief sprinkled throughout.

As a business owner, I had to force myself to ignore the whole "must go into a reality show to save the business" angle because I could think off the top of my head of dozens of other things they could have done instead but without this Emma wouldn't have had an excuse to go on the show and fall in love so I'll let it pass.

The ending was very frustrating though. Everything was so "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" at the end. It went from "I love you" to "the book is over" in the blink of an eye, an epilogue or some padding at the end would have eased the sting of the abrupt end.

I received an advanced review copy in exchange for a review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 348 reviews

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