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Posts Tagged ‘teri wilson’

Source: Review copy from Hallmark Publishing

Love at the Shore by Teri Wilson, based on the Hallmark movie of the same name, was the perfect summer read. (Yes, it’s time for my annual catch up on reviews before the end of the year.) Set on Tybee Island, Georgia, the novel follows YA author Jenna Turner — who is staying at a beach house for the summer with her children, Nick and Ally — and the surfer next door Lucas McKinnon. Jenna is expecting quiet summer days where she can finish her second novel while her kids are at camp, but she quickly realizes that Lucas, with his loud music, his rambunctious dog Tank, and, of course, his good looks, is going to be a major distraction.

Of course, Jenna and Lucas are complete opposites, which causes plenty of tension, and of course, they can’t stand each other. Of course, Nick and Ally want to get to know Lucas and play with his dog, and of course, Lucas doesn’t really know how to handle children and Jenna doesn’t want them getting too attached or picking up his “lazy surfer” ways. Just like the movie, the novel is predictable, but that’s to be expected, and it doesn’t really matter with these kinds of stories. I was a bit apprehensive about reading the novelization of Love at the Shore, mainly because I’d already seen the movie several times, but having loved Wilson’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy (which was way better than the Hallmark movie version of the novel), I had to give it a try — and I wasn’t disappointed.

Wilson gives a depth to the characters that isn’t in the movie. Sure, you see the characters evolve over the course of the two hours, but Jenna still grated on my nerves at times. In Wilson’s novel, Jenna is still the same Jenna as in the movie, but you get to see into her mind and her heart and feel for her in a way that you might not while watching the movie. Moreover, the decision Lucas makes in the movie that hurts Jenna and her kids is still disappointing but more understandable when fleshed out by Wilson. Ultimately, despite having seen the movie multiple times, it felt like I was experiencing the story for the first time, and the epilogue set after the movie ends is a nice treat.

This is the second book I’ve read from Hallmark Publishing that is based on a Hallmark movie, and now I just have to give their original novels a try.

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unleashing-mr-darcy

Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★★☆

As she crossed the ring back toward Mr. Darcy, a lump formed in her throat. Rebellious tears stung the backs of her eyes, threatening to spill over and make her humiliation complete.

She brought Bliss to a halt about an arm’s distance away from him and waited for some sort of dismissal. He appraised her with one slightly arched brow in a way that made Elizabeth wonder if he was evaluating the dog’s appearance or her own.

(from Unleashing Mr. Darcy)

Teri Wilson’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy is a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set on the dog show circuit. Forced to leave her teaching job at an elite Manhattan school due to a scandal, Elizabeth Scott heads to England with her beloved dog Bliss to care for her new friend Sue’s show dogs. But even crossing the ocean doesn’t get her away from Donovan Darcy, the sexy British dog breeder and judge whom Elizabeth finds herself attracted to despite his annoying arrogance. As the two grow closer and the hostility between them lessens while the passion ramps up, they seem destined to be kept apart. They must navigate numerous obstacles, from the schemes of Helena Robson and Darcy’s Aunt Constance to the troubles Elizabeth thought she left behind in New York.

I read Unleashing Mr. Darcy earlier this year in preparation for the Hallmark movie adaptation (more on that later), and I am shamefully behind in posting reviews of non-blog-tour books. I found the novel to be thoroughly enjoyable and definitely spicier than allowed on Hallmark! The developing attraction and interactions between Donovan and Elizabeth felt true to their characters, and I thought Wilson did a good job creatively adapting Pride and Prejudice via dog shows (which I know absolutely nothing about but enjoyed nonetheless). I also liked how she revamped Austen’s characters so they felt fresh and modern but were still recognizable.

I must admit I liked the novel much more than the Hallmark movie adaptation. It felt like a lot of the details from the book were missing, details that were important to the plot in my opinion. Also, Elizabeth’s treatment of Darcy was a lot harsher than in the book while Darcy’s character was softened a bit. This made it harder for me to understand their attraction. So if you watched the movie first and then decided the book wasn’t for you, I strongly encourage you to forget the movie and give the book a try.  I definitely plan to read more by Wilson down the road.

Disclosure: I borrowed Unleashing Mr. Darcy from my public library.

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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