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Guest Review: THE WORST DARCY by Robyn Gynne


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Brodie Bishop is the worst. Vivian Trent is desperate. Her family doesn't approve of her life as a single mom and the small town of Austen still won't accept her as one of their own four years later. Playing Elizabeth Bennet at the annual Jane Austen Festival is the perfect way to win over the locals and prove that she's thriving. But when Austen's favorite festival hero is replaced by his tattooed, metalhead brother, how is she supposed to achieve perfection with such a bad boy playing Mr. Darcy? He's never read the book. He's brash and unpolished. He's... blond?! You must allow me to tell you how ardently I dislike you. Brodie's used to being the town disappointment, so when Vivian turns her nose up at him, he's not surprised. Hot librarian or not, she's way too uptight. But once the festival gets underway, they see new sides of each other. When he finds out her dark secret, suddenly she’s much more endearing. She’s vulnerable, but strong. And the way she looks in that gown only blurs the lines between playing the part and falling for her for real. But when her goal is within reach, can Vivian go off-book and choose Brodie, if it means risking everything she thought she wanted? 


Opening Lines: There was nothing like a little passive aggression to wake you up in the morning. “Are you sure this isn’t a mistake, Vivi?” my mother asked over the phone. “It’s not too late to change your mind.” 

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if the name of your town is Austen, Ontario, you will indubitably host an annual Jane Austen festival. And said festival is the springboard for some well-paced fun and sizzle, beginning with a cringe worthy first encounter that paces out from there with a character-driven romance. Although originally caught by the cover and title to try a new-to-me author, I enjoyed the author’s writing that made me care about the characters, enjoy the banter, and feel the progress of the relationship.


Both Vivien and Brody think they have something to prove because, to their families, they are screw-ups. They take the festival as a challenge that being the "best Lizzy and Darcy ever" will get people to see them differently. Viv, in particular, starts out pretty tightly wound and judges on appearance, while Brody is prickly because he knew he was always compared and found wanting. In the process, they begin to see themselves differently as they work together and start respecting each other as allies, then something more. They share a steamy attraction and, whew boy, do they get up to some smexy times, but they both hold back from commitment because of fears of inadequacy and rejection. I loved how Viv’s ex, Sam, does a great job as her bestie and gives her the nudges needed to not mess up her own chance of happiness, and Brody’s bandmates-friends do the same for him.


The librarian and the heavy metal rocker finding love at a Jane Austen festival was sheer fun for me. Want some spice and a small-town contemporary romance? Take up The Worst Darcy.


Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Robyn Gynne

Published:  8.15.23

Pages: 284

Rating: 4 stars

Flames: 3

Source: NetGalley

Smiling dark-haired white woman wearing glasses
Robyn Gynne, author


Robyn writes emotionally complex contemporary romances that feature resilient women overcoming their struggles, memorable men who fall in love hard, and fresh spice! She enjoys writing (and reading) about characters healing from trauma and exploring their sexuality in a healthy, adventurous way. Having published numerous short romances over the years under different pen names, she is pleased to present her first novel-length book, The Worst Darcy.

After graduating from film school, Robyn spent a stint in the Film & TV world, but she ultimately found her way back to her first love: books! When she's not doing something bookish, she's probably watching spooky movies, woodburning crafts or - most of the time - goofing around with her three-year-old son.  She lives in the Greater Toronto Area with the aforementioned toddler and her cinnamon roll husband. You can connect with Robyne via her NEWSLETTER TIKTOK INSTAGRAM GOODREADS


Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.



Christina Morland
Christina Morland
Aug 28, 2023

Thanks, Sophia Rose, for this review! Definitely sounds like a fun book to add to the list!

Sophia Rose
Sophia Rose
Aug 29, 2023
Replying to

Happy to add to your TBR stack, Christina. ;)

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