Published in the US as Dreaming of Mr Darcy
“Great for both Jane Austen fans and those who just love a good read. Ideal for holidays.” Closer
“I adored the plot of ‘The Perfect Hero’ … It had all the warmth of Victoria’s previous novels.’ Chicklit Reviews
“A wonderfully charming romantic story, perfect for relaxing and daydreaming. We loved it. Highly recommended.” Hot Brands and Cool Places
“A perfect book to lose yourself in.” Sarah Broadhurt Reviews
“The Perfect Hero is a brilliant escapist read that you can’t help but love with its seaside setting and intriguing characters.” Novelicious
“Victoria Connelly is an exceptional new voice in romantic fiction whose stories shine with warmth, humour and heart. The Perfect Hero is romantic comedy gold from a fast-rising star!” Single Titles
“The Perfect Hero is very reminiscent of Jane Austen with the gossip, intrigue and mysterious male leads and misunderstandings in love. Victoria Connelly’s writing is extremely witty and I love her enthusiasm for Austen and her ability to recognise and represent a true Austen fan.” Dot Scribbles
“Written with exquisite detail and engaging plot twists this series is a MUST for any Janeite who loves to read and longs to travel!” Austenesque Reviews
“Connelly creates characters that are lively and fun, and readers will love hanging around with them as they gossip, maneuver, and fall flat on their faces looking for romance.” Savvy Verse & Wit
‘A wonderful, feel good, book that leaves you with a smile on your face and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart!’ Kim the Book Worm
Die-hard romantic, Kay Ashton, uses her inheritance to open a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme Regis and is dumbstruck when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend, needing a place to stay. Kay can’t believe her luck – especially when she realises that heart-throb actor Oli Wade Owen will be sleeping under her very own roof!
Meanwhile, co-star Gemma Reilly is worried that her acting isn’t up to scratch, despite landing a plum role. She finds a sympathetic ear in shy producer, Adam Craig, who is as baffled by the film world as she is. Kay thinks the two are meant for each other and can’t resist a spot of matchmaking.
Then, when Oli turns his trademark charm on Kay, it seems that she has found her real-life hero. But do heroes really exist?
The Perfect Hero is the sparkling follow-up to A Weekend with Mr Darcy.
Adam Craig had lived in Lyme Regis all his life or, to be more precise, a tiny village called Marlbury in the Marshwood Vale just a few miles north of the seaside town. He’d studied English at Cambridge and had worked briefly in London but he would never want to live anywhere else.
From the winding country lanes to the tiny stone cottages and the ever-present caress of a breeze laden with the salty scent of the sea, he couldn’t imagine anywhere else coming close. He loved the rolling fields filled with lambs in the spring, the hedgerows stuffed with summer flowers, the tapestry-colours of the trees in autumn and the slate-grey sea in winter. Every season had its joy and he welcomed each one.
His parents had moved to California twelve years ago. His father had taken early retirement from his antiques business in Honiton and he’d been determined to give the wine business a go, buying an established vineyard in the Nappa Valley. Adam had been invited to join them but had declined. The Dorset coast and countryside were in his blood and he could no more leave it than he could his old nan.
Nana Craig was eighty-four years old and lived in a tiny thatched cottage in a hamlet not far away from Adam’s own. Of all his family members, it was Nana Craig who was his closest. Whilst his parents had been building their business, Nana Craig was the one who’d cleaned his scraped knees as a toddler, bought his first pair of football boots as a youngster and had read each and every one of his screenplays since he’d scribbled his first attempt as a teenager – a rather embarrassing romance called The Princess and the Pirate.
He’d been a screenwriter and film producer for over ten years now and his newest project was the one he’d been planning in his head for that entire length of time, for what screenwriter who lived near Lyme Regis wouldn’t – at some point in their career – turn their attention to Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion?
He had to admit that he hadn’t been a fan of Austen growing up but what young lad was? Austen was for girls, wasn’t she? All those endless assemblies and discussions about men’s fortunes that went on for entire chapters weren’t the stuff to stir the imagination of a young boy. But, as an adult – as a writer – her books, particularly Persuasion – had begun to make their mark and, three years ago, he’d started putting things into motion. And it was all coming together wonderfully. Very early on, he’d managed to get highly-respected director, Teresa Hudson, on board. She had a string of period dramas under her belt and had won a BAFTA for her recent adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Two on a Tower. It was whilst she was filming that in Dorset that they’d got together and started discussing Persuasion.
Now, all the crew and actors were on board and filming had begun. They were due to descend on the unsuspecting town of Lyme Regis soon and Adam was looking forward to that. He’d long been envisaging the scenes he’d written around the Cobb, imagining the fateful leap of Louisa Musgrove and the cautious exchanges between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth.
He was envisaging them now as he walked into town, walking down Broad Street with great strides, shielding his eyes from the sun so that he could catch that wonderful glimpse of sea.
He was heading to the bookshop when he saw her. Tall and slim with a tumble of toffee-coloured hair, she was gazing in the window of an estate agents and was frowning. She was wearing a floral dress that was far more summery than the weather and her hands were busy doing up the buttons of her denim jacket in an attempt to keep the nippy little breeze at bay. She had a rosy face and intensely bright eyes which Adam wished would swivel round in his direction. But what would he do then? What exactly would he do if she swivelled? It would take a small miracle for a girl like her to notice him…
You can order a copy of The Perfect Hero from Amazon.co.uk or your local bookshop.
To view photographs of the settings from the novel, click here.