Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Lucky 13 by Cat Gardiner

What's more swoon worthy than a Redcoat? Mr Darcy in his fireman's outfit!!!! Intrigued by such an enhancement on Mr Darcy's attributes, I was eager to see him in action. However rather than a detailed account of his heroic acts, the reader gets far more action than they bargained for in the form of Mr Darcy, pin up fireman for the latest charity calendar. Oh yes, tis a sight to behold or (imagine)! .

Darcy responded to the pretty girl before him, “What do I look for? Well, besides compassion, intelligence, and kindness, I’m looking for someone who is honest, not only with those around her, but also, more importantly, with herself. Not someone who hides behind a persona, but someone who is comfortable with who she is, and knows what she wants in life. I’m only going to marry once in my life, and I want my wife to be happy. I don’t want to wake up one day to find out she’s miserable with who she became or the life we built together. I want someone real.” - Cat Gardiner

CEO of his father's Tech firm, Will Darcy is a tormented man, guilt ridden for not being there to save his parents from the fire that lead to their deaths, he  has joined ladder Company 13 on a part time basis. Of course I had no quibbles with Darcy putting his life on the line to save others, yet the same could not be said of Darcy's aunt Lady Catherine who was seriously displeased with her nephew fraternising with common peasants! Christmas is approaching and as the anniversary of his parents death approaches Darcy has thrown himself into his work, pulling extra shifts whilst virtually living at the firehouse. The Colonel, Richard to you & I in the twenty 21st century is determined to get Darcy out of the perpetual depression which plagues him at this time of year. Resigned to his fate Darcy states "This is Manhattan in the 21St century and a woman worthy of the Darcy name just doesn't exist"

Oh I beg to differ, Elizabeth Bennet is an advertising director, who is OCD on organisation & perfection and has a kick boxing belt to add to her list of accomplishments! Mrs Bennet would disagree of course and say that a husband and kids are the only accomplishments that need matter.Which leads perfectly to why Elizabeth is on a mission, fed up with her mothers tirades on
being single, Elizabeth and Charlotte come up with a plan to get Elizabeth a Christmas dinner date .
The fun part being that they are going to blog about it along the way, cleverly if your Kindle is connected to the internet you can click on the blog posts that are posted throughout the book and have a laugh when Darcy comments under the pseudonym caveman!

"Quick on its heels was an unexpected side kick to his left rib cage, jolting him backward. Elizabeth smiled through her yellow mouth guard, and he quickly knocked the smile from her lips with a fast one-two combination. Damn, he hated causing pain to that beautiful face of hers, but she hardly seemed to notice or wince from the impact." - Cat Gardiner

For me modern JAFF's is about transporting Regency D&E into the 21st century without losing the essential ingredients which resonate with lovers of Jane's original couple and this book accomplished that. Darcy is of course shaped and moulded by modern proprieties, yet his gentlemanly behaviour spoke volumes, his compassionate heart and endless charity work was as endearing as his rescue of Lydia in cannon. His idea of a perfect date is traditional and romantic, how can any girl turn down a carriage ride on a snowy winters evening snuggled up with the epitome of perfection. (sorry this was the closest I could get related to Mr Darcy/fireman)

Elizabeth is more stubborn than Darcy is arrogant, but I liked her feisty personality, If done well it can be quite entertaining witnessing Elizabeth fight her destiny when we all know that once she see's Darcy for the man he really is, all resistance will be futile, not to mention foolish.

At times I found Elizabeth's resistance to Darcy a little trying and her vulnerability to Charlotte's brother Lucas was painful to witness as I expected Elizabeth to be less foolish, however I am suddenly reminded of Elizabeth's blind faith in that scoundrel Wickham. I particularly liked that Mrs Bennet was not alone in her matchmaking schemes for Elizabeth, but Richard, Charlotte, Jane, Charlie and Georgiana all had their part to play.

"I looked over to where Charlie sat to the left of my mother. He didn’t know I was watching him when he subtly bent toward his dinner plate to sniff the food, slightly crinkling his nose. That’s when I knew Charlie was a great guy, a real keeper. He discovered my mother’s secret seasoning – Binaca Breath Spray. " - Cat Gardiner

Lucky 13 is a funny, heart warming seasonal JAFF that can be read at any time of the year. I appreciated the fact that it was kept more or less out of the bed room, if you can class Darcy's hip gyrating dance at the fireman's charity auction, in front of an audience of screaming ladies, clean then you'll be fine, although I am not sure Elizabeth was, once it became clear he was dancing just for her!! I believe I heard a certain gentleman once declare " it is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it." However it was for charity.

This Book is worthy of 4 hearts - Mr Bingley

As always please feel free to share your thoughts or perhaps comment on what your idea of Fireman Darcy would look like?


  1. Hi Tamara, wasn't this a fun story! I read this while It was being posted on A Happy Assembly and there were so many gorgeous pics posted of the inspiration for 'Mr December', my imagination couldn't have done a better job!

    1. Thanks, Ceri! I think David Gandy picked up quite a few admirers last Christmas on AHA. :) He sold me for next Christmas's story too.

  2. Lol indeed Ceri , I think my image of him changed depending on what part I was reading! However a visual aid wouldn't have hurt, Happy Assembly must have been very happy :)

  3. Thank you Tamara for such a wonderful review! I am so blown away and so so flattered! Lucky 13 began as a lark, when I thought "Gee we've seen Darcy as a physician, tennis player, soccer player, etc., but never a firefighter!" Who knew it would morph into a Christmas story?? I sure didn't, but the muse did. I'm so happy that you had fun and that it added a some hotness to your cold holiday season. All the best for a season of love, friendship and joy, but most especially Luck and Peace. Hugs, Cat


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