PPand M 2Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: 225 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

Darcy Fitzwilliam simply doesn’t have time to fall in love. But this Christmas, a kiss under the mistletoe will change everything…

As partner at a major New York hedge fund, Darcy’s only serious relationship is with her work cellphone. The truth is, she’s too busy being successful and making money to have time for romance and Christmas cheer.

But this year Darcy is coming home to Pemberley, Ohio, for the holidays. There, she runs into her old neighbour and high-school foe Luke Bennet – the oldest of five wayward brothers. When Darcy’s enmity with Luke is re-opened, along with a hefty dollop of sexual chemistry…well, sparks are sure to fly. Can Darcy fall in love – or will her pride, and Luke’s prejudice against big-city girls, stand in their way?

This sparkling retelling of Pride and Prejudice will warm your heart over the festive season.

The Review

Firstly, I would like to thank Louise Swannell at Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz to review.

Pride and Prejudice is a story that has been told and retold over and over again. I’m always fascinated when someone manages to tell such a classic story and make it feel fresh and fun. This is exactly what Melissa de la Cruz does with Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe.

With a backdrop of America during the Christmas period, de la Cruz has given the characters a bit of a gender twist just to keep fans of the original Austen classic on their toes.

What is truly wonderful about Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is that you really do feel the heat between Darcy and Luke. Obviously, the modern day setting helps this along but you can almost feel the heat coming off the page it almost makes you think back to Pride and Prejudice and re-imagine the scenes between Elizabeth and Darcy as much more scorching than they originally appear.

It really is a lovely little thrill of a novel and it isn’t too big a book at only 225 pages. Definitely a book that can be kept in your handbag to be read wherever you are.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz) please visit www.melissa_delacruz.com.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBoks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

4 Stars

Only With YouTitle: Only With You

Author: Cecilia Gray

Pages: 188 Pages

Publisher: Gray Life

The Blurb

Emma has it all – looks, money, and luck. It’s not like she keeps it all to herself – she’s totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Review

I am not a fan of Jane Austen’s Emma. It is probably my least favourite of Austen’s novels and Emma – the character – was the only one of Austen’s heroines that I failed to find any redeeming features. Somewhat ironically I love Clueless – the hit 90s movie based on Emma. Only With You by Cecilia Gray is a rip off of a rip off. That sounds particularly harsh. It probably would be nicer to say that she is paying homage to both pieces of entertainment. I just personally didn’t love Only With You.

Instead of rural England, Only With You takes place in America, the characters are all teenagers who attend Jane Austen Academy – now maybe I have come into the series too late but I didn’t understand the naming of the academy so that initially threw me off. Like in the Austen novel, Emma tries to set up her friends but she keeps getting it wrong. She means well but her actions are sometimes a bit selfish.

To be fair to Cecilia Gray, Only With You isn’t a bad story. I think it is that I am personally biased against it because of my dislike of the original text. I think it would be best suited for a teenage audience and my age probably played a part in whether or not I liked this book. What I am trying to say is that Only With You was a good book it just wasn’t for me.

Only With You by Cecilia Gray is available now.

For more information regarding Cecilia Gray (@CeciliaBooks) please visit www.ceciliagray.com.

3 Stars

Synopsis

Raina has been sent to live with her family in Toronto. From the fast paced (and arguably self destructive life) that she was leading in New York, Raina suddenly finds herself under the watchful eye of aunt, under the constant scrutiny of her new teachers and, most painfully, under the hateful gaze of her older sister Leah. Leah blames Raina for the destruction of her engagement to ex-fiancé Ben.

Through a series of serendipitous events, Raina finds herself acting as a matchmaker of sorts. She operates under the pseudonym matchmaven and becomes rather successful. Yet her biggest challenge comes when her sister Leah begs to be set up. Can Raina keep her secret identity hidden? Can she continue to be a successful matchmaker? And, rather importantly, can she do all this and pass her high school exams?

Review

This may shock people, and please feel free to frown at me, but I did not like Emma by Jane Austen. I couldn’t connect with the character; I felt that she was a meddlesome flibberty-gibbet. Strangely, I love Clueless (for those of you not in the know Clueless is a 1990s modern adaption of Emma – where have you all been?) and I will admit, I really enjoyed Playing with Matches.

To begin with I was a little overwhelmed by the detail that was given. There was a lot of back story and exposition thrown at you and it was a little hard to take in at first but once I got used to the pace of the book I began to enjoy it.

As a reader, I couldn’t help but start to like Raina. She has flaws, we were continually reminded of them by her family, teachers and peers who made her out to be a horrible person but the things that she did – making romantic matches for people, spending time with the elderly and becoming friends with the bookish nerdy girl – you couldn’t help but fall for this underdog.

The story developed pleasantly and with each thing that went awry you heart swelled with a desire to see Raina succeed. The character was warm-hearted and loveable.

One of my favourite aspects of the book was Jewish element. Not being Jewish myself, I felt like I was on a guided tour of Jewish customs on dating and marriage. It added a whole extra quality to the book that I found educational and entertaining in equal part.

This is a perfect introduction for a younger audience into the styling’s of Jane Austen. And, like me, they might just enjoy this more than Emma.

Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen is available now.

PlayingWithMatchesCover

You can follow Suri Rosen on Twitter @surirosen