The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What would you do if you staggered downstairs for your early morning cup of tea and discovered a gorgeous man stripping to use the outdoor shower on your porch? Casey blinks and pulls up a stool, believing she's still asleep and having a fabulous dream. The fantasy sours rapidly when he notices her and flies into a rage. Having the stranger break through her screen door and accuse her of spying on him, of using her cell phone to take photos or video, first terrifies, then confuses, and finally infuriates her until she roars at him to leave.
As first impressions go, they are not off to a good start. The situation deteriorates when Casey discovers her intruder is both a famous movie star and her landlord, so she takes food to the Big House to make amends and keep Tate from evicting her but overhears him sharing his unfavorable opinion of her with his best friend (and her new champion), action movie hero Jack Worth. She doesn't stick around to hear the end of their conversation, leaving Tate with quite the uphill battle to redeem himself in her eyes as the two meet and clash again and again.
This is a delightful retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I love how P&P frames the modern story, using chapter headings to loosely telegraph what will happen but not constricting the characters to slavishly follow the original plot. It's a completely contemporary novel that uses the structure of Austen's tale to inform not just the casting of the internal play but also the broader story arc.
For reader's advisors: story and character doorways are both strong. There are a few sex scenes but they are not terribly explicit. Some swearing. No violence. Fans of Jude Deveraux will recognize allusions to her earlier works and characters (Montgomery & Taggert families), but it's not necessary to have read them to enjoy this volume.
I received an eGalley ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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