I said I would review these books back in June, having read them in May (pre-move), but I just never got around to it. So today I'm just going to give a quick review of each so they can leave my desk and finally migrate to the bookshelf.
I really enjoyed Linda Wells previous books, Chance Encounters and Fate and Consequences (read my reviews here), despite the fact that they are far too sexy for my tastes. I've actually now reread Chance Encounters twice (skipping over the sex scenes cuts it in half), and so when I decided to give a modern Pride and Prejudice adaptation a chance - a thing which I have always resisted doing - I turned again to Miss Wells and her most recent book, Perfect Fit: A Modern Tale of Pride and Prejudice. It was amusing: basically also a "What if?", like her earlier novels, with a heavy Cinderella theme. Elizabeth is a writer living with her sisters in their parents apartment building. She meets billionaire Darcy at a wedding planned by her sister, Jane, for his cousin, Anne. It's love at first sight. Together they bridge the social gap between their two worlds and help their relatives achieve happiness. Not all of the pairings work out as Austen envisioned them, which keeps the book compelling. My favorite parts involved visiting Darcy's ancestral home (Pemberley, of course), but Elizabeth and Darcy engaged in modern jet setting isn't nearly as appealing to me as visions of their life in Regency England, though it does make the sex scenes a bit more easy to take. I also didn't particularly care for Ms. Wells continuous quoting of cheesy love songs. I think I will try other modernization, but so far they are as expected. No number of Jimmy Choos will ever be as exciting for me as bonnets and muslin.
Ola Wegner recently published two books, both in the "What if?" style: Deception: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice and Apprehension and Desire: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice. I decided to buy one to read before committing myself financially to both. Unfortunately, I found Deception a bit of a disappointment. It began with great promise with the introduction of another suitor for Elizabeth's hand, a Mr. John Brooke. I thought the character very compelling at first, but Ms. Wegner's further handling of him felt inconsistent and unsatisfying, though she certainly achieved shocking. I do not want to give too much away by elaborating, but I found parts of the book (one scene in particular) appalling. Generally, I thought the first half of the book much better than the second, during which the narrative kind of falls apart as Ms. Wegner turns to plot twists and shock and awe to drive the story to its end. With a little tweaking it could be far more satisfying.