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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe Kindle Edition
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It has been eight years since Darcy Fitzwilliam (great use, by the way, of literally just switching last name and first around and using it for a female character) has been home to Pemberly, Ohio. She's been busy living in New York making a name for herself as partner of an extremely successful hedge fund company. She's living her life the way she wants after being cut off by her father for not marrying her on-again, off-again high school sweetheart, and to say so myself she is doing rather well for herself. But when her mother suffers a heart attack, Darcy rushes right home. Now, she's face-to-face with the family she left behind at one of the most family-oriented times of year. Not to mention running into her high school rival Luke Bennett.
They couldn't stand each other in high school. Darcy felt like Luke was always trying to one-up her at everything. However, Darcy can't seem to deny the spark between them when under the influence of too much family eggnog as well as the mistletoe. As she starts to warm to the idea that her feelings for Luke are more than just antagonistic, Luke turns things on their ear by rejecting Darcy's claim of love and calling her snobby and selfish. But is that the truth of who Darcy is? Is she really a snob who thinks herself better than others, or is something else clouding Luke's judgement of Darcy's character?
Like others, I cannot resist a good Pride and Prejudice retelling (and there are quite the plethora on the market). So when I first learned the Melissa de la Cruz would be tackling one, and the fact that it clearly (from the title) takes place during the holidays I knew I wanted to read it.
On the surface Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is a cute, sweet, retelling. I loved that it de la Cruz decided to put a spin on the story by switching things around and not just in the genders of most of our main characters, but the fact that technically this is a story from Darcy's point of view in lieu of Elizabeth's (i.e. Luke's). I liked that, here, Darcy is a successful female in a primarily male dominated field. I like that Darcy is proud of her successes and really doesn't want for anything. I loved where Melissa de la Cruz decided to go off the beaten path with the story. I liked that there was a history between Luke and Darcy. They begin with a classic enemies-to-lovers story trope. They push each others' buttons, and the moment Darcy, literally, runs into Luke you can feel the chemistry between them. I do believe the opening of this book in very nearly perfect.
But, you knew this was coming, I did use the words "on the surface" in the above. When I start to really think about this story, and how things proceed, I come up with a few things that just did sit right for me as a reader.
One of the main ones being that I actually wanted to see Darcy being successful. We are only ever told she is a success, but we don't see her in her element. In fact, much of this book is spent with Darcy outside of her element and while that was necessary for her character's journey in this story, since there was such a thing made about her being a woman and being successful at her job and having pride in her success, I wanted to see it. Because where we are in the book, Darcy is all over the place emotionally questioning this and that, I kinda felt like she was a mess at certain points. And truly, as we see Darcy's "change of heart" happening, it felt mostly forced rather than genuine. This came through mostly for me when we see Darcy interact with her three brothers. There is a moment where we see how deep Darcy cut ties with her family for eight years, and while I could understand the precipitating events between her parents (especially her father), I just didn't understand it when it came to her brothers who clearly where thinking about her. I guess more of what I would have liked to have seen was Darcy trying to repair the rip between her and her brothers.
Also, as with Darcy's siblings, there were a lot of secondary characters and relationships that felt like they were just kind of there. Such as the relationship (yes romantic) between Luke and his childhood friend Charlotte Collins. The more I thought about Melissa de la Cruz's choice to have their be a romantic entanglement between Charlotte and Luke the more I really liked the idea. There could have been so much more to Charlotte's character. Instead she's relegated to jealous female. I know that the problem lies with the story being only from Darcy's point of view, but I was sad that there wasn't more to this character (and the twist between the characters as set up).
I thought Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe was a cute, quick read which was overall satisfying for what it was. However, I would have liked if we got a longer story and were able to expand upon some of the characters a bit more. I think the story would have been more enriched if there were more details added.
"Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe" by Melissa de la Cruz is based on a gender-switching re-telling of the original classic. This story takes place in America, and the timeline is in the present. The genres for this novel are Fiction and Women's Fiction.
The author describes the characters as shallow, dysfunctional,materialistic, and unlikeable. Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, extremely wealthy and has been successful in New York. She returns to her hometown in Pemberly, Ohio, when her mother is recovering from a heart attack. Darcy hasn't been home in 8 years, and has left home after her father threatened to financially cut her off because she didn't marry Carl,the man her parents wanted her to.
When Darcy is home to visit her mother, the family makes a huge Christmas party. Many of Darcy's former classmates are there. Some are married. Darcy has been seeing the same Carl on and off for 8 years and he is at the party as well. The setting is festive, alcohol is being served, and mistletoe is hung in several places. Somehow, Darcy finds herself under the mistletoe, with Luke, who was a former classmate, and now is a carpenter. Luke and Darcy were constantly arguing in high school. Somehow, being under the mistletoe , when the two kiss, there are sparks between them. Luke feels that Darcy is a snob.
I do appreciate that the author brings up the subject of homosexuality, and friendship. The author also does mention family, and eventually mentions how important it is. She also brings up love. I think that this story has tremendous potential. Somehow, I found this confusing. On the one hand Darcy is shown to be independent, and on the other hand, left her family because she wouldn't be dependent. Now Darcy doesn't want to be alone, but vacillates who she will be with. I also have a problem understanding the dysfunctional aspects of Darcy's family. Who throws a Christmas party when someone is recovering from a heart attack? First being materialistic and wealthy is important in this story and then all of a sudden it's not. How could her family cause her to leave 8 years before, because she wasn't ready to get married? Now they are upset that she hasn't come home?
I received a copy of this ARC for my honest review. Not every book is for everybody. I am sure some people would enjoy this. Happy Reading!