It is a truth universally acknowledged…

… that Pride & Prejudice is a book that has stood the test of time.  Curtis Sittenfeld has brought it bang up to date with tales of silicon valley, yoga, fitbits, publishing and healthcare issues.  Funny, amusing and at times cringeworthy, whilst it’s based on the original P&P, it won’t be a book that appeals to the P&P purist.

ELIGIBLE

I loved it – one of my most favourite books (Pride & Prejudice) brought up to date by one of my most favourite authors. What’s not to love?

The characterisation stays true to the original. LIzzy is fun but as hot headed and prejudiced as her Darcy; Jane and Bingley’s attraction is warm but not excessive. Kitty and Lydia are as vacuous as in the original and Mrs Bennett is as irritating as ever. I liked the fact that Wyckham was now Jasper Wick and Ham Ryan! Lady Catherine is now an ardent feminist and Mr Collins is as repulsive as ever as Cousin Willie! My only disappointment was that Mrs Bennett’s stereotypes were not adequately countered or addressed (anti-semitic, anti-transgender and racist) but that doesn’t really detract from my love for this story.

Admittedly this book won’t be for everyone – the characterisation isn’t particularly deep – but I loved the retelling of the tale. Despite knowing what would happen, the reinterpretation did make me smile at each turn of events and even giggle on occasion.

I absolutely loved it and was thrilled to receive an advance copy.

Brilliant! But not for the P&P purist!

MetLineReader Rating 5 stars🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Metropolitan

About this book

 

From the bestselling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Austen’s classic set in modern day Cincinnati.

The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.

Liz and Jane are good daughters. They’ve come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home, and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.

Once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late thirties, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family’s BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men . . .

Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he’s a reality TV star too. But Chip’s friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Liz, sceptical of Darcy. As Liz is consumed by her father’s mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn’t only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.

But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.

‘This year the book of the summer is going to be Eligible’ The Times

‘Sheer joy… Giddy and glam and a hearty update of Pride and Prejudice’ Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

Acknowledgements

Eligible is published on 21st April by The Borough Press, an imprint of Harper Collins UK.

I received an advance review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I loved it and have already pre-ordered my hardback edition!

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Friendships and secrets…

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***Update*** so excited to discover that my quote has been used in the publicity materials:  “I LOVE Marcie Steele’s writing”

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Marcie Steele has a fabulous way with words and the ability to craft her story with pace, depth and emotional attachment. There’s something rather special about this story of secrets and friendship that goes beyond the usual “chick-lit”…

This book is a feel-good tale of friendships and relationships – following your heart and not taking others for granted.

I can’t wait for her next book to come out (hurry up and write it, please Marcie!!

MetLineReader rating 4 star (Piccadilly)

About this book

Best friends tell each other everything… right?
Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated…

On the outside, thirty-something Sam seems to have it all; the gorgeous husband, the beautiful home and the flourishing business. But things are not quite as rosy as they seem. So when handsome stranger, Dan, walks into her life, Sam finds his attentions hard to resist.

Louise might seem like life and soul of the party, but her outgoing exterior hides her sadness about the heartbreak in her past. She just wants someone to love – but all Louise gets left with is a quick fumble with an ex at the end of the night.

When a glamorous face from the past returns to shake things up, things get even more complicated for Sam and Louise. And just when they need each other the most, they’ve reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all.

An emotional and uplifting tale of love, secrets and the importance of having a best friend.

Acknowledgements

That’s What Friends Are For is published by @Bookouture TODAY (11th December). I received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

The Magic of Christmas

I really enjoyed this book; its three tales in one longer book, all different but Christmassy-themed. 
 All I want for Christmas is the sad tale of Isabella, a newly single teacher and young Tyler, a little boy suffering the loss of his parents. Tyler’s gorgeous uncle, Jordan Butler, is struggling to cope with the enormity of his charge. An uplifting tale of believing in Christmas happiness.  This was my favourite of the three stories.
Dreaming of A White Wedding is less emotional and more silliness, when twins Scarlet and Cass swap identities so that Cass can be in two places at once. As you can probably guess from the title, romance ensues but the path to get there isn’t smooth and has some quite funny/cringey moments!

The final story Christmas Every Day seemed more pedestrian at the start but got more interesting as it developed. This is definitely the most “magical” of the lot. I would say that Jaimie Admans has a simpler style than Misty Shaw (DoaWW) or Gina Rochelle (AIWFC) but this ultimately didn’t matter. You have to suspend your preconceived ideas a little more with the final tale and believe in the magic of Christmas.

A great trilogy to read at Christmas, curled up by the fire and eating mince pies!! Highly recommended. MetLineRating 4.5* (Jubilee)

About this Book 

Christmas Wish Come True by Gina Rochelle, Misty Shaw, Jaime Admans

All I Want for Christmas by Gina Rochelle

Ditching her faithless fiancé, schoolteacher Isabella plans to spend the holidays alone. But when she unintentionally inspires a young pupil to make an impossible wish, she joins forces with his – totally gorgeous – uncle to put things right! Could two wishes come true this Christmas?

Dreaming of a White Wedding by Misty Shaw

When Scarlet discovered her husband-to-be in a passionate clinch with her bridesmaid, she called off her Valentine’s wedding and ran away to London. But when her sister asks for her help, she can’t refuse…even if it means coming face-to-face with her ex – the man she never stopped loving!

Christmas Every Day by Jaimie Admans

Emma loves bumping into Gorgeous Dog Walker, Nick, every evening. But when he ends up in a coma (partly her fault), she ends up taking care of ‘his job’…and his dog! Emma stopped believing in Santa years ago, but this Christmas her world is about to be turned upside down!

Christmas Wish Come True is a gift for you this December, snuggle up by the fire, leave the stresses of Christmas shopping behind you…and relax!

Acknowledgements

Christmas Wish Come True is published by Carina UK on 4th December and is available on Amazon UK

My thanks to Carina UK for an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

A Christmassy tale of two bakers

Sue Watson weaves a tale of Christmassy cheer, intertwined with old secrets, lost friendships and family histories.

Bella and Amy were friends as children and lost touch. Their friendship ended suddenly around the time that Amy’s mum died.

Fast forward to today and Amy has just been left by her husband, works as a Maths Teacher and is frugal in her spending. She volunteers at the local homeless shelter too.

Bella is a celebrity chef – think Nigella, Delia and Mary Berry rolled into one!! Bella has a lovely lifestyle, a handsome hunk of a husband, a beautiful home and her own TV show. She is unapologetically drawn to the finer things in life.

Trouble is, most of Bella’s life is fake — and Amy wants to expose this, particularly the theft of her mum’s recipes.

By some miraculous luck, Amy is “chosen” to win the Christmas prize  on Bella’s cookery show – and this is where the fun begins. The behind-the-scenes look at TV is obvious yet funny and on the money. The caricatures are extreme yet realistic. And the friction and banter between Bella and Amy is fun and adds to the story.

Long story short, the story comes together well with bittersweet reveals about their history and heartwarming rekindling of a friendship whilst helping others less fortunate.

An uplifting tale, about friendship and being authentic. Worth a read – will get you into the Christmas spirit.

MetLineReader rating: 4* Piccadilly

Acknowledgements

I received an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Bella’s Christmas Bake-off is published by Bookouture on 22nd October. It is available from Amazon