Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds

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The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice: A modern love story with a Jane Austen twistSet on the coast of Massachusetts, The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice is a modern echo of Jane Austen’s most popular novel.  Cassie Boulton, a talented scientist with a meager background meets Calder Westing III, son of a Senator, born into political royalty.  As in the original Pride & Prejudice, they meet at a local dance, whereupon Cassie is snubbed by Calder.  But as in Austen’s work, he eventually becomes drawn to Cassie and her to him.  Before long they begin a passionate love affair.  And like Darcy and Elizabeth, they too must surmount family resistance in order to be together.

My first impressions of the novel were not very positive.  Within a short amount of time from the start of the book, there were some fairly steamy love scenes that were a bit more than PG-13 in their content.  The characters and plot were fine, but it seemed like almost every time Cassie and Calder got together, they were having their way with each other.  Some moments had quite a lot of detail, while others just cut to the next scene.  The amount of physical passion almost became laughable, given the relative unfamiliarity of these two individuals.

Eventually our lovers seem to simmer down a bit, and the rest of the story focuses on their struggles to be together, despite their opposing backgrounds.  This family drama was intriguing, and caused me to be interested in the fate of Cassie and Calder.  I assumed there would be some type of happy ending, but it was interesting to see the path they would take along the way.

As an Austen fan, I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I hoped I would.  There are echoes of the source material throughout the story, particularly when Calder writes his own P&P fan fiction.  However, this book seemed to be more about a couple who were attracted to each other sexually at first, indulged in those desires and then began to get to know one another.  In the original Pride & Prejudice, there certainly was attraction, but we can assume that Darcy & Lizzie didn’t consummate that attraction until after marrying.

This is not to say that I prefer to shun all novels with love scenes.  I just found the amount of sexual content to be higher than I’d expected.  Fortunately, Reynolds is able to move on to more substantial material, developing her characters and plot nicely.  I enjoyed the relational dance of the family members and felt true (delicious) disdain for one character in particular. The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice certainly had its moments.  Some were interesting and compelling, but unfortunately I would have left several other moments to the imagination of the reader.  If there’s one thing I’m learning from Austen, is that plenty of sexual tension can be conveyed with just a few, well chosen and inexplicit words.  Perhaps if there’s a sequel we’ll see more of that trend.


If you'd like to win my Advanced Copy of Abigail Reynolds' book, here are the contest rules:

    * Leave a comment below; this counts as your entry.
    * Entries accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, May 29th
    * Open to U.S. addresses only.
    * Make sure at least one posted comment includes your email address. If you'd rather not have your email posted here, you may contact me directly to give me that information after you've entered here.
    * I will compile the entries and the winner will be chosen by Random.org, so even one entry can make you a winner!
    * Should you win, I will contact you on Sunday the 30th for your mailing information.  Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message! (CalicoCritic@gmail.com) You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
    * More information on the giveaway policies can be found on the Contact / Policies page.

Bonus Entries

Please make note of all your bonus entries in your comment(s).  You may post separate comments or a single large comment.  Here are your bonus entry options:

    * Follow The Calico Critic by clicking on the Google "Follow" button on my sidebar (old or new followers both get the bonus entry, just let me know you're following).
    * Follow me (@LHartness) on Twitter (Please tell me your @UserName).
    * Tweet about this book's giveaway on Twitter.com; be sure to use an URL linking back to this blog posting in your tweet. You may do this as frequently as every 8 hours between now and May 29th at 11:59pm EST.  For each tweet, please come back and post the direct URL link to that specific tweet, not just your @Username.

That's it!  Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to all the entrants!

This title was provided to me by Sourcebooks Casablanca.  No obligation other than an honest review was required.




  1. thanks for the contest, this looks good! :)

    +1 google follower
    +1 twitter follower @inconceivably

    allison.d.mason AT gmail DOT com

  2. Turns out I'm not too alone in my opinions, or at least some of them. Hop on over to Write Meg and see what she has to say:


  3. oh me I want to win this book.
    aprilmom00 at gmail dot com

    follow you on twitter @aprilmom00
    google friend for blog

  4. Enter me. This sounds really good.

  5. Hi Laura :)

    Please enter me into the contest. I'll send you my contact info.

  6. No need to enter me, as I read this when it was called Pemberley by the Sea. I agree that the sex scenes were a bit much, but overall I liked it.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. Anna:

    Thanks for your input. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  8. +1 this reply :)
    +1 Google follower
    +1 Twitter follower (@mamakitty729
    +1 Tweeted about it (here.

  9. +1 I read another book by this author a few months ago, and I enjoyed it. I've been wanting to read more by her. :)

    +1 I follow you on twitter. I'm @MelanieMFoust.


  10. No need to enter me as well, I think some authors feel that sex sales their novel, and I am sure in some circles that is this case. I prefer a good plot and brilliantly detailed characters. Thanks for your honest review.

  11. I am also a follower.

    Cindy W.


  12. I would really love to win this book. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Cindy W.


  13. Thanks!

    I am a follower +1
    I am a follower on twitter (@xoxo4rica) +1
    I tweeted +1:

    Total Entries= 4




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