Monday, May 3, 2010

ARC Review: The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds

Name: The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice
Author: Abigail Reynolds
Previous Name: Pemberley By the Sea
Obtained: Advanced Review Copy
Publication date: May 2010 

This book was previously published under the name Pemberley by The Sea in 2007-so if the story seems familiar, you're not imagining things.  I have so many mixed feelings about this book. I'll be honest-I only got through this book because I took it to my parents house and spent most of the day in bed because of my stupid sinuses.I went from really disliking the heroine to really hating the storyline to liking both the heroine and the story, then back to disliking them both again to liking it...well you get the picture.

Cassie Boulton is a Marine Biologist who knows what she wants-and that is a tenure track at Haverford College. When she goes to Woods Hollow for the summer to work on a research project to get published, she isn't expecting the force that is Calder Westing whose family is like political royalty. When she first meets Calder she doesn't like him. Why?  He turns her down for a dance at a local contra thing-which for those of you in the mid west is an awful lot like square dancing.  Cassie hopes to never see him again, but alas her best friend whose in Woods Hollow for the summer with her is in love with his best friend, so they get thrown together much more then she would like. She thinks that Calder is cold, snobbish and well, everything that Elizabeth Bennet thought Mr. Darcy was. They have one encounter at the beach that makes her think that Calder might not be so bad after all. The summer ends, but they keep running into each other and slowly come to realize that they both have secrets to hide and might not be so different from one another then they previously thought.

What I didn't like:  The heroine, Cassie bothered me a lot.  Here's why: When she  meets Calder officially she lectures him about his choice of fish that he ordered for dinner being an endangered species. I think it was supposed to show how passionate she is about her work, but it came off as preachy and well, shrewish.  Cassie spends half the book saying how much better she is then Calder because she got her undergrad degree at a college, not a university like him, and how worried she is that she isn't good enough for his world, then spends the another half ashamed of her family of being poor. I just wanted to scream at her to make up her mind already. Then something happened-during the second half of the book, I started liking her a bit more, but by that time it was almost too late to redeem the character. I enjoyed the side storyline of her best friend Erin, and Scott-Calder's friend, but all of sudden they dropped out of the picture for about 200 pages and only resurfaced at an event for Calder and Cassie-kind of out of nowhere, only to disappear again. I would have liked a consistent storyline for them. The hero, Calder was much more likable to me then Cassie, but thought he was much more Kennedy-ish then Darcy-ish.
What I liked: I enjoyed how Cassie was smart and independent and while she wasn't good at sharing her emotions, she wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted in her career. She becomes a rock for Calder, and is able to look at both sides of his situation with regards to his family. It was nice to see a heroine not defend the guy she's with just for the sake of being with him-if that makes sense. I also liked how the main storyline was to accept who you are and where you came from-even if it took forever to get to it.

Sigh Meter: Low
Crush Meter: Low
Sizzle Meter: Low
Sleep Meter: High
Challenges Counted Toward:

6/10 read