Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits

Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits (Jane Austen Takes the South #1)Author: Mary Jane Hathaway
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Series: Jane Austen Takes The South # 1

This hilarious Southern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice tells the story of two hard-headed Civil war historians who find that first impressions can be deceiving.

Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she’s never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college. 

Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby’s small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career and pride he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave. 

When these two hot-headed southerners find themselves fighting over the centuries-old history of local battles and antebellum mansions, their small college is about to become a battlefield of Civil War proportions. 

With familiar and relatable characters and wit to spare, Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits shows you that love can conquer all especially when pride, prejudice, love, and cheese grits are involved!

Her professional woes had taken an ugly turn, and a bad book review was suddenly the least of her problems.

I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.

Shelby fought back a laugh. Of course he was here. The worst morning in the term wouldn’t have been complete without him.

What a wonderfully simple modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. No matter where I am, I am always in the mood for one of those! Shelby is a compelling heroine modeled after our very own Lizzie Bennet, who has and always will be my favorite Jane Austen character. However, Mr. Darcy is running a close second, and Ransom, who is meant to portray Darcy in this book, is an awesome example of why that is. Their chemistry is not apparent from the start and they have this evident dislike towards one another. This lack of interest is what I love most in romance novels. If they share a blatant dislike for one another, it makes it all the more interesting for me!

Even though I am an avid follower and fan of Jane Austen novels and retellings, I do not like to read the same story over and over again. By that I mean that I dislike reading so many retellings that follow the exact same story line and do not throw anything new into the mix. This book has a lot of the same traits as Pride and Prejudice, but Hathaway adds her own twist and this plot is very different from that of Pride and Prejudice. Of course, there were many elements of the story that were meant to resemble Austen’s work, but it was so refreshing for me to be able to see a significant difference.

This book was full of southern charm, and for a southern belle like me this was the icing on top of the cake. I loved the charming and extraordinary main characters, as well as the secondary characters, which I felt were just as important as the main characters in my opinion. This book is the first in a series, and the next one releases next month, I believe. The scenery was beautifully described and the writing was incredibly detailed. I am so ready to read and review the next book, Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Howard Books in exchange for my honest review***

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