The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: As a member of Penguin's First To Read Program, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.
Part 1: From The Book Cover
The first novel of New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux's breathtaking new series set in Summer Hill, a small town where love takes center stage against the backdrop of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Enter Elizabeth Bennet. Chef Casey Reddick has had it up to here with men. When she arrives in the charming town of Summer Hill, Virginia, she leaves behind a demanding boss at a famous D.C. restaurant and a breakup with a boyfriend jealous of her success. Some peace and quiet on the picturesque Tattwell plantation is just what she needs to start fresh. But the tranquility is broken one misty morning when she sees a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.
Enter Mr. Darcy. What Tate Landers, Hollywood heartthrob and owner of Tattwell, doesn't need on a bittersweet trip to his ancestral home is a woman spying on him from his guest cottage. Mistaking Casey for a reporter, Tate tries to run her out of her own house. His anger, which looks so good on the screen, makes a very bad first impression on Casey. Hollywood he may be, but he's no sweetheart to Casey—and she lets him know it!
The plot thickens. Sparks fly—literally—when Casey is recruited to play Elizabeth Bennet opposite Tate's Mr. Darcy in a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Just brushing past Tate makes Casey's whole body hum. As they spar on and off stage, Casey begins to think she's been too quick to judge. Tate is more down-to-earth than Casey expected, and she finds herself melting under his smoldering gaze. But then Tate's handsome ex-brother-in-law, Devlin Haines, who is playing Wickham, tells Casey some horrifying stories about Tate. She is upset and confused as she tries to figure out who and what to believe. As she finds herself falling for Tate, Casey needs to know: Is the intense, undeniable chemistry between them real, or is this just a performance that ends when the curtain falls?
Part 2: Recommendation
I love Pride and Prejudice and Jude Deveraux is one of my favorite authors. The Girl from Summer Hill is a delightful read in the sense that Casey Reddick, Tate Landers, and Devlin Haines are true to Ms. Austen's Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, respectively.
Despite there being a lot of P&P retellings (both movies and books), The Girl from Summer Hill delivers P&P both in the contemporary setting as well as the stage play happening inside the story. I especially adore what happens to Devlin Haines and I'm looking forward to the next book in this new Summer Hill series and see what happens to this annoying, self-centered Hildy.
Enjoyable and at times funny, The Girl from Summer Hill is easily, one of my favorites so far in 2016.
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