From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:
In reading a large variety of Pride and Prejudice variations, I’ve come to expect works of all shapes and sizes. What I didn’t expect, however, was a work that centers on an online dating site. Such is the premise of Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match by Marilyn Brant. Sure, we’ve seen modern adaptations on the beloved original, yet this is a new twist that adds another dimension to the story between the Lizzy and Darcy that we all cherish. How would this timeless love story survive in a world governed by digital matchmaking?
The last thing that Beth Ann Bennet wants to do is end up on a dating site, but much to her chagrin, here she is. As a social worker studying sex-based stereotypes, she signs on to Lady Catherine’s Love Match Website under a pseudonym in order to get a firsthand account of said stereotypes. She is surprised, however, when she meets Dr. William Darcy through the site. He has his own secrets, however, as he too is signed up for the dating service under false pretenses. In order to settle a bet and win funding for a new clinic he is building, Darcy agrees to sign on to the site and find a match. Now that they have met, both agree that it would be in their best interests to stay apart, yet there seems to be an invisible force that draws them to each other, making that original promise much harder to keep. Although they both assume that the site will give them a superficial and fleeting glance at a relationship, what they actually encounter is something much deeper and more personal. What will happen once they come to find that this meeting is not what they originally intended, but something much more involved indeed?
At first blush, I found the idea behind this story to be intriguing and fresh. Always up for a new take on the P&P variation genre, I was excited to see what Brant had in store. I was surprised to find that the storyline between Darcy and Elizabeth seemed to be swapped somewhat with the plot between Jane and Bingley, but this didn’t seem to detract from the flow of the work at all. In fact, it made me read faster. After a while, the old Darcy and Elizabeth I’ve come to know and love made their appearance, as the story made a course correction and we came back into familiar territory. When this was coupled with references to Roman Holiday and high tea, I began to feel like I was reading a book that was a greatest hits of all the things I love in life. Brant couldn’t have done a better job at pulling me into the story and keeping me hooked until the end. I loved how her work was different enough that I felt really out of my element at first, but then brought back to the themes of compassion, forgiveness, and love that really hold Darcy and Elizabeth together. This was an amazingly smart move that left me more than satisfied at the end of this work. In fact, I liked this book so much that I delayed watching the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey!! (This is a huge deal) In all, if you’re up for a new and exciting change in the P&P variation world, I strongly suggest that you give this a try. Who doesn’t love a fresh look at our Darcy and Elizabeth?
5 out of 5 Stars
Pride, Prejudice, and the Perfect Match, by Marilyn Brant
White Soup Press (2013)
eBook (167) pages
Nook: BN ID: 2940016076669
Kindle: ASIN: B00AYLN5TI
Cover image courtesy of White Soup Press © 2013; text Kimberly Denny-Ryder © 2013, Austenprose.com
Sounds pretty good! Have you ever seen the movie “Scents and Sensibility”? It’s a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s story and I found it quite enjoyable.
I’ve heard of the movie, but haven’t watched it yet! I’ll have to add it to my “to-watch” list!
Oh, Kimberly!! You *delayed* watching the Downton Abbey season premiere because you were reading *my* book??! I’m not sure compliments come much higher than that ;). Thank you so much for your lovely review and for absolutely, positively making my weekend. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the story!!
You’re welcome Marilyn! And yes! I seriously delayed watching Downton. My husband said to me, “that must me some book for you to delay this.”
Everything she writes is a home run– but to delay Downton Abbey?! Wow! I must buy this book immediately! Great review– thanks!
Thanks, Christina :)
Would love to hear your thoughts once you finish!
Great review, Kimberly! I loved the nods to Roman Holiday too! (I wish I remembered to mention that in my review!) Marilyn sure has great taste, doesn’t she?
I’m glad you liked it too, Meredith!! And yes, Marilyn does have great taste! Roman Holiday is amazing. Any recommendation on which Brant novel I should read next?
I’m gonna tell on myself and confess I’ve never heard of author Marilyn Brant but this is such an intriguing twist on a modern phenomenon and your review, Kimberly, is just the right length with enough information to entice the curious reader to take it up. Missed Downton Abbey to finish it? REALLY !!
This sounds fantastic! I love how it’s a different take on P&P and I’m curious how Darcy and Elizabeth are more like Jane and Bingley here.