From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:
Perhaps one of the most relatable parts of any book is heartbreak. Most of us have experienced it, and it leaves one with such sorrow and sadness that won’t soon be forgotten. Such is what makes the story between Anne and Frederick in Jane Austen’s Persuasion so riveting. When considering a modern retelling of this story, why not try and imagine it from a flipped perspective, with the man doing the heartbreaking and the woman being wooed. Such is the case with Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Passionate Persuasion, where we meet Alex and Kiara, an everyday couple who experience their own version of heartbreak and rekindled affections.
Alex and Kiara have a past, not unlike many couples in today’s society. After having dated for a while in college, Alex unexpectedly and suddenly ended their relationship, and the two drift apart, losing contact after graduation. Nothing about this past is extraordinary, except for the fact that it all comes roaring back eight years later after Kiara and Alex meet again at what Kiara thought was supposed to be a blind date at a bar. While trying to compose herself from the shock of seeing Alex after so much time has passed, Kiara has to try even harder to maintain her composure after she realizes Alex is coming on to her with no reservations. Will drudging up old emotions bring back the fire of their relationship, or is it destined to bring up the pain of their breakup all over again?
So what roped me into this novella was definitely the character of Kiara (Anne Elliot.) She’s pretty badass and snarky from the moment we first meet her. Having gone through heartbreak myself, I could totally relate to how she built walls up around her heart for protective purposes. From the moment that Kiara and Alex meet again, the dialogue filled with snark and double-entendres was both hot and hysterical at the same time. Alex has a great way of interjecting statements into their dialogue that forces Kiara to realize that he knows her and to remember what she was like before all those walls were erected. A great example of this was this particular exchange between Alex and Kiara:
“Well, I wouldn’t say it to just anyone,” he said, leaning an elbow on the bar. “We have history.”
“Ancient history,” she hissed, with a glance to assure herself that it only felt like everyone was staring. No one in the busy bar was actually paying attention.
Alex gave an innocent shrug, “If you’re going to sit there all ice maiden, I’m going to remind you that I know you’re not.”
She blushed even deeper, feeling gauche and young again, feeling – heaven help her – the ghost of arousals past. “By reminding me you’re a Neanderthal?” (8)
What was most enjoyable to me was that everything was based on modern reality. In a lot of relationships today you meet someone at a younger age, and you’re both not in the correct mindset and don’t possess the correct maturity level to deal with the emotions you’re experiencing. Once you get older and you do have the experience to fully form your expectations of a relationship, it’s much easier to immediately fall into a deep and fulfilling relationship, just as Alex and Kiara do. It’s realistic because both of them have had the time to develop their own needs and therefore they’re able to communicate better and hit the ground running. Overall, Passionate Persuasion, like Jane Austen’s Persuasion, is filled with sharp dialogue and two very likable and realistic characters which will have you finishing this 65-page novella in a heartbeat.
4 out of 5 Stars
Passionate Persuasion: A Date by Mistake Novella, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Entangled: Indulgence (2014)
Digital eBook (65) pages
Cover image courtesy of Entangled Indulgence © 2014; text Kimberly Denny-Ryder © 2014, Austenprose.com
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