Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
By day he is Charles Bampfjord III, socialite and philanthropist, by night he is Chance Bly, a fashion photographer who specializes in spreads that appear in men’s magazines. While looking for a new model to work with, Chance meets a beauty at a Manhattan dance club and…in true Bingley fashion is immediately captivated. Jennie Blackwell (Chance’s beauty) is tired of always being good and perfect and decides to live it up a little and accepts the attentions of the mysterious and sexy Chance Bly. Adopting the name and alter-ego Ariel De Mer, Jennie decides to keep her true identity secret and embraces the fun of being a sexy and anonymous siren. But what happens when alter-egos and real life collide? Just watch, as this dangerous game of secrets begins to unravel…
In her debut novel, Michaela Roberston presents a modern-day Pride and Prejudice inspired-story with a decided twist! While readers will be able to recognize many characters in this contemporary update of Jane Austen’s classic novel, but the situations they find themselves in and the sequence of events are wholly unique! Our story centers around the Blackwell twins – Jennie and Elizabeth – who are both twenty-four-year old Yale grad students. Jennie is a med student interested in pediatrics and Elizabeth is music student specializing in opera performance. But…unlike Jane Austen’s well-loved story, Elizabeth is the sister in a blossoming new relationship with serious boyfriend Lliam Dafydd while Jennie engages the charming and enigmatic Chance Bly in a game of lies and seduction…
See, I told you – a big twist!
I loved this original and daring premise, and I especially enjoyed the focus on Jennie and Charles in this story. How refreshing to see these characters portrayed as less than perfect and experiencing a conflicted romance! While I enjoyed seeing the sweet and tender moments between Elizabeth Lliam – and appreciated that they had some obstacles to contend with – I felt the relationship and personal journeys of Chance and Jennie to be more engaging in this tale.
Some of my favorite moments include observing Charles fall in love with Jennie, the steamy scenes between Elizabeth Lliam, the whole Luke Bryan concert sequence, Charles acts of reparations, and any scene where Callie Bampfjord (Charle’s deranged sister) employs her evil machinations to ensnare Lliam…I especially had to chuckle at her exclusively all-orange wardrobe! (Girlfriend loves her some tangerine!)
While I adored these characters and their deliciously tangled conflicts, I did feel my enjoyment start to taper a little towards the last hundred pages of this novel. This might be because the pacing slowed down a little, the less engaging falling action, or the introduction of Mrs. Blackwell, Jennie and Elizabeth’s mother, (who has her own special brand of crazy). Mrs. Blackwell with her continued delusions and mistreatment of Elizabeth (which yes, were eventually explained) did nothing to garner my good opinion, I found her to be such a dislikable and irritating character! (Callie and Mrs. Blackwell definitely filled up the crazy quota in this story!)
As far as modern-day retellings go, this one is pretty steamy and contains a good amount of intimate scenes. But as a reader who loved the drama and high passion of Ruth Phillips Oakland’s My BFF and Heather Lynn Rigaud’s Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star, this was right up my alley. I thoroughly enjoyed this flirty and fun adventure and can’t wait to see more from Michaela Robertson in the future!
(Note: Due to the intimate and steamy scenes and content, I’d recommended this story for Mature Audiences)