By: Julia Sonneborn
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.
Anne Corey is about to get schooled.
An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.
Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.
Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.
I am a sucker for red doors! The cover calls my name. And honestly, having the word “book” in a title will catch my eye too. I also loved seeing that it was a Jane Austen retelling, even though I have never read Persuasion. This book made such a great first impression that I included it on my list of books I was most looking forward to in 2018!
What I thought
Anne is a 32 year old college English professor working towards qualifying for tenure by getting her first book published. When Fairfax gets a new President, it ends up being Anne’s ex-fiance, Adam Martinez. She hasn’t seen/talked to him in 13 years. At the same time, famous author Richard (something) has received a temporary job at Fairfax and has caught the attention of Anne.
I’m a little stuck on how to review this book. Let’s start with what I liked. I liked Anne and how she was working towards getting her first book published. She is a solid character even though she has her own insecurities. Her father has never supported her being an English professor and her sister has always looked down on her choices as well. However, this never changed her mind and she is a great teacher who loves her job. She is a bit insecure in her writing and is nervous about getting her book published, but it’s written in such a normal way that it’s not annoying at all. I can’t imagine sending off something that I worked hours on and put my whole heart into day after day and continuing to receive rejections. I think she handles it really well.
I also liked her relationship with Larry. I loved every scene that they were in together. I liked that they supported each other in their professions as well as their love lives, but that they were still honest with each other.
Now to what I didn’t like. Richard was so obviously not going to turn out to be a good guy. I don’t know if this is partially because of the Austen aspect of the story, but from the beginning I just knew that Anne was going to end up with him, he was going to turn out not to be who he says he is in some way, and she would get her heart broken. It was a bit annoying to read their scenes together as a result, since you knew they weren’t going to end up together.
I also didn’t like how little Adam and Anne interacted. I get that they were in love in college, to the point that they were engaged, but it’s been 13 years and they have interacted maybe 3 times before (spoiler alert) ending up back together. It was so unsatisfying! There was no build up, no reintroduction. Just, now Anne is with Rick, now she’s with Adam. Again, I get that this may stay true to Austen’s Persuasion, but as a retelling I would’ve appreciated a little more liberty being taken with this love story.