Series: Book Club Belles Society #1
Published by Sourcebooks on 06/03/2014
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Humor, Romance
In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, the five young ladies of the Book Club Belles Society are looking for their own leading men.
The Perfect Hero
When handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright strolls into town, the Book Club Belles are instantly smitten with this brooding good looks and prideful demeanor. It's as if he walked out of the pages of their favorite new novel, a scandalous romance called Pride and Prejudice. But Justina Penny can't understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer's arrogant presence—surely a wicked Wickham would be infinitely more fun...
An Unlikely Leading Lady
Justina is the opposite of Darius's ideal woman—not that he's looking for romance. But when he discovers her stealing apples from his uncle's orchard, he can't resist his own thieving impulse. A stolen kiss from the mischievous Miss Penny leaves Darius wanting much, much more. If it's a dashing villain she desires, Darius is more than willing to play the part...
If you know me at all, you probably know that one of my all time favorite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve read that book countless times, and I’ve also read quite a few retellings or books inspired by P&P. So when I heard about Once upon a Kiss from Amanda, I literally bought the ebook and started reading it that day. Once upon a Kiss by Jayne Fresina is one of my new favorite historical romances, which is not a something that happens frequently.
I’d say that Once upon a Kiss is more inspired by Pride and Prejudice than an actual retelling. But still, if you are familiar with P&P you will recognize characters in this novel. It was so much fun to recognize certain characters from P&P, but also know that Once upon a Kiss is its own book.
Justina was such a fun protagonist. She really didn’t remind me much of Elizabeth Bennet, although Justina certainly didn’t hesitate to speak her mind. Justina definitely makes some rash decisions, and sometimes I really wanted to tell her to think before she acts, but still, I absolutely loved her. Justina is always getting herself into little predicaments, which added so much levity to this story. Justina’s rashness can come off a bit immature, and about halfway through the novel, Justina’s antics were grating on me nerves. But luckily right then, she started growing up a bit.
Darius is the Mr. Darcy character, and I absolutely loved him! He definitely is a jerk sometimes, but never to be an actual jerk. He’s not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, even though he does upon occasion. Darius is very rigid in his lifestyle, and he didn’t seem quite as immature as Justina, but he definitely had his moments.
I absolutely loved Darius and Justina together. They had chemistry, but they also grew to know each other and help each other grow to be better people. They brought out the good in each other, and they also, eventually, accepted each other for who they were.
Basically, if you are a historical romance lover, you should absolutely look into Once upon a Kiss. And if you are a Pride and Prejudice lover, too, then even better. You are in for a treat with this one.