Earlier this week I fell in love with a fictional place and a fictional man and spent days hungover from this amazing read! If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, than you know I love Jane Austen and more specifically her book Pride and Prejudice. I love it so much that I actively seek out retellings of her works. Let me be honest for a sec…Jude Deveraux blew me away with this rendition that puts a contemporary spin on an old classic. I LOVED it and I bet other Austen fans will too!
I received this book via Penguin First to Read. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
Series: Summer Hill, #1
Published by Ballantine Books on 2016-05-03
Length: 384 pages
Reviewing eARC from Penguin First to Read
The first book of a new contemporary romance series set in the mountains of Virginia in a town with full of family legends, romance, and secrets from New York Times bestselling author of the Nantucket Brides trilogy.
Sparks fly as fiery Casey Reddick and brooding Hollywood actor Tate Landers clash in the Virginia summer heat. A chef who puts her career first and her love life second, Casey doesn’t see what every girl in town is swooning over. She made up her mind the moment she met Tate—he’s gorgeous, but stuck-up, nothing like his ex-brother-in-law, Devlin who’s playing the Wickham to Tate’s Darcy in local production of Pride & Prejudice. Casey makes the perfect Elizabeth Bennett—how could she be star-struck when she’s heard Devlin’s damning stories about Tate? As they rehearse together, however, Casey finds herself attracted to Tate—he’s much more down-to-earth than she expected and any physical contact between the two of them literally gives her a tingling, electric shock. As opening night draws near, Casey has some difficult decisions to make. Whom should she believe? The seemingly sincere, slighted Devlin or Tate, whose rough, arrogant exterior may only be skin deep. She’s come to love that jolt she gets when they touch—but will she get burned?
The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux is an endearing retelling of Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, set in the hill country of Virginia. Casey Reddick is trying to find herself in the seclusion of Summer Hill when the owner of the estate Hollywood movie star Tate Landers crashes into her life. Sparks ignite between them, but not the good kind as Casey’s prejudice wounds Tate’s pride. Overcoming their bad start makes for a swoon-worthy, often funny read.
Casey is a great character. She’s independent, relies on no one and takes pride in the work that she does. She’s a cook, a star in the culinary world and takes her job very seriously. Her short-comings though come in the form of naivety. Rather than trusting the very honest movie star, she trusts someone she thinks is normal, a nobody like her. Her prejudice against Tate and his ability as an actor leads her to distrust him and not be fully honest with him. As the reader, it’s heart-breaking to read!
Tate is my new book boyfriend. He’s mine girls, you can’t claim him 😉 Tate is the exact opposite of what you’d think since he is an A-List star. He’s self-conscious, keeps to himself, doesn’t like publicity, and is a family man. His little sister and niece are his world and let me just tell you how endearing that is!
When he catches Casey watching him shower (this happens in the first few pages of the book so it’s not a spoiler), he loses it. Tate came to Summer Hill to get away from paparazzi and here they are on his property. Technically he doesn’t know that she is renting the little house from him when she catches him in her shower. Casey is in shock. How dare the man she doesn’t know yell at her when he is in her house. She threatens to call the cops! Both are in the right and I felt for both of them. This scene is perhaps the funniest in the book and the catalyst for the story.
Miscommunication and misunderstanding make for a funny read. Jude Deveraux is the master of dramatic irony. Telling the story from all points of view so that at any given time you as the reader know what the characters are thinking, what they are feeling and the motives behind their actions. It really is a superb read! I so enjoyed the aspects of Austen’s classic flowing throughout this tale. All the characters we love and hate are represented and the title of each chapter is a subtle, fun homage to Austen.
Overall (if you couldn’t tell already) I really loved this book! I devoured it in one day. Yes I skipped sleep and neglected my adult duties of laundry in order to do so and YES it was worth it. If you are a fan of Austen, love contemporary romance, or you’re looking for a sweet read, I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book!