I’m wondering if I was just not in the right mindset to read this book the day I tried to read it. Maybe I’m going to be unfair. Then again, maybe I’m not. I’m a big P&P fan, to the point that I read fanfiction fairly consistently. (If you would like some recommendations, I can point you in the direction of some extremely good ones!) I tend to avoid the modern stuff, though, but I thought I’d give this a try. Obviously, I made a bad choice!
Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:
“Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.
Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?”
The first part of the book is fine, if a little cliched. There is lots of booze, people are pretty fake, and if people in that kind of glamorous work place really act that shallow, that makes me kind of sad. She mistakes the eventual “Darcy” figure as a poor guy and insults him. Everything is okay until we get to Palm Beach and Kate opens her mouth. Because of her “title,” her plane ticket down to Florida is under the name “Lady Katherine,” and when she is paged, one of the social elite glomps onto her and offers to show her around. That’s all fine. Once down there, instead of keeping quiet, she starts making up “stories” and “details” about her “estate.” If she had said as little as possible about her “property,” she would not have been in half of the situations she got herself in. She even lies when she doesn’t have to! Example: Kate is afraid of horses, due to a fall from one as a child. Does she say anything when her new friend is dragging her over to meet a mounted playboy? No! If she had said something along the lines of “I’m uncomfortable around horses due to a riding accident I had as a child,” her new friend would have “totally understood” (and it sounds like a rich-person thing anyway) and she could have met the potential suitor later. As soon as the lies started building up, my interest went down.
I didn’t care about Kate or the shitty situations she kept building for herself. I eventually gave up and skipped to the end to find out what happened. It appears she made some really bad and shallow decisions. Basically, everyone’s lives went to shit, but maybe got better in the epilogue. I’m glad I skipped most of the book – slogging through that would not have been worth my time. I used the rest of my evening to watch The Emperor’s New Groove instead, and had a much better time!