Jane Austen Takes the South, Book 1
Mary Jane Hathaway
Back of the book:
Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure—that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she’s never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college.
Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby’s small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career—and pride—he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave.
When these two hot-headed southerners find themselves fighting over the centuries-old history of local battles and antebellum mansions, their small college is about to become a battlefield of Civil War proportions.
With familiar and relatable characters and wit to spare, Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits shows you that love can conquer all…especially when pride, prejudice, love, and cheese grits are involved!
I'm not sure which I liked more about this book, that it is Southern fiction or that it is a modern retelling of one of my favorite Jane Austen novels. This book is filled with all the interesting yet quirky characters that we expect in a great Southern novel. There's the beloved aunt, the overbearing momma, the overindulged sisters and the very patient and highly supportive daddy. Oh and don't forget the friends and the frienemies. They truly make the story.
The setting is a beautiful small town Southern college. Shelby is on the tenure track and trying to publish several articles about Civil War history in order to cement her position. Unfortunately her latest article received a scathing review from the renowned historian Ransom Fielding. And if that isn't bad enough, now Ransom has invaded her territory by taking a one year position with her college.
Shelby loathes Ransom but unfortunately her oath to avoid him at all costs is quickly cast aside. In fact the headstrong Shelby makes quite a first impression . . . but so does Ransom. He is definitely Mr. Darcy in spades. He looks good, he smells good, and to top it off he's actually a nice guy. But if you are up on your Pride and Prejudice facts you know that there is a BIG misunderstanding that makes Ransom totally off limits.
The ride through all the misunderstandings is definitely a pleasure trip. The food alone is worth the read. (Recipes included in the back of the book!) One of my favorite things was the quotes from Pride and Prejudice at the beginning of each chapter. It was such an added treat that set the stage for each scene.
So . . . if you love Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy or even if you haven't a clue as to who he is but want a light funny romance pick this book up! It's the perfect complement to a tall glass of sweet iced tea on your front porch swing.
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