We Can’t All be Lizzies: The Girl From Summer Hill by Jude Devereaux

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?

Source: GoodReads

The Girl From Summer Hill is a book that I’m not sure would’ve been published if its author wouldn’t had already been a very successful romance novelist—the book’s by Jude Devereaux.   To be fair, the book isn’t a bad book per say, but it’s yet another Pride and Prejudice retelling and not a very clever one.

Full disclosure, I’ve only read a few Devereaux books before, The Summer House and one of them that involved reincarnation—not the knight one that she’s famous for, but another one (can’t remember what it was). They weren’t bad, but the style was a little stilted for my taste. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I really like to get to know the characters I’m reading about. I feel with Devereaux books you only really see the superficial traits of the leads. And yeah, sometimes plot can make up for it but when you’re doing a Pride and Prejudice retelling you sort of have to nail your Lizzy and Darcy.

The set up, guys, wasn’t there. Oh, the opening scene was interesting. Casey (Lizzy) a successful chef spies Tate taking a bath outside naked. That can get the reader, reading it just—I don’t know—faltered after that.   I was hoping we’d get to know these characters. Because the barebones of them seemed interesting. The world of gourmet cooking isn’t an easy career, especially for a woman chef so I thought it could be interesting seeing how Casey dealt with the sexism that comes with such a career path.

However, other than listing the various jams, chutneys, and honestly banal sounding pies in the house that she’s staying out….we never hear anything about her apparently messed up work situation.

Same with Tate, he’s a movie star. But other than this so obviously giving him the part of Darcy at a community theater production of all things?!?!?!?!?!?

Community theater.

That’s right, I said community theater because a big movie star is going to want to star in a Podunk-ville production of Pride and Prejudice with green actors—not to mention that said big shot chef is going to be like the perfect person for Lizzy with no acting experience and…well, you can see where I lost it.

Yes, I know believability is something you don’t often see with these books but sometimes there needs to be a bit of a reality check and having the chef world versus the Hollywood world in my opinion would’ve been enough.

It would’ve also helped if the plot wasn’t as slow as molasses and I think that’s why I DNF’d it. Which is a shame because I have a signed copy of the book—Books a Million was selling them.

Anyway, if you’re a die hard Pride and Prejudice or Devereaux fan, you might like this better than me. But I’m just going to skip ahead to the next read.

Overall Rating: DNF.  Just not my style, and it really didn’t hold my interest.

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