|Photo taken from Goodread|
Title: If I Stay
"In the second hilarious and sexy novel from author Gwyn Cready, a divorcée suffering from "carnal deprivation" has a racy one-night stand with one of literature's most irresistible heroes -- and learns that you really can't judge a book by its cover.
Mr. Darcy just isn't Flip Allison's style. She prefers novels with hot sex on the bathroom sink to the mannerly, high-tension longing of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. That is, until she pays a visit to Madame K, who promises a therapeutic massage with an opportunity to "Imagine Yourself in Your Favorite Book." Somehow, on the way to a sizzling sink-top session with a Venetian Adonis, Flip lands right in the middle of Regency England -- and dangerously close to handsome Mr. Darcy. So close, in fact, that she discovers a side of him even Jane Austen couldn't have imagined.
Waking from her massage, Flip is on top of the world and ready for her upcoming book club -- that is, until she notices a new scene in which Darcy and spunky heroine Lizzy Bennet are arguing over...Flip Allison? Her rapturous liaison with Darcy has had disastrous consequences for Austen's characters -- not to mention millions of Pride and Prejudice fans! Flip has twenty-four hours to put the story back on course, and Magnus Knightley, a sexy but imperious scholar whose brooding good looks and infuriating arrogance are decidedly Darcy-like, is the only one who can help. The only problem is, Flip can't keep her hands off him, either..."
Reading this reminded me of the books I borrowed from my mother. She's very fond of romance novels and when I began to get interested in reading longer books, I grabbed a book from her shelf. I was quite young then, so imagine a 10-year-old girl reading the romantic misadventures of a Highland heroine - my mother never stopped me from reading, although she would at times get me age-appropriate books, but I like her books better because it's got better vocabulary, but of course the explicit seduction parts I mostly skipped. My mother strictly made me do it.
I got interested by Seducing Mr. Darcy because of the title. Who has never fallen in love with Mr. Darcy at some point while reading Pride and Prejudice? I know I did. And like every female, I wanted to get to know Mr. Darcy's ardent, passionate side. Reading this book, like any romance novel worth its salt, this book enticed you and sucked you into its story. Were it not for the fact that this was a digital copy, I would have finished this in one sitting. As it was, life happens and it's easier to put down your Kindle than putting down an actual print book (take that, ARGH!). But resuming reading, I was even more excited than when I first read it and found myself actually getting into the middle parts in less than an hour.
The story was very fast-paced. Because this happens within one day, you definitely sense the urgency but the details of each scene, the minor specifics were not merely sketched, they were well-drawn and vividly described. The author ensures you never miss a thing, even in the most exciting parts.
Which is what probably brings me to the first issue I had with this book: Because it was full of details, how could this book explain the existence of the masseuse herself? I know that she's essential into making this story work, but no background on her at all? How did she come across such power? No back story on that one? Oh well, you can't have everything, I guess. I don't want to risk running spoilers so I won't cite further examples.
The characters were very romance-novel credible. They are strong, but they need love. I like the fact that each character's voice was very distinct and evokes a specific image in the reader's mind.
I don't think I would agree much that this book is another of those Pride and Prejudice remakes. Sure, this story revolves around that novel, but it's only a setting for an elaborate and outrageous but interesting plot, but if anything, pride was only present, mostly in Magnus Knightley's character. There was no prejudice, nothing of that sort in Flip or any of her friends. Well Magnus was also a bit prejudiced about American women, but my point is that there is no pride in one character and prejudice in another that when combined together could compare with Austen's narration.
One lesson I learned through reading most of my mother's romance novels: Always expect some impossible twists - in this case, the dabbling into the paranormal was of course a bit impractical but it's what held the story up, what made it special and thrilling.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book a lot. I like the simple love story between Flip and Magnus - which is grounded more on sex, but what romance novel wasn't? - and liked the human portrayal of our beloved characters from Austen's book. A lot of sexual references and sex scenes but once you get past that, the story is actually very simple and light. An easy read after reflecting heavily on Pride and Prejudice - and of course, if Mr. Darcy left you hankering for more. :-D
All opinions expressed in this book review are my own and not influenced by any party in any way.