ARC Review: Evan And Darcy by Melanie Coles




Jane Austen gets a little dusty in this outback retelling of a beloved story about a man who learns that first impressions can be wrong when you’re looking for Ms Right.

Wheat farmer Evan Bennet is happy being single until his brother falls for the new girl in town, wealthy hotel owner Claire Bingley. Suddenly finding a girl seems more appealing…unless you’re talking about Claire’s best friend, pretentious lawyer Darcy Fitzwilliam. Her cold manners have Evan seeing red, and when a cute girl with links to Darcy’s past catches his eye, he’s even more determined to dislike her.

When a startling revelation turns Evan’s world upside down and he unexpectedly crosses Darcy’s path again, he’s forced to reassess his opinion of her. But just as he starts to open his heart, a crisis engulfs his family, threatening to destroy any hope of a future with Darcy.

With a cloud hanging over his family, Evan knows his chance of winning Darcy’s heart is gone… until some surprising news and a generous gift leave him wondering if her heart might be his after all.


Evan And Darcy is a contemporary retelling of the famous classic Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen with the genders reversed.

Elizabeth Bennet becomes Evan Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy becomes Darcy Fitzwilliam. The town is Meryton, the family lives at Netherfield and Evan’s best friend is Charlie Collins.

Now, when it comes to writing contemporary versions of classics, which already have about a hundred different versions, one has to be careful and work a tad bit harder to create a novel that stands out. That screams “different”. Only those novels will leave a mark when read.

I have not read many versions of the classic – in fact, I have read only one. It’s called Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik. This one was wonderful – it had its own independent characters, a pretty good setting, and well, was an amazing read.

Evan And Darcy, sadly, didn’t hit the mark for me. It was a complete retelling of the original and there were no variations. The characters were one-dimensional and seemed really boring. I’m really disappointed that the author didn’t take her time to analyse the novel, write down her interpretation and then recreate the story. That’s the point. You have to be able to recreate it, to define your identity through it. This book is one among a million other books which are a verbatim copy of the original story-line.

Now that we’ve established the point, let’s come to the next question: Did the author do a good job re-writing the original? The answer is:


Oh, no. Evan Bennet is not like Elizabeth Bennet. His character completely lacks maturity and he behaves like a teenage boy now and then. It really got on my nerves.


“It was weird”? What are you, Evan? 16?

And there was something seriously wrong with the contemporary part. In today’s world, when you meet someone you like, you have no pressure to settle down with them. Nor do you start a relationship with the idea of settling down with them. By settling down, I mean getting married. This was a serious flaw. Jamie and Claire meet.. BAM! They fall in love and get married. Evan and Darcy aren’t very behind in the marriage bandwagon. Matchmaking mothers, instant weddings… God, we are in the twenty first century, right?

If you want to read an actual contemporary retelling of Pride And Prejudice, I would suggest you go for Epic FailIt was amazing.

*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Which versions of Pride And Prejudice did you like? Any recommendations? Do you even like the idea of a contemporary retelling of a classic?


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