Title: Out, Proud, and Prejudiced
Author: Megan Reddaway
Length: 268 Pages
At a Glance: I think, whether you’re familiar with the original or not, there are many fabulous things to enjoy about Out, Proud, and Prejudiced.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: One’s proud, one’s prejudiced, and they can’t stand each other.
Quick-tempered Bennet Rourke dislikes Darius Lanniker on sight. Darius may be a hotshot city lawyer, but that doesn’t give him the right to sneer at Bennet, his friends, and their college. It doesn’t help that Bennet’s restaurant job has him waiting at Darius’s table. So when his tutor recommends him for an internship at Darius’s Pemberley estate, Bennet isn’t sure he wants it. He’s also not sure he can afford to turn it down.
Darius is a fish out of water in the small college town of Meriton, but something keeps pulling him back there. He’s helping out a friend with business advice, nothing more. If he’s interested in Bennet, it’s not serious. Sure, Bennet challenges him in a way no other man has. But they have nothing in common. Right?
Wrong. Their best friends are falling in love, and Bennet and Darius can’t seem to escape each other. Soon they’re sharing climbing ropes and birthday cake, and there’s a spark between them that won’t be denied.
But betrayal is around the corner. Darius must swallow his pride and Bennet must drop his prejudices to see the rainbow shining through the storm clouds.
Review: It has been many years since I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but reading Megan Reddaway’s modern version, Out, Proud, and Prejudiced, was so much fun. There have been numerous adaptations and retellings over the years of this much-loved book, both in print and on the screen, and it’s amazing to see how well the story and characters hold up even two hundred years later. Reddaway’s is a clever, modern retelling that follows the basic storyline of the original, with the most obvious nods being the character and place names. Here the main characters are Bennett and Darius, and just as with the beloved Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, they most certainly do not immediately hit it off!
The enemies-to-lovers trope is a favorite of many romance readers, and Reddaway nailed it with Bennett and Darius. When word gets around that there is a mysterious new gallery owner in town, and that he’s rumored to be young and hot, Bennett’s roommates are all atwitter. They convince Bennett to go with them to Rush, the once-a-month LGBTQ night at Meriton’s only nightclub, so that they can check him out. Tim, the new owner of the gallery, is lovely, but the friend he brought with him? Not so much. Darius comes off as such a shit at first. Seemingly looking down his nose at Bennett, his friends, the town, their college, even Bennett’s best friend, Jamie, who Tim is instantly taken with. Bennett decides on that first meeting that Darius is a pretentious asshole, and he does everything he can to avoid him.
Because Jamie and Tim are quickly falling for each other, however, the two men are constantly thrown together, eventually forcing them to acknowledge their attraction to each other, and surprising them with the things they have in common. I loved the super slow-burn between these guys. Reddaway did a great job easing them from intense dislike, to tolerance, to possible friendship and finally admitting their fondness for each other. I liked when Bennett had his epiphany that he perhaps judged Darius a bit too harshly, if not entirely incorrectly. And, when they figure things out at the end, it’s so satisfying and perfect.
I loved the settings of Meriton college, Longbourn Manor, and Pemberley Hall, and I enjoyed what Reddaway did with the characters. Bennett’s roommates Leon and Kofi were ridiculous and entertaining. I LOVED sweet sensitive Jamie, and Tim as well; they were so wonderful together. And, I could tell who the villain was going to be from the get-go. Red flags going up left and right with that one!
When Bennett finally lets go of his pride in order to solicit Darius’s help at the end…Or…was he too prejudice and Darius was too proud…? (Bonus points to everyone who gets my silly You’ve Got Mail reference. Ha! 😊) I think we can all agree that they each have elements of both pride and prejudice to overcome but, as I said, the ending was wonderfully done. I think, whether you’re familiar with the original or not, there are many fabulous things to enjoy about Out, Proud, and Prejudiced.
You can buy Out, Proud, and Prejudiced here:
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