Pride and Protest

Berkley. Nov. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9780593440940. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Payne’s steamy take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is an enchanting addition to the genre of classic retellings. Free-spirited DJ and activist Liza and uptight CEO Dorsey are at odds before they even meet due to the fact that he is trying to gentrify her Washington, DC, neighborhood. When Liza shows up to protest the opening gala for his luxury housing development, she meets Dorsey in person, initially confusing him for the help and setting off an encounter that’s humiliating for both. On opposite sides of the proposed housing plan, they keep turning up at the same events and find that they are also fighting their growing desire for each other. But they’ll have to overcome their class and cultural differences in order to find love.
VERDICT Featuring Liza’s delightful Bennett family and Dorsey’s complex background as an adoptee from the Philippines, this contemporary romance is funny, intelligent, and full of heart. Readers will be pleased to know that a second book inspired by Sense and Sensibility is already planned.
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