Bestselling author Staci Hart is back with the Pride and Prejudice retelling you've been waiting for. We're back at Wasted Words, the book bar of our dreams, for the epic finale of the Austen series, where we'll follow Laney Bennet and Liam Darcy down the bumpy road to their happy ending.
Hate is a strong word.
Depending on the company, loathe is a good substitute. Abhor might be a little fancy, but it gets the job done. But the word that really sums up how I feel about Liam Darcy is, without question, hate.
He doesn’t seem to think much of me either. The second he lays his fault-seeking eyes on me, he sets out to oppose me. Everything about him is imposing, as if he consumes the nearby air to power the rise and fall of his broad chest, and it’s clear he resents my presence on his advertising team. Every idea I have is shot down. Every olive branch I offer is set on fire by nothing more than the blistering coals he calls eyes.
In return, I light him up with my words.
It’s not as if he can dismiss me, since I work for his client, Wasted Words. Instead, he’s forced to tolerate me, which seems the closest we’ll ever be to friends. Fine by me.
I can be civil and still hate Liam Darcy.
But if there’s more to him than his exterior shows, I won’t be able to hate him at all.
I might stumble over that line between love and hate and fall right into his arms.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Incandescent With Feeling: Five Stars!
Pride & Papercuts is a contemporary version of Jane Austen’s novel in which Staci Hart presents us with a story that is at once bound to Austen but also made new into a rich vision which is vulnerable, raw and incandescent with feeling.
Being given Liam Darcy’s point of view as he struggles with his feelings towards Laney and his protectiveness with Georgiana made me experience so much of his longing and pain, it made me appreciate Liam Darcy more than the under-represented original. (sorry Fitzwilliam)
Staci Hart writes in lush strokes alternating with clean lines, creating stunning art with her words; it simply dazzles. The scenes she creates are so beautiful and rich, quirky and unique: snow falling on pavement while a couple huddles together in the back of a cab, the mixers at Wasted Words from Fabio night to regency events, Mrs. Bennet hugging Laney described in such detail I could practically feel it.
The relationship between Laney and Liam is all electricity, biting remarks, longing and a madness of anger – it almost ignites on the page. Liam longs for Laney even while they both misunderstand and sometimes loathe one another. Because of circumstance he understands it can never be more. “I wanted her in the circle of my arms where I could keep her, even if only for the length of a song.”
Georgiana thinks that they are too alike. She tells Liam, “Maybe if you focused more on your similarities instead of getting twisted every time she opens her mouth, you’ll see you could be an excellent team.” Liam thinks, “She drove me to madness and I gladly returned the favor, but I couldn’t help but wonder if that wasn’t a symptom of something deeper, something bigger than what it appeared.”
The addition of Georgiana and Jett’s story ups the stakes and breathes new life into the story.
Georgie’s relationship with Liam is explored deeply which is glorious and gives us more than a glimpse of these siblings and the feelings of love and loyalty that keep them tied together as well as the strains that Liam’s feelings of responsibility have placed on both of them. Are cracks forming as Georgiana tries to become more of her own person?
Liam appreciates that Laney is unafraid of him and stands up for herself. “Laney Bennet without fire was a bird with no wings.”
Laney is confident in her unflattering opinion of Liam (an early opinion is that he is “made out marble and disdain”) but even so she still has feelings for him: “His kiss was a smouldering brand on my heart, leaving a wound in the shape of his name.”
Staci Hart’s writing is absolutely gorgeous, the story feels new, the number of characters are whittled down so that they are given much more space to exist and thereby explain their motivations. Darcy speaks! We finally get in his head and it’s wonderful. I adored this book.
Pride & Papercuts is:
✔ Enemies to Lovers Romance
✔ Forbidden Love Story
✔ Two love stories
✔ Brings The Bennet Brothers series and The Austens series together
✔ Modern retelling and reimagining of Pride and Prejudice
✔ Angsty (an “affliction of longing”!)
✔ Dual P.O.V.
My Plot Summary:
Laney Bennet and her twin brother Jett are the last two of the five Bennet siblings left in singledom. They both are employed at Wasted Words, a unique NYC bar that sells both comic books and romance novels and holds mixers and events to romance the customers. We open at one of these mixers: Fabio Night. This is where we first meet ad executive, Liam Darcy and his sister, Georgiana, whose firm, De Bourgh’s, has been hired to market the expansion of Wasted Words to five more cities.
In a reflection of the original novel’s country dance, Darcy refuses to dance with Laney and calls her “tolerable”. Pride & Papercuts hits several key beats of the original novel and most of the usual suspects are in attendance but moved around sufficiently and slotted into new roles as to keep us wondering what will happen next. Pride & Papercuts is a wonderful and beautiful contemporary retelling of the classic made all the more special due to the addition of Darcy’s point of view.
WRITING STYLE: 5/5
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5/5
A beautiful retelling
Staci has such a breathtaking way of modernizing classic retellings of Jane Austen’s stories!! I absolutely loved this one, as I usually do! The characters are always well written and thought out and they come alive on the paper! The emotions, laughter and angst all swirled perfectly together in this story!!