Angry people are not always wise.
— Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
I received Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe as an ARC from St. Martin’s Press through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
As evidenced by the Jane Austen quote above, I may not have been very wise in this review because this book made me incredibly angry and I still finished it. The only reason I finished it was to say, without a doubt, that I did not like this book.
Being completely honest, I hate giving one-star ratings to books, especially ones that I finish, but this book was fully deserving of one star.
I was really excited for the premise of this book. A gender-swapped, modern Pride and Prejudice? Count me in! Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz? No, I want nothing to do with this book.
This book follows a 29-year-old Darcy Fitzwilliam who is a self-made millionaire who works had and has a lot of money (don’t worry if you forget that part, she’ll remind you). Darcy returns home after eight years after her mother suffers a heart attack shortly before the Fitzwilliam annual Christmas party. It is at during the Christmas party where Darcy reconnects with the frustratingly handsome and, maybe, lazy Luke Bennet. They have a couple romantic encounters and Darcy is left wondering if Luke is the one for her.
Let’s get some negatives out of the way…
First things first, the pacing in this book is terrible. Their love story (including two make-out sessions, countless fights, what I think was a break-up, and engagements to other people) all take place in about 5 days. This alone makes the book so frustrating. I even tried to participate in some suspension of disbelief, but couldn’t make it happen for this. None of these events would happen in real life. Not even something close to that would happen.
Another thing that killed me while reading this book were the constant reminders of Darcy’s wealth. It was like de la Cruz never wanted you to forget that Darcy was independently wealthy. Ever. In almost every chapter there was some line that either explicitly talked about her wealth or hinted at it. There was designer name brand dropping for day and really cheesy dialogue with her family about how much money she has made.
All of the characters (especially Darcy) were selfish and childish. The dialogue was one of the worst parts. Nobody actually speaks the way these characters do. The romantic scenes seemed forced and some lines of dialogue came out of nowhere. At one point Luke actually calls himself a gentleman for not having sex with Darcy when she’s drunk (not raping someone does not make you a gentleman). Darcy has a lot of internalized misogyny moments which made me cringe… This book was just utterly disappointing.
The one good thing was the relationship between Jim and Bingley. I thought they were a positive addition to the story, but they were never focused on. If this book was all about them, it might have been better!
Personally, I do not recommend this book. It has a lot of negatives and not enough positives to balance it out.