Undue Influence: A Persuasion Retelling by Jenny Holiday
Published: September 4, 2018
Genres: contemporary, romance, contemporary romance, LGBTQIA+
Rating: 4 stars
Recommend to fans of: second chance romance stories, M/M romance, stories about small towns, sweet guys
Foodie Vibes: grilled cheese with apple slices and champagne – simply tasty food that’s so very effective
Second chances only come around once.
Eight years ago, Adam Elliot made the biggest mistake of his life. Now that mistake is coming back to haunt him. His family’s beloved vineyard has gone into foreclosure, and the new owner is the sister of the only man he’s ever loved—the man he dumped under pressure from family and friends who thought the match was beneath him.
When Freddy Wentworth, aka the bad boy of Bishop’s Glen, left town with a broken heart, he vowed never to return. But a recently widowed friend needs his help, so here he is. He’s a rich and famous celebrity chef now, though, so everyone can just eff right off.
But some things are easier said than done. Despite their attempts to resist each other, old love rekindles—and old wounds reopen. If they want to make things work the second time around, they’ll have to learn to set aside their pride—and prejudice.
This modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is a standalone novel that can be enjoyed by Austen-philes and by those allergic to the nineteenth century.
Thank you to NetGalley, Jenny Holiday, and the publisher for the ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.
Adam and Freddy both grew up in the same small town with slightly different circumstances. One was a bit of a misunderstood rebel/bad boy. The other did what his family wanted and enjoyed being alone with his thoughts. They met eight years ago one summer and fell in love. Circumstances, fear, and stubbornness got in the way of their happily ever after.
Now they’re all grown up. Freddy left home to become a big time chef, restaurant owner and reality TV star. Adam chose to stay in his much beloved small town, working as a mechanic for his friend and mentor. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they’re back in each other’s lives. Sparks ignite. But can they rekindle their love for each other after years of heartbreak?
I really enjoyed reading Undue Influence. The romance is so sweet without being overly sappy. The two men are genuinely nice people that I enjoyed getting to know. Adam and Freddy are such a cute couple. Here are a few more things I enjoyed about the book:
- Shows the spectrum of gay, bisexual and pansexual men. Also a drag queen. Not just the token one or two gay characters.
- A mechanic who reads and enjoys nature. Love!
- Shows that not everyone has to hate the small town they grew up in
- Respectfully distancing yourself from toxic family members allows you to be much happier #LifeLesson
The only downside is that it took me some time to get into the story at the beginning.
What’s your must have in a romance novel?