What a kick! How have I missed this author that this is the first book I've read by her? It will certainly not be the last.
The scene is a Mississippi college where two civil war historians butt heads. Shelby is a somewhat scatterbrained professor working her way to tenure. (She does keep losing her keys.) Ransom is a big name professor from Yale taking a year away from the pressure of the northern school. The only problem is that Ransom had given a scathing review of Shelby's recently published book. The review had been just downright mean. And now he would be spending a year at her college. How could she possibly be civil to him?
I really liked this novel, and I am not even a Jane Austen fan. The characters are great. Shelby is feisty and just refuses to be the southern nice girl so many expect her to be. Not being from the south myself, I rooted her on as she broke through that sweet (yet vindictive) southern charm. Ransom is a good man but is still trying to recover from the sudden death of his wife and their unborn child. He's mad at God, too, for letting it happen. It seems impossible that these two would ever find enough common ground to be friends, let alone enter into a romantic relationship.
I loved the wit and humor in the novel. There were times when I laughed out loud! There were other times when I just wanted to give Shelby a hug, she needed it so badly. And the romance is great. Those two hard headed people were at odds so many time … well, you'll just have to read the book. Whether you are an Austen fan or not, I think you'll enjoy this novel. If you find the first half a little slow, hang on. The second half is great.
Mary Jane Hathaway is the pen name of an award-nominated writer who home schools her six young children. She has degrees in Religious Studies and Theoretical Linguistics. You can find out more about her at her blog http://virginiacarmichael.blogspot.com/ (another pen name).
Howard Books, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from Howard Books for the purpose of an independent and honest review.