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  • Writer's pictureChrissy

Review: Most Ardently by Gabe Cole Novoa

Meet Oliver. He's just your average regency guy except for the fact that by day the world (minus 5 of his closest confidantes) knows him by another name, that of Elizabeth Bennett. Oliver is tired of hiding who he is from the world and his family but regency England isn't really the most forward thinking place to be. Enter Fitzwilliam Darcy who by all accounts should be the last person that Oliver can relate to, and yet time after time they find themselves on common ground.

I am sure that we all know by now how very much I love Pride and Prejudice. It was my first introduction into the grumpy/sunshine, enemies to lovers, he fell first tropes. And boy do I lap those tropes up in books. So when I heard there was a queer, trans retelling of my most beloved classic, you bet your ass I immediately went to Netgalley and requested Most Ardently.

It was a special thing to have ones reflection in harmony with who they were. - Oliver

I read and received an E-arc of this book. I am going to be completely straightforward here, I am probably not the intended audience for this book. That being said, I enjoyed Oliver's story and his journey to owning himself. Oliver made me look at P&P in a completely new light. I mean, Lizzy and her dad were so close and she was the most "boyish" of all the girls. Wouldn't it make sense then, that she wasn't actually a girl?

One of the things I appreciate most about retellings is how they challenge the way that we view a story previously told. It makes you question if we really got the full story when we originally read it and I will absolutely be breaking out a copy of Pride and Prejudice to re-read after this to see if there are things I may have missed in any of my previous reads where Jane Austen was telling a different story from the one we all read.

While I felt that the chemistry between Oliver and Darcy was lacking and the way Wickham was fit into the story didn't really work for me, I rated this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. If you love Pride and Prejudice as much as me and want to see it in a new way or you just want to add more diversity into your reading, this is a great jumping off point for trans romance. You can pick up your own copy here. If you do decide to purchase via our link, we do need to let you know we earn a tiny bit, that will go toward us buying more books that we can share with you!

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