Once Persuaded Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards

February 21st, 2024 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 10 Comments

21st Feb

Sophia Rose is here with Once Persuaded Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards, a modern reimagining of Persuasion. Grab a cup of tea and check out this contemporary romance that hit all the right notes.

Once Persuaded Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards
Once Persuaded Twice Shy
by Melodie Edwards
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

This modern reimagining of Persuasion is full of witty banter, romantic angst, and compelling characters as it captures the heart of the classic Jane Austen novel.

When Anne Elliott broke up with Ben Wentworth, it seemed like the right thing to do . . . but now, eight years later, she’s not so sure.

In her scenic hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Anne is comfortable focusing on her successful career: filling her late mother’s shoes as town councilor and executive director of her theater company. She certainly keeps busy as the all-around wrangler of eccentric locals, self-centered family members, elaborate festivals, and the occasional attacking goose. But the more she tries to convince herself that her life is fine as is, the more it all feels like a show—and not nearly as good as the ones put on by her theater company. She’s the always responsible Anne, always taken for granted and cleaning up after other people, and the memories of happier times with Ben Wentworth still haunt her.

So when the nearby Kellynch Winery is bought by Ben’s aunt and uncle, Anne’s world is set ablaze as her old flame crashes back into her life—and it’s clear he hasn’t forgiven her for breaking his heart. A joint project between the winery and Anne’s theater forces both Ben and Anne to confront their complicated history, and as they spend more time together, Anne can’t help but wonder if there might be hope for their future after all.

Sophia Rose’s Review

Jane Austen’s Persuasion with its bittersweet recriminations, family and friends interfering, and second chance romance lends itself to being a heartfelt contemporary romance.  Melodie Edwards carefully places the story in the culturally-rich scene area of Niagara with her heroine working with the theater and her hero helping with his family’s new winery.  I was eager to finally give this new to me author and her modern Persuasion rendition a go.

Like with most modern retellings, the fun and excitement is seeing how the characters and the plot is translated into our contemporary world balancing the heart of the original with necessary updates.  Right away, I was very taken with Melodie Edward’s version of Anne.  I saw Anne Elliot the same way- capable, dependable, and a woman of quiet strength and slow to voice her thoughts.  This modern version who stands on the town council and heads the theater production company fit this so well.  This Anne’s flaw is mistakenly believing she is indispensable and she works hard to be seen as irreplaceable.  She feels she has to keep proving her worth when others see her so much better than she does herself.  Her self-absorbed family doesn’t help matters.

But, I was glad to see Ben arrive from Toronto and rattle her.  Of course, she rattles him, too.  He was convinced that the pain she dealt out when she rejected him years before was in the past, but people who are over someone don’t remain hurt and flaunt a new date in their old flame’s face just to take a jab at them and show that someone at least thinks he’s great.

I loved seeing the little things that showed he wasn’t as indifferent and over Anne as he wanted the world to believe.  The pacing on their revived romance was good and the conflict was just enough.  I wasn’t a fan of extra angst, but it wasn’t excessive and there were lots of comic moments to balance that a bit.  It’s Canada so the crazy Canadian goose was a must.  Miscommunication hounded these two and I was muttering at them both, but also cheering them on to get to know each other anew and realize that maybe this time was actually the perfect time when before might not have been.  And, yes, *fist pump* there is a modern version of the swoony Wentworth letter.

Smalltown coziness, seasonal autumn activities in pretty settings, and a modern retelling of a classic that hit all the right notes.  This is for the contemporary romancers who like a clever second chance romance that gives a respectful nod to a class.

Amazon | Audible

About Melodie Edwards

Melodie Edwards has a BA in English literature from the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in communications from McMaster University and Syracuse University (2023), and studied comedy writing at the Second City Training Centre. Her writing has been featured in Writer’s Digest, GI60 UK Theatre Festival, the Austin Film Festival Playwright Competition, and the Hart House Drama Festival.
She believes the importance of tea and biscuits while writing cannot be overstated.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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10 Responses to “Once Persuaded Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards”

    • Sophia Rose

      What a bummer you’ve been struggling to get into it, Lisa! But, I get how that can happen. It probably does appeal to me because I was curious to see how it modernized the original. Hope it ends up pulling you in.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yeah, miscommunication in romances generally drives me nuts. As you say, its part of the original so makes sense to bring the conflict points forward in time, too. I thought she did a great job re-creating Persuasion in the modern setting. I need to go back for her Jane Eyre book.

  1. ailyn koay

    Persuasion was not one that I was interested in though, but i might give this one a go