Book Review: A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King

Posted October 29, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review / 15 Comments

A Certain Appeal
A Certain Appeal
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Vanessa King
Publication Date November 2, 2021
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

A sparkling contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the tantalizing world of New York City burlesque, perfect for fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Roommate.

After a betrayal derailed her interior design career, Liz Bennet found a fresh start in New York. Now an executive assistant by day and stage kitten by night, she's discovered a second home with the performers at Meryton, Manhattan's top-tier burlesque venue. Love's the last thing on her mind when she locks eyes with Will Darcy across the crowded club, yet the spark between them is undeniable-that is, until she overhears the uptight wealth manager call her merely "tolerable."

Bennet is determined to write Darcy off, but once their besties fall head-over-heels, they're thrown into each other's orbit again and again. Each encounter begins to feel more heated than the last, but is their chemistry enough to topple that terrible first impression? What's more, when a charming newcomer arrives on the scene with accusations against Darcy, and a sudden development leaves Meryton's fate in jeopardy, Bennet will have to decide who to trust in time to salvage her design dreams, her heart, and the stage she shares with her found family...

My Review:

This book is one of the best retellings of the classic book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin that I’ve read.  A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King gives the classic tale a modern and risque twist by setting the book in a Burlesque theater in New York City.  It’s such a fun book, with plenty of banter between Bennet and Darcy.  

Liz Bennet is a stage kitten at a Burlesque theater in New York City.  After her design career was derailed in California, she fled to New York and met up with her friend Jane who is a singer at the theater.  Liz works by day as an administrative assistant for a tech firm, and by night she picks up the strewn-off clothing of the performers at the theater.  One night, a particularly handsome man, Darcy, and his friend Charles visit the theater and Liz feels a connection with Darcy from the stage.  But, later she overhears him telling Charles that she is merely tolerable, and her disdain for Darcy fights with her overwhelming attraction for him.  When her best friend Jane, falls hard for Darcy’s friend Charles, Liz finds herself meeting up with Darcy and her attraction gets stronger.  

I just loved this book, I really enjoyed learning about the burlesque scene in New York City and this re-telling was excellent.  The author does an excellent job of modernizing the classic tale, and the characters of Liz and her “family” at Merryton (the burlesque venue) are a fantastic fresh take on the classic tale.

The dialogue is excellent.  The banter between Liz and Darcy is so well done and hilarious at times.  Also, the relationship between Liz and Jane is so sweet.  The pacing is also well done, I went through this book so fast, I couldn’t wait to see what the authors take on the classic tale would take. 

One spot of criticism is the cover. Although beautiful, I don’t think it gives even a clue as to what the story is about or even the tone of the story. I highly recommend this book especially to anyone who loves the classic tale. 

15 responses to “Book Review: A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King

  1. Nina D

    Oh Wendy, you make this sound so good! Especially as you’re saying it’s one of the best retelling you’ve read. Will look into this one!

  2. I love the sound of this one. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Pride and Prejudice retelling. This story sounds absolutely wonderful. It must go on my TBR. Lovey review, Wendy ❤️

  3. It’s so hard to find a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice that lives up to the original tale, so I’m happy to hear this did and did so well! I’ll have to check this one out since I love P & P! Wonderful review, Wendy!

  4. Pride & Prejudice and burlesque. Who would’ve thought? But I honestly can’t wait to read this one. It just sounds so fun. 🙂