Cover Image: Jane & Edward

Jane & Edward

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the ARC. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars

My new obsession. Jane & Edward is a modern retelling of the classic, Jane Eyre. This time Jane is a waitress barely scraping by until she becomes a legal assistant. She gets a job at the distinguished law firm of Rosen, Haythe, & Thornfield assisting the intimidating, neurotic, and unpredictable Edward Rosen. Edward scares off all of his assistants, but he has met his match with Jane. 

THIS WAS SO GOOD. It was smart and funny and romantic and angsty and perfect. Melodie Edwards did an amazing job of updating the story and adding fun little nods to the source material throughout. Jane and Edward were just so adorable and amazing. I loved Edward’s quirks and Jane’s reactions to them. They confused and fascinated each other and I was swooning. All the stars. A 2023 favorite for sure. 

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I read Jane Eyre when I was very young and impressionable, and thought it was a great love story. As I’ve gotten older, my feelings about it have definitely changed, but I’ve continued to believe that it has the bones of a really great romance.
I think that was achieved in this book. This was a great reimagining of the original Victorian gothic romance brought into the modern world. For the most part, I thought it was handled really well.
The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the choice to have Edward’s first wife die. I was hoping she would just choose to divorce him, and not come out looking like a narcissistic villain.
Overall though, I was impressed. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this author has in store.
Was this review helpful?
Short Review: This modern reimagining of Jane Eyre is exactly what you need in your life. I finished this book with a huge smile on my face and in my heart. 

"All I've got in the world is me, and my own two feet, and the ground I stand on."

Long Review: That quote above really says it all. Jane is a strong, focused, modern woman who's been through hell, picks herself back up, and keeps going. I felt such a strong connection to her as I've been through some of the same life experiences her character has been through, and I had to pick myself back up. I completely and utterly loved her. I loved Edward too - but for me Jane was the total star of the story. My affinity for Edward is all due to Lamp. Lamp made me love him. 

I know this book will be a continual re-read for me. I loved it that much.
Was this review helpful?
I was a bit nervous, going into this story as Jane’s story in Jane Eyre isn’t exactly a happy one. Even so, the book does start off on a bit of a somber note as we learn about Jane’s misfortunate along with the loss of her father, resulting in Jane being placed in foster care. 

While we get a lot about Jane’s past, the story is firmly focused on Jane getting a new job as an assistant. Her new boss, Mr. Rosen is known for being a hellion and is someone most assistants can’t stand to be around for even a week. Regardless, Jane is determined to show she’s capable and that’s exactly what she does. 

As you might imagine, Jane & Edward is the romance between Jane and Mr. Edward Rosen. I really enjoyed how Melodie Edwards wrote the class difference between the two and showed how their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other. If you’re familiar with the original story, you’ll know the conflict these two face. 

As much as I loved and adored the unlikely romance between these two, Jane & Edward felt more like Jane’s story to me. I don’t mean that as a critique, though. Jane was such a great character who had dealt with so much and she just wanted to be happy. While her journey might not have been the easiest, watching how she dealt with it and watching her become stronger as the book went on was incredible. 

Jane & Edward paid homage to the classic while still putting a modern twist on it which I loved along with seeing all of the references to the original story. However, if you haven’t read the source material, I don’t think you’ll be lost. The story will immediately suck you in and you won’t be able to stop reading.

As far as critiques of the story, the only issue I had was that it felt like the romance came a little out of nowhere. While it’s true to the source material, I do think that romance could have had a larger role in the story. Regardless, I still enjoyed Jane & Edward.
Was this review helpful?

First of all, Jane Eyre is probably my favorite book of all time, so I'm naturally drawn to anything that might touch that epic story. When I saw this available on NetGalley I slammed the request button and am SO GRATEFUL to have been given the chance to read this early.

This is how you do a retelling. I have read several, and I have enjoyed them (with one very big exception that i'm still salty over), but I LOVED this one. Edwards truly understands the Jane Eyre story, the love story between Jane and Edward, to its very core. This book transplanted the characters and the major events of the original story to the modern era with such ease that I'm still in awe of it.

Edwards doesn't follow the source material to an absolute T, but the general themes and broad strokes are still here. The original conflicts exist, but they're updated to fit into the modern world and they fit so well. The Jane of this book still begins as a sort of wall flower, but for reasons that could only hold water in the 21st century. The relationship between Jane and Edward (one that could easily be savaged in a post #metoo world) is handled with SUCH care. It never feels wrong. It never feels as though there is this power imbalance that someone is exploiting. Because there IS a power imbalance, but to have ignored that facet of this story in order to avoid some overly-woke person screaming about how he's a predator and she's his employee, would have made this story work less, in my opinion.

That's the point of Jane Eyre. Love borne out of circumstances beyond your control. Exerting your agency when things that have been kept from you come to your attention. Learning and growing outside of those circumstances and coming to understand why someone who professed to love you would lie. The point of Jane Eyre, and so vividly shown in this reimagining, is that the things that happen to us, shape us. They can either weigh us down and drown us, or we can use those experiences to better ourselves and fight. and live.

Each major beat of Jane Eyre was expertly echoed here. Jane herself is a revelation of a character and Edwards shows her growth in such subtle but powerful ways (accepting fashion help, but only because SHE wants it. painting her bedroom... ugh painting her bedroom). Even Edward himself, while an echo of the original character, is somehow MORE. His blustering was comical, but his sense of self and right and wrong were equally wonderful traits. When he reprimands a client in a conference room? Magic. (is that weird? idk)

Ultimately, I don't think i've LOVED a reimagining of this story as much as I love this one. You can feel the care Edwards took. You can feel the respect for the original. Its just so so very lovely.
Was this review helpful?
I think this is the most intelligent, genuinely entertaining, sentimental and extremely sexiest retelling of Jane Eyre! I loved it! I loved it ! I loved it!

Jane and Edward are beautifully broken, well- crafted, realistic, natural, extremely huggable characters! 

The modern version of the story and necessary changes about the background stories of the characters were incredibly well developed. I never thought I can read modern version of Jane Eyre like something between Suits meets Good will hunting! 

Forced proximity, corporate romance, forbidden love themes perfectly blended with powerful feminism vibes. This book is not only love story of two broken people! It’s also about a woman’s rising up, exploring the world, finding herself and her strength, her own capacity, her own place in the world! We see Jane finally roar and we couldn’t get more proud of her!

  At this book Jane Raine, an orphan, a waitress, in her early 20s, barely scraping together a living. When she hears about classes that help her to become legal assistant, she takes her chance and works hard to graduate. When she completes her course, she gets a job offer from a very distinguished law firm in downtown Toronto called Rosen, Haythe& Thornfield LLP. She’s assigned to assist to Edward Rosen, a moody, messy, ill tempered man who is also the majority stakeholder of the company. 

One of his previous assistant created a dumpster fire before quitting a job and none of the assistants lasted more than a few days. Poor Jane is destined to be failed! 

  But they don’t know about Jane’s resilience. She had to deal with more capricious human beings before. She can endure the psychological torment of her new boss. And interestingly Edward realizes she’s more than meets the eye. Both of them start enjoying their daily banters. Their boss-assistant relationship slowly turns into friendship and maybe more than that!

  Could Jane take a risk to fully trust a man for the first time when her worst heartbreaking experience related to her own dad who left her high and dry at the age of thirteen? Could she break down her own emotional barriers and let him into her heart?

 This is FREAKING FANTASTIC! I didn’t want it finish! Completely swoon, extremely smart, definitely emotional and one of the greatest retellings I’ve literally devoured!

I’m looking forward to read future works of incredibly talented Melodie Edwards!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Was this review helpful?
I’m in love and so much love. I fell hard and fast for this book. I believe it’s a little daunting when it comes to writing a retelling especially that too of one of the most cherished classics of all time. However, this book definitely had that ‘it factor’. I loved how beautiful gritty the writing style was and how humanly authentic the characters were. Their growth and development towards end was so swoon worthy. I simply find myself sighing with adoration at the ending. In a nutshell, this book deserves 5 stars and so much more.
Was this review helpful?
This was a decent rehash of the famous novel.  I felt like Edward was the closer to his Jane Eyre counterpart than Jane.  It was fun to see how the author would carry the original novel into present day.  It was handled very well.  I appreciated that more time was spent to the big reveal and that a ton of drama didn't happen between their first parting and next meeting.  Library patrons should enjoy this one even if they don't know the original.
Was this review helpful?
I love this. I love it, I love it, I love it.

I always have *some* beef to pick with Jane Eyre retellings/adaptations. They leave out something critical, mess up the portrayal of a character, change the tone too much... There's always something. Up until now the only one I felt that came close to "getting it" was "Jane Steele" by Faye, and the retelling in that one is pretty loose. 

"Jane & Edward" nails it. Of course there are changes: elements left out, some characters combined into a new one. But the changes make sense, and I never felt like anything critical was missing. (That's not entirely true. Helen, Diana, and Mary are all absent and I missed the element of female friendship. Adele takes that place to an extent, but someone else would have been nice.) The fullness of the characters come through and so do the emotions and energies of important moments. 

And while it's a retelling, "Jane & Edward" has a charm all its own. You love it for both its inspiration and itself.
Was this review helpful?
The first thing that hit me about this story was the dry wit. The author writes much of it almost with a tongue-in-cheek reverence. That is what hooked me to this book.

When we first meet the characters, it seems like they, and we, are doomed. Edward has a wild temperament and but Jane has a backbone and a way with her manner that can tame the beast. There is fire and calm. The balance between the two is awesome.

Edwards dives into modern-day work relationships along with the pitfalls. The story is smart, fresh, and witty. The building romance is sweet and wonderful but we get to use our imagination on the steamy parts. The developing relationship along the way definitely has up and down moments that really make you wonder how they will find their way.

But find the way they did and the ending is sweet! Jane & Edward is delightful and overall a charming, obsessive type of book that is perfect to snuggle up with this winter!! Don’t miss it!
Was this review helpful?
A fabulous debut that feels like the perfect modern update of the classic. Beautiful, restrained, witty writing was a pleasure to sink into! Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
⭐️Rating: 4.5/5
🌶Steam: close door (1/5)
📚Synopsis: After being orphaned at 13 Jane has been in survival mode. Deciding she deserves more than her waitressing job, Jane decides to take on a job as a legal assistant at a prestigious law firm. However, her boss turns out to be none other than Edward Rosen, a man infamous for his inability to keep an assistant. That is, until Jane. As the two find their footing with each other, feelings start to develop, but eventually secrets are revealed that might come in their way.

I love LOVED this book! So much so, that i’ve gone back on multiple occasions to reread my favorite parts.

The vibes:
- workplace romance
- boss assistant romance
- age gap romance
- grumpy sunshine
- opposites attract
- close door steam
- female mc with a rough past
- 3rd person person narration

As much as I loved this the only reason this book didn’t get a five star rating was because the last 1/4 of the novel felt really tedious, and I wanted more of jane and edward together.
Was this review helpful?
Jane and Edward by melodie edwards releasing march 2023. Jane and Edward were put out to be a whithering heights type book. But this is a story of an orphan woman who goes to work for a tyrant of a lawyer whom owns the business. Of course she is the only person who can tame him and make him fall in love with her   That is the first 50% of the book.  And this is where it should have ended. But it goes on   She knew she knew she was going to leave her drab life for the rich life. But she had to keep going on about. I just don’t know. The jealous bs in the office were gossiping. Oh well who cares. He had told her to ignore them. She was such a downer  I thought she should grab him before he got to know her
Was this review helpful?
I liked this book even if it did frustrate me, but I also went in knowing it was a Jane Eyre retelling so I can’t be too mad about some of the choices. I Jane is supposed to be naive but it just felt like she was so naive I couldn’t believe she was surviving in the 21st century.
Was this review helpful?
I am ashamed to say that I have never read Jane Eyre, although I do know the plot. The fact that I haven’t read it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this book. I liked seeing Jane‘s character evolve and grow as the chapters progressed. I think people who love Jane Eyre will like this book even more than I did. Great read!
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful retelling of Jane Eyre! I loved how it remained true to the original but also was a story all its own. I found it really fun how the author changed the story to fit into the modern world and modern sensibilities. The only critique I have is I would have liked to have less summary of the story, and more scenes. So much of the action seemed to happen inside Jane's head. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a sweet and romantic book! Though a love story, I loved the female empowerment aspect as well.  I devoured this book in two short sittings as I couldn't put it down. I loved both the characters and the plot of this novel. The pacing was fast but still allowed for the slow burn of the romance. 

As stated by the author, this is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre. In this telling, We don't see her background in real time but get an overview of her past: After losing her mother as a very young girl and her father at age 13, Jane is put in foster care. She ages out of the system and fends for herself, waitressing and barely scraping by on her own as a young adult. After hearing of an acquaintances opportunity, she gets schooling to become an administrative assistance. She is hired by a major law firm as the only assistant to one of the firm's main partners, Edward. Edward is volatile, rude, and demanding of most people around him. Jane's determination to make it on her own allows her to keep her head down, working hard and therefore both witnessing her boss's humanity and softening to it. Though she isn't very experienced with men, their working relationship turns flirtatious, and soon, she finds herself unable to contain her feelings any longer, and she's ecstatic to find her feelings returned. They may be head-over-heels for one another, but soon their pasts catch up with them in the form of secrets and insecurities, and their road to happily-ever-after finds a road block, though not an insurmountable one. 

I enjoyed the modern day retelling of Jane Eyre and how the story stayed true to many of the themes of the original novel while in modern times. I liked that while it was a workplace romance, there was no abuse of power on the part of the "boss" and that Jane found independence and self-esteem through struggles that were not sexually abusive in nature. 

It was a lovely book that I would highly recommend to any fans of classic romance/romantic comedy!
Was this review helpful?
Deeply charming, and I would say pitch perfect were it not dramatically more pleasant than the Bronte version. Also without the painful misogyny, so that's a cool update.
Was this review helpful?
An absolute CHARMER of a book that deftly and intelligently reimagines its magnanimous source material in contemporary Toronto.  Edwards clearly ( and lovingly) recognizes that Brontë's themes are timeless and in her cherished nod to a beloved book keeps readers wonderfully surprised and guessing at how Jane and Edward's relationship will parallel the story they know and love while taking a few gasp-worthy turns of its own. 

Jane, timid and lonely and burdened by the echoes of grief of a lost parent and years in uncaring and impoverished foster homes,  decides to take her life and agency in her own hands against a system that would keep her oppressed and waitressing and a stern belief that she deserves little more.  A position at Rosen, Haythe and Thornfield at King and Bay in Toronto's bustling financial district challenges her.  Especially as assistant to Edward Rosen: notoriously temperamental and volatile and seemingly unable to keep an assistant.  Still, Jane has reserves of pragmatic resourcefulness and following one of *the* great meet cutes, he begins to see what no one else has: that this plain creature adorned in Reitmans from a strip mall has layers and buckets of ingenuity.  

Their banter and slow flirtation, not to mention the subtle seeping of their chemistry make this an absolute delicious romcom experience: whether or not you are familiar with the tenets of the source material.   But this is more than a love story between Jane and Edward, it is a treatise on learning ones' value.  The true love affair is Jane learning how to love herself and fight for herself: especially when she learns that she has been victim to a decades long fraud that would keep her underfoot. 

The themes of financial and independent freedom are ripe here--- especially in terms of relationships and ever so salient considering that our post-pandemic world offers some of the same challenges that rippled Edward Rosen's world during the 2008 market crash.  

Even though we are over a century from Brontë's thesis on the limitations of women who are unmarried and have limited ways to earn,   Jane also spirals into obsessively checking her bank account and ensuring she is not just settled for now but forever.  

No matter how far we have come in terms of looking back on now archaic societal restrictions ( when Jane takes some courses at Lowood University,  the 19th Century Lit motif is well served),  we still find so many ways to identify with an extremely smart and resourceful woman who has been dealt several bad hands 

And not the same bad hands dealt men, that is for sure. 

A quick and witty and thoughtfully explored work on sex politics, gender discrimination and the need for security and family even in the midst of a high-towered business world,   Jane and Edward is one of the best literary retellings I have read: certainly the best of this material.   And it is made even more resplendent by Edwards' winning, arresting and sharp sense of irony and wit.

Reader, I gobbled it up.
Was this review helpful?
I need you all to know that I loved this book and read it in one sitting, stayed up reading until 2am, couldn’t put it down, all that jazz, which is why I gave it 4 very generous stars... but also, it’s a Jane Eyre fanfic—or I guess a modern retelling as it’s only called fanfic when the IP isn’t in the public domain—so that means that if it remains somewhat true to the ending, then said ending will be a mess, and this one has me howling for how clunky and convenient it was. And yet, I sure loved all that delicious melodrama that was still grounded enough in reality and was very thoughtful and self-aware about how thorny and complicated it is to pull off a boss/secretary romance, especially when the heroine has no support system whatsoever.

It’s a really weird book because it feels almost old-fashioned in both narration and story, which I think it’s both a deliberate artistic choice and my familiarity with Jane Eyre laying in some of the groundwork and setting expectation (and the book makes no effort to conceal its source of inspiration, I mean it's right there on the title, which I kind of really like), and so some of the dynamics feel very outdated, and some of the more clear efforts to modernize the story feel very unsubtle. The main character, Jane, is in her mid 20’s, and will go from referencing a 1963 Steve McQueen movie to making not one, not two, but THREE unfortunate Harry Potter references (authors, don’t do this unless you want your readers to assume you’re transphobic), and it’s a story very focused with slowly empowering a young woman to find herself and her voice, but then it will introduce a bunch of other women who are a parade of vapid mean girls. I got a lot of whiplash! Especially when, you know, SPOILER the vapid mean girl secret wife dies in one of the California wildfires because she refused to evacuate? Lmao but thank god because there was no other way my man Edward was getting rid of her, so, those fires, very convenient, totally unproblematic, plot devices END OF SPOILER

My main issue is simply that Jane Eyre doesn’t have an ending that can be translated literally to modern times, esp in genre romance, and expect it to work, when ultimately the hero makes no effort whatsoever to find an honest solution to his situation and instead sits there and lets fate solve it for him. That said, and I can’t stress this enough, I could not put this thing down, I loved reading it, I will be reading whatever Melodie Edwards writes next, and although this is not a glowing review, if you like messy, dramatic romance that’s basically more fairy tale than realistic contemporary, I highly recommend it.

Content notes: parental death (off page, in the past); mentions of IPV and child abuse and neglect (all in the past but there's one mildly graphic on-page description of a resulting injury); the book is 3rd person past single POV and the sex scenes are closed door; SPOILER someone dies in a fire LOL END OF SPOILER

Review copy provided by the publisher; apologies for the super early review.
Was this review helpful?