Cover Image: Once Persuaded, Twice Shy

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy

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Member Reviews

Rating: 4/5
Steam: Closed Door

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy presents a contemporary reimagining of Austen’s Persuasion, reflecting Edwards’ adeptness at infusing modern twists into classic tales, like to her previous work. It’s important to approach this novel with an understanding that while it contains romantic elements, its primarly women’s fiction. Those expecting a straightforward romance might find themselves disappointed.

I found myself toggling between both the print and audiobook formats. While the narrator’s performance wasn’t entirely lacking, I did encounter instances where her delivery became distracting. Fluctuations in volume and tone, coupled with overly dramatic moments, disrupted my immersion in the story at times. Given its single point-of-view narrative, the audiobook experience may have been hindered by these factors.

However, if you’re drawn to narratives set in tight-knit communities, relish the emotional complexity typical of women’s fiction, or enjoy the tension of second-chance romances, this book holds great appeal. I’m eagerly anticipating Edwards’ future endeavors, she is a brilliant story teller.

The inclusion of Taylor Swift references, foodie moments, and vivid architectural descriptions adds a charming layer to the narrative. The author’s note was a particularly appreciated touch. Overall, I recommend this book for readers seeking a journey of self-discovery more than a traditional romance.

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Once Persuaded, Twice Shy presents a contemporary reimagining of Austen's Persuasion, reflecting Edwards' adeptness at infusing modern twists into classic tales, like to her previous work. It's important to approach this novel with an understanding that while it contains romantic elements, its primary genre is women's fiction. Those expecting a straightforward romance might find themselves disappointed. However, if you're drawn to narratives set in tight-knit communities, relish the emotional complexity typical of women's fiction, or enjoy the tension of second-chance romances, this book holds appeal. I'm eagerly anticipating Edwards' future endeavors, she is a brilliant story teller.

The inclusion of Taylor Swift references, foodie moments, and vivid architectural descriptions adds a charming layer to the narrative. The author's note was a particularly appreciated touch. Overall, I recommend this book for readers seeking a journey of self-discovery more than a traditional romance.

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My absolute favorite Jane Austen novel is "Persuasion" - I've read it several times and watched the movie countless times (the 1995 version is the best in my opinion!). I was excited to read a modern retelling. This one was well written but somehow didn't captivate me "with the same vibes".

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I absolutely loved this book! I have not ever read Jane Austen so I was not sure what I was getting into, or if I would enjoy the story. I can safely say that it exceeded any kind of expectation I had. I was swooning at the end. Definitely recommend!

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Persuasion is actually my favorite Jane Austen novel, so this was a fun book for me to dive into. So full of angst and longing, I had a really good time with this one!

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I wanted to love this one, as Persuasion is my second favorite Austen. And I was thrilled to see an Austen retelling that wasn't Pride and Prejudice. But at least for me this one didn't give retelling vibes it just gave me Austen influenced. And for me neither the hero or heroine was likable.

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I like this modern retelling of Persuasion better.

In the modern retelling of Persuasion, our Anne Elliot is a town councilman as well as the head of the Elysian theater. Everyone turns to Anne to take care of all their problems. These were her mother’s long-held positions in the community when her mother got sick, Anne stepped in to keep everything running smoothly for her and when she died everyone just let Anne keep taking care of everything.

She’s also forced to take care of her dad and her older sister, Elizabeth. I love how they would hint that they wanted food made for them by leaving out the everything on the counter for Anne to make for them. Ugh!

Part of Anne’s duties is to fund raise among the “blue bloods”. There she meets the couple who recently purchased her family’s old home and vineyard—Kellynch Winery —Colonel and Mrs Fairchilds. Anne enjoyed meeting them until the mentioned that their newphew, Benjamin Wentworth, was coming to help them set everything up.

Ben and Anne dated for a year back when they were in University eight years ago. While Anne was pursuing her MBA in business, Ben kept changing his major, and his plans for the future was more travel ’til we run out of money. It was Anne’s mother that pointed out to Anne that she would end up dragging her spouse through life who is more a hindrance then a partner. Breaking up with Ben left them both heartbroken but Anne had been persuaded it was for the best.

Ben shows up in Niagara on the Lake. He has changed significantly from the aimless young man to a venture capitalist, who owns his own firm. He was also still very angry with Anne and spent his time with a young actress from Anne’s theater. Anne knew in her mind that there was no going back but her heart still hoped apparently.

Often I read a second chance romance and I lament the loss of the years the characters missed not being together. But in both Persuasion and this modern retelling, is it not Wentworth’s heartbreak that pushes him to be someone Anne would regret setting aside? If that heartbreak wasn’t there to push Wentworth to make something of himself, would he have remained rudderless and relying on Anne to take care of everything just like everyone else in her life? This is one of those few instances where the characters needed that heartbreak and time away to become their better selves.

I was a fan of Jane Eyre when I read Jane and Edward. I never read Persuasion and this time I decided to read the reimagining and then watch one of the movies. I don’t think I would do that again since I was a bit distracted as to how the reimagined version of characters or plot was in the original story; such as when Anne decides to move out and leave her father, single women in the 1800s couldn’t just move out on their own when they had enough of their families. The author noted that the 2007 version was her favorite so I watched that one. I enjoyed it but felt like the story was abbreviated and that I was missing a good deal of the character building. I am going to watch the 2022 version before I move on to my next story.

My only issue was that the beginning was a bit slow going as we didn’t have very much interaction between Anne and Ben until almost halfway through the story and you can’t get back together until you spend more than 10 minutes in a room together.

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Last year I read Melodie's Jane Eyre retelling and adored it, so l was SO excited to start her Persuasion reimagining. And it didn't disappoint!! I haven't read Persuasion, but I know the gist of it. To many people it's considered Jane Austen's best work.
Melodie did a fantastic job taking a classic and giving it a modern setting! I truly loved Anne Elliot, who literally kept her little town running. This story made me laugh out loud with all the antics of the townspeople, it made my heart hurt for the burden Anne carried, and it made me swoon with ALL THE BEN. He was an absolutely perfect book boyfriend.

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Jane Austen is a favorite of mine, so this retelling of Persuasion was so fun. A workplace romance, angst, deep emotional issuess and friendship to love...what more do you need? Pick this up! Melodie Edwards is a writing genius.

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This was super cute! Anne lives in a Gilmore girls-esque small town and not only runs the local theater but is also involved in basically every committee the town has to offer. She’s pretty uptight and doesn’t take a second to rethink her priorities until her ex boyfriend Ben returns to town to help his aunt and uncle with their new property.
Honestly this was a super cute retelling of Persuasion. It didn’t blow me away, but it was cute, cozy and silly.

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This one was just really forgettable to me. I am always looking for adaptations and remixes of classics (especially Austen ones), but this one was just middle of the road for me.

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It may have been a disservice, but I watched the 2007 version of Persuasion (my personal favorite) on TV before I started reading this love story.

I have read many romances over the years and a positive sign, for me, is having difficulty setting the story aside. I’m engaged with the MCs, I enjoy the backdrop and I feel the secondary characters are important. I become immersed in what is happening on the pages and time outside is ignored. From start to finish, it took me over 4 weeks to complete.

In Persuasion, during the early 1800s, I understood to some extent why the original Anne Elliot behaved the way she did. Before the definition of enabler became popular, Anne enabled her sisters, BIL, father and even a neighbor. And all along, she was dependent on her father’s judgment.

Unfortunately, I struggled with the contemporary Once Persuaded, Twice Shy. When Anne and Ben Wentworth met again after eight years, I expected a fair amount of awkwardness and distance, which there was. I didn’t expect not to care whether they got back together but that was how I felt. I thought the last chapters with Anne and Ben forgiving past decisions with a quick resolution a bit unreal.

My thanks to Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Review will be posted on 3/14/24
Anne Elliott runs the theater company in the idyllic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. She has taken it over after her mother's death and all was going well until the new owners of the winery want to partner with her. This sounds like a great opportunity, but upon further inspection she realizes that the newcomers have appointed Ben Wentworth, their nephew, to broker the deal. Cue the drama! Ben Wentworth is Anne's long-lost college boyfriend, essentially the one who got away. Can Anne get past their misunderstandings and make this professional relationship work or will all the old feelings come back? Once Persuaded, Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards is a delightful modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

Anne Elliott is my favorite of Austen's heroines and Edwards captures her very well without making it feel old-fashioned. Anne has more than the theater to worry about, she also has to deal with her demanding sister and unhinged father, so just like Persuasion, this retelling also captures themes of family expectation and the pressure that Anne feels to do for others, even over her own needs at times.

I also thought the romance between Ben and Anne was done very well and if you like a story about the one who got away, you'll appreciate Once Persuaded, Twice Shy. Also, my absolute favorite part of the novel was the gorgeous Canadian setting of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Edwards did a wonderful job bringing it to life with all of its autumnal details that made me want to plan a trip there immediately. It reminded me a bit of Stars Hollow in the best way possible as it's also a small town filled with quirky characters. In fact, Once Persuaded, Twice Shy felt a lot like a small-town rom-com.

If you have a fondness for Austen retellings and charming small-town romances, then Once Persuaded, Twice Shy is a book that you shouldn't miss. Please share with me in the comments if you have already read it or intend to do so and I am eager to hear if you are a fan of Austen inspired novels.

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3.5 rounded to 4

Good writing, but a difficult one to get into--it took me months to read. Persuasion is a tough book to translate to modern times, but I thought Edwards gave it her best shot. My problem was that both hero and heroine were stiff, their romance difficult to believe in. I sensed the authorial hands pushing them along from Austen's plot point to plot point, though how Edwards altered those for modern audience was intriguing. I also dont' really have much interest in the details of running a business. But other readers will find it charming, intelligent, and appealing, I'm sure.

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Persuasion is one of my favorite books of all time and a beloved Austen work, so I was equal parts excited and terrified to read this modern retelling. It was pretty faithful and such a delight to read, so it gets my full stamp of approval as an Austen lover (books and adaptations).

This story would present a few hard moments to modernize, but somehow Melodie Edwards was able to do it with the help of a rogue Goose, a Taylor Swift playlist, an entire town’s codependency upon Anne and a deliciously modernized LETTER (iykyk).

I throughly enjoyed this take on Anne and Wentworth’s story and it brought me so many nostalgic feels while also absolutely standing on its own merits as a unique story of second chances at love and learning to set boundaries so you can thrive. It was swoon and inspiring and the cast of characters (as well as the setting) felt like something Austen would have absolutely approved of!

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This was such a quiet gentle love, and I adore second chances and really really enjoyed reading this book. It took me some time to get used to the writing style because it felt a little Austen esque - but it was lovely all the same. I’m such a sucker for the feels that happen in second chance romance. The longing and pining and secret nods. This had it all. I feel so cozy and happy after reading it. And of course love a Jane Austen retelling.

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I enjoyed this for the most part. I’m no Austen expert but I think it was a decent retelling. It was definitely clear to me that it was. The storyline was good and the characters were entertaining. Anne and Wentworth gave us pining and heartbreak but not quite to the level of the source material. Worth a read if you really love Persuasion but you aren’t really missing out if you skip it.

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Read if you like:
🥈 Second Chance Romances
🥇First Loves
📚 Austen Retellings
🔥 Sloowwww burn
🚪 Closed Door Romances

I feel like in need to preface this in the fact that I have not read Persuasion and now that I’ve read a retelling of it, I am not sure it would be for me exactly with the super slow burn that was this second chance romance.

It kind of felt like all of a sudden we went from very little contact between the leads, to them being back in love after 8 years and clearly growing to be very different people than they were previously.

I feel like I wanted more current depth to their relationship and rekindling than we got, but I know to be true to the retelling the author kept with the plot device of the slow burn and keeping them apart, but unfortunately in a modern world I don’t think it worked as well for me as it would have in an Austen time period.

All that to say, I did enjoy the story, it just isn’t my new favorite and I truly loved this authors freshman debut so I think it was just that this particular retelling didn’t work for me because I don’t think Persuasion itself would be one I would enjoy as much as other Austen stories that I have loved.

Thanks so much to the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

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I thought this was okay but it didn’t wow me. I struggled at times to get through the inner monologues. Second chance is also a struggle for me so I wanted a little more development. I loved that it took place near where I am currently located.

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Melodie Edwards puts a fresh spin on a Jane Austen classic in Once Persuaded, Twice Shy. Edwards brings Anne and Wentworth to the modern era but keeps the original spirit alive in this story, and I was absolutely delighted.

Anne is all business all the time, having stepped into her late mother’s shoes seamlessly and taken on the role of town counselor and theater director. Between narcissistic family members, a sweet but loose cannon assistant, dramatic actors, demanding townspeople, and a chaotic neutral (possibly chaotic evil) goose, Anne’s time is constantly in demand. Then the new owners of her former home – Kellynch Winery – come to the theater and bring the past back to haunt her. The Fairchilds’ nephew is none other than Ben Wentworth, the man Anne dumped eight years ago after being persuaded he was a bad match.

If you’re familiar with Persuasion, you’ll see all of the high points of that novel reimagined in a new way. If you’ve never read Austen’s novel, don’t worry – you won’t be lost. Edwards makes this story and its characters stand on their own. I adored the romantic angst as Anne’s reunion with Ben makes her face the past and deal with the breakup she pushed out of mind for years. Anne has become someone she doesn’t entirely recognize and it was great to see her come into her own over the course of the story. Her hurt and loss over Ben are feelings she has to contend with as well, as is the jealousy at seeing him now successful, powerful, and seemingly indifferent to her. Though the story is told from Anne’s point of view, you can easily read Ben’s emotions like you can in the original. Edwards truly captures the heart of Persuasion in Once Persuaded, Twice Shy and her skill ensures I will definitely be on the lookout for more of her work.

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