Series: The Rajes #1
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on May 7, 2019
FINAL DECISION: Straddling the line between women’s fiction and romance, this book doesn’t always comfortably satisfy either genre. I liked the book, but didn’t find the romance here as compelling as prior Dev books.
THE STORY: Dr. Trisha Raje is a celebrated neurosurgeon who has a difficult relationship with her family but even while she complains about them, she longs for something more with them. As would be expected in a Pride and Prejudice retelling, on the night that she is attempting to bridge the gap between them at a party, she meets DJ, a chef who is cooking for her family’s event. DJ finds Trisha stuck up and unlikable on their first meeting and judges her accordingly. Trisha, however, is DJ’s sister’s neurosurgeon so they are bound to meet again.
OPINION: I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. Therefore, any book that so closely depends so much on that book is already a problem for me. I liked the family dynamics at play here, but I think that trying to shoehorn some of these things into the original Pride and Prejudice template doesn’t always work as well here — especially the Wickham story.
I thought that both the main characters were well conceived. Trisha isn’t the easiest character to identify with but women characters often face more criticism for being successful, determined and unemotional. I really felt her mistakes and her inability to express herself as she wants. She also learns a lot through the book.
DJ is adorable but also a jerk in how he quickly judges Trisha. He is a caring brother who is struggling with his sister’s illness and how to allow her to make decisions in her life that are not the ones he would make.
The family drama was the weakest part for me as it seemed to overwhelm the romance at times. It also felt that this book, as the first in the series, was attempted to introduce everyone and do a lot of work that didn’t feel natural.
I wanted more romance and Trisha and DJ didn’t spend enough time together for my tastes. That being said, I liked the book and it was worth reading.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book is a gender role reversal version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
CONNECTED BOOKS: PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND OTHER FLAVORS is the first book in the Rajes series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.
UPDATE: 4/3/2022: I’ve increased the rating on this one to 4 stars. The book does somewhat suffer from being the first book in the series and having to introduce all the family characters. I increased the rating because I really did like Trisha and DJ and think that at least some of my negative feelings the first time were because of my expectations of the book. I really did enjoy this book and upon second reading will continue with the series.