Most Ardently

Most Ardently

by Susan Mesler-Evans

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Elisa Benitez is proud of who she is, from her bitingly sarcastic remarks, to her love of both pretty boys and pretty girls. If someone doesn’t like her, that’s their problem, and Elisa couldn’t care less. Particularly if that person is Darcy Fitzgerald, a snobby, socially awkward heiress with an attitude problem and more money than she knows what to do with.

From the moment they meet, Elisa and Darcy are at each other’s throats -- which is a bit unfortunate, since Darcy’s best friend is dating Elisa’s sister. It quickly becomes clear that fate intends to throw the two of them together, whether they like it or not. As hers and Darcy’s lives become more and more entwined, Elisa’s once-dull world quickly spirals into chaos in this story of pride, prejudice, and finding love with the people you least expect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640638006
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 10/21/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 529,383
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Susan Mesler-Evans is a writer, college student, D&D enthusiast, theatre nerd, and horrific procrastinator. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Susan now lives in Florida, and can often be found reading, scrolling through Tumblr until 2 AM, overanalyzing her favorite fictional characters and relationships, bingewatching comedies on Netflix, thinking about writing, and even, on occasion, actually writing. Most Ardently is her first full-length novel. You can find her at

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Most Ardently 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
book_junkee 24 days ago
I will legit read anything that references P+P and I loved the synopsis and that it was a f/f story. Sadly, it was so very disappointing. My main hang up is that I just didn’t care about any of these characters. Elisa doesn’t have the spark Elizabeth does and the rest of the sisters could have been interchangeable. I didn’t see any sort of chemistry between Elisa and Darcy and the tension I was expecting was also missing. Plot wise, it followed the original plot points, but they were moderately updated. There was a lot of telling and not showing and the addition of trans and non-binary characters felt like an afterthought. By the time we got to the ending, I was happy it was over instead of cheering for them having gotten together. Overall, it was a great idea for an update, but the execution didn’t work for me. FYI: talk of statutory rape and physical violence against women **Huge thanks to Entangled for providing the arc free of charge**
beckymmoe 25 days ago
Absolutely adorable P&P retelling with (several) modern twists! Elisa Benitez and Darcy Fitzgerald's story hits all the main plot points of Pride and Prejudice , but does so with plenty of modern touches that help to make the story Ms Mesler-Evans' own. Elisa is bisexual and of Hispanic heritage; Darcy is biracial and a lesbian. Camilla (the second youngest of Elisa's sisters) is trans, and Elisa's parents are divorced (I was especially interested that the author went there--I've read so many analyses re: the elder Bennets and their marriage, and they've been about a 50-50 split between they had a good marriage and their marriage was a disaster; though I'm not willing to commit 100% to one argument or the other, this worked here). I enjoyed noting the differences and seeing how the author made Jane Austen's period piece become more modern. For the most part it really, really worked--I'd venture to say that even someone completely unfamiliar with the storyline would enjoy this book's plot and characters on their own merit. A few bits felt slightly forced (Lady Catherine's final scenes, I'm looking at you) and others were an improvement (Colin/Mr. Collins and Charlene/Charlotte's eventual relationship is so much more palatable here!) and I turned the final page of the story with a huge smile on my face. Final verdict? I'll get in line to read Ms Mesler-Evans's next book, even if it's not an Austen retelling :) Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Keelinover 3 months ago
A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice following Elisa Benitez and her four sisters as they navigate their mother's wishes for them to marry rich, school, and for Elisa especially: the incredibly rude and irritating classmate: Darcy Fitzgerald. This book is a not so subtle nod to the amazing Austen book and the fantastic 2005 movie, and if you're a fan of either, you will absolutely adore this. You fall in love with Elisa and Julieta and the rest of the Benitez family just like you do in the original novel only this time you get to see how they'd act in 2019. If you've been looking for a cozy romcom and to reread Pride and Prejudice, pick up Most Ardently and thank yourself for the good life decision.
onemused 3 months ago
MOST ARDENTLY is the lovely and swoony Pride and Prejudice remix that I've been hoping for. While sticking pretty close to the original in terms of plot, this book introduces us to Elisa Benitez, a relatively poor young woman who is just starting community college, and Darcy Fitzgerald, a wealthy young woman who is taking a couple classes at said community college. Although they notice each other right from the start, a disagreement over human nature in the context of a literature discussion has Elisa feeling at odds. When at their next encounter, she overhears Darcy disparaging her younger sisters, Elisa has her mind made up- she would never date Darcy, even if she were the last person on Earth. However, as they continue to collide in part because of Elisa's sister, Julieta, and Darcy's close friend, Bobby, who happen to be falling in love, they start to peel back the layers of their initial impressions to look a little deeper. I am a fan of the original novel, and so, I absolutely adored this new take set in the modern day. There is a lot of character racial/ethnic diversity plus a heroine who is bi (Elisa) and falling in love with a woman. Add that to one of Elisa's sisters being trans and this book is full of great representation. In terms of the plot, I loved it, but it does follow the original very closely. This includes the character of Wickham (here, 'Wick'), who preys upon young girls. Thus, I would add warnings for sexual predation/grooming, statutory rape, and domestic violence/abuse. Elisa and Darcy were just as ornery and love-hate as in the original, and I loved their banter. I was definitely cheering for these two. While they didn't seem well-suited at the start, they really end up seeming perfectly suited by the end. I will add that this is a clean romance with no more than kisses described, and I would have loved to see even more of those along the way. Charming, adorable, and deliciously Pride-and-Prejudicey, MOST ARDENTLY is a retooled classic for the modern era. Highly recommend for anyone who thinks a LGBTQIA+ retake sounds interesting- you won't regret picking this up this delightful read. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.