Pride and Papercuts (The Austens #5) by Staci Hart
Hate is a strong word.
Depending on the company, loathe is a good substitute. Abhor might be a little fancy, but it gets the job done. But the word that really sums up how I feel about Liam Darcy is, without question, hate.
He doesn’t seem to think much of me either. The second he lays his fault-seeking eyes on me, he sets out to oppose me. Everything about him is imposing, as if he consumes the nearby air to power the rise and fall of his broad chest, and it’s clear he resents my presence on his advertising team. Every idea I have is shot down. Every olive branch I offer is set on fire by nothing more than the blistering coals he calls eyes.
In return, I light him up with my words.
It’s not as if he can dismiss me, since I work for his client, Wasted Words. Instead, he’s forced to tolerate me, which seems the closest we’ll ever be to friends. Fine by me.
I can be civil and still hate Liam Darcy.
But if there’s more to him than his exterior shows, I won’t be able to hate him at all.
I might stumble over that line between love and hate and fall right into his arms.
I received this book as an ARC and I am excited to tell you guys about my thoughts! I am going to preface by saying, I am probably one of the few people who haven’t actually read Pride and Prejudice, so while I know the premise of the story and see the similarities, I may not be the best person for comparisons haha. Anyways, let’s get started.
This book was very P&P enemies to lovers. I admit, I am not the biggest fan of this trope because I don’t think there is ever a good reason to intentionally be an asshole to someone, even if it comes from a good place, so please take my jadedness with a grain of salt haha. I loved getting to see other characters brought into this book, both from Wasted Words and the Bentley family series. I am also a massive book nerd, so I truly wish a book bar and cafe actually existed in the world.
Liam and Laney’s animosity starts when Liam intentionally belittles Laney because of her ‘status’ so even in the future, if Liam does or says something nice, Laney is cynical over it since he is already put into her box of hate. This causes Laney to jump to conclusions and come in arms swinging, without all the facts. Honestly, I don’t blame Laney at all, I have zero tolerance for BS and would have said more than a few choice word. Liam is very controlling and is intentionally rude to keep people away. This all comes from a protective stance and from a good place, however, I hate that that is used as an excuse to excuse someone’s behavior.
As you can imagine, Liam and Laney’s constant fighting is basically foreplay for them and they have to overcome their animosity and outside factors prohibiting a relationship. Okay this may just be because I haven’t actually read P&P, but one of my biggest annoyances in the book was everyone literally trying to force others into their boxes. Not just between the two main characters, but within their families and other relationships as well. Much of the conflict could have been avoided if people actually communicated instead of making assumptions and letting others make assumptions.
I really liked the character growth and development. It is definitely a must for everyone to do some self reflection in these types of books to move past all of their initial judgements. The writing was great, as Hart always is, and the dual perspective worked in the readers favor, though I do wish it had way more character diversity.
Overall, if you enjoy enemies to lovers and verbal sparring this book is for you. I think the book missed it’s mark for me, but I do think that is entirely due to personal preference because I have genuinely really enjoyed most of Hart’s other books. Mark your calendars–Pride & Papercuts is coming October 13! Pre-order today from your favorite book retailer!
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