By M.C. Frank
Last week, I found myself in the E.R., with pain so intense I could barely breathe. Doctors were discussing the possible need for surgery, but they were kind enough to leave me my phone while they ran tests. On that phone? A book sent directly by the author, months ago, lost and then recovered. It was fate. That book was M.C. Frank’s Lose Me., and it got me through one of the worst nights of my life.
Jane Austen meets New Adult fiction in this compulsively readable romance.
“Today is not the day I die.”
Ari Demos starts every day with this thought. Fresh out of high school, she’s landed a coveted role as a stunt double in a new Pride and Prejudice adaptation starring the Hollywood phenomenon Weston Spencer. But this job isn’t going to be easy: Ari will be performing complicated water stunts and driving fast cars along the narrow cliffs of Corfu. One false step and she could lose not only her job but her life.
And then Wes Spencer, Mr Darcy himself, arrives in Greece. He’s got dirty blonde hair, a mile-long yacht and a bored look on that gorgeous face. Ari wants nothing to do with the rich actor boy, but on the day she meets him, she has an accident. One that almost claims her life. And now she can’t hide the truth any longer:
She might be much closer to losing everything than she thought. She might be dying. And the British actor is the last person she’d expect to save her life.
She’s a hard-working island girl. He’s adored by millions.
Falling in love was never supposed to be a part of the job.
Staying alive was never supposed to be a part of growing up.
Was this story ever meant for a happily ever after?
What I love most about M.C. Frank’s writing is her style. In a word, it’s beautiful. It flows so elegantly, without being unnecessarily verbose. She immediately draws you to the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, making you feel as if you’re actually there, watching the waves and breathing in the salty air. There’s such a love for the place that it drips from every word.
Let’s get into the characters. We have Ari, a young stunt actress in her first big role. And we have Wes, a massive star, playing the role of Mr. Darcy in a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Ari knows his reputation and has no desire to be around him. But Ari has a secret [and this might be a bit of a spoiler, but it’s in the first few chapters]: she has a ticking time bomb in her head. A tumor, one that could end her life.
For a girl who wakes up every morning with the mantra “today is not the day that I die,” that’s pretty massive. And when Wes starts falling for her, can she really help but fall back? Knowing that their time will end soon, either through the end of filming or her own demise, she sees herself breaking Wes’s heart. How can she live while knowing it’s all going to come crashing down?
There’s just so much to love about the characters. Wes is the perfect book boyfriend (allow me to swoon a little?) once the asshole playboy facade fades away. The perfect gentleman, smart, a book lover (that’s where he gets me!) and handsome to a fault. It makes you feel for him, knowing Ari has no choice but to break his heart. And Ari herself is such a complex girl, her struggles so vivid and honestly quite traumatic.
And then there’s their relationship. I was put off a little at first, with how toxic it seemed at first glance. There’s quite a lot of saving, knights in shining armor, and then squabbling about life-saving (at first). I just couldn’t see a healthy way for Ari and Wes to be together, with all their baggage, secrets, and basically life-debts. But then I realized that was the entire point! And the character growth from that point on? Stunning.
I’m not a romance reader, but this New Adult contemporary really struck a cord. Basically – ALL THE FEELS. I haven’t even gotten to talking about the amazing supporting characters and the subplots. And while the story isn’t a direct retelling of Pride and prejudice, it’s definitely something fans of Austen will adore.
Sublime. Read at your own risk, your heart will probably break.
On a personal note, I read this book while having painkillers plugged right into my veins. The first time around, I kept misreading passages and getting myself confused. I dozed off during the CGI dolphin scene and imaged some weird ocean choreography. It was quite trippy!