ONCE UPON A KISS is the* first full length novel in Jayne Fresina’s delightful new series, the Book Club Belles Society, in which our hero and heroine’s story runs along a crash course very parallel to the Belle’s latest reading adventure—Pride and Prejudice.

In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, the five young ladies of the Book Club Belles Society are looking for their own leading men.

The Perfect Hero

When handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright strolls into town, the Book Club Belles are instantly smitten with this brooding good looks and prideful demeanor. It’s as if he walked out of the pages of their favorite new novel, a scandalous romance called Pride and Prejudice. But Justina Penny can’t understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer’s arrogant presence—surely a wicked Wickham would be infinitely more fun…

An Unlikely Leading Lady

Justina is the opposite of Darius’s ideal woman—not that he’s looking for romance. But when he discovers her stealing apples from his uncle’s orchard, he can’t resist his own thieving impulse. A stolen kiss from the mischievous Miss Penny leaves Darius wanting much, much more. If it’s a dashing villain she desires, Darius is more than willing to play the part…

…a nice witty romp for fans of a good “opposites attract” romantic comedy!

Justina Penny “Jussy” would give Elizabeth Bennet a massive coronary with her wild and carefree antics and our hero Darius might likely receive a scolding from Mr. Darcy about being a little less stoic, but it’s the extreme polar opposite-ness of Jussy and Darius as well as their similarities to the beloved Austen characters that make Once Upon A Kiss such a very unique and entertaining read.

Although I will admit, I had my doubts at first, because these two characters were so completely dissimilar when the story begins—Jussy’s immaturity and impetuous behavior and Darius, as far from either of those things as you can get—but, Ms. Fresina works a miracle and manages to turn those qualities into the fuel that provides the spark for their unlikely romance.

Darius desperately needed someone in his life to shake things up and make him start living beyond the mechanical routine he has created for himself and Jussy has a knack for shaking things up whether she means to or not. The wild and willful journey to true love does not run smoothly for this couple, but it is vastly entertaining and a nice witty romp for fans of a good “opposites attract” romantic comedy!

It will be interesting, to say the least, to see what happens when the next Book Club Belle meets her match!

*This review is based on an ARC copy of this title provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.