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Peek Inside Most Ardently

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.

Most Ardently

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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.


Most Ardently is a fun wlw glow-up of the original that still hits on tough topics as hard as Austen did, such as poverty, class differences, and abusive predators. Even then, it's still a very fun, almost light-hearted book that brings a smile to your face. The witty dialogue would make Jane smile, all of the characters have been adapted and 'modernized' perfectly.” -Laura C., Goodreads

“MOST ARDENTLY is the lovely and swoony Pride and Prejudice remix that I've been hoping for.” -Olivia F., NetGalley

Most Ardently is a fun, easy on the soul treasure – a femmeslash Pride and Prejudice AU, if you will.” -All About Romance

This book was fantastic! I had so much fun reading it and cannot recommend it enough.” -Laura F., Goodreads

“I just really enjoyed all the different types of relationships that were represented here - the romantic ones, the friendships, strong (and sometimes very damaged) family connections. One of my favorite side relationships was Elisa's parents being divorced for years and still figuring their way around that. If you like classic retellings, need some queer rep in your books, and love complex family dynamics I would suggest picking this one up.” -Megan S., Goodreads

This book was really, really cute. Pride & Prejudice but make it gay!” -Magical Reads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640638006
Release Date: Oct 21, 2019
Page Count: 400
Imprint: embrace
Genre: lgbtq, new adult
Tropes: enemies to lovers, girl next door, opposites attract, overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Natasha October 05, 2019

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I personally like starting reviews of retellings by going through the significant changes so I'll do that.

Elizabeth: name is Elisa. She's Mexican-American and bisexual.

Darcy: still named Darcy, cis women lesbian as w ...more

By Farah October 22, 2019

"Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and can't bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment. I came to Rosings only to see you. I have fought against judgment, my family’s expectation, the inferiority of your birth, my rank. I will put them aside and ask you to end my agony. I love ...more

By Susan September 25, 2019

So I can't recommend my own book, but I can review and rate it?

Yeah, that seems legit.

Anyway, I wrote a book. I think it's pretty good. ...more

By Naty October 10, 2019

Adorable, touching, incredibly sensitive and so sweet. I had a lot of fun with this book and I'm so glad to have picked it up! Really recommend if you're looking for a YA romcom, plus it's F/F! The hate/love tension between the two MCs was great, they're such IDIOTS, I love them.

I received a copy of ...more

By Emma January 16, 2020


It took me some time to warm up to the characters because I hold dear love for the original Eliza and Darcy. But these two ladies... love them for all their drama and differences and love for their sisters.

Despite the Wickham plotline, which frankly disgusted me to the point of making me nauseous ...more

By mahana September 26, 2019

modern pride and prejudice (follows the plot exactly with just a few tweaks) but darcy is a lesbian woc and elizabeth is a bisexual woc 👻👻👻👻

rep: Latina bisexual mc, half-Black lesbian li, f/f romance, side trans character

By Lindsay April 26, 2020

The third and final of my early 2020 reads of contemporary retellings of Pride and Prejudice. This one sticks closest to the source material in terms of plotline and characterization, although with many of the obvious changes required to update the story to modern times. In terms of criticism my mai ...more

By rike November 13, 2019

first things first: please heed the trigger warning for statutory rape, physical and emotional abuse and pedophilia as a character (aged 20+) has multiple relationships with minor girls (aged 13-15).

i have to admit i never read the original pride & prejudice and only saw the most recent movie. but ...more

By Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜 October 22, 2019

*Thank you to Netgalley and Publisher for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review*

This is quite possibly my FAVORITE f/f romance ever. The slow burn, THE. SLOW. BURN.!!!!
The obliviousness!!!
The hate to love.
The pride and prejudice retelling!!!!!

Need I go on??

Reviewer ...more

By Keelin Rita October 18, 2019

3.5 rounded up because it’s gay ...more

By Lenna January 11, 2020

P&P is one of my favorite books of all time, and this modern take on it was absolutely delightful. The changes made to the plot to adapt it to a modern audience were A+, and the author fleshed out secondary characters beyond just the one trait caricatures they were in the original (hello, Mr. Collin ...more

By Last Book Marauder October 03, 2019

So, for full disclosure, I have only read Pride and Prejudice once yearsssssss ago and I have never seen any of the movie adaptations. But I was unbelievable excited for this book.

Darcy Fitzgerald is such a hate to love character (much like her historical counterpart). She is cold, standoffish, med ...more

By Becky October 28, 2019

Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 10/30/19.

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' ...more

By Amanda October 18, 2019

Oh my goodness. Okay, so, I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice (don’t shoot me), but this book was SO WONDERFUL that now I think I’m going to have to? I stayed up basically all night finishing it. I absolutely loved the characters and the plot and everything. Everything. I can’t wait to write a more ...more

By Laura September 29, 2019

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for reviewing purposes. This in no way influences my review; all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

Content notes:
(view spoiler) ...more

By Laura October 05, 2019

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be... difficult."

This is the polite-company word Elisa Benitez uses to describe Darcy Fitzgerald, the super-rich ice queen ...more

By Olivia September 25, 2019

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 yo ...more

By Hannah October 23, 2019


I loved the direction this one went, I love how inclusive it was with lesbian, bi, trans; and biracial characters. I also really liked the changes in the characters. In some of the early reviews some of the things they nitpicked about were the things I liked. I like the changes to the Col ...more

By Smut November 01, 2019

Review also available at The Smut Report.

Heat Factor: Secondary characters have sex off stage
Character Chemistry: Meh
Plot: Pride and Prejudice, but lesbian
Overall: There are some definite high points, but the Elisa / Darcy relationship leaves something to be desired.

It’s a challenge evaluating Prid ...more

By annie June 09, 2020

there are a lot of mixed reviews for this so i figured i would give my two cents. i really enjoyed this book! i found it very charming as an easy read. i love pride & prejudice so was very curious when i came across this. i think it's important not to be too picky when reading a retelling. it won't ...more

By Julia January 23, 2020

No matter what your previous exposure to Pride and Prejudice, I can guarantee you will LOVE this book. Never read the book or seen the movie? Don’t worry! You might miss a few references but you can enjoy the story on its own. Got stuck reading and never finished? The writing flows clearly and the p ...more

By Jenna April 19, 2020

This debut is an LGBTQ retelling of Pride and Prejudice. This book follows a set of sisters as they learn more about who they are and what they want from their lives. The voice is this book is something to be thankful for in and of itself-- you will laugh, groan and connect with these characters.

I l ...more

By Rachel February 26, 2020

This is BY FAR my favorite retelling of Pride and Prejudice to date.
So, the selling point for me was the representation in this book, but it is honestly so much more than that. I felt like the core of each character was captured and like this rendition was far more faithful to the original story th ...more

By Josselyn October 19, 2019

Most Ardently is a Pride and Prejudice retelling starring Elisa, a Mexican-American plus-sized bisexual, and Darcy, an Afro-American lesbian. This is the second book I read that is dedicated to the LGTB community. I was surprised as it is a long book but I devoured in 2 days.
As mentioned already abo ...more

By Renée February 19, 2020

This book is delightful. If you love the original (Pride and Prejudice) it has the same flavour and style without being in your face, and about half way through the book, the plot gradually shifts so the old familiar characters get a modern plot. And Wickham gets a bad ending (which is rather satisf ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.53 avg rating
Susan Mesler-Evans

About the author

Susan Mesler-Evans

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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