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Available 4.15.24

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy, March 2024
by Melodie Edwards

352 pages
ISBN: 059344079X
EAN: 9780593440797
Kindle: B0C6HKFPZ8
Trade Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
Add to Wish List


"Will they or Will they Not?"

Fresh Fiction Review

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy
Melodie Edwards

Reviewed by Bharti C
Posted February 24, 2024

Romance Contemporary

ONCE PERSUADED, TWICE SHY by Melodie Edwards, is the author's latest title; a modern reimagining of Jane Austen's Persuasion. This is my second read by the author, having previously read and loved Jane & Edward, also an Austen retelling. It was smart, modern and hit the reading sweet spot just right. This one, too, didn't disappoint, succinct and almost stoic-like in its narrative in a good, appealing manner. 

In ONCE PERSUADED, TWICE SHY we follow the lives of Anne Elliott and Ben Wentworth, eight years after having broken up. They had a lazy, happy-all involving relationship during their college years in Toronto which ended rather abruptly. Eight years forward, they are different people yet the same, on professional highs but they're kind of stuck where they left each other back then. 

ONCE PERSUADED, TWICE SHY is set in a picturesque Canadian Border town. It has the typical small-town elements of - 

Quirky Characters

Intrusive Wildlife

Family, well an almost loving one

Unmissable chemistry and sparks between the lead pair.

After eight years, Anne and Ben are face to face owing to their respective family ventures. It is a business proposal that brings them together, reluctantly they are civil to each other without letting anyone know of their history. Soon, they realise the feelings they had for each other are still there and not going anywhere anytime soon. Will they be persuaded for a second time or remain shy of getting back together?

I hope you pick up a copy soon and find out. Now, if you are already caught up on your Austen classics and enjoy a retelling you will enjoy this one for sure. If you are someone who has always been curious about what all the fuss is regarding classics and does not want to pick it up for whatever reason, trust me this modern setting will surely appeal to you. 

I liked the setting of the story, a small town, theatre festival, council meetings, and various town events, the quirky humans and wildlife characters are a hit and kept me hooked to their antics. The retelling feels fresh yet is true to the essence of the original characters only more caring and relatable. I loved the dynamic between Anne and Ben. 

Also, Anne's character is beautifully done, she has a pleasant, bohemian-like presence, and is responsible and calm in the face of dramas thrown her way. She comes into her own, takes a stand for herself without kicking up a fuss, and calmly does it which was awesome. Her relationships with people around her - personal and professional are also something I enjoyed seeing. It all ties up beautifully with Ben in the end. 

All through the story things are building up and when they come to a head it's neither Anne nor Ben's doing. But it happens for their benefit in a comic way which had me cheering for them and thanking the quirky cast, which came up trumps for them. 

To sum it up, I'd like to read this story anytime I was looking for a pick me up, wanted something angst-free, with just some low-key drama; in between work breaks, a quick read, on a commute or for some me time with a cuppa and some snacks. Hope this has made you curious enough to pick up a copy and get reading soon. 

Learn more about Once Persuaded, Twice Shy


This modern reimagining of Persuasion is full of witty banter, romantic angst, and compelling characters as it captures the heart of the classic Jane Austen novel.

When Anne Elliott broke up with Ben Wentworth, it seemed like the right thing to do . . . but now, eight years later, she’s not so sure.

In her scenic hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Anne is comfortable focusing on her successful career: filling her late mother’s shoes as town councilor and executive director of her theater company. She certainly keeps busy as the all-around wrangler of eccentric locals, self-centered family members, elaborate festivals, and the occasional attacking goose. But the more she tries to convince herself that her life is fine as is, the more it all feels like a show—and not nearly as good as the ones put on by her theater company. She’s the always responsible Anne, always taken for granted and cleaning up after other people, and the memories of happier times with Ben Wentworth still haunt her.

So when the nearby Kellynch Winery is bought by Ben’s aunt and uncle, Anne’s world is set ablaze as her old flame crashes back into her life—and it’s clear he hasn’t forgiven her for breaking his heart. A joint project between the winery and Anne’s theater forces both Ben and Anne to confront their complicated history, and as they spend more time together, Anne can’t help but wonder if there might be hope for their future after all.

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