Monday, April 2, 2018

A More Engaging Guest Review...Modern Persuasion

Sophia Rose is back with a review of Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks. Sophia writes such great reviews without giving any spoilers. I always enjoy reading them and hope you enjoy this one about an intriguing modern day Persuasion.

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
#1 21st Century Austen
Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  Illuminated Myth Publishing
Published:  5.29.17
Pages:  220
Format: eARC
Source:  Lola’s Blog Tours

GoodReads Blurb:

Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams?
What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?
Eight years ago Emma Shaw picked her career and family over the man she loved, Fredrick Wentworth. Since then she has built a career in publishing and spends her free time making sure her father and sisters are taken care of. Fredrick has spent the same years building his career as a screenwriter under increasing public scrutiny as a celebrity. When the editor of Fredrick’s first book is injured, Emma is forced to travel with Fredrick on his book tour.
Tension builds for the two former lovers over the course of the tour. Emma and Fredrick must face their emotional baggage and their misunderstanding about how their break-up impacted the other. Will they be able to find their way back together for a second chance at love?


Austen's Persuasion translated into the 21st century quite easily with a good old-fashioned second chance romance full of the usual miscues, sizzling glances across the room, and lots of regret and bittersweet memories of the past all set against the world of book publishing. 

Each time I get my hands on a modern retelling, I think what hooks me in initially is my overwhelming curiosity of how the author will describe the characters and what will be the setting.  The book publishing industry was an interesting choice here and one not entirely unfamiliar especially when they were out on the book tour.  Emma (aka Anne) is an accomplished editor and has all the makings of a brilliant publisher if her boss would only loosen up on the reins and let her follow her head.  She has the gift of picking bestsellers and making an author golden.  Her parents were industry legends though her dad is not doing well since his wife's death.  And... neither is Emma, really, as she is content to tread water indefinitely.

On the flip side, there is Fredrick, the guy Emma walked away from when he wanted her to follow him to LA and live a life together.  He went on to screenwrite a popular movie and now is a bestselling author on a book tour through Emma's publishing house.  Oh my, that reunion meet cute was as cringe-worthy as you imagine and the awkward tour was a test in fortitude for both Freddy and Emma.

Overall, I thought this was a great tribute to the original story while also proving it was a solid original piece of its own.  It has Persuasion nuances, but it didn't take long for me to realize that Emma is no self-effacing Anne who is loaded down with regret all around.  Emma has one regret, but also has lots of non-regrets, too.  She followed her dreams and is good at what she does with quite a bit of respect and admiration in the world she inhabits.  Fredrick might be the Hollywood writer, but really, it is Emma who is the success story here that everyone in the book industry is buzzing about.  I say that because this is the dynamic that is the domino effect changing things all the way through.

This is a romance, but it is also very much a women's fiction.  This is Emma's story of what she does when she gets the chance at a reset.  She is confronted with her past in a visceral way and spends a great deal of time pondering if she made the right decision back when she was twenty-two and fresh out of college, if the past should be left in the past, or, as many are hinting, is this a new opportunity eight years later because she is in a different place in her life as is Fredrick and what does it matter if he still hates her.

I think this more put together Anne figure will appeal to more people.  Those who adore Persuasion and don't mind it set in modern day will read it and have a good time, but I think this is also for those who might not have liked the meeker Anne of Austen's novel, but would enjoy her 2.0 version in Emma.  And drunk Emma is really quite the woman to be reckoned with, let me tell you.

So, yes, I was well pleased with Modern Persuasion and feel it has strong appeal for contemporary romance and women's fiction fans alike whether or not the reader has read or watched a tv adaption of Austen's Persuasion or not.

About the Author:

By day Sara Marks is a librarian in Massachusetts, but by night she’s an author, knitter, and Wikipedian.  She has been writing as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2004.  Her first novel, Modern Persuasion, was published in May 2017 with Illuminated Myth Publishing.  Her second novel, Phi Alpha Pi, is set for release in May 2018.

Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara attended Florida State University for 3 years.  She eventually graduated with an A.A from Miami-Dade College and a  B.A. from Florida International University before moving back to Boston for graduate school.  There she got her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and a M.S. in Communications from Fitchburg State University.  Now Sara lives in Lowell, MA where she works with local writing group Mill Pages, which creates an annual anthology of short stories, poems, and art work.  She is a member of the Society of Independent Publishers and Authors (SIPA), a group supporting writers in the Merrimack Valley.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
- Mailing List:

Thank you, Sophia Rose, for letting More Agreeably Engaged post your review of Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks. Your thoughts were awesome and your review well written. Thank you. It is always a pleasure to read what someone else thinks of a book. I like Persuasion and feel sure I would like this modern version too. Readers, what do you think? Have any of you read it yet? If so, tell me your thoughts.


  1. Great review, Sophia Rose! I have this book somewhere on my kindle. I need to find it and read it! Thanks for bringing it back to my attention!

    1. You sound like me. LOL It's there and I'll read it at some point. It's an interesting take on the story and really explores the question if things really would have been better if she hadn't turned away the proposal back then or were things better now?

  2. Fantastic review, Sophia! I love how you analyzed the Anne character. I read and enjoyed this one a lot. :)

    1. Thank you! I felt her character was the key to the whole story. So glad you enjoyed it, too. Her next book comes out and it looks like she's taking on P&P. ;)

  3. Great review,Sophia!!
    So,we get to see a slightly edgier Anne,but as meek as the original with far less regrets.
    Interesting,to say the least!
    I haven't read it but I plan to.

    Just thought I'd mention another fantastic modern Persuasuon story,which I loved, called The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman. Maybe I was just in the right mood but I smiled my way thorough it and wholeheartedly recommend it!!
    Cheers to all concerned for such a great post.

    1. Oh yes, this Anne is more put together after making her choice. Very different feel though you can see the elements are there from the original.

      Ooooh, I'll have to look that one up. Always on the hunt for more Persuasion. Thanks, Mary!