With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!
After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.
Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.
When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.
But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?
Told from the perspectives of Elle and Darcy, WRITTEN IN THE STARS is all heart and swoon. It’s also the first contemporary adult f/f romance I’ve ever read (usually the ones I read are in the Young Adult or Fantasy genre), and I am HERE for it. Who else can see Elle and Darcy in a romantic comedy? WRITTEN IN THE STARS takes us back to the beloved tale of Pride & Prejudice with some extra additions: our outwardly cold Darcy is an actuary who gives off hot librarian energy and our quick-to-speak Elle is an energetic astrologer who’s looking for her soulmate. They both end up disliking their blind date (with each other), but continue with a fake relationship to appease friends and family. What can I say? Sparks fly from the very beginning, and the chemistry is THERE. Now, the characters just need to get their feelings to that spot as well.
Not that Elle cared about Darcy’s eyes or that the color she wore complemented them. It was a passing observation, that was all. The sky was blue. The grass was green. Darcy was beautiful. Universally acknowledged truths.
I requested this book because I LOVE the opposites attract dynamic, and Bellefleur writes it really well in WRITTEN IN THE STARS! Despite Darcy’s initial coldness/emotionless energy, we get to see her open up around Elle’s bubbly personality. I’m absolutely weak for a grumpy/happy-go-lucky pairing and seeing each heroine appreciate the other’s personality despite it being so different makes me squeal. (And of course the chemistry is there!) When Darcy accidentally fibs to her younger brother Brendon, about the blind date going well, her and Elle enter a fake relationship to show the people around them that they have their lives on track.
‘Life would be a lot better if we all spent a little more time staring at the stars.’ Loose strands of blond hair caught the moonlight, creating a haloed glow around her when she turned her face up to the sky. ‘It’s beautiful, isn’t it?’
‘Yes.’ Darcy wasn’t looking at the sky.
I loved learning about each character as well. Darcy’s negligent mother led her to become a maternal figure to Brendon, which is why she’s so responsible, hard-working, and straight-laced now. Elle is seen as the “black sheep” of her large family, leading to some potential insecurities and anxieties around them. While Darcy brings pancakes and soap opera facts to the table (as soaps are her guilty pleasure), Elle’s fun-spirited ways and chart-based explanations create the perfect foil Darcy. Through conquering escape rooms, after-morning breakfasts, and shared vulnerabilities, each woman finds themself appreciating the other and falling more and more in love.
Elle was technicolor chaos and the feelings she inspired in Darcy were a hazard straight out of Pandora’s box. Treacherous and CONFUSING and better kept under lock and key.
My heart went out to both heroines for different reasons. Darcy because of a bad break-up in her past that halted her from growing as a person, and Elle because of her rude family that never appreciated her for her passions. Both women were down-to-earth and had big hearts. The pages definitely flew by while I was reading WRITTEN IN THE STARS, as the narrative was easy to follow and I couldn’t wait for Elle and Darcy to recognize their feelings! At the end of the day, I would recommend this Pride & Prejudice retelling for contemporary romance lovers that enjoy fake dating and opposites-attract energy. It’s light-hearted, but also adds warm emotions through loving friendships and family (as well as character growth). I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Bellefleur’s next work!
Thank you Harper Collins and Netgalley for the review copy!
What are your favorite romance tropes? Do you like Pride & Prejudice retellings? Let me know your thoughts!