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Guest Review: Pride and Preston Lin by Christina Hwang Dudley


Lissie Cheng is the middle of three sisters, orphaned and taken in by their aunt and uncle. Both her older sister, Jenny, and she work in the family restaurant while they pursue their education and career dreams. When Lissie accidentally serves a dish containing shellfish paste to an allergic customer, she runs afoul of the wealthy Lin family. Their golden boy, Preston, a star swimmer and Stanford Ph.D. student, is as handsome as he is self-righteous. Lissie hates him and everything he stands for, but circumstances keep bringing them together. Can she overcome her pride and her initial misgivings about Preston Lin and his condescending mother? Will love prevail, and will these enemies turn into lovers?

Pride and Preston Lin by Christina Hwang Dudley, a popular Regency romance writer, is a hilarious and earnest contemporary riff on Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. And readers will undoubtedly root for Lissie Cheng, a sassy new Elizabeth Bennet for our times, to find lasting love and happiness.


GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

Opening Lines:

“It was a fact of life that if anyone came into the restaurant worth looking at, Auntie Rhoda put him in Jenny’s section.  Rhoda didn’t care if it meant double or even triple-sitting her oldest niece, and she didn’t care if her second niece, Lissie, was just sitting around rolling silverware. Good-looking young men went to Jenny.”

Debuting her first contemporary novel, author Christina Hwang Dudley delights with clever, insightful characterizations and skilled plotting in Pride and Preston Lin. This New Adult retelling of Pride and Prejudice shows not only Jane Austen's universal truth of family, wealth, social class, and, of course, pride and prejudice but also a creative, refreshing choice by setting the story in the San Francisco Bay Area Asian American community.


I appreciated the character arcs as the characters face life and gain some seasoning. Even the seemingly perfect Preston, a talented college athlete and respected scholar, like the iconic Mr. Darcy, has room for improvement.

Much like Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet, Lissie Cheng is the primary narrator and has the strengths and weaknesses of a young woman learning about the world as she comes into her own. Her first encounter with Preston Lin, his mother, and friends in her family's restaurant is disastrous, and Lissie is determined to see Preston as the agent of her destruction, so to speak. Until this moment, Lissie has lived life something like an ostrich with her head (though not in the sand) full of playwriting and finishing her degree. But the loss of her job and her family's struggles sets her on a path of growth for career, heritage, and romance.  


Pride and Preston Lin revisits familiar scenes from Austen’s masterpiece but with a modern and more diverse spin. The Austenesque retelling is organic, blending with Dudley's own reimagining of Austen's masterpiece. I found myself invested in the story through quick pacing and wry dialog. Lissie and Preston’s slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance wrought with sweet misunderstandings and hard-won happily-ever-after was a refreshing modern twist on a beloved classic.  


Though New Adult is not my go-to romance genre, I was excessively diverted by Pride and Preston Lin and hope Christina Hwang Dudley writes more Asian American modernizations from the world of Jane Austen.


"I was captivated by this charming, witty, and delicious reimagining of Jane Austen's classic. An exceptional storyteller, Christina Hwang Dudley has become one of my favorite authors for original, clever, heartfelt romance. I did not want Pride and Preston Lin to end."— Jane Porter, USA Today bestselling author of Flirting with Fire

Pride and Preston Lin by Christina Hwang Dudley

Contemporary Romance, Modern Retelling

Publisher:  Third State Books

Published:  3.19.24

Pages:  288 


Christina Hwang Dudley is the author of clean historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romances include the "Hapgoods of Bramleigh" and "Ellsworth Assortment" series of Regency romances, including The Naturalist and Tempted by Folly. In contemporary romance, her forthcoming Pride and Preston Lin (Third State Books, 2024) riffs on Austen, but this time the story is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, with Asian American protagonists who hail from different ends of the economic spectrum.

Connect with Christina via her website.


Sophia is a quiet, curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants, and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and a loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener allowing her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction, particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.




This one is going on my list for sure, as I really enjoyed the Regency romance by Dudley I read. Thanks so much for the review, Sophia Rose!

Replying to

I hope you enjoy it!


Great review darling! I love the idea of a new adult P&P retelling. And yay for a diverse romance that is closed door.

Replying to

Thanks, Renee! Yes, this was a great treat. Hope you get the chance at it.

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