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Boots and Backpacks: Pride & Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, Roughly

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William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly? Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trial is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both. In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!


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William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly? Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trial is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both. In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!

30 review for Boots and Backpacks: Pride & Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, Roughly

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rose Fairbanks

    This book has bewitched me. I can put it no other way. I read it a month ago and knew right away I had to do a review but got caught up with things. Still, in the few quiet moments of life I had I would daydream of scenes that were effortlessly etched in my memory. It's not necessarily the sort of thing I would usually like but, this book has bewitched me. I hadn't thought I would read it but read an excerpt on a blog and had to know what happened next. It pulled me in immediately with the openi This book has bewitched me. I can put it no other way. I read it a month ago and knew right away I had to do a review but got caught up with things. Still, in the few quiet moments of life I had I would daydream of scenes that were effortlessly etched in my memory. It's not necessarily the sort of thing I would usually like but, this book has bewitched me. I hadn't thought I would read it but read an excerpt on a blog and had to know what happened next. It pulled me in immediately with the opening scene and never let me go, I read it in one day. I will start with what would be my usual turn off. I am really picky on the modern stories I read. I read the original characters and the conflict a certain way and find it doesn't usually translate well to a modern story and mostly because of sex. Sex is a huuuuge part of this book and yet it absolutely totally works as a modern reinterpretation. I won't share Darcy's big number (really, really big) as I think every reader should experience the horror and disgust of that on their own, but it really should have turned me off. Yet, Ms. Kahler makes it work through the circumstances of his rearing which put him on that path and also later when he is with Elizabeth he really has an epiphany about it. Anyway, I found it very believable and somehow this repulsive bit mixed with what you later learn of the man. And that's what love is isn't it? You love an imperfect being and you accept their faults. My next big turn off with moderns and sex is that dear Lord the sex complicates things. I've enjoyed quite a few but darn if there's not usually a situation where Elizabeth freaks over something and winds up pregnant but unable or unwilling to inform Darcy. Or she just has fears of being used etc. And Darcy is, even in a modern world where women have sex without marriage all the time, by far and away the superior in experience. Elizabeth doesn't come close to Darcy's number here but Kahler presents it in such a strong way. She is not shameless, she does turn him down for a plain hook up. She has to at least like the guy and trust him and she has several rules. But she prefers no strings attached. She doesn't do relationships...actually that's a big deal in her non-sexual relationships too. And I think that's actually really equal to Darcy's experience. I find all kinds of parallels with them in Canon, so I love seeing that time and again in this book. But the sex they share is enlightening, powerful and beautiful. It gives them an anchor in their relationship- even when it seems hopeless. Kahler turned something that seems smutty on the surface- Darcy's previous use of women is truly atrocious- and made it lovely and layered in emotion. What I absolutely adored the most is that in all other ways this is exactly how I understand the original Darcy and the way he comes to understand his feelings for Elizabeth. Kahler really translates certain sentiments to a modern setting very well. He was trained to have a certain image, to think he needed to maintain a legacy, to do what he must to inherit his fortune etc. and he is so angry with the restrictions this has placed on him- and from a very young age. In the end he realizes his parents would have wanted him to be happy and to have freedom of choices in his life. He also realizes he did have a choice and had spent too long acting a part. At one point he begins to describe himself as a horrible person, but modifies it to having lived a horrible life. I see Canon Darcy as a bit less arrogant than most, but at the end of it all, whether he just hates Hertfordshire society because they're not rich enough or he hates the Bennets because they behave so horribly, he has been judgmental and made himself superior. He has treated people badly and that is a horrible way to live. I'm less certain about Elizabeth. I did like her a lot. She was way more obvious in her dislike than Canon Elizabeth was but the social rules are so different now. We do not get her point of view of things in this book, but I'm left to wonder if some of what I have disliked about other moderns is that they do make Elizabeth too wilting for a modern world. This Elizabeth is strong at each turn. Even when she finally cracks and is crying it is STRONG of her to allow someone else in her life. Darcy has to EARN his place. That is a Lizzy I can like and respect. I love plots that put Darcy and Elizabeth on a path where they must rely on each other and in the process come to learn about each other. Whether it's kidnapped by highwaymen, a secret marriage aboard a ship, pirates attacking a ship or, now, hiking the Appalachian Trail. Some of this is clearly just personal taste but I also think it's a good shift from Canon. Darcy and Elizabeth both trust each other with secrets which would be very harmful to their way of life if revealed to others, or at least more difficult. Out on the AT they were forced to be there for each other. There are some excellent minor characters. The characters of Isabella and John Thorpe just fit in perfectly from their Northanger Abbey selves. Marianne Dashwood and Christopher Brandon are an excellent translation as well. I have always said that I was Marianne as a teenager and grew up to be an Elizabeth so I really like that they were best friends here. They bicker but have their similarities. Extra points go to the brilliant use of contemporary references from the use of Twitter to other plugs like Futurama. There is a surprising twist that I truly did not see coming but I think it makes perfect sense and I do not think it came from nowhere. This book is longer than most you'll see but it didn't feel too long. Each time it seemed like it might be on the verge of just being a very long epilogue it wrapped itself around to a main plot point. Truly, I only have one minor complaint and that is on the final timeline/scene point I think it could have been made to be more about Elizabeth's professional life and choices as I think most of her concerns had been vanquished long ago. And I believe in a few more reads I will probably find this the best ending after all, just as has been the case with my other favorite. Favorite? Yes, favorite. This is hands down my favorite modern and probably my top 5 favorite JAFF entirely. Bravo, Ms. Kahler. I hope you give us another one soon, but not too soon as I can tell the time you put into this one really paid off.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Escaping the pressure and hounding of the paparazzi just before the odd terms of his parents will force him to marry by his thirtieth birthday to keep his legacy sends playboy and womanizer, William Darcy, onto an incredible journey backpacking down the Appalachian Trail with a hostile female partner and the result is life changing. Whooboy! This one was on rolling boil before the story even opened and it just got more volatile from there in this enemies to lovers plot. William Darcy is the four Escaping the pressure and hounding of the paparazzi just before the odd terms of his parents will force him to marry by his thirtieth birthday to keep his legacy sends playboy and womanizer, William Darcy, onto an incredible journey backpacking down the Appalachian Trail with a hostile female partner and the result is life changing. Whooboy! This one was on rolling boil before the story even opened and it just got more volatile from there in this enemies to lovers plot. William Darcy is the fourth generation son of a prestigious NYC family and the only Darcy left after his parents are killed in a car crash. He is an orphan, but his parents thought ahead so he had his nanny, Mrs. Reynolds and his dad's law partner, Cat DeBourgh, as co-guardians with them splitting responsibility for him. Mrs. R was his daily caregiver and the domineering Cat took care of his education and other needs pushing him into law and pushing him toward her daughter. Will got a bit of attention as the pitiful orphan rich child, but it wasn't until his early twenties when an inside source at the law office leaked the exact contents of his parent's odd will that he became an overnight celebrity. The will stipulated that he must marry by thirty and maintain certain things in the marriage or he'll lose the Darcy fortune. In retaliation, Will turns into a proliferate playboy and keeps the gossip and entertainment newshounds busy with fodder. One in particular has made him her particular target and turned his life into a frenzy. Just a few months before the dreaded thirtieth birthday when the hounding and pressure increase, he is jolted out of his shallow, meaningless life when he encounters the feisty, assertive sister of his best friend's girlfriend. Lizzy Bennett challenges him as nobody has before starting with a strong set down when he propositions her for a hook-up. Not only did she say no in the most emphatic way, but she challenges to really see what he has become in the process. Through a series of circumstances, he ends up on Lizzy's doorstep needing her help to hide from the paparazzi even if its just for a little while. Lo and behold, his arrival is fortuitous for Lizzy too because her backpacking partner has backed out on her. She hatches the scheme of him replacing the partner because who would look for a NYC playboy roughing it on the Appalachian Trail. Though they are partners in this, things start out hostile at best. But the journey through the back country and their adventure together forces them to know each other in ways no one else ever has. Lizzy's man hatred and Will's shallowness don't come from very different reasons they discover. They bicker, tease, and talk their way into a true friendship where the truth forces them to really look at their lives. Misunderstandings, misplaced jealousy and defensive anger do its best to shake things up and does deliver the final blow to any possibilities as the deadline for the will approaches. Will thought he had an alternative to settling for Anne deBourgh, but that dream is in ashes now so he returns to NYC to face his fate. Alrighty, I read this one on my e-reader without actual page numbers, but the last location logged at a hefty 8945 so it was a boomer in more ways than one. Fortunately, length was not a detractor as I was totally into the story from the moment I learned about Will Darcy's situation and his less appealing personality up against the antagonistic female who was his match. Shake hands and come out fighting. Ding, ding! The story gives a strong nod toward Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and to a lesser extent Northanger Abbey, but it is truly its own story in many ways. The arrogant, bitter, lonely, rich man and the equally arrogant, disillusioned, driven working class woman go head to head and its a battle of wills almost the whole way through though the outward antagonism waned toward the end. It's more than a romance, but also a long journey of two people being remade into something more. Will is the narrator for the whole story which was an interesting choice, but it worked. The oddity of the will as the device that acted as the causal agent was really out there for me. I struggled to figure out how two loving, sensible parents would do that to their child. But I ended up just going with it since it gave an excuse for Will's anger, his desperation, and his reason to be pushed toward Elizabeth. At first, it seems that its Will Darcy that has to do a lot of changing, but then through more subtler storytelling Elizabeth turns out to be possibly more broken than Will. I confess that I really didn't care for either of them in the beginning particularly the abrasive Elizabeth. Part of it is because I have a real aversion toward snarking and sniping when it is done to deflect or cover up what the real problem is. For instance, Elizabeth really rubs Will's promiscuous lifestyle in his face every chance she gets in the beginning and later when she wants to really hurt him. Does she have her facts wrong? No, he did behave that way, but the problem is her motives. Their first meeting, I get it, he was a class A jerk and deserved everything she threw at him, but after that, no. I found it pretty obvious that she is attracted to him and she's sniping at him out of jealousy. She, herself is known to family and friends, as the girl who is a man-hater, never does relationships and only does friends with benefits, ending the friendship as soon as the guy gets serious. She hasn't lived her life in front of cameras and gossip newswriters which is the only reason she isn't as famous for her behavior as Will. But once the story progressed, they grew on me. Oh, they still snarled, but it changed to arguing made out of caring. Will challenges Elizabeth and she challenges him. They were also fun too together and their are lighter moments to blend with the willful stuff. I laughed so much reading the part when Lizzy gets drunk and feeds the jukebox so that it repeatedly plays these songs that really irritate the rest of the bar inhabitants and Will has to throw her over his shoulder- with her cackling away about what she did- and get out of there before they beat him up because he's the guy. Their passion built so by the time they did something with it the tension was strung tightly. The first time was euphoric and meant to be coming before what it did. I loved how the author plotted that part of the romance out so it wasn't just a throwaway during a less meaningful time. Eventually, it comes down to a willingness to change, to really know what's the most important thing, and courage to go for their happiness. They were a truly exhausting couple a lot of times, but in the end, I was happy to have gone along on their story. I found it absolutely fascinating when they were equipping and actually out on the trails backpacking and camping. I've always loved to camp, but I've never done a distance hike so seeing what it was like through the story just captivated me. This backdrop was so colorful, authentic and written so deftly that it was like it was another main character of the story. I felt I was there enjoying the experiences and the views with them. Speaking of characters, aside from Will and Elizabeth, there was a large cast of minor characters that had lots of scene time. They weren't just background for Will and Elizabeth, but had their own developed characters and stories in their own right. I really loved pursuing these side stories too though after Caroline's stunt I would have loved for an actual on-scene bit of pay back. So all in all, the characters grew on me so that I learned to like them as much as the story as a whole. It's unique backdrop and its scope that allowed it to develop well was very attractive. Seeing the Jane Austen tales mashed together was an added pleasure and very creative. But most of all, watching two lonely broken people find love and happiness was the big pay off. I would recommend this toward Contemporary Romance fans who enjoy long developing stories and some sass and heat to their romance. My thanks to Meryton Press for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)

    Imagine a world where William Darcy is a rebellious and promiscuous paparazzi-magnet, and is required to marry by his thirtieth birthday in order to inherit the sizable Darcy family fortune. Imagine an Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent and resolutely dedicated to her personal and professional goals, and only interested in holding men and relationships at arm’s length. Darcy needs to escape Manhattan, he is being followed and harassed constantly since his thirtieth birthday is less than two mo Imagine a world where William Darcy is a rebellious and promiscuous paparazzi-magnet, and is required to marry by his thirtieth birthday in order to inherit the sizable Darcy family fortune. Imagine an Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent and resolutely dedicated to her personal and professional goals, and only interested in holding men and relationships at arm’s length. Darcy needs to escape Manhattan, he is being followed and harassed constantly since his thirtieth birthday is less than two months away. While searching for a place to hideout for a couple of weeks, Darcy runs into “Miss Nice Ass” Elizabeth Bennet, who not only offers him a place to hide for the day, but also an opportunity to spend six weeks evading the press and paparazzi. She is looking for a partner to help her trek 300+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, since her traveling companion/”boyfriend” just bailed. While Darcy wants to get out of town, he isn’t so sure about going somewhere without electricity, hot water, and modern luxuries…Will they be able make through the arduous and challenging journey with the trail ahead as rough as their relationship??? Wow! What a consuming and exhilarating read! This adaptation combines so many elements I love – Darcy and Elizabeth trapped in close quarters, an inventive and unexplored setting, high passions, and an emotionally turbulent journey! Yes, it has it all! I loved observing these two characters and their hang-ups about relationships and emotional scars challenge each other, learn from each other, and grow. It may surprise some readers to see a Darcy that has a proclivity for one-night stands and is not shy about his sexual urges and prowess. But I understood and felt sympathy for this less-than-gentlemanly and rebellious Darcy. He is not happy with his life, his parents’ tragic death, the unusual clause in their will, and the press’s intense focus on his life; and this is his way of coping with that unhappiness. And then we have Lizzy, who is afraid of unhappy relationships and men wanting her to change her goals or priorities. She refuses to lose control and protects her heart by only having casual “friends-with-benefits” types of relationships, but she soon discovers that does not alwayas working out so well. I admired how strong and determined Lizzy is in this story, she truly is a “fearsome thing to behold.” But sometimes she came across a little hard and cold (especially in the beginning), but this might be because the readers aren’t inside her head. I loved that the story was from Darcy’s point-of-view, but I think I would have understood and empathized with Lizzy a little more if we saw what she was thinking sometimes. The setting and premise of this story are brilliant! I’ve never done any type of overnight hiking and backpacking (don’t know if I have the mettle for that kind of thing!), but I loved reading about it! I enjoyed learning more about the sites along the Appalachian Trail, the challenges of backpacking, and various survival methods practiced while hiking. Another aspect I loved in this story was the inclusion of various Jane Austen characters from other novels. The relationship between Marianne Dashwood and Elizabeth is perfectly portrayed, loved it! Boots and Backpacks is a poignant and powerful tale about two individuals who overcome their obstacles, accomplish their goals, and forge a path together for the future. A deeply satisfying journey full of trials, hardships, and big rewards! Fans of sexy modern-day Pride and Prejudice adaptations, like Lucky 13: Matchmakings and Misunderstandings and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, will adore this passionate and riveting debut novel by K. C. Kahler! Warning: Recommended for Mature Audiences Only due to the intimate scenes and dialogue and the use of strong language.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Majczan

    I did not like this Darcy or this Elizabeth up to about 80% of this book. They are both very wounded and/or flawed characters and in a way that did not sit well with me. Yes, Darcy has pressures put on him by his parents' will and then by Cat/Cathy DeBourgh but he goes way off the deep end to show his rebellion when the details of that will are leaked to a gossip columnist. "Man-whore" is the word used in this story. Hooking up with one floozy after another (and luckily he does check for STDs re I did not like this Darcy or this Elizabeth up to about 80% of this book. They are both very wounded and/or flawed characters and in a way that did not sit well with me. Yes, Darcy has pressures put on him by his parents' will and then by Cat/Cathy DeBourgh but he goes way off the deep end to show his rebellion when the details of that will are leaked to a gossip columnist. "Man-whore" is the word used in this story. Hooking up with one floozy after another (and luckily he does check for STDs regularly) made for a real turn-off for me. He is followed by the news media and by a horde of floozies as the same gossip columnist even resorts to monetary rewards when she needs a "sighting". Elizabeth's morals are somewhat better but only because she has a few rules which allow her to "hook-up" without any fear of attachments. Her hook-ups are limited almost exclusively to "friends with benefits" and she ends any of those relationships when that man seems to be getting serious. This book does explore, eventually, why each character acts as they do and by the end we see both changing and redeeming themselves in our eyes as well as in the eyes of their world, media included. Others have mentioned that there are characters from several of Jane Austen's books in this story. They have their own story line to add to our interest. I read this book one afternoon and the next morning. I had not wanted to particularly buy it but it got several good mentions on more than one blog so I decided to take the plunge. But be warned, there are sex scenes. And there are a few choice words thrown around. It is a long book but well developed. The climax is not rushed. Darcy's decision concerning his father's will was predictable due to the knowledge we all have of P&P and these characters. We knew we would get our HEA. Elizabeth doesn't come to terms with her situation as readily as Darcy and then she is very set in her plans for her professional future. Darcy's future...well, I can't give his choices or his decisions away. There is a lot going on in this story and, obviously, with characters from other books, more than one story line to follow. I live in Pennsylvania so many of the towns and sites visited during their hike along the AT are familiar to me. The descriptions of the scenery added to the story. And everything from blisters to black bears encountered made for some realism about what can be met with in such a trek. I would urge those looking for a very interesting modern adaptation to read this but keep in mind, this is a modern story not Regency.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elin Eriksen

    Unputdownable! I heartily recommend this fabulous modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Hilarious, well written banter had me laughing heartily throughout this epic story. I absolutely loved it! Rated:M Picture Darcy as renowned and hunted womanizing playboy. A luxury animal with a deadline to marry or else he will lose his 400 million dollar inheritance. Hiking the Appalachian trail with the one woman who does not want him or even like him but he wanted her, badly... The sexual tension was pal Unputdownable! I heartily recommend this fabulous modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Hilarious, well written banter had me laughing heartily throughout this epic story. I absolutely loved it! Rated:M Picture Darcy as renowned and hunted womanizing playboy. A luxury animal with a deadline to marry or else he will lose his 400 million dollar inheritance. Hiking the Appalachian trail with the one woman who does not want him or even like him but he wanted her, badly... The sexual tension was palpable between ODC but it was their bickering that I thought was the best part of the book, although the mush was very well written. Ends with an epilogue that gave me goosebumps.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahnya

    Thrown together by circumstance, Darcy and Elizabeth become partners to hike along the Appalachian Trail from New Jersey to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Darcy, a NY upper cruster and notorious playboy, is trying to escape the press and pressure of his upcoming 30th birthday, and the condition in his parents will that he be married by that time to inherit their fortune. Elizabeth is forestry major, and has planned a huge backpacking trip before she goes to grad school. When her original partner Thrown together by circumstance, Darcy and Elizabeth become partners to hike along the Appalachian Trail from New Jersey to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Darcy, a NY upper cruster and notorious playboy, is trying to escape the press and pressure of his upcoming 30th birthday, and the condition in his parents will that he be married by that time to inherit their fortune. Elizabeth is forestry major, and has planned a huge backpacking trip before she goes to grad school. When her original partner backs out, and she can find no one else with 6 weeks of free time, she talks Darcy into going with her. All in all a delightful read. There were a couple of things I didn't like. One, Lizzy's estranged relationship with her father. Two, the character of Rich Fitzwilliam. Col. Fitz is my favorite character in P&P, so when he gets messed with I get a little irked. Now that I am thinking about it, Mary Bennett not being in the book was kinda weird. I did like that characters from Austen's other novels popped up. I found it interesting, and a nice change that the story was told from Darcy's perspective. The relationship between Darcy and Lizzy was amusing, which is good, because most of the book is just the two of them. I loved the setting. I am fortunate that I have been to and hiked around many of the places mentioned. A refreshing, and picturesque modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Marie

    4.5 Stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Really Good! Reviewed in Canada on August 8, 2019 I truly loved this mature, modern variation. Excellent story. This Darcy was truly an ass at the beginning, but he becomes quite lovable. My heart really went out to him at certain times. I loved the hike. Like Darcy, I dreaded it coming to an end. Traditional characters were nicely woven into the modern storyline. Very well written. Highly recommend. Second Read - January 13-14, 2021 I enjoyed this book even more the second time around. I would lov Really Good! Reviewed in Canada on August 8, 2019 I truly loved this mature, modern variation. Excellent story. This Darcy was truly an ass at the beginning, but he becomes quite lovable. My heart really went out to him at certain times. I loved the hike. Like Darcy, I dreaded it coming to an end. Traditional characters were nicely woven into the modern storyline. Very well written. Highly recommend. Second Read - January 13-14, 2021 I enjoyed this book even more the second time around. I would love to see an audiobook version done as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Bok

    In Boots and Backpacks, Elizabeth Bennet is an independent-minded young woman on track to pursue an advanced forestry degree; Darcy is a spoiled über-rich boy who self-destructively pursues empty sexual encounters. As you would expect, the story travels the rocky path from misunderstanding to romance. A number of the key characters from Pride and Prejudice are missing, and some are present but largely offstage. K. C. Kahler has felt free to introduce characters who will work better for the story In Boots and Backpacks, Elizabeth Bennet is an independent-minded young woman on track to pursue an advanced forestry degree; Darcy is a spoiled über-rich boy who self-destructively pursues empty sexual encounters. As you would expect, the story travels the rocky path from misunderstanding to romance. A number of the key characters from Pride and Prejudice are missing, and some are present but largely offstage. K. C. Kahler has felt free to introduce characters who will work better for the story she has to tell, and to ditch characters who won’t—fair enough, I have no problem with that. I was less happy about her tendency to change the personalities of some characters—especially members of the Bennet family—to suit her needs. It was nice to see the Bennets as a (more or less) happy family, though. Most of this story worked very well for me; the author especially has a great gift for natural-sounding dialogue, of which I am envious. I was eager to follow along Elizabeth and Darcy’s trail (so to speak), wondering what would happen next. (With these stories, of course, the outcome is not so much in question as how the characters will get there.) The arc of their relationship is very different from the original, helped along by the fact that you see things more from both points of view—for better or worse, Darcy is not the great blank slate that he is in the original. They develop a mutual respect and liking a lot earlier, and even (**spoiler! spoiler!**) get together before the final understanding is achieved. This made sense in a modern context, though personally, I could have done with more disputing about ideas and less sweaty attraction. I was left a little bit wondering what they would have in common (aside from trust, and that’s certainly important) after the lust wears off. Such personal preferences aside, the story was very well structured and told. One thing I especially liked was Darcy silently counting memories of their experiences together on Elizabeth’s fingers—totally romantic and beautifully written! I must say that I did not feel the character of Gwen Younge was believable, and her confession at a climactic moment was too convenient. In general, the whole hounded-by-paparazzi element seemed a bit excessive (and I say this as someone who grew up in Beverly Hills and saw a lot of paparazzi in action). It was hard for me to believe, Kardashians notwithstanding, that they would take such a prolonged and relentless interest in Darcy. The social media element of it, however, was original and well done. Another quibble is that I found the gay innkeeper whose sole mission in life is to facilitate hetero romance to be a bit of a stereotype (kinda reminds me of when black people’s stories are told through the eyes of a white person). Kahler is a vivid writer, and I could see all the scenes clearly in my mind. The story bucketed along, and it held my interest consistently throughout a very long plane flight. This is a very good modern-day retelling!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I LOVED this story. I was drawn in from the beginning. I don't think the characters of D and E are exactly like cannon but that is part of what I enjoyed. It was refreshing and kept me on pins and needles the entire time. Essentially, Darcy is a filthy rich orphan playboy who uses lots (and i mean like ridiculous amounts) of sex to avoid his life. Charles Bingley is his rich Wingman. The Hursts decided to move to NJ due to their growing family and meet Jane Bennett who is a realtor. Then, Darcy I LOVED this story. I was drawn in from the beginning. I don't think the characters of D and E are exactly like cannon but that is part of what I enjoyed. It was refreshing and kept me on pins and needles the entire time. Essentially, Darcy is a filthy rich orphan playboy who uses lots (and i mean like ridiculous amounts) of sex to avoid his life. Charles Bingley is his rich Wingman. The Hursts decided to move to NJ due to their growing family and meet Jane Bennett who is a realtor. Then, Darcy meets Lizzy. They do not get along from the get go but he is attracted to her (though he is pretty much attracted to everything). Darcy is under the gun to get married by age 30 or lose hundreds of millions of dollars. He is hounded by press and papparatzi and is essentially avoiding getting married and doing whatever he wants for as long as he can. He wants to escape before he meets his fated life on his 30th birthday, but Charles won't go with him to this swanky singles resort. Somehow he ends up at Jane's apartment and next thing you know Darcy is Lizzy's hiking buddy for the AT. The bulk of the story is their interactions on the AT. I loved their banter, the way they pushed and prodded each other. The slow revealing of themselves to each other and enlightening of their own flawed selves was beautiful. I truly was so engrossed in their world. There is language and mature content in this book but i thought it was well done and not distracting. It fit the story perfectly. I don't usually read modern renditions but I am so glad i read this one. It was highly recommended as a fellow GR readers favorite JAFF book. Now that i have read it, i completely understand. I highly recommend it to those that want to escape into a new world with a slightly different D and E who work hard to find themselves and each other. My only minor complaint is I would have liked a bit more in the Epilogue about their future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I must admit that I loved this modern tale of Darcy and Elizabeth. Darcy is a far cry from Austen's creation in many respects,as his main ambition seems to be to live up to his playboy image that he has carefully honed over the past eight years....... and boy do we see a spoiled,rich,haughty, young man who believes that all women are there at his disposal ......... all, that is until he encounters the only woman who has ever refused him..... and said lady is none other than Elizabeth Bennet!!!! L I must admit that I loved this modern tale of Darcy and Elizabeth. Darcy is a far cry from Austen's creation in many respects,as his main ambition seems to be to live up to his playboy image that he has carefully honed over the past eight years....... and boy do we see a spoiled,rich,haughty, young man who believes that all women are there at his disposal ......... all, that is until he encounters the only woman who has ever refused him..... and said lady is none other than Elizabeth Bennet!!!! Let the games commence!!!!! There was something about the style of writing that just drew me in to this story. I loved the way that Lizzy barely tolerated Darcy at the beginning..... how their mutual regard and respect for each other grew and how he became less the Neanderthal and more like the human, guy next door that actually deserved to be in a serious adult relationship with the fiercely independent and direct Lizzy. They grew to love each other and were a team.... Partners not only on their hiking expeditions but in life....... I recommend this book to all lovers of Austen who prefer a very modern story which encompasses many facets of the realities of living in today's world....... An updated version,yes, but nevertheless, a romantic tale of the quintessential boy meets girl!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Stayed up into the wee hours, two nights in a row to finish this sexy, smart modern retelling of a Jane Austen classic. I admit I was skeptical at first about a backpacking "Pride & Prejudice" but almost from the beginning, the characters and story captured my attention -- and a clever twist and believable dialog held it! Author KC Kahler builds sweet tension between our protagonists-- and though we fully expect Will Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett to eventually overcome their prejudices of one anothe Stayed up into the wee hours, two nights in a row to finish this sexy, smart modern retelling of a Jane Austen classic. I admit I was skeptical at first about a backpacking "Pride & Prejudice" but almost from the beginning, the characters and story captured my attention -- and a clever twist and believable dialog held it! Author KC Kahler builds sweet tension between our protagonists-- and though we fully expect Will Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett to eventually overcome their prejudices of one another, and find a happily ever after, it's that anticipation that drives the story. Austen original characters from "Pride & Prejudice" as well as "Sense & Sensibility" fill side stories and though some of the canon characters take only non-canon story lines -- the focus is always Darcy & Lizzy. The last few chapters read more like an Epilogue -- because at that point, I longed to just reach the happily ever after... But the happy resolution was well worth the journey. And late nights reading. "Boots & Backpacks" was a delicious, even heart in your throat re-imagining, that any romantic would love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katrin

    This mordern version on Pride and Prejudice, sprinkled with other JA-character appearances, is an absolute must-read for everyone liking a good modernization of austenesque. I couldn´t stop reading! Romantic, funny, sarcastic, fairy-taley, realistic - wonderful read! One of my fave austenesque modern reads so far!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Mckenna

    Brilliant! Boots and Backpacks is definitely in the top three modern P&P spin-offs I have read. I haven't read a great many admittedly because finding one that is well written and has a believable plot line is difficult. Like most of the modern day versions, this work is only recognisable as having anything to do with P&P by virtue of the fact that the main characters have the same names (in Darcy's case, his Christian name is William, not Fitzwilliam). There are also many other variations of Ja Brilliant! Boots and Backpacks is definitely in the top three modern P&P spin-offs I have read. I haven't read a great many admittedly because finding one that is well written and has a believable plot line is difficult. Like most of the modern day versions, this work is only recognisable as having anything to do with P&P by virtue of the fact that the main characters have the same names (in Darcy's case, his Christian name is William, not Fitzwilliam). There are also many other variations of Jane Austen characters throughout (and not just P&P) and some characters with names made out of place names in JA's novels. This work is extremely long (yay!) and it is beautifully written with no discernible mistakes in grammar or (American) spelling and this makes a delightful change. The story too is excellent with Darcy and Elizabeth's characters very well fleshed out and very likeable, despite darcy being an arrogant jerk to start off with and Lizzy being very hard headed. Sounds familiar, right? But Darcy's life has been decidedly miserable and he has been quite self-destructive as the countdown to his 30th birthday where he has to meet the terms of his dead parents' will dominates the first 2/3rds of the book. Lizzy too has her own misery to contend with, though her woes are not as insurmountable as Darcy's. This is the first of two KC Kahler's books, but I only discovered the existence of this after reading her second (Regency) work, 'A Case of Some Delicacy', another excellent work. This author is brilliant though unfortunately she has only produced these two books (as far as I am aware. and they were released five years apart! I can only hope she is still writing and that the next book isn't as far away as five years! Absolutely recommend! 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Davis

    I love Pride and Prejudice and I love hiking. What could be better than the two together? This was a fun and cute story set in modern times with Darcy being famous. This was a quick read and I enjoyed the writing style of the author. The only thing I didn't like was how insecure Darcy became towards the end. Overall, this was worth the time to read. I love Pride and Prejudice and I love hiking. What could be better than the two together? This was a fun and cute story set in modern times with Darcy being famous. This was a quick read and I enjoyed the writing style of the author. The only thing I didn't like was how insecure Darcy became towards the end. Overall, this was worth the time to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    Well, that made me giggle. If you're looking for a faithful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, then, umm, look elsewhere. (Honestly, if you're looking for a faithful adaptation...maybe go reread the original.) This is much raunchier, and Darcy is much more of a jerk, and there's a great deal that would have sent Austen's eyebrows sky-high, I think. Also, I'm not actually convinced that Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship would survive, say, ten years past the end of this version...but I'm sure it Well, that made me giggle. If you're looking for a faithful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, then, umm, look elsewhere. (Honestly, if you're looking for a faithful adaptation...maybe go reread the original.) This is much raunchier, and Darcy is much more of a jerk, and there's a great deal that would have sent Austen's eyebrows sky-high, I think. Also, I'm not actually convinced that Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship would survive, say, ten years past the end of this version...but I'm sure it would be pretty entertaining up until the point of its demise. Entertaining and snarky. One quibble. A major one, actually: the constant use of the word 'floozy' gets very, very old, very, very fast. It should have been used once, maybe twice, and then the character who used it should have been called out on its use, and then it should have died a timely death. Instead numerous characters, including Elizabeth and Darcy, constantly refer to Darcy's nameless admirers (they admire his wealth, anyway) as such, and it's...not terribly pleasant. Oh. Other quibble. Maybe a more minor one? Darcy should probably have sued Gwen the Reporter and gotten a restraining order, because many of her actions (and constant exhortations to her Twitter followers to find him, track him down, invade every possible aspect of his privacy, etc.) could more or less add up to stalking.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I love Austenesque literature. Ever since coming across on Twitter other authors and lovers of this kind of literature I found a whole new world opening within that one world that Jane Austen introduced me to. Yes, I was reluctant because you do not without risks do something 'different' with an universally known classic author who now also has got her portret on an official banknote! This one is a winner when it comes down to reading a story that is related to Lizzie&Darcy. The setting and back I love Austenesque literature. Ever since coming across on Twitter other authors and lovers of this kind of literature I found a whole new world opening within that one world that Jane Austen introduced me to. Yes, I was reluctant because you do not without risks do something 'different' with an universally known classic author who now also has got her portret on an official banknote! This one is a winner when it comes down to reading a story that is related to Lizzie&Darcy. The setting and background story of both main characters made me 'believe' in what Kahler was after while telling the love story so many of us take so serious and is in many ways very fragile. To take it off road and letting you go on very long hike is certainly very challenging. I had a great time racing through the over 400 pages and certainly can recommend it to those people who are after a romantic story with wild but also a high romance content. This read will be the best Austeneque hike ever in the company of these two 'lost' and beloved souls.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    This was.....interesting to say the least. I really liked the hiking parts strangely. I liked their honest conversations, and when they were being silly. I love how Darcy and Elizabeth run into Marianne and Elinor, and the Thorpes. Those are probably among my favorite parts. I do NOT like how much of a perv Darcy is. Darcy is gentleman! I think this writer really missed that part. He is overly proud, and demeans women to a certain extent, but NOT to that extent. I mean he is downright disgusting This was.....interesting to say the least. I really liked the hiking parts strangely. I liked their honest conversations, and when they were being silly. I love how Darcy and Elizabeth run into Marianne and Elinor, and the Thorpes. Those are probably among my favorite parts. I do NOT like how much of a perv Darcy is. Darcy is gentleman! I think this writer really missed that part. He is overly proud, and demeans women to a certain extent, but NOT to that extent. I mean he is downright disgusting in the beginning of this book. Even I hate him. I should not ever hate Darcy. And I don't really totally love him by the end. So definitely not Darcy. She also changes things, and it's weird. Like Georgiana doesn't exist in this book. I feel like that's a weird character to just totally subtract from the storyline.. So it wasn't a good book....but it was a fun read...and I will probably read it again for some reason.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    I can't believe I liked this! But I did! It was easy flow reading and I really liked what she did with the characters. So often in fanfiction, at least the bit that I have read, I feel like the author doesn't stay true to the essence of the original characters. Don't get me wrong, these are not the Darcy and Lizzy of the regent time period. However, it does feel like if those characters were in modern day and thrust into the situations the book provides that they would indeed act this way. With I can't believe I liked this! But I did! It was easy flow reading and I really liked what she did with the characters. So often in fanfiction, at least the bit that I have read, I feel like the author doesn't stay true to the essence of the original characters. Don't get me wrong, these are not the Darcy and Lizzy of the regent time period. However, it does feel like if those characters were in modern day and thrust into the situations the book provides that they would indeed act this way. With regards to the narrator, at first I kept waiting for the focus to shift to Elizabeth, but then I just enjoyed seeing things through Darcy' eyes. Pride and Prejudice is very much Lizzie's book, but this is very much Darcy's and I found that refreshing. I also loved the scenery. I enjoy day hiking, and wish I did it more often and this book made that desire stronger, even to the point of trying backpacking at some point. This book was a throughly enjoyable read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    While I enjoy a good fan-fiction of Pride & Prejudice, I can only give this 3 stars. It was a very loose, modern portrayal of the famed storyline. Darcy a womanizer? Lizzy a man hating cynic regarding love? Darcy an only child? Wickham a complete stranger to Darcy? At least Charles and Jane stayed true to character. As for the hiking, the author played it fast and loose. While she may read some about the Appalachian Trail, she got quite a bit wrong. The glaring issues distracted from the story. While I enjoy a good fan-fiction of Pride & Prejudice, I can only give this 3 stars. It was a very loose, modern portrayal of the famed storyline. Darcy a womanizer? Lizzy a man hating cynic regarding love? Darcy an only child? Wickham a complete stranger to Darcy? At least Charles and Jane stayed true to character. As for the hiking, the author played it fast and loose. While she may read some about the Appalachian Trail, she got quite a bit wrong. The glaring issues distracted from the story. No one does a LASH with three pairs of shoes in their backpacks. Let alone swim trunks, bikinis, multiple changes of clothes, heavy binoculars and other such weighty items. She also relied on some cliches about gear and shoes, which were off. For Elizabeth to be such an authority on all activities outdoors, more research should have done on the actual subject matter. Perhaps actually talking to AT thru- and section-hikers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    No witty banter and the characters barely retained any of their personality traits (not even their defining ones) from the original. Elizabeth isn't the same witty, happy person that gets along with almost everyone and finds amusement anywhere. Darcy is promiscuous (over 500 women promiscuous), uncharitable, and unintelligent. The interchanges between the two sound middle school'ish. Aside from the names used it's really not even a variation. I love the outdoors and pride and prejudice so though No witty banter and the characters barely retained any of their personality traits (not even their defining ones) from the original. Elizabeth isn't the same witty, happy person that gets along with almost everyone and finds amusement anywhere. Darcy is promiscuous (over 500 women promiscuous), uncharitable, and unintelligent. The interchanges between the two sound middle school'ish. Aside from the names used it's really not even a variation. I love the outdoors and pride and prejudice so thought I would love this but I could barely read it. The back and forth was too antagonistic and not clever at all. None of the characters were likable. This is the only p&p spin off that I have hated and I really wanted to like it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suze

    A modern retelling of Jane Austen's classic done with a light touch and plenty of humour. All the relevant parties are there, suitably proud and prejudiced and even a few with great sense and sensibility! The story is long but generally remains pacy, though I did slump a little in the middle. The story goes beyond the end, all the way to finishing the AT The one character that did disappoint was Mr Bennet, here portrayed as a bad dad when he was a rather hen-pecked good guy in the original. Enjoyed A modern retelling of Jane Austen's classic done with a light touch and plenty of humour. All the relevant parties are there, suitably proud and prejudiced and even a few with great sense and sensibility! The story is long but generally remains pacy, though I did slump a little in the middle. The story goes beyond the end, all the way to finishing the AT The one character that did disappoint was Mr Bennet, here portrayed as a bad dad when he was a rather hen-pecked good guy in the original. Enjoyed it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    I have never read Pride and Prejudice. I know the general idea. I know how it ends. And with that in mind i expected something different from this book. I would compare it to a fanfiction AU. It has the same feeling but the characters and the world are so different. With that being said i actually enjoyed the book. I dont necessarily think it needs the Pride and Prejudice stuff. I think the plot could have held without the comparison. I think the best part of the book was the outside stuff. The I have never read Pride and Prejudice. I know the general idea. I know how it ends. And with that in mind i expected something different from this book. I would compare it to a fanfiction AU. It has the same feeling but the characters and the world are so different. With that being said i actually enjoyed the book. I dont necessarily think it needs the Pride and Prejudice stuff. I think the plot could have held without the comparison. I think the best part of the book was the outside stuff. The trueness of the wilderness. I won this book in a giveaway.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    I really enjoyed this! i admit I wasn't sure but I saw it recced a lot so i decided to give it a chance and it is very good, sweet,romantic, i'm sure jane austen would be proud. it did a really good job of updating the setting and giving both of them interesting stories and it was all very engaging. it made me wanna go on a hike myself. I really enjoyed this! i admit I wasn't sure but I saw it recced a lot so i decided to give it a chance and it is very good, sweet,romantic, i'm sure jane austen would be proud. it did a really good job of updating the setting and giving both of them interesting stories and it was all very engaging. it made me wanna go on a hike myself.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Madenna U

    This book is not your typical Elizabeth and Darcy retelling. I loved the hiking setting and all the use of Jane Austen's character's names. The story moved well until the end. I really enjoyed the conclusion but the story line had slowed down a lot compared to the rest of the book. I really feel like hiking now! This book is not your typical Elizabeth and Darcy retelling. I loved the hiking setting and all the use of Jane Austen's character's names. The story moved well until the end. I really enjoyed the conclusion but the story line had slowed down a lot compared to the rest of the book. I really feel like hiking now!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Collins

    4.5 stars. I really thought this book wasn't going to pan out for me being a backpacker myself, but the author does a great job of the authenticity of the trail experience and with who Lizzy and Darcy are. It's a fun and creative spin on the classic story that had me up late still turning pages to see where they were headed next. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy modern era JAFF. 4.5 stars. I really thought this book wasn't going to pan out for me being a backpacker myself, but the author does a great job of the authenticity of the trail experience and with who Lizzy and Darcy are. It's a fun and creative spin on the classic story that had me up late still turning pages to see where they were headed next. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy modern era JAFF.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dipa1

    OMG! I just won this book, I can't wait to read it. I won this book through Goodreads FirstReads. This was a very good book. I loved the characters of Elizabeth as a n independent women and Darcy as a play boy. I would definitely recommend this book to others. It was a page turner. OMG! I just won this book, I can't wait to read it. I won this book through Goodreads FirstReads. This was a very good book. I loved the characters of Elizabeth as a n independent women and Darcy as a play boy. I would definitely recommend this book to others. It was a page turner.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bethe

    pleasant surprise, well written fan fiction for Pride and Prejudice, nice kidlit break. I enjoyed all the trail descriptions.

  29. 4 out of 5

    K-Heart-Books

    Read as fan fiction.....good one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Snyder

    Great story! I'm an environmental scientist from Maryland. I loved how well I could relate to this! The story was well written and entertaining without being over the top. Thumbs up! Great story! I'm an environmental scientist from Maryland. I loved how well I could relate to this! The story was well written and entertaining without being over the top. Thumbs up!

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