Book Review: Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne

About the Book:

Title: Pride and Protest

Author: Nikki Payne

Page Length: 416

Publication Date: Nov. 15, 2022

Publisher: Berkley Books

Synopsis: A woman goes head-to-head with the CEO of a corporation threatening to destroy her neighborhood in this fresh and modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by debut author Nikki Payne.

Liza B.–the only DJ who gives a jam–wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every street corner in DC. But her planned protest at a corporate event takes a turn after she mistakes the smoldering-hot CEO for the waitstaff. When they go toe-to-toe, the sparks fly–but her impossible-to-ignore family thwarts her every move. Liza wants Dorsey Fitzgerald out of her hood, but she’ll settle for getting him out of her head.

At first, Dorsey writes off Liza Bennett as more interested in performing outrage than acting on it. As the adopted Filipino son of a wealthy white family, he’s always felt a bit out of place and knows a fraud when he sees one. But when Liza’s protest results in a viral meme, their lives are turned upside down, and Dorsey comes to realize this irresistible revolutionary is the most real woman he’s ever met.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Pride and Protest is a memorable retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with great dialogue, dynamic characters, relevant themes, and a fantastic romance! I really enjoyed the book. It’s funny, sexy, and smart, and it modernized the classic novel so that it feels fresh and new yet familiar.

Dorsey and Liza are both well-developed and layered, and I loved their opposites-attract, enemies-to-lovers romance. Their chemistry is sizzling with a perfect blend of sexual tension, angst, and romance. You can never go wrong with a good enemies-to-lovers romance like this one. Oh my gosh, they are so antagonistic and snarky toward each other, but you can tell that it’s mostly a front for their deeper feelings. It just made my heart squeeze as they faced off against each other over a new development, led by Dorsey’s company, and a gentrification project.

I really enjoyed the dual POV. You get to understand the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of both Liza and Dorsey, and it worked well for this story since they are on opposite sides of a development project. Bound by duty while longing to stay true to himself and his beliefs, Dorsey is a loyal sibling, son, and friend. Liza is strong and smart, and she isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in. Temporarily living with her overbearing family after being evicted, she faces challenges head-on. Like Elizabeth and Darcy, Liza and Dorsey have to overcome their pride and prejudice before they can confront their feelings for each other. I like how they learn from each other and grow and change as they become closer, and their romantic scenes are super swoon-worthy!

The original story included letters and correspondence between the characters, and Pride and Protest uses text messages, emails, radio banter (Liza is a radio DJ), and more. It is such a great modernization to the story, and the fun, funny, and flirty text exchanges offer even more insight into the characters and the growing relationship between Liza and Dorsey. They are a well-matched pair, though it doesn’t seem that way when they first meet.

The secondary characters are fantastic too, especially Dorsey’s sister and Liza’s family. Each is reminiscent of the original characters in Pride and Prejudice but with some unique and modern changes that make them feel fresh and new. The dialogue adds to the character development and highlights the layered and varied relationships in the story, and the strong messages about social class, gentrification, racism, prejudice, family, ethics, and more.

This is such a fun, smart, and sexy Pride and Prejudice retelling that stays true to the original story while still feeling new and unique. Thanks so much to Berkley Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The Pride and Prejudice similarities.
  • The humor.

Favorite Lines:

Self-respect is a perfectly good cause to spend your money on.

Why would the sound of his morning voice make her grab at he abdomen like she needed to protect her eggs?


This is a great contemporary romance for readers who enjoy:

  • opposites attract
  • enemies-to-lovers
  • only one bed
  • fun and flirty texting
  • retellings

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne

  1. Omg, this sounds so freaking good! I’m such a sucker for P&P retellings but this one sounds fresh. I love that it includes texts, emails and *radio banter!* cos that always makes the read more fun (for me), so I’m definitely keen to get my hands on this one asap. Fab review, Julie!

    1. Thanks so much, Dini! I really enjoyed it. For me, it’s hard to go wrong with a P&P retelling, and this one did feel fresh and unique. I hope you like it if you get a chance to read it!

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