Pride, Prejudice, & Turkish Delight
Pride, Prejudice, & Turkish Delight
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- Enemies to lovers
- Fish out of water
- Workplace setting
A modern retelling of a classic tale set in one of Turkey's most captivating cities.
This enemies to lovers romantic comedy is perfect for fans of escapist summer reads and closed door romance.
Having led a safe (admittedly boring) life until now, Eliza Britt wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to work in Antalya, Turkey. With the Mediterranean calling, she was excited to help lead the university’s English department and to finally have a little adventure in her life.
On arrival Eliza soon realizes that her new posting won’t be all cerulean waters and exploring a new culture. Instead she’s faced with Deniz Aydem. Forced to work together, Eliza isn’t sure she will be able to ignore his arrogance or the unexpected attraction she feels for him.
Eliza and Deniz differ in every way. She’s American, he’s Turkish. She embraces her sense of humor, whereas Deniz has a serious disposition. But regardless of all their differences, something is simmering beneath the surface of their interactions. Whether it’s love or just an intense dislike for each other remains to be seen.
Grab your copy now to be swept up into this multicultural comedy set against the backdrop of Turkey. Escape to the Mediterranean sun for an uplifting enemies to lovers story.
Start reading Chapter One...
Start reading Chapter One...
Eliza Britt sighed as she unlocked her office door. Today’s classes had been a challenge, and the stack of essays to grade on her desk was sure to eat up her free time for the rest of the week. She released her brown hair from the ponytail that was threatening to give her a headache and rolled her shoulders. She was too young to be this tired, but she supposed it came along with the territory of being on her feet all day in her ESL classroom.
Eliza flicked on the electric kettle on her windowsill and placed a tea bag in her unwashed mug. While she waited for the water to boil, she checked her text messages.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m too exhausted to think about cooking. How does Seoul Garden delivery sound?” her roommate Crystal had written.
A genuine smile broke through Eliza’s exhaustion. At least they weren’t going to argue about what to eat tonight because she didn’t have the mental energy to convince her roommate that her taste in takeout restaurants was, in fact, wrong. “Sure! I’ll be home late—midterms…” she wrote, throwing in an eye roll emoji. Crystal Kim was also an ESL teacher, so Eliza was sure she’d be able to feel the pain in that message. Crystal tutored private students in one-on-one lessons, while Eliza was overworked and underpaid at the local community college. Still, both of them felt the pinch of exam time, when many of their students realized the frustrating gap between the English they needed to learn to survive and function in American society and the English they needed to learn to ace their standardized tests and move on in their academic careers.
Remembering the panic on the faces of the students who’d clearly forgotten their midterm essays were due today brought a wicked laugh from deep in Eliza’s belly. “Serves you right,” she said to herself. “If only you’d paid attention in class or, I don’t know, bothered to write it down in a planner?” She wasn’t completely heartless, but she would deduct ten percent from the grade for every day it was turned in late. And maybe grade the procrastinators ever so slightly more harshly, but who could say for sure?
Not that Eliza didn’t have students she loved, too. Many of the ESL students at West Community College were refugees, finding themselves navigating both the emotional upheaval of leaving their homes behind and the cognitive overwhelm of learning English spelling and grammar at the same time.
With her freshly steeped cup of peppermint tea, Eliza flicked open the top essay on her pile. Hmm, actually. Maybe if I divide this enormous pile into a few smaller ones, it won’t be quite so daunting. As she made four smaller piles, one for each remaining day of the week, Eliza counted 68 essays. Okay, actually I wish I didn’t know there were that many. Maybe I’ll forget and then be pleasantly surprised later on when the stack is half that size.
She put them all in one big stack again and sipped her tea. Back to the first essay. Eliza’s eyes landed on a sentence: “I miss my life in Syria very much, but I am happy to be safe with my family.”
Oof. There were going to be some hard pages to read coming. Eliza had, maybe foolishly, she now realized, assigned her students to write essays that might double as their personal statements for their upcoming university applications. She had given examples of how to write about overcoming hardships, something many of the students in her class didn’t seem to think was the most interesting thing about themselves, and she realized now that some stoicism would serve her well if she was going to work her way through the stack of essays without covering them all in tears.
How do I even begin to grade someone on how well they share their heartbreak? I don’t want to censor or edit anyone, and I’m not sure that distilling their experiences down to appeal to our American sensibilities is really in the best interest of the students or of the admissions advisers who will ultimately read these things.
Eliza picked up her phone to text Crystal again. “Just kidding about my last message. I’m packing up now and I’ll grade at home after dinner. Order me some bulgogi, please. See you soon!”
Yes, she knew she was procrastinating. But sometimes it actually was easier to grade at home. These are the most crucial decisions I make—grade at this desk or at the dining room table? It’s no wonder I can’t relate to my students and their life or death decisions.
Eliza headed out of her office, messenger bag full of to-be-graded essays slung across her shoulder. The bag was heavy and awkwardly balanced, slamming into her right hip with every other step and pulling sharply on her left shoulder. Her chiropractor mother had finally stopped trying to convince Eliza that a backpack would be a more sensible choice, and as she glimpsed her reflection in a nearby office, she smiled. Even if she had a little discomfort—and a crick in her neck that never went away—at least she looked the part of the college professor, just like she’d always dreamed.
She passed the reception area and was nearly out the door when the department secretary caught up with her. “Ms. Britt, I didn’t realize you hadn’t left yet. You had a visitor from State University drop by when you were in class. I don’t know why he didn’t just email you, but he left a note with me at the desk.”
“That’s strange,” Eliza said, berating herself that her professional demeanor had vanished in a flash of sweaty palms and breathy words. “I hate surprises,” she said by way of explanation, gesturing to the shakiness in her fingers as she took the note the secretary offered her.
The older woman patted Eliza’s arm. “I’m sure it’s nothing bad, dear. Surprises can be good sometimes, you know.”
Eliza shook her head. “That’s never true. I wish it were, but I’ve been right about this too many times.”
With widened eyes, the secretary recoiled. “Aren’t you a little young to be this jaded?”
“Not jaded. Just perceptive. If you pay close enough attention to what’s going on around you, you never actually have to be surprised.”
Eliza was almost sure she heard the woman mutter, “That’s no way to live,” to herself as she walked away, but she shook it off. She didn’t have time to cater to anyone’s feelings today. Not with that stack of essays weighing down her shoulder and not with this note weighing on her like the most unwelcome task on her to-do list.
She turned it over now, examining the source of her sudden influx of stress. It was from Dr. Bennett, her former advisor, and it merely said he’d be calling her later. Great. Something to look forward to. But as much as Eliza didn’t like surprises—and as much as the phrase “we need to talk” made her break into a cold sweat—she’d never turn down Dr. B. His leadership, even if it was a bit eccentric at times, had already helped her get a great teaching job fresh after graduating from his program, and Eliza knew that if she wanted to keep building the career she so desperately wanted, connections like Dr. Bennett meant everything.
Eliza walked across the small campus towards the faculty parking lot. These end-of-summer days were special, with just a tinge of crispness to the air and the days getting ever so slightly shorter. She wondered briefly if she should feel some sort of sadness about the fact that she’d spent all summer working and hadn’t made the journey to Lake Michigan even once…but then she remembered the career she was trying to advance and smiled to herself. There would be time for beaches and vacations when she was a tenured professor. Or even better, the director of her own program.
The door of Eliza’s old black Jetta unlocked with a turn of her key. Her key fob hadn’t remotely locked or unlocked a door in years, but apart from that, the 15-year-old car was holding up well and reliable to a fault. Eliza patted the steering wheel as the engine roared to life. “That’s a good boy, Jets. I can always count on you, more than any other man in my life.”