Monday, April 17, 2017

Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
Let’s begin with the summary:

Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.

And now, my review:

Our poor heroine has decided romance should look like Jane Austen’s depictions. Who wouldn’t want that? Well, some of it, anyway. Sadly for her, she doesn’t find it to be true as modern-day men often do not act like Jane’s fictional heroes. I loved this premise.

The author has a strong writing voice and includes great prose. I liked that the story was written in first person, one of my favorite narrative styles. The heroine’s voice is a mixture of formal and modern, which was well done.

Readers who are familiar with Jane’s characters will get the most out of this book. There was a lot of potential here, but unfortunately, the book didn’t hold my interest past 15 percent. (I read the e-book format.) I wish the author and publisher all the best.

Monday, April 3, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

I’ve really enjoyed Kristi’s books in the past so I couldn’t wait to read this one. Plus, look at that cover. Gorgeous!

Let’s begin with the summary:

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister's shadow--which worked until her sister got married. Even with the pressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn't be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He's free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn't know, his dream of a marriage like his parents' seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent's relationship survive the pressures of London society?

And now, my review:

I loved the premise of this book, of a husband romancing his wife. I felt sympathetic toward the hero in this story and could understand why he longed for a marriage like his parents’. I also loved the setting and genre of this Regency romance. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the heroine relatable. I felt like we were kept at a distance from her. I couldn’t sympathize with her. She didn’t come across as warm, but instead rather robotic. We didn’t get to learn what she wanted, her history, or her motivations. Without these, she didn’t feel “real.”
The pacing lagged a few times, and there were some believability issues that seemed to cause or result from plot holes.

I did like how the hero acted nobly toward his wife. The author also brought up a sensitive issue that I was surprised to see addressed. You’ll have to read to find out what. 

On the upside, there was a bit of humor, and I did keep reading to see how the author worked out the central conflict.