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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cute Contemporary Romance Too Meh For Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As a raving Jane Austen fan with a major crush on Mr. Darcy, 26-year-old Emma Pierce can't wait to fall into the kind of swoony romance she finds between the covers of her favorite novels.  Handsome and wealthy, her current beau certainly seems like a straight-out-of Austen hero—until he betrays her with a pretty co-worker.  Realizing that real-life love simply can't compare to the fictional kind, Emma swears off romance altogether.  Clearly, Jane Austen (who never married, by the by) hasn't the faintest idea what she's talking about. 

Already a workaholic, Emma throws herself even more passionately into her job as the CMO of an up-and-coming gym company.  When a consultant is brought on to help with scouting new locations, Emma's shocked to find herself partnered with Lucas Hampton, her ex-boyfriend's younger brother.  Assuming Lucas to be as slimy as his sibling, she vows to keep her distance.  It's not long, however, before she realizes one brother is not like the other—in fact, Lucas just happens to possess every fine quality a leading Austen man should.  Hints of a troubled past aside, he might be the key to the Happily Ever After for which Emma's been searching.  But if he's the man of her dreams, why is he trying so hard to help Emma and his brother get back together?  As any Jane Austen groupie knows, love is never straightforward ...

As you can tell from its adorable cover and bubbly premise, Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright is a cute contemporary romance.  Not only is the novel clean, but it's also upbeat and lighthearted (although it does touch on some heavy topics).  With its predictably happy ending, it's the kind of diversionary love story romance readers will probably dig.  So, why didn't it work all that well for me?  The characters aren't my favorite.  Both brothers seem cliché and personality-less, while Emma's just victim-y and annoying.  Although she has admirable qualities, they seem tacked-on, like the author is trying too hard to make her seem likable.  The story also gets tedious and saggy in the middle, with tell-y prose and contrived plot devices.  Overall, then, I didn't love Lies Jane Austen Told Me.  I really wanted to, but for the most part I'm pretty meh about this one.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for disturbing subject matter and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-copy of Lies Jane Austen Told Me for judging purposes from the generous folks at Shadow Mountain Publishing via those at The Whitney Awards.  Thank you! 


  1. Sounds like I won't be missing anything by skipping this one. Wish it had been better.

  2. Too bad this one didn't work for you. The premise sounded good.


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