Monday, July 27, 2009
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
I loved this novel!! I thought Shannon's characters were completely believable and funny.
Going through the list of Jane Hayes' boyfriends has you sympathizing with her as you read of each man.
The story takes you through Jane's three week sojourn into a world beyond the norm...to Pembrook Park, a place known to cater to the Jane Austen fans of the world...
In this world, Jane discovers a sense of herself and a confidence when she says her goodbyes to Mr. Darcy (and it is the Colin Firth version, I might add lol).
The ending of Austenland is funny and sweet with our Mr. Nobley (who is the epitomy of Mr. Darcy) falling in love with the real life woman...and I for one just melted at this particular ending because it was one of those sigh-able moments we get when reading a true romantic story!!!
Well, dear friends, I must go. I believe a cup of Earl Grey and my next adventures: JUST JANE by Nancy Moser, and THE MAN WHO LOVED JANE AUSTEN by Sally Smith O'Rourke are calling my name...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
From Publishers Weekly
Modern-day Regency fashion expert Eleanor Pottinger consorts with ghosts and travels in time in Brown's charming romance. Eleanor discovers her hotel room is haunted by sisters Mina and Deirdre Cracklebury, and she agrees to a deal: she will save their brother, Teddy, from a deadly duel by keeping the wicked Lord Shermont from seducing one of the sisters, in trade for meeting Jane Austen. Eleanor wakes up in 1814, meets smarmy Teddy and is instantly attracted to Lord Shermont, who is not all he seems. Soon she's forced into a terrible choice: Hot sex or the real Jane Austen? True Janeites will find scant evidence of Austen's acerbic wit in either character or tone, but the sprightly humor, handsome hero and twisty ending will please most Regency romance fans. (May)
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I saw this book one day, a few weeks ago, while taking my kids to the bookstore on vacation. We were in a bit of a hurry and so I didn't have time to stop and check this book out - I couldn't even really remember the title. As it happens, I just happened to catch the cover of this book out of the corner of my eye at another book store on another out of town trip. Needless to say, this time I made it a point to purchase - and I am not a bit sorry I did.
I rarely say this, but this is one of the very few Jane Austen-esque books that I would like to see adapted for the big screen. Ms. Brown does a fantastic job mixing humor and playful banter into her heroine's experience and the delicious Lord Shermont is the very definition of swoon-worthy. An excellent character who is very Darcy-like without actually *being* Darcy. I loved that!
This was a lovely, light read and a fun little trip into the Regency world. It wasn't bogged down by a bunch of period details - it actually does an excellent job of embracing the fact that Eleanor is not a period person without it making it seem like she is an alien. The subtleties are there, but don't overtake the story,l which I found refreshing. For once, I wasn't beaten over the head with the minute details of Regency life. A welcome change to be sure!
Jane Austen herself makes an appearance in this book and after several books where Miss Austen makes an appearance, this rendition of her is by far the best. Ms. Brown has done a wonderful job of writing Miss Austen's presence in this book and I applaud her for it. Well done Ms. Brown!
Jen's rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars.....a fun Regency romp with a few modern extras..and a couple of pretty darn good love scenes!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
From Amazon: If Jane Austen lived in the 21st Century, who knows how Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet would overcome their false impressions, mistaken pride and unfounded prejudices. Here is a possible answer. -- Take a humorous journey with post-graduate student Elizabeth Bennet as she travels to London to study for her PhD. Will her strange dreams of princesses and knights hold her back or will being just "A Little Bit Psychic" aid her in discovering that William Darcy is the love of her life?"
I started reading Pride and Prejudice sequels a few years ago. To be honest, most of them suck and aren't worth reading...and I have to say that this one is no exception.
Now, by the above description, you would think that this book would be an okay story. Modern Pride and Prejudice retellings are not always my favorite but I love these characters so much that I always at least give them a try. Going by the above description, I was expecting a novel and what I actually got was a far cry from that.
First of all, this book is short - seriously short. Only 110 pages to re-tell the whole of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's love story? There is honestly not enough of this book for things like plot development, character development or intricacies that draw you into a story or make you attached to characters.
To be brutally honest, this book reads like a fan fiction written by a young woman who has never been in a real relationship. There isn't much of a relationship between the 'Lizzy' and the 'Darcy' characters in this book - and the backstory of William being attracted to Lizzy when she was 12 and he was 17 is just kind of gross. Sorry, but it is borderline inappropriate and just plain yucky - not to mention dumb.
There is no plot in this book so don't bother looking for it. It simply doesn't exist. There is a totally silly misunderstanding where the main character, Lizzy, thinks that William is involved with Caroline when in fact she is married to William's cousin Richard- which is simple and frankly, preposterous. Honestly, it's like the author of this book didn't have anyone else proof read this book and if she did, she chose not to accept any advice about any of the content - right down to a couple of typos. Seriously put out that I spent $8 on this. I have honestly read informational pamphlets that were more entertaining that this 'book'.
Jen's rating: 2 of 10 stars...Really, really awful. I wanted to like it - I really did - but the best thing about this book is the cover. The cover rocks!