Today I am going to be reviewing the fun story, Jane and Austen, by the lovely Stephanie Fowers. (*I given a review copy of this story but this is my honest unbiased opinion.*)
"Meet Jane and Austen. First there's Jane—an impractical, starry-eyed wedding planner; if love can’t match what she’s read in a book, she doesn't want it. And then there’s Austen—a pragmatic, logical-to-a-fault financial consultant; even if he were interested in someone, he wouldn't know. The two have one thing in common: they can’t leave each other alone. Jane believes that if Austen could just experience a fairy tale romance, he would secretly love it. And Austen’s pretty sure that if one of Jane’s beloved heroes escaped from the pages of her dog-eared novels, she’d run and hide. Both are about to be proven right. When the rivals are called on to help a friend plan the biggest wedding of the year, an entire resort full of colorful wedding guests descends upon them—many sharing uncanny similarities to characters in a Jane Austen novel. It doesn't take long before Jane gets everything she thinks she wants. After all, too much of a good thing can’t be all that bad, right? But when Jane’s life turns upside down, the only one she can turn to is Austen; though he’s got his own troubles of the heart…and she's afraid that he's enjoying them more than he should."
While this book wasn't completely up my street - I am not one for contemporary stories - it was still an enjoyable read with many laugh out loud moments! It was a real comedy of errors!
It was well written on the whole but you do have to concentrate! It is very fast moving and there are a lot of characters to keep track of, particularly in the first few chapters when they are all introduced to us. Luckily, there is a glossary of the characters at the back to remind us if we do forget or get confused between characters.
The main characters, Jane and Austen, were pretty relatable. I am very much like Jane, a hopeless romantic wanting her own storybook romance, and from my (limited!) experience most guys I have come across have not a romantic bone in their body, just like Austen does not! Their relationship has many ups and downs but the journey each of them experience through the story was interesting to read.
As to the other characters there are too many to go into details of them all, as I usually do, but I have to say that the author was very clever in the way that she incorporated as many characters from all of Jane Austen's novels as she could, and the way in which she twisted the storylines and events we know from the novels was not as you expect - I had no idea who was going to end up with who! It does mess around with beloved characters and their stories and who they should be matched with, however, this didn't bother me as much as it could have given that they are NOT the characters from Jane's novels, and also 1. all the names are slightly different, and 2. this is set in the modern era! The references to Jane Austen's novels was also very clever and fun to spot while reading.
As I said, this wasn't my favourite type of story, but it was good for a laugh, as things got very out of hand and times and you couldn't help but laugh (or cringe!) for poor Jane, and poor Austen who gets dragged along for the ride!
The fast paced nature of the story meant you had to be alert to keep up with the events and situations and match making which is going on, but it also meant this story never dragged! This story would be enjoyed by someone who likes a good laugh and needs a light hearted, fun, easy read. Jane Austen fans would also enjoy the clever and fun links to her novels, especially those who enjoy her stories being applied in some way to the modern day.
Good luck to Stephanie with this book and any future stories!
Your affectionate friend,