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Source: Review copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing

Jane died an unmarried woman, which in her day was something disastrous. In my current modern-day America, married or unmarried didn’t matter much. But to be unloved…that was disastrous, and I’d spent so much of my time being unloved that I knew something had to change if I wanted a different ending from the one my once-hero author had. I had to stop believing her.

(from Lies Jane Austen Told Me)

Julie Wright’s Lies Jane Austen Told Me is a contemporary romance told from the first person point of view of Emma Pierce, a California-based marketing executive for a growing gym/lifestyle company, who is looking for love but mostly married to her work. When a weekend at her boyfriend Blake’s family home ends in disaster before it even begins, Emma is forced to rely on the kindness of her now-ex’s brother, Lucas, to make her way back home. A stop in a shady neighborhood on the way to the train station so Lucas can take care of some business has her believing the worst about him and churns up sad memories of her childhood.

When Emma’s company unexpectedly hires Lucas as a consultant, she is forced to travel to the East Coast with him to scope out new locations, and it’s not long before they grow close. Their similar upbringings and their fierce determination help them forge a bond, but Emma can’t reconcile this side of Lucas with the man she first met — and she can’t understand why he keeps trying to get her to forgive his brother and give their relationship another try. It’s almost as if her life is a modern-day Austen novel, but Emma can’t forgive Jane for making her believe heroes like Mr. Darcy really exist when such lofty expectations have always left her brokenhearted.

Lies Jane Austen Told Me is a cute book that touches on some tough topics like abandonment, homelessness, and addiction, but there is more than enough romance and humor to keep it from feeling too heavy. I liked getting to know Emma through the first person narrative, watching her make mistakes and later learn from them, and I felt as much in suspense as she was to see how it all played out. It was easy to see Austen’s influence on the plot and characters, from the strong main characters to their misunderstandings to the friendship between Emma and Silvia, who serves as Emma’s sounding board throughout much of the novel. There was a place toward the end where it felt like the drama between Emma and the brothers was a little dragged out, but the pace soon picked up again and the ending more than made up for it. I enjoyed watching Emma figure things out and find her way back to Jane.

****

Giveaway

Shadow Mountain Publishing is generously offering a paperback of Lies Jane Austen Told Me to one lucky reader. This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and will close on Friday, December 22, 2017. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. I’d love to know what interests you most about this tale. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received Lies Jane Austen Told Me from Shadow Mountain Publishing for review.

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