Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright (2017)
NA Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
“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. It isn’t until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas’s biological niece.
Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.
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.”
Expected Publication Date: November 07, 2017
pooled ink Review:
Jane Austen’s books are popular beloved classics by many, myself included. Emma, the protagonist of this story, is a huge Jane Austen fan but at the start of this book she decides that Jane has told one too many lies and it is time to part ways. But of course that’s easier said than done.
I love how each chapter begins with a quote from one of Austen’s novels that perfectly pertains to the situation. It’s a lovely touch. And despite Emma’s disappointment with the romance in her life she can’t help but hear Austen’s two-cents in her mind.
After thinking she’d found a man she’d say “Yes” to, Emma is sorely disappointed only to find herself quickly swept up in the icy-blue gaze of the one man she can’t have, her ex-boyfriend’s brother.
The story is filled with Emma’s intelligence and aptitude for her job, the confusing yearnings for someone untouchable, the scars left from abandonment, and the rather wise Austen watching it all with a smug smile (or is that Caroline Hampton I’m thinking of?). I wouldn’t really describe this as a love-triangle (one of my less than favorite things to read in books) but rather a brother who realizes what he lost, a brother who is loyal to a fault, and a young woman drowning in denial and romantic ideals.
Honestly I really appreciate how Blake wasn’t made out to be some total villain in this book. It would have been cliché and irksome. Instead Wright was able to craft characters that felt utterly realistic. More than that she brought a very Austen-esque romance into modern day without it coming across as a cheesy made-for-TV-movie plotline.
Besides being an Austen fan myself, I think I really enjoyed this book because I understood Emma’s frustrated opinions on romance. She’s completely right when she rages about how Austen gave us these wonderful and seemingly unobtainable ideas on romance and true love but Silvia is also right when she points out that Austen is far wiser than we frustrated single-ladies give her credit for.
Maybe Austen’s tales of romance do seem like pipedreams or unrealistic fantasies, but maybe that’s just because society is trying to sell us something different and we’re too impatient and afraid to give Austen’s way a real chance. Austen puts down the coquettish games, the allure of money, the vanity, the dangling hopes, and the desperation. She encourages women to be smart and independent and to hold out for true love and to settle for nothing less.
I’ve got to say, Lucas was easy to fall for and I didn’t envy Emma her storm of emotions about him, between Luc being Blake’s brother and Luc being her new co-worker she had a lot to debate over. He was polite, handsome, funny, smart, and just overall rather swoon-worthy.
One thing that irked me however was how a big plot obstacle/dramatic explosion arose from an easily dissolvable misconception. If much earlier on Emma had simply asked, “Tell me about April” (an innocent enough question that wouldn’t have been inappropriate to ask him once they’d become friends) then one of the major roadblocks in the story would have been completely avoided.
I understand that the plot needs some hiccoughs to keep it interesting and send us into a panic but it’s too simple a mistake for me to tolerate. And honestly, after spending so much time with Lucas and learning all about him, the fact that she could possibly hold onto that assumption doesn’t at all align with her apparent general intelligence. Basically, I didn’t buy it. Overall I was really into this book but this is just one of my massive bookish pet peeves/turn-offs. It’s not a total loss though, I still enjoyed the book whenever I wasn’t rolling my eyes at her insistence of his bad character.
Look, the romance was great, the characters felt real, the setting was excellent, the grit of reality was smart, and the whole thing was an enjoyable read. I mean I downed this book in hardly more than a day. I had fun reading it and I appreciated all the Jane Austen references. If you’re looking for a cute contemporary romance then I’m sure you’d love this too.
Lies Jane Austen Told Me explores the rocky, unfair, and rather confusing search for love in a modern world. But often it is when you stop looking that you find it. A cute contemporary romance filled with high hopes, dark realities, and tough choices, this book will sweep you away and have all those stuck in the frustrating dating world nodding their heads in understanding.
Purchase here: Lies Jane Austen Told Me
Meet Julie Wright!
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over twenty novels since then. She is represented by Sara Crowe. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her book Cross My Heart and a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.
She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition).
She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
She hates mayonnaise.