Friday, January 13, 2012

Toni's Review of Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight ***4.5 Stars***

In this quirky, sexy novel set against the lively, music-filled backdrop of Austin, Texas, a young woman learns that romance can wreak havoc with even the best laid plans. . .

It started innocently enough. While browsing in one of Austin's funky little shops, Nicola James is intrigued by a blank vintage journal she finds hidden among a set of Jane Austen novels. Even though Nic is a straight-laced engineer, she's still a sucker for anything Austen-esque. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to disbelief once she starts writing in the journal--because somehow, it's writing her back. . .

Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance. Those twelve tiny words hit Nic like a thunderbolt, as if her diary was channeling Austen herself! Itching for a bit of excitement, Nic decides to follow her "Fairy Jane's" advice. The result: a red-hot romance with a sexy Scottish musician who charms his way into Nic's heart in about five seconds flat.

Sean MacInnes is warm, funny, and happens to think Nic is the most desirable woman he's ever met. But a guy like Sean doesn't exactly fit into her Life Plan. With no one but Fairy Jane to guide her, Nic must choose between the life she thought she wanted--and the kind of happy ending she never saw coming. . ..

I will have to say that Austentatious absolutely captured my heart and wouldn’t let go and I couldn’t be happier!

Nicola James is a woman with a plan.  This plan is well laid out and pretty much written in stone.  She has her life mapped out and by golly she is going to make it happen.  All that changed the moment she purchased a vintage journal for her cousin.  When a cup of chai tea latte met the journal, all things changed.  With the gift ruined and now owned by Nicola by default, she can’t help but be drawn to it.  She writes one entry and all her well laid out plans are changing and she can’t seem to stop it.

Nicola is a skeptic.  She has a scientific mind and there is no way that a book is giving her advice.  Advice she has no intention of following.  One cleavage seeking stuffed mushroom, a hunky Scotsman with a delicious accent and a piece of wedding cake later, Nicola’s views are wavering.  With the help of her friend and mentee, Beck, she is starting to come around.  Life is pounding on her door and she can’t help but let it in.

The journal, otherwise known as “Fairy Jane”, takes on a life of its own; pushing or rather shoving Nicola into finding romance.  Sean, the hunky Scotsman, is a wonderful hero and just the man to show Nicola a whole new world.  I enjoyed their courtship immensely.

I will have to be honest here.  This book had me a bit freaked out in the beginning, but in a great way.  I just returned from a trip to Austin, so it was nice to revisit this fun city.  Not long after starting the book though, like by page seven to be exact, I was texting my girlfriend in Austin.  I had to find out what kind of engineer she was and to see if her lesbian neighbor’s name started with an “L”, just to name a few things.  I was almost tempted to email Ms. Goodnight and ask her if she knew my friend. 

I loved the laugh out loud moments and felt all the emotions Ms. Goodnight conveyed in this book.  The feeling of awe and excitement was prevalent and the heartbreak and dismay leaped off the pages.  I was captured by the tale and could not walk away from it. 

Ms. Goodnight has reignited my love of Jane Austen and I couldn’t be happier.  She did a fabulous job blending in snippets of Jane Austen, without feeling like she was trying to copy the author’s works.  The story felt absolutely original.  I loved it!

This is a great feel good book that shouldn’t be missed.  It makes me wish that there were more shenanigans for “Fairy Jane” to get into.

Oh and for the curious out there.  My friend’s neighbors name DOES start with an “L”.  See what I mean….freaky!!

Thanks for reading!! - Toni

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