Review: The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker

I haven’t read anything by Lucy Parker before, but as I was reading the pitch summary, I hopped on to Goodreads to check out some reviews of Parker’s other books in this series to see if this was something I might want to read.

It became very apparent that she has a lot of fans and that this series is one to watch. I also liked the title of this book. The title made it sounds like it was going to be a Jane Austen style romance which made me really excited to check it out!

The cover was also eye catching. I liked the color scheme and the couple on the front indicated that it would clearly be a romance novel but it looked like it would be more of a sweet romance based on the cover and title.

At any rate, I decided to give it a shot even though it’s part of a series, I guessed that it could be read as a standalone.


Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all (summary from Goodreads)


I was not prepared to love this book in the way that I did. I thought it was going to be more of a fluff read but it was very clear that this book had soul. There were comedic moments and the pace and snap of the dialogue was fantastic. But with the humor and lightness of the story, also came depth and heart that I wasn’t expecting but worked great within the novel. It wasn’t overly tedious, but enough to add substance to the story.

One thing I wasn’t expecting was that this book focused a lot on the complicated history between the families rather than exclusively on the romance. There are a lot of people involved in the overall book and sometimes that can be a little overwhelming, but it wasn’t so much that I was put off all together, I just had to remember and keep track of the different people. At times I kind of wished that the focus was more on the Freddy and Griff and their romance, but overall I felt satisfied with the ending.

I liked how the choose-your-own-adventure style with the Jane Austen novels worked in this story. I thought it added some familiarity and fun to the book. Overall I thought this was a good contemporary romance novel, as I mentioned before it does stand alone so I had no trouble picking this one up late in the game as far as the series goes!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 22nd 2019 by Carina Press
Free review copy provided by publisher, Carina Press, in partnership with the TLC Book Tour, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: contempo romance


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Lucy Parker

3 thoughts on “Review: The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker

  1. I love it when a book takes you by surprise and finishes higher in the rankings than you expected. Thanks for sharing a thoughtful review.

  2. I love books that come out of nowhere and you love them like that! Those are the best. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  3. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book! I’m super interested in starting her book series — they all seem really fun and sweet. I’m totally in the mood for healthy and cute romance and I think Lucy Parker is definitely an author that could be exactly that for me. Hope good books like that keep finding you! 🙂

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