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
WHERE TO BUY (AFFILIATE LINKS)
Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.
Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.
Connect with Lucy
Lucy Parker’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Sunday, April 21st: @tlcbooktours – giveaway
Monday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Monday, April 22nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Tuesday, April 23rd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, April 23rd: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Wednesday, April 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Thursday, April 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, April 26th: @book_hangover88
Monday, April 29th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, April 29th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, April 30th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, April 30th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, May 1st: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 1st: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Thursday, May 2nd: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, May 2nd: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, May 2nd: Fuelled by Fiction
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 3rd: Books & Bindings