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.
I obtained an advanced reading copy of Lies Jane Austen Told Me from Netgalley back in May. What captured my attention immediately with this book was its clever cover.
I’ve watched the Pride & Prejudice movie, but have never read any Jane Austen titles, though their contents are no secret. Each chapter opens with an Austen book quote befitting the contents of said chapter. The apparent lie that Austen has told our main character, Emma, is essentially that every woman has her own Mr. Darcy. Emma has no problem bitterly reminding us of this throughout the book.
“…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.”
Emma is presented as an intelligent woman in a powerful position at the company she works for, yet bits of the story run contrary to that impression. She fails to speak up for herself at work. Her boss is demeaning, but this is written off as normal for his quirky personality. I simply didn’t enjoy Emma-the-employee; thankfully she’s more tolerable outside of work (though the type of work she does sounds cool).
The problem with being twenty-six, blonde, and female is that no one considers you the boss…
As the synopsis indicates, there’s a love triangle with Blake, her boyfriend we meet in chapter one, and Blake’s brother, Lucas. Blake’s character is difficult to like — intentionally, to be sure — but the oddest part is that his personality unrealistically changes in the middle of the book. Lucas is a likeable guy, yet his weird co-dependency to Blake is baffling when you consider them both being independent adults.
That was when my palm connected with his cheek in a way that would leave a handprint on his great-grandchildren.
There is the classic Big Misunderstanding trope, which sadly drags on too long and could have been addressed easily early on with a simple, non-offensive inquiry. I think the book had enough going on without this predictable trope thrown in, but alas. While it doesn’t do much to deepen characterization, it does introduce us to the best character in the book: April (who is adorable, you’ll love her).
“Problems are hard to deal with if we can’t see all the pieces clearly… We need perspective and a way to appreciate the complexity and beauty that can come from them.”
The book is well-written with vivid imagery, and ultimately gives a satisfactory HEA that will leave you smiling. Overall, it’s a decent book and worth checking out at the right price (as of this posting, it’s priced about $10 too high for the eBook, imo). There’s nothing mind-blowingly unique, but it fits in just fine for a casual, lazy-day read.
…an earthquake with fissures cracking open was safer ground than being with Lucas Hampton.
I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Number of uneaten meals: 1