11 July 2012

Austen in Austin

Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight (Kensington trade paperback, 31 January 2012).

Small spoiler ahead!

Nicola James is an engineer living in Austin, Texas, and has had her life mapped out since she was barely a teen.  Uncharacteristically, she sometimes wishes she had a Keep Austin Weird  t-shirt, and is a diehard Janeite.  One day she picks up an vintage blank book in an antique shop, intending to give it to her niece as a gift, but accidentally spilled a chai latte on it.

Since it's no longer useful as a  gift, she writes in it herself.  Imagine her surprise when she opens it and finds the words in place of her original entry.  Astounded and disbelieving, Nicola first tries to ignore it, but eventually finds herself in a sort of conversation with someone/thing who sounds very much like Jane.  Yes, that Jane. 

Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance

And before she knows it, she's ignoring The Plan and going out with a guy she met at a wedding.  A musician, no, a rock star who's with a band showcasing at South by Southwest, and turns out to be a charmer from Scotland.

This was such an enjoyable book to read!   Planners like Nicola will cheer on The Journal just as much those who are Spontaneous.  You'll laugh, you'll sigh, and you'll probably stay up all night reading.

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a galley of the book for review purposes.

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