Jane of Austin
“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and SensibilityJust a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.

Jane of Austin Details

TitleJane of Austin
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherWaterbrook Press
ISBN1601429347
ISBN-139781601429346
Number of pages312 pages
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Retellings, Fiction, Adult

Jane of Austin Review

  • Hannah
    June 11, 2017
    2.5 starsI read the first chapter online and expected to love it. I'm nuts about hot teas, and loved the whole tea-shop aspect. However, in the end, it fell flat. It's published by a Christian publisher, but not billed as such in the summary; thus, the sole reference to faith is that one character wishes to go to seminary and start a church plant; the MC, Jane, doesn't even ask if the dashing man who comes to their rescue is a believer or not, which obviously should be one of the first things a 2.5 starsI read the first chapter online and expected to love it. I'm nuts about hot teas, and loved the whole tea-shop aspect. However, in the end, it fell flat. It's published by a Christian publisher, but not billed as such in the summary; thus, the sole reference to faith is that one character wishes to go to seminary and start a church plant; the MC, Jane, doesn't even ask if the dashing man who comes to their rescue is a believer or not, which obviously should be one of the first things a Christian girl should ask a man who asks her out.I liked the sister parts, though after the fun of the trip, the plot itself seemed to lose focus. I expected it to be more concerned with the tea shop part, but it wasn't. The recipes were also a fun part, though the tip about "not using boiling water" doesn't apply to black tea...for teas like Assam, you want to bring it just to the boil and then use the water. Also, her "tea farm" of tea plants was unrealistic; she has enough plants to fill the back of a pickup truck bed, which might be enough to supply one tea drinker's moderate habit, but definitely nowhere near enough to support an online business or a tea shop.What dropped it below three stars for me was two instances of potty humor and one gay reference ("their clientele in CA was women and gay men")...as a gal in a tea-shop-attending family with regular guys, it's quite insulting to think that the only guys who use tea rooms are gay. I actually know a young military man who takes his buddies to tea shop outings because they discovered the best sweets are there. I don't know if I was more offended by a gay reference by a Christian writer, or by the stereotype about men.Thanks to Blogging for Books for my free review copy.
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  • Emilee
    June 30, 2017
    This book took me a little longer to get into. I wasn't crazy about either of Jane's romantic relationships and I'm not even sure I got her relationship with her sister, Celia. Margot, on the other hand, seemed more realistic. I liked Beckett well enough and Dash was a fun character. And then there was Nina, she was cool. The setting didn't win me over. The plot itself wasn't bad and the book reads easily.
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  • Melissa
    March 22, 2017
    https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...In this touching adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, Lodge stays true to Austen's tale, yet freshens it up for the modern audience. Fans will appreciate the homage, and those unfamiliar with the story will also thoroughly enjoy it as well. Likable characters, dastardly villains and fascinating information about tea and recipes, this book is everything Lodge's readers have come to expect from her delightful novels.Jane Woodward and her sister Celia opened https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...In this touching adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, Lodge stays true to Austen's tale, yet freshens it up for the modern audience. Fans will appreciate the homage, and those unfamiliar with the story will also thoroughly enjoy it as well. Likable characters, dastardly villains and fascinating information about tea and recipes, this book is everything Lodge's readers have come to expect from her delightful novels.Jane Woodward and her sister Celia opened a tea salon in San Francisco in order to continue raising their sister Margot after their father's questionable business practices came to light and he fled the country. Now their building is being sold and they only have a short time to find a new suitable location. Out of options, the sisters choose to move to Austin, Texas, where they have relatives with room for them to live while they get back on their feet. Nothing seems to go as planned, yet Jane does meet a wonderful man right away and begins to fall in love. Then why does she feel such a connection to Ben, their cousin's friend who is home recovering from a war injury? Is Austin all it seems to be or will the sisters have to work harder to find happiness?
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  • Suzie
    June 3, 2017
    I’m going to admit something that may not be popular here. As a Jane Austen fan, one of her books I like least is a favorite of many. There’s just something about Sense and Sensibility that has always bothered me. Maybe it’s because Marianne Dashwood seems more flighty that heart-on-her sleeve to me, or that Elinor and Edward spend so little time together that I never get the feel for their relationship.Whatever it is, I’m happy that there have been some adaptation of the original story that I h I’m going to admit something that may not be popular here. As a Jane Austen fan, one of her books I like least is a favorite of many. There’s just something about Sense and Sensibility that has always bothered me. Maybe it’s because Marianne Dashwood seems more flighty that heart-on-her sleeve to me, or that Elinor and Edward spend so little time together that I never get the feel for their relationship.Whatever it is, I’m happy that there have been some adaptation of the original story that I have enjoyed reading. And Hillary Manton Lodge’s contemporary take on this classic tale is delightful and engaging.The cast of characters in Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility create an ensemble that welcomes you in. Told from the perspective of the middle sister (Jane in this book, Marianne Dashwood in the original) gives readers a fresh perspective. The focus on the dynamics between the sisters adds depth to the novel, and the additional stress of a major move adds to the tension.Moments of heartache and heartbreak are woven with touches of humor when the reader needs it most. Throw in an elderly in-law who speaks her mind; a rescue dog you can’t help but love; references to popular movies, music, and television, and you have a recipe for success.Speaking of recipes, there are some yummy ones included in this book for the motivated baker to try.Through Jane’s and retired army major, Callum Beckett’s eyes, readers get a more in-depth, deeper love story than the original (in my opinion). I think Jane Austen would approve.This is one of those books that deserves multiple readings. At least it will get more than one from me!I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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  • Bekah (WillBakeforBooks)
    June 12, 2017
    This book was utterly fantastic. I’m going to take a few breaths and collect my thoughts before I dive into this review, because I want to do it right. So first I’ll tell you a little on what the story is about.Three sisters have to deal with the repercussions of their businessman father’s major scandal, but they manage to make the best of the situation by creating a business of their own–a cute tea shop in San Francisco. Years late when their landlord passes away, his nephew forces them out of This book was utterly fantastic. I’m going to take a few breaths and collect my thoughts before I dive into this review, because I want to do it right. So first I’ll tell you a little on what the story is about.Three sisters have to deal with the repercussions of their businessman father’s major scandal, but they manage to make the best of the situation by creating a business of their own–a cute tea shop in San Francisco. Years late when their landlord passes away, his nephew forces them out of their beloved shop. Needing a fresh start, Jane, Celia and Margot find themselves staying with a distant cousin from their late mother’s side and starting over…in Austin, Texas. Thus begins an adventure of a lifetime for the three girls, one that involves both heartbreak and beautiful love.A story steeped in romance, sisterly love, and a passion for tea–Jane of Austin had me in tears, sometimes in laughter and other times from all the feels. I want more! There are a million things to love about this book, one of them being the charming and witty characters. Even the side characters were a delight! Jane was quirky and cute and her affinity for baking made her downright lovable. Her relationship with her sisters was incredibly sweet and the communication issues that arose between her and Celia were relatable and raw. Each sister’s separate approaches to moving and life in general was incredibly well done and realistic, which leads me to the writing. This author has quickly become a favorite of mine. Everything from the beautiful writing style to the chapter-ending recipes made me love this story all the more. It was like all of my favorite things in one story! Warning–you will be hungry during and after reading this. Be prepared and make some scones beforehand. 😉 Let’s not forget the delicious romance either. Two words–Callum. Beckett. If there is a more swoon-worthy hero in a contemporary romance novel, I’d like to know, because Callum was downright perfect. The slow relationship that develops between him and Jane had that intangible thing that just tugged at my heartstrings. Can one say the words perfect and love too many times in a book review?! Because I feel like I’m approaching that line.Jane of Austin is a must-read for both Austen and contemporary romance lovers alike. I hope I did this book justice with my review, because it is one of those reads that’ll stick with me. I’ll say it again, I loved this book. Go read it! It’s perfect for summer, reading along with friends, or bringing on vacation. The ending is similar to sipping your favorite cup of tea, in the way that’ll it leave you with a highly contented sigh. Ahhh.*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.http://www.willbakeforbooks.com/2017/...
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  • Shantelle
    June 13, 2017
    Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge was a charming read. Fans of Jane Austen-esque novels, look no further! A retelling of Sense and Sensibility, this book was fun, sweet, bitter, and beautiful.It's a contemporary, retelling a Regency tale of romance, heartache, and finding true love. I liked the sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margot. And it was fun getting it from Jane's (a.k.a. Marianne's) point of view. Truly, this was such a charming retelling of the beloved, classic tale, I didn't mind that i Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge was a charming read. Fans of Jane Austen-esque novels, look no further! A retelling of Sense and Sensibility, this book was fun, sweet, bitter, and beautiful.It's a contemporary, retelling a Regency tale of romance, heartache, and finding true love. I liked the sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margot. And it was fun getting it from Jane's (a.k.a. Marianne's) point of view. Truly, this was such a charming retelling of the beloved, classic tale, I didn't mind that it was set in modern days. It was neat to explore Texas. *smiles* The descriptions were lovely and the book, all around, had an old-fashioned feel. The aspect of teas and tea-making, baking and tea shops? I loved it! So, so fun and unique.The characters were all great. But Callum was my favorite. I just really, really liked him. A war hero. A gentleman. A good man. Plus, his dog was just the best. This may be the only time I've so loved a dog in a book! ^_^ *hugs Dash*A couple complaints. Well, it is contemporary ... and that probably means the romance isn't quite to my liking. Yes. Too much kissing, too fast. Way too much "dating without any intentions of marriage anytime soon". There was more intention and marriage-mindedness with Callum, but still the "making out" came way too soon. Save it for marriage, alright, folks?Also, I thought this book was Christian fiction. There was no talk of faith except for one character's decision to go to seminary school. All in all, it was clean and old-fashioned, (like the Jane Austen movies) even with good morals and lessons, for the most part. So, of course I would have rather had a faith theme, but Jane of Austin was still a lovely read ... like watching a Jane Austen movie!It was easy to read, interesting, different yet similar to the original Sense and Sensibility, and overall an enjoyable read.I received a copy of Jane of Austin from BloggingforBooks in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kara Isaac
    April 12, 2017
    A fun modern twist on Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen and contemporary romance fans alike will fall in love with this warm, witty and charming story!
  • Sadie Vanderkodde
    June 5, 2017
    I'm actually not a big fan of Jane Austen. I've never even read Sense and Sensibility (on which this book is apparently based). But I loved Jane of Austin. Celia, Jane, and Margot Woodward have faced a lot of tragedy in their young lives. After their mother dies in a car accident, their father is fired from his position in finance due to some questionable choices - choices that leave him on the run and his daughters on their own. Armed with a trust fund left behind by their mother, the girls sta I'm actually not a big fan of Jane Austen. I've never even read Sense and Sensibility (on which this book is apparently based). But I loved Jane of Austin. Celia, Jane, and Margot Woodward have faced a lot of tragedy in their young lives. After their mother dies in a car accident, their father is fired from his position in finance due to some questionable choices - choices that leave him on the run and his daughters on their own. Armed with a trust fund left behind by their mother, the girls start a tea salon in their beloved San Francisco. But when new owners demand more in rent than the girls can pay, they're forced to pack up their tea plants and move. Eventually, they settle with family in Austin, Texas where new adventures await.I greatly enjoyed this story. I loved the dynamic between the sisters, the love triangle element, and the humorous witticisms sprinkled throughout. The storyline was interesting and moved along well. The end was semi-cheesy, but I like a little cheese now and then. :-)This was another one of those strange books that I think is probably classified as inspirational fiction, and is very clean, but makes almost no mention of God.(I received an advance copy of this book via Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.)
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  • Michelle
    June 13, 2017
    I was pretty excited to get this book in the mail. The cover is stunning and the whole idea of a modern day Sense and Sensibility is simply fun. The first part of the book had my complete attention and I couldn't put it down. I love the Woodward sisters and the family dynamic they create. Celia is probably my favorite sister but it's hard to say as there are fantastic secondary characters as well. LOVED learning about tea and the many recipes included are delightful. Sometimes in books you see I was pretty excited to get this book in the mail. The cover is stunning and the whole idea of a modern day Sense and Sensibility is simply fun. The first part of the book had my complete attention and I couldn't put it down. I love the Woodward sisters and the family dynamic they create. Celia is probably my favorite sister but it's hard to say as there are fantastic secondary characters as well. LOVED learning about tea and the many recipes included are delightful. Sometimes in books you see a recipe and say "oh maybe someday I'll try it out" but these make your mouth water and I am eager to try them! The romance side of the book is why I give it four stars. It was really difficult for me to totally believe the little romance because it all happens so fast. I loved the little plot twist and the real life experiences but the love story was difficult for me to get into. Callum is a pretty wonderful character, I would say dreamy in a way. I just wish I got to know him better. All that said I truly enjoyed this book and for a modern day twist you will enjoy! Four stars."I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."
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  • Callie
    June 28, 2017
    As you probably saw on my list of books I brought on vacation, I have dipped my toes back into Jane Austen novels again this summer. I have also read other books that I enjoyed by Hillary Manton Lodge, so when I saw that she had written a modern retelling of Sense And Sensibility, it was just meant to be!In Jane Of Austin, Jane and her sisters lose all their respectability when their father is accused of a financial crime - since they can no longer work in the financial world, they decide to ope As you probably saw on my list of books I brought on vacation, I have dipped my toes back into Jane Austen novels again this summer. I have also read other books that I enjoyed by Hillary Manton Lodge, so when I saw that she had written a modern retelling of Sense And Sensibility, it was just meant to be!In Jane Of Austin, Jane and her sisters lose all their respectability when their father is accused of a financial crime - since they can no longer work in the financial world, they decide to open a tea parlor. However, when their landlord dies they are kicked out of their tea shop's rental space, and decide to start over again in Austin.First, I'll say that whenever I see that a novel has been published by a Christian publishing company, I expect some sort of Christian element to it, even if it's slight. However, this book really had zero spiritual references at all, and I wouldn't consider it a Christian book. So going forward with this review, I'm approaching it as a secular novel.Content: The only objections I had to the content were some sexual implications. One of the characters speculates on whether a couple of the main characters may have moved in together (they didn't). One of the characters suggestively says that Jane should "come back to his place" (she doesn't). And there is a lot of making out. These things would have bothered me more if I had been thinking this was supposed to be a Christian book, but like I said, I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn't. However, considering it is coming from a Christian publisher, I think it's just a good example of why we shouldn't necessarily trust "Christian books" to never present questionable morals.Characters: The story is told from the perspective of the "Maryanne" and "Colonel Branden" characters in this book, which I was excited about when I began reading. Their love story is my favorite one in Sense And Sensibility, and I was excited to see how the book would play out from this perspective. However, I have to say, Jane ("Maryanne") just really wasn't working for me. I liked her character well enough, but she just seemed too Type A to be really "Maryanne-ish" to me. My picture of Maryanne is that she is this free-spirited, creative type; and while Jane was creative, she was like snooty-type-A creative. Lodge tried to make her passionate and emotional, but I felt like those emotions didn't seem to fit as well on the character of Jane because I saw her as more logical/Type A. It just didn't jive with my vision of who Maryanne was. That's just my personal opinion, others will probably disagree with me here!My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the way Lodge managed to incorporate all the elements of the story of Sense And Sensibility into this book! She did a really good job, and I found myself remembering different parts of the original story as I read.I thought the tea shop aspect of it was particularly fun, and Lodge includes a lot of recipes for some of the foods mentioned in the book. She did this in her other books too, and just from the writing it is obvious the author knows what she is talking about culinarily. I just loved the extra coziness all the recipes add to Lodge's novels, and her food descriptions made me hungry.If you'd like to read a Jane Austen retelling, this one was a fun, clean one, and I'd recommend it overall!Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review. This is my honest opinion.
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  • Ash †Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†
    June 18, 2017
    I admit, I have never read a Jane Austin book before. I have a few, but never read them because I am looking for something to give me a bit of a push into reading them. Jane of Austin started out promising and then a little less than half way though, flopped. It went from being unique to being just like every single other Contemporary book out there. Girl in trouble. Guy saves girl. Enter guy two. Que up love triangles and insta-loves. So on and so on.This book started out okay but then it just I admit, I have never read a Jane Austin book before. I have a few, but never read them because I am looking for something to give me a bit of a push into reading them. Jane of Austin started out promising and then a little less than half way though, flopped. It went from being unique to being just like every single other Contemporary book out there. Girl in trouble. Guy saves girl. Enter guy two. Que up love triangles and insta-loves. So on and so on.This book started out okay but then it just flopped in the worst way. The insta-loves were ridiculous. and it just dragged on and on and on about Texas. The constant non-stop Texas this and Texas that and I'm from Texas so I am better. Blah blah blah was overly annoying. I get everyone is like that because they are proud of where they come from but if they go on and on about How awesome they are because they are *insert state* - run. Run as fast as you can AWAY. Because they are anything but "good". LolI can't get over the insta-loves though. Just....are you freaking serious? I thought Jane was suppose to be this sensible adult. *snorts* No. Just no. She acts like a 14 year old. Guy: I love youJane: *fluttery*Guy: Marry meIt's been what? two weeks? if even that? Imagine the horrible example she is setting for her little sister. Not to mention she wants everything to be about her with zero respect for her older sister's thoughts. Her sister doesn't want to talk about something but Jane just goes on and on and on wanting to know WHAT happened and blah blah blah. So yeah, there were some twists and turns, I suppose but nothing that was quiet enough to lift it out of it's flop. And the fact that Jane does really get engaged literally 7 months after just meeting a guy makes my eyeballs hurt from rolling them so hard. There were some good parts. I loved the fandom quotes. There was a bit of from the Hunger Games to some Lord of the Rings. so that was cute. I liked this book. But it's not one I would automatically think of to recommend if someone were looking for a book.
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  • Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
    June 19, 2017
    Jane Austen has some of the most loyal, dare I say, obsessive fans. I feel the need to disclose that I do not attain to such fandom. However, I have read and enjoyed most of her books, Sense and Sensibility among them. In my basic familiarity with the original I was able to make a few direct connections to Lodge’s work. For instance, I fully expected Sean Willis to be a cad and Jane to eventually turn her affections towards Callum. The author retains enough elements of Austen’s work to label her Jane Austen has some of the most loyal, dare I say, obsessive fans. I feel the need to disclose that I do not attain to such fandom. However, I have read and enjoyed most of her books, Sense and Sensibility among them. In my basic familiarity with the original I was able to make a few direct connections to Lodge’s work. For instance, I fully expected Sean Willis to be a cad and Jane to eventually turn her affections towards Callum. The author retains enough elements of Austen’s work to label her novel a re-telling while creating a totally modern, relatable, and witty story of her own. Though romance is not my go-to genre, I loved the “fall, heartbreak, and knight in shining armor” type rescue in this book.I count Jane of Austin as my introduction to Hillary Manton Lodge and I’m impressed. Her dialogue drew me into each conversation as if I were standing in the room. She also does a beautiful job of assigning her characters distinct personalities. While I’ve met people who are as calm and collected as Celia, I identified more closely with Jane’s focused, loyal, sarcastic, occasionally irritable, and totally introverted ways. She made me laugh! Furthermore, the book is peppered with recipes I am eager to try. Read eager as we drove to three grocery stores searching for frozen cranberries—eager.It’s interesting to note that in a book labeled contemporary Christian by its publisher, you won’t read about these sisters going to church, praying through a crisis, or surrendering their lives to Jesus. Instead, you’ll find a fairly chaste romance and a story that celebrates the bond of sisterhood. I think you may also grow to admire the gregarious family members in Austin who abound in love and hospitality. I found that despite the lack of elements I usually associate with Christian fiction, Jane of Austin is definitely a book I will read again.I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Diane Estrella
    June 14, 2017
    I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure how much it related to Jane Austen and her life and/or books but it was a well written, character driven story. The best thing in this story were the characters both primary and secondary. Seeing their lives unfold and where they would end up was a pleasure to follow. This story pulls your heart in many ways and is definitely relatable to our current times. I read the book in 24 hours time. :)The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because there were I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure how much it related to Jane Austen and her life and/or books but it was a well written, character driven story. The best thing in this story were the characters both primary and secondary. Seeing their lives unfold and where they would end up was a pleasure to follow. This story pulls your heart in many ways and is definitely relatable to our current times. I read the book in 24 hours time. :)The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because there were a few nit-picky things that I thought could have been handled better, that were not plot related. Just those little extra tidbits that take a story to perfection with no loose ends left in my mind. Without listing them here, they were minor and like I said nit-picky.I received this book from the publisher but was not required to leave a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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  • Hayden
    June 9, 2017
    3.5 starsI was a little tentative picking up this book. I've had mixed reactions to this author's books before, and while I was intrigued at it being a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility, it's told from the perspective of the Marianne character, and Marianne is the One Austen Heroine I Do Not Relate To. However, despite this, I was attracted to the bright cover, promise of Austen love, and the setting of a tea shop.One thing that I liked is that it's told from both Callum's (the Colonel B 3.5 starsI was a little tentative picking up this book. I've had mixed reactions to this author's books before, and while I was intrigued at it being a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility, it's told from the perspective of the Marianne character, and Marianne is the One Austen Heroine I Do Not Relate To. However, despite this, I was attracted to the bright cover, promise of Austen love, and the setting of a tea shop.One thing that I liked is that it's told from both Callum's (the Colonel Brandon character) and Jane's perspective (and there are chapter quotes! Ones about Texas on Callum's, and ones about tea on Jane's- including Doctor Who quotes and Caedmon's Call lyrics. This made me happy.) What I think this book did best, though, is managing to stand on its own as a story in its own right. It was definitely S&S, but nothing felt forced like the author was trying to hard to make that story work into this one. It all flowed smoothly.For me, though, there are the usual things it's hard for me to get past in contemporary fiction, especially of the chick lit variety. The kissing, for one. And even things I don't normally think about- like the fact that Celia and Teddy had been dating for what, seven/eight years?-that reminded me that I just have such a different mindset and worldview that most twenty-somethings, even Christian ones. (I'm all for getting to know a person before marrying them, but gosh, seven years of dating? If you're not sure about marrying the guy by that point, you should probably move on- and I'm a cautious person.) Still, Jane of Austin is a HUGE improvement on the last Jane Austen rewrite I read (which was 4 years ago. How time flies). The plot points were worked in well, with some nods to the Austen story that particularly pleased me.Overall, it was a charming, easy read, though I will say if you're expecting a piece of traditional Christian fiction with overt spiritual themes you may be disappointed; Jane of Austin, though from a Christian publishing branch, is more of a secular (albeit clean) variety of novel.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jessica Figueroa
    June 22, 2017
    It took me a bit of time but once I got over that I pretty much devoured the book. Once I was like 50 pages in yesterday morning my day ended up planned around reading this book yesterday. I refused to go to sleep once I got nearer to the ending of the book. I loved getting to know theses characters, the struggles they were going through and seeing them trying to continue to look on the bright side. One part of the book that really stood out to me and I loved was the recipes of different things. It took me a bit of time but once I got over that I pretty much devoured the book. Once I was like 50 pages in yesterday morning my day ended up planned around reading this book yesterday. I refused to go to sleep once I got nearer to the ending of the book. I loved getting to know theses characters, the struggles they were going through and seeing them trying to continue to look on the bright side. One part of the book that really stood out to me and I loved was the recipes of different things. Today I plan to go to the supermarket and make a couple of the items in the book because they sounded delicious. I loved that even though I know what this book is based off sense and sensibility that there was a surprising amount of tidbits that reminded me of Jane Austen's other books. I wasn't sure at first if it was purposeful until i read the readers note at the ending and was glad so know I was right. Overall if you love Jane Austen's novels and modern retelling.
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  • Megan
    June 9, 2017
    I was so excited when I first heard about this book! I am a huge Jane Austen fan. My husband's go-to gift for me is Jane Austen paraphernalia. Plus I am a big tea drinker. To top it off my favorite of Jane Austen's works (at the moment) is "Sense and Sensibility," and "Jane of Austin" is a retelling of that book. Even though I don't normally read a lot of contemporary novels, I knew I would love this one, which I did!"Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility" by Hillary Manton Lodge I was so excited when I first heard about this book! I am a huge Jane Austen fan. My husband's go-to gift for me is Jane Austen paraphernalia. Plus I am a big tea drinker. To top it off my favorite of Jane Austen's works (at the moment) is "Sense and Sensibility," and "Jane of Austin" is a retelling of that book. Even though I don't normally read a lot of contemporary novels, I knew I would love this one, which I did!"Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility" by Hillary Manton Lodge is a modern day retelling of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility." I loved seeing the parallels between the two books as I was reading. Ms. Lodge also includes nods to some of Austen's other works, which any "Janeite" will appreciate. The main character, Jane, correlates to the character of Marianne from the original “Sense and Sensibility.” It is really fascinating to see this story told from Jane's perspective, whereas in the original, it is mostly told from her sister’s perspective. Jane is very witty and sarcastic. The story sometimes switches to the perspective of Callum, one of our heroes. A lot of people don't like these characters in the original "Sense and Sensibility." I think Ms. Lodge gives readers a fresh take on the story by offering things from their points of view and fleshing out their characters a bit more. I was certainly rooting for these two characters in the story!Another element of the story that makes it very interesting and unique is the tea. The main characters make tea and own a tea shop. There are recipes throughout the book that correlate with the story and what the characters are making. I really enjoy hearing about the tea making process, specifically how the main character harvests the leaves and makes the different blends. Tea making is a real art. The quotes at the beginning of most of the chapters were also a fun addition.Content and Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars. It is a clean read. I would specifically recommend this book to fans of Jane Austen, retellings, and women's fiction. I want to thank Hillary Manton Lodge, Waterbrook Press, and Blogging for Books for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
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  • Billiebumblebee
    June 11, 2017
    ADORABLE!
  • Sarah
    June 14, 2017
    A lovely take on the classic Austen novel- for fans of Jane Austen, this will definitely be your cup of tea. 4 stars This book surprised me.I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, and most of the time when I read an Austen centered book, I don't like it very much. I always feel like the author of the book is a) trying too hard to make their book sound like a Jane Austen novel or b) stuffing so many Austen references into their book that you feel like you're being slapped in the face. In fact, before th A lovely take on the classic Austen novel- for fans of Jane Austen, this will definitely be your cup of tea. 4 stars This book surprised me.I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, and most of the time when I read an Austen centered book, I don't like it very much. I always feel like the author of the book is a) trying too hard to make their book sound like a Jane Austen novel or b) stuffing so many Austen references into their book that you feel like you're being slapped in the face. In fact, before this book, the only Austen-esque novel I'd ever liked is the glorious Austenland. (The movie is a cinematic masterpiece as well, you must watch it.) (SEE??)But this book was the perfect combination of Austen and modern day. I picked up on all the Austen parts of the book, but they were inserted subtly enough that they blended in smoothly with the storyline. There were quite a few reasons I loved this book, namely: There was variety in the voices telling the story. Jane and Callum, the alternating POVs of the story, were different enough that I never lost track of who was talking, which was always nice. I thought Jane was a bit careless at times, but her character made me smile and I loved her obsession with tea. (I don't know anything about tea. I probably couldn't even pour it properly.) There were recipes included at the end of the chapters. A lot of food was mentioned in this book. A lot. Jane runs a tea salon and Calum inherits his father's chain of barbecue restaurants, and they both make some very delicious sounding foods/teas. When a food was mentioned, the recipe was included at the end of the chapter. (Sometimes reading the recipes made my stomach growl, but that's beside the point.) It was a very clever and unique aspect of the story. Plus, it'll be useful if I ever want to make some yummy food. As soon as, you know. I learn how to actually cook. It was very family-centered. There are three sisters in this book, Celia, Jane and Margot. Early on in the novel, they are ditched by their dirtbag of a father and must learn how to get by on their own. Jane jokes with Margot that she and Celia are like her "sister parents," but it's kind of true. The two older girls look out for both each other and their younger sister. Although some boy problems get in between Jane and Celia, they have an unbreakable sister bond. Boys are always causing problems. That's why I'm single. (True story. Hahaha.) Anyways, now I'm just rambling. But seriously, this book is worth your time, very very cute. Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book. Twitter | Blog |
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  • Courtney Clark
    June 21, 2017
    Sisters. Tea. Texas transplants. Tacos. Music. Scones. A heroic yet humble veteran. BBQ. The crazy complexities of family…. ALL INFUSED WITH JANE AUSTEN. Hillary Manton Lodge’s new release, Jane of Austin, is a feast for the voracious reader and fan of contemporary romance and classic literature alike. A contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, this book delves deeper into the emotional complexities of Austen’s personas while maintaining a humorous and modern atmosphere.FUN Sisters. Tea. Texas transplants. Tacos. Music. Scones. A heroic yet humble veteran. BBQ. The crazy complexities of family…. ALL INFUSED WITH JANE AUSTEN. Hillary Manton Lodge’s new release, Jane of Austin, is a feast for the voracious reader and fan of contemporary romance and classic literature alike. A contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, this book delves deeper into the emotional complexities of Austen’s personas while maintaining a humorous and modern atmosphere.FUN FACT: There are RECIPES at the end of some of the chapters of this novel! So, you won’t be hungry and bereft, as long as you have a functioning kitchen and small pantry nearby. Go ahead and buy some tea if you need it. And maybe the ingredients for scones or pie. You’ll thank me later.I think it’s beneficial to know a few of the main points of Austen’s classic, Sense and Sensibility, a movie/series adaptation of it, or even some of her other works to fully appreciate the brilliant aspects of Jane of Austin. I’m not an expert by any means, but I greatly appreciated the nuances of the story more having seen the Sense and Sensibility film and read it a loooong while ago.With Jane of Austin, Hillary lends her own originality to the structure of a classic. She maintains the focus of a sisterly bond, the story of uncertainty in the face of circumstance. But a new light is shined, in many ways: what if Marianne was just as emotional and dramatic, but an introvert? Elinor, still as logical and caring, an extrovert? And, how had Colonel Brandon’s previous life experiences shaped him into the quiet hero? What hardships had he endured for such perspective? These are just a few of the ways Jane, Celia, and Callum Beckett are brought into focus through Hillary’s lens, sharpening formerly overlooked elements and delightfully expounding on others.This novel is distinctly Hillary’s voice, though. Having read her previous AMAZING “Two Blue Doors” series, I recognize the slight humor, sarcasm, and honesty of her tone. It pairs unbelievably well with the natural wit of Austen’s story for laugh-out-loud moments, especially when conversations between the sisters involve the youngest, Margot.On that note, the sisterly dynamic is BRILLIANT! The extremes of such relationships are accurately shown… from the camaraderie and familiarity stemming from a shared history to the clash of personalities and disillusioned disagreements. Most of all, the moments of care and support of one another, the bond of family, and even the rhythm of working together were my favorite parts of seeing Jane and Celia together.And oh, the romance! Callum Beckett is the ultimate selfless and steadfast hero. The familiar juxtaposition of Jane caring for Sean (the Willoughby character) is there, while Callum and his unrequited love plays out in a very plausible way. Callum’s veteran status and penchant for reading aloud just up the attractiveness. Oh, and have I mentioned he’s tall, dark, and handsome!? I’m still not sure why it takes Jane so long to notice ;).Jane of Austin is a fresh and original twist that delightfully emphasizes the strength of family and home, which can sometimes be people instead of a place. This is the type of novel that ends with a happy sigh and a craving for tea and scones. I’m enamored with the way the combination of Hillary’s skill and a contemporary setting reveal how absurdly interconnected life and relationships can be — in a very Austen-Esque way.Sincere and hearty thank you to the publisher/author for the complimentary review copy. This review is my honest and enthusiastic opinion.
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  • Nora St Laurent
    June 13, 2017
    This author beautifully brings together a heartfelt story of three sisters whose lives are suddenly shattered by an unexpected chain of events. News travels fast of their father’s business scandal and they are forever identified with their father’s deeds. Their lease is up on their tea salon in San Francisco. They are unable to find an affordable place so they seek a new place and relocate in Austin, Texas. The girls are looking for a fresh start and to reconnect with family members on their mot This author beautifully brings together a heartfelt story of three sisters whose lives are suddenly shattered by an unexpected chain of events. News travels fast of their father’s business scandal and they are forever identified with their father’s deeds. Their lease is up on their tea salon in San Francisco. They are unable to find an affordable place so they seek a new place and relocate in Austin, Texas. The girls are looking for a fresh start and to reconnect with family members on their mother’s side.In the authors, last series readers got a front row seat and learned about the restaurant business. This book has readers learn about tea and treats that go with it. Jane of Austin has the gift of creating tea magic that her customers in San Francisco loved. The sisters hope to find a shop where they could do the same in Texas. One sister is running from love another is just concerned about the business and is surprised by love. They both care for and encourage their youngest sister Margot who is finishing her high school years.I enjoyed this author’s fun style of writing and the recipes throughout the novel. The ten discussion questions at the end help generate lively discussion to your book club meetings. Your group will have a tough time deciding on which yummy sounding treat to being to the meeting. Some of the recipes included are Cranberry Vanilla Scones, A Perfect Cup of Tea, Pear and Earl Grey Tea Pies to Go, Texas Sheet Cake with a Black Tea Twist., Pumpkin Scones with Chai Glaze and few more. This is a fun read and would work great for your next book club pick.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St. LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.orgThe Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.comBook Fun Magazine SVP of Promotions
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  • Becky
    June 24, 2017
    Simply delightful: Those are the words that spring to mind when I think of Hillary Manton Lodge's modern day twist on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's novels ... and I also love modern adaptations/twists like Clueless (the movie), Lost in Austen (the ITV miniseries), and Austenland (the book and the movie). So when I heard that Hillary Manton Lodge, whose Two Blue Doors series I loved, had written a modern adaptation of Sense and Sensibility Simply delightful: Those are the words that spring to mind when I think of Hillary Manton Lodge's modern day twist on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's novels ... and I also love modern adaptations/twists like Clueless (the movie), Lost in Austen (the ITV miniseries), and Austenland (the book and the movie). So when I heard that Hillary Manton Lodge, whose Two Blue Doors series I loved, had written a modern adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, well, it was a no brainer—I had to read it!Whenever I've encountered Sense and Sensibility, whether the gorgeous Emma Thompson feature film, the more recent BBC production, or the Joanna Trollope novel, I've always loved Elinor and found Marianne to be overly emotional and a bit ridiculous. So when I realized that the titular Jane of this novel was the stand-in for Marianne, I was a bit nervous.I needn't have been.Jane is quirky and certainly more emotional than her elder sister Celia (the Elinor character), but she's also incredibly likeable. Knowing the source material, I had no doubt who she would eventually end up with, but I also could understand the attraction to her other suitor. In that situation, I probably would have fallen for him, too.While the basic players and events from Sense and Sensibility are present in Jane of Austin, it's a great story in its own right. I love the focus on tea and the description of Jane's baking; I would totally visit Valencia Tea Company if it really existed. I thought the relationship between Jane and Celia was very realistic. And I absolutely adored Callum's dog.Let's talk about Callum for a minute. I've always had a soft spot for Colonel Brandon (especially as portrayed by a pre-Snape Alan Rickman), and Callum is just as wonderful. A true war hero, Callum is also loyal and kind, and I liked that Jane noticed him and and liked him even while she was in the throes of love with Sean. Though Callum is not perfect, he is perfect for Jane, and I loved watching their relationship develop.Ultimately, whether you're a fan of Sense and Sensibility or you just like a great romance, Jane of Austin is sure to make you smile.Disclosure of material connection: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Alyssa
    June 12, 2017
    About the BookJust a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is c About the BookJust a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.My ReviewJane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge is a riveting and sensational retelling of Sense and Sensibility. Now to be perfectly honest, Sense and Sensibility is one of my least favorite Austen tales. With Emma being my absolute least favorite. However, with that being said that didn't deter me from enjoying this novel. I loved the Southern inspiration Jane of Austin had. I enjoyed the characters very much and they didn't get on my nerves. (YAY!) I am not usually into Womens Fiction, but I have to say Hillary did a great job and I hope she writes another Austen-inspired novel. I'll be on the look out.
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  • Holly
    June 29, 2017
    Are you looking for a good book to sit down and read with a cup of tea or a tall glass of iced tea? Well stop right here, this is the book for you. This is an enjoyable retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, that will have you reading cover to cover.This book had me intrigued the very moment I saw the front cover and continued intriguing me tell the last page of the book. This is my first time reading anything Hillary Manton Lodge has written and I am pleased to say my first impressio Are you looking for a good book to sit down and read with a cup of tea or a tall glass of iced tea? Well stop right here, this is the book for you. This is an enjoyable retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, that will have you reading cover to cover.This book had me intrigued the very moment I saw the front cover and continued intriguing me tell the last page of the book. This is my first time reading anything Hillary Manton Lodge has written and I am pleased to say my first impression of her writing is good. I liked that Lodge switched point of views every few chapters. It kept me up to date with the two main characters. One of the big reasons I liked this book so much is because the sisters were so “human” like. For example, the was a scene in the book were the sisters are picking what music to listen to for their car ride to Austin, Texas. Those were the scenes in the book that made me see myself and my sisters in the story. I usually find contemporary fiction cheesy, but this book was fun and I recommend this book as a great, clean, contemporary book.I am not sure if her other books have this but every few chapters there were recipes at the end of them. Each recipes that were in the book were mentioned in the book. I thought that was fun.This is a good read for any Jane Austen fan, like myself. To Hillary Manton Lodge, I would have to say bravo for a well written story. Jane Austen, if she was living in this time period, would like this book very much.I highly recommend this book!
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  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    June 29, 2017
    Jane Austen Fan? Sense and Sensibility fan? Then you are going to LOVE this modern spin. Author Lodge has a passion for Jane Austin and you can see it on every page of this fresh read.Characters are so real and charming. I would love to see this book made into a movie. The romance alone in this book is so worth the read. Callum the hero is swoon worthy, in my book.The story is one I will cherish for a long time. This book will stay on my personal book shelf.Author Lodge is a foodie at the end of Jane Austen Fan? Sense and Sensibility fan? Then you are going to LOVE this modern spin. Author Lodge has a passion for Jane Austin and you can see it on every page of this fresh read.Characters are so real and charming. I would love to see this book made into a movie. The romance alone in this book is so worth the read. Callum the hero is swoon worthy, in my book.The story is one I will cherish for a long time. This book will stay on my personal book shelf.Author Lodge is a foodie at the end of some of the chapters are some sweet recipes.I gave this book 5 stars two times. I HIGHLY recommend this book.The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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  • Jocelyn Sanchez
    June 21, 2017
    I'll admit, I'm a fan of Jane Austen, but I've only ever read her novel, Pride and Prejudice--which is incredible, so I highly recommend that book. I knew before I read this book that this was a take on Jane Austen's novel, Sense and Sensibility, so I wanted to give it a chance and see how I'd like it. And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book! The author stays true to Austen's original tale, but twists it for the modern audience, which I enjoyed. The recipes in the I'll admit, I'm a fan of Jane Austen, but I've only ever read her novel, Pride and Prejudice--which is incredible, so I highly recommend that book. I knew before I read this book that this was a take on Jane Austen's novel, Sense and Sensibility, so I wanted to give it a chance and see how I'd like it. And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book! The author stays true to Austen's original tale, but twists it for the modern audience, which I enjoyed. The recipes in the book, the fun style of writing, and the sisterly love in this novel just made this book wonderful! I laughed, I cried, and I throughly enjoyed my time reading this book. I think everyone--especially fans of Austen--would throughly enjoy this novel as well. *****I received this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review. All thoughts are my own and are my honest opinion****
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  • Sandy Benitez
    June 14, 2017
    This was a sweet, modern take on the novel, Sense and Sensibility. The story begins in San Francisco, where the sisters live and where the two older sisters run a quaint tea salon in a victorian house. The third sister is much younger, a teen. New owners soon take over the building, increasing the rent to a price that the sisters can no longer afford to pay. So, they venture south to Austin, Texas to begin anew.During their short time in Austin, there is romance, a love triangle of sorts, traged This was a sweet, modern take on the novel, Sense and Sensibility. The story begins in San Francisco, where the sisters live and where the two older sisters run a quaint tea salon in a victorian house. The third sister is much younger, a teen. New owners soon take over the building, increasing the rent to a price that the sisters can no longer afford to pay. So, they venture south to Austin, Texas to begin anew.During their short time in Austin, there is romance, a love triangle of sorts, tragedy, heartache, but also resilience. The scenes I enjoyed most weren't actually the romantic scenes, but those of Jane as she talked about her tea making methods and the desserts she enjoyed conjuring up. I wish there were scenes depicting the new tea salon but those were only brought out near the end of the story and were scant. I do like how the author included actual recipes for tea, desserts, and other fare in the book. This reminded me of the Little Paris books by Nina George.I would recommend this book to readers of romance. I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.
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  • Piepie Beuttel
    June 14, 2017
    **Thank you to the author for my free copy!** I was honored to be part of your Facebook street team!I loved this book! It grew cuter and sweeter the more I read it. I loved the parallels between Celia, Jane, and Margot and Elinor and Marianne from Sense and Sensibility. This is a great book to read if you like tea, baking, barbecue, Texas, dogs, and all manner of great things. There is a lot of characters, yes, but these characters became real to me and I liked seeing them through both happy and **Thank you to the author for my free copy!** I was honored to be part of your Facebook street team!I loved this book! It grew cuter and sweeter the more I read it. I loved the parallels between Celia, Jane, and Margot and Elinor and Marianne from Sense and Sensibility. This is a great book to read if you like tea, baking, barbecue, Texas, dogs, and all manner of great things. There is a lot of characters, yes, but these characters became real to me and I liked seeing them through both happy and frustrating times. They went through pain, sadness, heartbreak, and failure from loved ones.And Callum... where do I begin? He was romantic, considerate, and just all-around wonderful! And Dash, the Great Dane, was fantastic!"Let's say good night so that tomorrow we can say hello."
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  • Aimee
    June 7, 2017
    I absolutely loved this book! I am a huge Jane Austen fan and I have been disappointed in the past by reading retellings of Austen's beloved books. I think Jane herself would approve of this one, it stays true to the original Sense and Sensibility but gives it a modern twist. The main characters, Jane, Celia, and Callum, are all likable and I enjoyed reading about all of them. I enjoyed the setting of Austin, Texas and I loved the cute quotes that started each chapter.My favorite parts were all I absolutely loved this book! I am a huge Jane Austen fan and I have been disappointed in the past by reading retellings of Austen's beloved books. I think Jane herself would approve of this one, it stays true to the original Sense and Sensibility but gives it a modern twist. The main characters, Jane, Celia, and Callum, are all likable and I enjoyed reading about all of them. I enjoyed the setting of Austin, Texas and I loved the cute quotes that started each chapter.My favorite parts were all of the wonderful descriptions of the tea and food that were described in the book. It even includes some wonderful recipes to try out. I love tea and so I really got into Jane's obsession with tea.This is a delightful read that is perfect for the Jane Austen fan or just anyone who enjoys a good love story.
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  • Savanah Lowder
    June 17, 2017
    I was so excited for this modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility. There is a lot to like about Jane of Austin, and there are some things I really didn’t love. I’m not quite sure how to wrap up my feelings? So I think it’s time for my first book review in the form of a pro/con list.Pros:The Re-tellingI love a good re-telling, especially when something I love gets remade into something more modern, and this aspect of the book I think is really fun. I thought the updated details were cute while I was so excited for this modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility. There is a lot to like about Jane of Austin, and there are some things I really didn’t love. I’m not quite sure how to wrap up my feelings? So I think it’s time for my first book review in the form of a pro/con list.Pros:The Re-tellingI love a good re-telling, especially when something I love gets remade into something more modern, and this aspect of the book I think is really fun. I thought the updated details were cute while paying homage to the original. For instance, rather than their father dying, he flees the country after having been caught up in a financial scandal. Instead of going on a trip to London with their new family, they go to South By Southwest (a music festival in Austin). It’s cute! And it stays very, very close to the original story. The only big difference being that in this, the girls own a tea shop, and move to Austin because they are evicted from the premises.The Tea ShopIt’s hard to explain how cute this is, because yeah, it’s a shop. But I fell in love with the shop, with the sister’s passion about it, and even though it was early on, I was devastated that they lost it. Their search for a new shop in Austin is a big part of the story, and you really fall in love with Jane’s (the Marianne character) idea of what it should be. She grows her own plants and makes her own tea blends, and they’re intensely in love with pastries, and you find yourself wrapped up in that while you read. Especially because at the end of some chapters, there are recipes! It’s so cute.The NarrationAlternates between being told from Jane’s point of view and Callum Beckett’s (the Colonel Brandon of the story). I didn’t expect to, but I found myself enjoying his chapters the best.Dash!Is a therapy dog with three legs. A therapist convinces Callum (who is missing half of one of his legs) to adopt him, and it’s amazing. Dash is a great character, and I love when a book has a family pet we actually give a crap about.Cons:The Re-tellingBut you just said you love the re-telling! I know, I’m sorry. I did. But when an old story gets a modern update, I expect a new story. I don’t mean I want them to stray from the original plot; I like how close this one is. I mean that I don’t want the new book to rest on the novelty of it. Maybe that’s unrealistic, considering a big strength of Jane of Austin is how much we like Sense and Sensibility. But I think it needs to appeal just as much to people who don’t love the original, and I don’t know that that is possible here. Mostly because ofThe CharactersI just… umm… I don’t know. I had a hard time, here. I really, really like Jane. She feels the most real and the most well-developed in every sense other than one, and it’s a big one, but we’ll get to that. She isn’t happy about their move, she is picky about their new shop, she is super passionate/particular about tea and her family, and she is altogether a real and relatable human. I had issues with every other major character, save their youngest sister Margot.Callum is a great guy, he really is. And we get to see just how much of a good man he is, since part of this is first person narration from him. But he’s just a little too great. Zero flaws, really. He’s a veteran and he takes care of absolutely everyone and there’s not a lot more to him. It’s nice, yeah, but it’s also exhausting and hard to believe. We need flaws. We need depth.The Various Love StoriesAnd then there’s fucking Sean. Now, okay. Sean is Willoughby, so we’re not supposed to like him. We know from the original story that he’s going to break Jane’s heart and leave a string of sad women behind him. I’m okay with all of that, because it’s a re-telling and that’s how that works. BUT. In this book, which has to stand on it’s own and not rest on novelty as I said previously, the love between Sean and Jane is not believable at all. We know Jane, we know she’s an intelligent, particular woman, and she falls in love with Sean based on nothing but good looks and musical talent. And I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. Now a lot is going on behind the scenes, here, it’s alluded to that Jane and Sean spend a lot more time together than we see. But we do see them together a fair amount, and we don’t see anything that great. Sure, their brief interactions are flirtatious and they obviously have physical attraction between them, but that’s honestly it. I didn’t care about Sean for even one second. What WOULD impress me is a re-telling that gets me to love the Sean/Willoughby character, so I actually give a shit when he’s gone.Because I don’t care about Sean, I cannot connect to Jane as she goes through her break-up and resultant depression and illness. If our narrator hurts, I need to hurt with her. And I didn’t here. I would even have preferred if I had hated the Sean character, because then I would have felt something. But I was offered a character that is neither likable or unlikable. He is bland and boring, and I felt nothing through a good portion of the book because of it.And then there’s Callum, the good-hearted Texan who picks up the pieces after Sean has abandoned not one, but two women close to Callum. He somehow falls in love with Jane, even though we see them together like… three times? And alone only once for about three minutes. I know he’s supposed to fall in love with Jane. I know Colonel Brandon falls in love with Marianne. But, again, (I know I’m a broken record here), this needs to stand alone, and the love Callum feels for Jane isn’t realistic, either. And it bothered me most because of this quote:“I hadn’t realized until that moment how much I knew her, that even from hundreds of feet away I could see the way she stood, the tilt of her head, and know her at once.”That quote is supposed to make us say aww. But I said uhh, what? Because we’ve barely even seen them together. How could he possibly know her this well?When Callum says he loves Jane, I’m not excited, I’m confused.I’d RecommendJane of Austin to anyone who likes the novelty of re-tellings and won’t pick the new one apart the way I did. It was a fun, easy read, and I mostly enjoyed it.Thanks to Blogging For Books for advance access to Jane of Austin in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Tonya Snodgrass
    June 24, 2017
    Jane of Austin follows the three Woodward sisters as their life is thrown out of control. Still grieving over the loss of their mother, they suffer through their father fleeing the country after his involvement in a scandal. In order to keep some continuity for their youngest sister Margot, Celia and Jane become her legal guardians. And to provide a livelihood, the two women decide to start a local tea salon. With Jane’s passion for tea and Celia’s business-savvy expertise, everything seems to b Jane of Austin follows the three Woodward sisters as their life is thrown out of control. Still grieving over the loss of their mother, they suffer through their father fleeing the country after his involvement in a scandal. In order to keep some continuity for their youngest sister Margot, Celia and Jane become her legal guardians. And to provide a livelihood, the two women decide to start a local tea salon. With Jane’s passion for tea and Celia’s business-savvy expertise, everything seems to be going well . . . until their landlords kick them out. Facing heartbreak, and completely out of other options, Celia sends desperate requests to contacts hoping to find a community that will support their exquisite tea and baked goods. When a cousin from Austin, Texas offers the sisters his guesthouse, they can’t help but accept.Moving to Texas seems like a good chance to start over, but when Celia and Jane can’t find properties worthy of their creativity, tensions rise. Everything takes longer than expected, and Celia and Jane begin to drift apart. Thankfully, Jane meets Sean - a member of a band, and a down home, good ol’ Texas gentlemen (equipped with a Stenson and everything!) But, she also catches the eye of Callum Beckett, a Marine turned civilian after an explosion in Afghanistan claimed his leg.Follow along as the Woodward sisters struggle to find their place in Texas and search for healing, all while hoping not to lose each other in the process.In her spin on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Hillary Manton Lodge will make you fall in love with her characters. You’ll be rooting for the Woodwards as they settle in their new home, and you’ll learn a lot about tea along the way!What I LikedJaneI adored Jane. Probably because I felt like I strangely connected with her personality. I’m not sure if I have ever read a more accurate description of my personality than when Callum describes Jane - “Single-minded, I think is more accurate. She cares about things, little things, more than anyone else might, but when she explains it she makes you care too, or at least see why she does. She won’t like someone - orsomething - becausee she’s supposed to, but when she does it’s with her whole self.”Jane’s a fighter and insanely passionate - about the things she’s passionate about. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sisters . . . or her tea plants. But she has a good heart that’s willing to sacrifice to ensure the happiness of those she loves.Sister RelationshipsI have two younger sisters, so I felt more sympathetic to the sister relationships described - the teasing, the bickering, the frustration, but also the genuine concern for one another. When the sisters first move to Texas, the guest house they are staying in has a bedroom with two bunkbeds and a single bed. The thoughts that go through Jane’s head echo conversations my sisters and I have had whenever we’ve been asked to share a room. However, they graciously offer the single bed to Celia, the oldest, which is a tad different than how it ends up in my experience.With both parents absent, Jane and Celia sign on as Margot’s legal parents (there’s quite an age gap). In spite of all the changes, Jane and Celia always put Margot’s education and passions at the forefront of their decisions. Through everything that happens, the girls fight for their relationship and what is best for them as a whole. I loved the selflessness that was shown, even amongst the arguing and bickering. Lodge did a great job of capturing the essence of sister interactions.Jane Austen ReferencesI absolutely love Jane Austen. She may not be my all-time favorite author (I’m more of a fantasy-type), but her books are ones that I cherish, and I appreciate the foundation she laid for female writers.Jane of Austin does a great job of mirroring the plot of Sense and Sensibility in an interesting and contemporary way. Many of the characters clearly reflect one another, both in personality and names. There’s even a dog named Dash (a nice nod to the original Dashwood sisters)!What I Didn't LikeThe only complaint I have toward Jane of Austin is the lack of description. Don’t get me wrong, Lodge did a great job of writing and telling you exactly what was happening, but I would’ve loved a little more - more showing, less telling. I especially think some scenes would have been stronger if there was more showing of emotion rather than just telling us someone felt a certain way.Closing ThoughtsA little romance, tension, and a few plot twist will keep you entertained through the entire novel. For Jane Austen fans, this spin on Sense and Sensibility as an Austen-esque style to it. Plus, it’s a quick read – perfect for summer!And it has recipes. So that’s an added bonus!
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