March 2024
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Review: What Would Jane Austen Do?, Laurie Brown

Not only has her fiance dumped her, but when Eleanor Pottinger gets to her hotel in England for a Jane Austen festival, she has no reservation.  She’s given a tower which is reputedly haunted.  Much to Eleanor’s dismay, the tower deserves its reputation, and in the middle of the night she encounters sisters Deirdre and Mina, ghosts who send her back in time to ensure that one of them is not compromised so that their brother will not be killed in a duel.  Not only must Eleanor contend with strange conversation, dancing, and dining, but she must figure out who is the villain, and then avoid falling in love with him.  Her only solace?  Asking herself what Jane Austen would do, and more so, meeting her idol!

I’m not sure I so much expected straight romance from this, but I didn’t mind that it was a major part of the book.  This is especially so since I really liked the frame story.  Eleanor is a fantastic, funny character who has had her confidence knocked out from under her.  She spends a lot of the story getting it back, as well as falling in love with dastardly man who supposedly compromises one of the sisters.  She learns pretty quickly that things are NOT what they seem.  She only has a few interactions with Jane Austen, but the theme of Austen’s advice is woven through the story fairly effectively.

One thing I didn’t particularly like, and I feel a little nitpicky for this, as I always am, was Eleanor’s obviously 21st century thoughts mixed in with all the Regency stuff.  Calling Sherborne “yummy” was slightly disconcerting!  Clearly women call attractive men yummy in this day and age, but it felt weird in the parts which felt like they were from a historical romance.  Honestly, I don’t even know if that should bother me, and I probably needed the reminder that Eleanor is from the future!  I also felt there was a little too much physical expression of said love story for my taste, but again, that is just my taste.  I didn’t find it unbelievable, which is usually the case with romances like that, since there is enough character going on here to make me feel they were drawn to each other, but could have done with a little less.

Regardless, this book is a lot of fun.  It is very sweet.  I loved watching Eleanor adjust and get her confidence back.  I loved the interactions with Jane Austen and how the story of the necklace and the time traveling parts went full circle.  The ending was adorable.  I have to say, I’d really recommend this, although I’d probably warn a non-romance reader.  It’s still so much fun and has a lot of appeal for those who like Jane Austen, chick lit, and really any quick, sweet read!

Buy What Would Jane Austen Do? on Amazon.


11 comments to Review: What Would Jane Austen Do?, Laurie Brown

  • Mog

    I agree with you ; modern thoughts don’t mix with period settings.

    Mog’s last blog post..Poem in my pocket.

  • I’m always taken aback when I see modern language in historical books. It always sends me on a mad search for the origin of a phrase because I just have to be sure that men were not being described as “yummy” in the regency period, or whatever the example.

    Nicole’s last blog post..The Little Book on Meaning, by Laura Berman Fortgang

  • Meghan

    It’s nitpicky because Eleanor is sent back in time – it’s perfectly valid for her to have those thoughts since she is a modern woman. It just felt weird to me!

  • I can see why the modern language (even if appropriate) would be jarring. I have this on my wish list. Hummm, I may look for it in audio.

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  • Meghan, I wanted to let you know I gave you an award over on my blog.

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  • I liked this too, but you are right about the sex. A bit graphic towards the end (somehow the scenes seemed to get more descriptive as you went on).

    Carey’s last blog post..Review & Giveaway: Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland

  • Laurie Brown

    Thank you for the lovely review.

    You guys picked right up on something I struggled with when I was writing this book. Do I have Eleanor emmerse herself so much in the Regency that she even starts to think like someone from that time period? Or do I retain her essential ‘modern-ness’ by keeping her internal thoughts those of a 21st century woman. In my previous time travel, Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake, the heroine has a different experience and her ‘memory’ of the future fades the longer she stays back in the Regency. For this book, I consciously chose the latter because of the ending I had planned. I wanted the heroine to realize she was a modern woman, and even though the Regency was a nice place to visit, she wouldn’t have been truly happy living there/then.

    I do hope the modern words didn’t take you out of the story.

  • This book sounds cute! Thanks for the review.

  • Enid Wilson

    Does Eleanor take Jane Austen’s advice as a woman from the era, a romance writer or a woman crossed in love?

    Enid from Steamy Darcy

    • Laurie Brown

      Eleanor gets ‘advice’ on surviving the different social situations from the works of Jane Austen. For example when trying to diffuse an awkward situation, she remembers Knightly’s advice to Emma after she’d behaved badly at the picnic. Eleanor is familiar with the stories and uses the words/actions of the characters as models to follow.

      I hope that answers your queston. Thank you for your interest.