Friday, February 23, 2018

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict - Laurie Viera Rigler

Summary:  Jane Mansfield has long wished to escape the confines of life as a gentleman’s daughter in 1813 England.  But awakening in the urban madness of twenty-first-century L.A. – in the body of Courtney Stone – is not what she had in mind.  With no knowledge of Courtney’s life, let alone her world, Jane is in over her head.  What is Jane to make of carriages that run without horses, lights that glow without candles, and people who talk to the air while holding a small object against their ears?  Granted, she does enjoy the shiny glass box in which tiny people act out her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice.  And she savors her first taste of privacy, independence, even the chance to earn her own money.  But when Courtney’s romantic entanglements become her own, Jane realizes that the machines of the twenty-first century are much easier to master than its rules of love.  Can a girl from Regency England survive in a world in which flirting and kissing and even the sexual act raise no matrimonial expectations?  (Summary from book - image from

My Review:  Heads up.  This book is actually the sequel to Confessionsof a Jane Austen Addict which I reviewed a few weeks ago.   Feel free to read that review first if you’d like….but I really wouldn’t bother unless you feel like clicking to up our stats.   I didn’t much like that book, in part because it left a lot of loose ends, but was still curious as to whether this book was more of an extension of the story than a stand-alone sequel.  Only one way to find out (barring Google, of course), so, I read it.  

I have good news and bad news.  

The good news is that this book did answer more of my questions and tie up a few loose ends. It was, in some ways a continuation of the story begun in the first book, with the same main characters, different supporting characters, and a specific character that appears in both books at random times and doles out sage advice.  The bad news: ^^^^ I hated that character.  Like, please-evaporate-because-you-annoy-me kind of hate.  She was a come-and-go character, so I didn’t have to put up with her all the time, but my eyes would involuntarily skim whenever she showed up.  My eyes are picky like that.  They give annoying characters the cold-shoulder.

Now, Rude Awakenings wasn’t all bad.  I found that I enjoyed this book’s Austen-to-L.A. transition much more than I enjoyed the L.A.-to-Austen transition of the author’s last novel.  It was quite entertaining to watch Jane (now Courtney) react to modern conveniences that we take for granted (e.g. electricity, cell phones, cars, airplanes, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, movies, and refrigeration.  It was refreshing to see her delight at the freedoms women enjoy in today's society and the prospect of making her own choices.  

Part of the reason I disliked the last book so heartily is because I wanted more resolution to the real Courtney's story.  And some chemistry between the characters.  Thankfully, I got a little of both in this book, but it wasn't enough.   Eventually the awestruck amnesiac shtick got old and the story collapsed under its own weight.  It just didn't hold my interest.  Old became done and done became tedious and before long I was just mindlessly reading to get. to. the. end.   That is just no way to read.  Even if things do end ‘happily-ever-after’.  This series is going in my ‘donate’ pile.  May someone else find more happiness in them than I did.

My Rating:  2.25 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  A handful of swear words, some suggestive memories that surface, and some mild sexual situations.  

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