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Jane of Austin ~ Review

Jane of Austin
A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility
By Hillary Manton Lodge

If you are looking for a modern twist on Jane Austen look no further than Jane of Austin which is a delightful mix of classic Austen and modern living. And this fun excursion has a move from California to Texas as Sense and Sensibility gets a modern day update.

The Woodward sisters Celia, Jane, and Margot are on their own - their mother died years ago and their father has left them to their own devices after he was caught up in a scandal involving finances that weren't his own. And the Woodward sisters are still dealing with the scandal of being associated with their father.

Celia had every hope of marriage to a man she was in love with when suddenly everything was off. Jane and Margot can't figure out what happened, especially as Ted seemed like a perfect part of their family already.

And the tea shop run by Celia and Jane is a popular endeavor that is doing better every day. But when the property changes hands Valencia Street Teas is in need of a new home.

All these changes prompt a move from the California Bay area to Austin Texas thanks to the generosity of a cousin. Ian Vandermeide offers his young cousins a chance to make a new home for themselves and their business while providing lodging in his guesthouse.

But Jane's misgivings soon evaporate when the handsome and dashing Sean Willis comes to her assistance and proceeds to sweep off her feet. (Marianne Dashwood would highly approve, I'm sure)

Also, lodging with Ian is Callum Beckett, a man who is suffering from a multitude of losses. Callum has lost his father, brother, and his military career (due to his injury) - all of which have brought him back home to Texas. But Callum isn't one to let his loss define him and he is determined to move past the pain. Something about Jane that catches his eye - unfortunately, she seems drawn to Sean and Callum knows that his injury would have kept him from coming to Janes aid if he had been the one to come across her in need.

But in true Austen fashion, there are twists along the way that reveal that first impressions aren't always reliable. And the end result is a satisfying one that will leave the reader in appreciation of the author's ability to combine an Austen classic with the modern world. It is fun to pick out lines and phrases that are straight from Jane Austen's work.  And as an added bonus as you read there are fun recipes to try (scones, cakes, tea, and Frito pie!!) Get ready for some tea reading fun with this delightful book (Be sure you have a pot of tea ready to pour as you make your way through this book)

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher through Blogging for Books with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience  
or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” 
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just 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.

About the Author:

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA best-selling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon.

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