Review: Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

Lies Jane Austen Told Me (Proper Romance Contemporary)I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I picked this book other than its title intrigued me. I thought it was an ingenious twist for a contemporary story.

In Lies Jane Austen Told Me, Julie Wright introduces a modern “Emma”, who happens to be a successful marketing executive, and who’s never forgotten nor forgiven her mom’s abandonment when she was only 5 years old. Emma is angry because her love life isn’t close to the stories written by Jane Austen, that’s of course until she’s forced to decide between Blake and Lucas. Neither is Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley though.

The premise of the story is good. There’s quite a bit of humor in the dialogue, I found myself chuckling a few times. But there is just something about Emma that I couldn’t connect to. For being a hot shot, super clever marketing executive, she acts too childish/foolish at times, and so do Blake and Lucas. I thought, “Helloooo? It’s 2017, who acts like this nowadays?”

Then, the way Blake’s and Lucas’ parents welcome her into their home as though they’ve known her forever is over the top considering that she’s still a perfect stranger to them, regardless of how much Blake and Lucas talk about her.

Perhaps I missed the modern take on Jane Austen with this story; however, this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Though I didn’t care much for Emma, Blake, and Lucas, I loved Sylvia–Emma’s best friend. She is the voice of reason, and does she have the perfect comebacks every time? In my opinion, Sylvia is the most interesting character of the lot.

Lies Jane Austen Told Me Book Cover Lies Jane Austen Told Me
Julie Wright
Proper Romance

Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn't until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas's biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.