(Austen Addict Book #1)
by Laurie Viera Rigler
Genre: Time-Travel Romance | Fantasy
After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy? Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperons, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience. This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however. There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all. But when Courtney’s borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues. Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to?
Jane Mansfield (aka Courtney Stone) hasn't been herself lately . . . literally. She wakes up one morning in a Jane Austen-style dream (she thinks!) and soon finds out that her new historic life appears a lot more realistic than she first thought. Now she's stuck in another person's body, living a life that's not her own, and beginning to share memories of a world she knows nothing of. What's a modern lady to do when she can't keep up her normal twenty-first century lifestyle?
There was a lot missing from the book that I would have enjoyed to read about, but overall it was a cute story. I'm a history buff myself, so all the daily troubles Jane/Courtney had to learn about throughout the tale wasn't anything new to me, but it was interesting watching her adapt. Strangely the book begins right when Jane/Courtney wakes up in her "new" world, which was a bit odd and confusing for the reader to understand just HOW? she got there. The tale wasn't written a 100% smoothly and there were gaps missing here and there; example: I would have liked to learn more about her dream within a dream with her reflection in the lake addressing her or I would have liked to see the main character have a harder time describing why she couldn't write, do needlework, or dance like her "old" self (personal traits). . . I feel the author took the easy way out. Plus, characters were kind of confusingly blending together from the past and present worlds, which really could have been some type of symbolism of Jane/Courtney's conscious, but again, never fully explained. Our protagonist's a little scattered brained sometimes and even comes off as adjusting to the whole time travel incident almost too easily. She doesn't appear to learn from her mistakes and doesn't really evolve as I enjoy seeing characters do throughout the book. Yet, there were funny parts that made me smile and it kept my attention throughout. I'm even curious enough to check out book #2 - Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict
Likes: I think I enjoyed the historical aspects to the story more than anything else; the daily habits, the courting rituals, and the whole style of life during 1813-1814 England.
Dislikes: I'm not sure if it was the simple writing style or the rambling on of Jane/Courtney's silly thoughts that caused me to, sadly, skip paragraphs when I got bored with the story. Not a good thing!