Love is a Battlefield by Tamara Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.
Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.
Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.
Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants...and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.
It was a really cute read, but I don't know if it impressed me enough to have me keep reading the series. I originally decided to read it when I saw that Kate is a member of a Jane Austen Regency Reenactment Society. Or JARRS!Product Warnings: The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.
That being said there was just something about the story that didn't work for me and I can't even really put my finger on what it was, but there was just "something". I feel like the problems the characters kept facing could have easily been solved with simple conversations, I tend to like when things are harder to solve and they really have to work at overcoming their problems.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: Jane Austen’s beloved Sense and Sensibility has moved to Westport, Connecticut, in this enchanting modern-day homage to the classic novel.In Schine’s story, sisters Miranda, an impulsive but successful literary agent, and Annie, a pragmatic library director, quite unexpectedly find themselves the middle-aged products of a broken home. Dumped by her husband of nearly fifty years and then exiled from their elegant New York apartment by his mistress, Betty is forced to move to a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. Joining her are Miranda and Annie, who dutifully comes along to keep an eye on her capricious mother and sister. As the sisters mingle with the suburban aristocracy, love starts to blossom for both of them, and they find themselves struggling with the dueling demands of reason and romance.
I'll admit, I cheated. Since I was listening to this, I sought out reviews with spoilers so I could see where the story was heading because the first disc interested me, but I didn't know if I wanted to keep listening. After reading the review with spoilers, I kept listening and I'm happy I did, this was a refreshing adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.
I'll also admit that Sense and Sensibility is my least favorite Jane Austen work, I've read it once and will probably never force myself to read it again. So when I saw in the spoiler reviews that the plot doesn't perfectly follow Jane's tale, I knew it would be worth my time to finish listening to this story.
There were so many things that reflected Jane's original work, yet changed them so they fit in with her (Schine) story. She changes up characters but has the fit perfectly into the rolls they are supposed to play that you can't help but just go along for the delightful ride this story turns out to be!
CLICK HERE FOR FULL REVIEW WITH SPOILERS
The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman by Lori Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As with any interpretation of an author's work, Lori Smith uses what we know about Jane from her letters and those of her family to advise us on how Jane might advise us to live our lives. She uses examples from the books and it makes a nice little, light advice book.Goodreads Summary: The Jane Austen Guide to Life playfully and poignantly examines Austen's life and novels for the timeless advice that still applies for today's women. Austen may not understand texting or tweeting or platform heels, but as an astute student of human nature, she can surely teach us an awful lot about ourselves--and we might just be surprised by what she has to say.
I have had one little problem with the book and it's kind of had me question some other information in the book. Lori Smith writes "Compared to Austen, we are a generation of hopeless romantics, just waiting to catch sight of the right person and fall head over heels into lifelong happiness. We may be surprised -- Austen wouldn't have any of that. Actually, she doesn't give us any successful stories of love at first sight. (45)" I think that's wrong, I think Jane and Bingley were a successful love at first sight relationship, and through a discussion on Facebook (CNJ-JASNA) we think there are more.
That being said, there was a lot of nice information and ideas that we could think about incorporating into our lives.
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