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April 01, 2012

Review: Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight - Juhina

Title: Austentatious
Author: Alyssa Goodnight

Publication date: February 1st, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre(s): Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 320
In this quirky, sexy novel set against the lively, music-filled backdrop of Austin, Texas, a young woman learns that romance can wreak havoc with even the best laid plans. . .
It started innocently enough. While browsing in one of Austin's funky little shops, Nicola James is intrigued by a blank vintage journal she finds hidden among a set of Jane Austen novels. Even though Nic is a straight-laced engineer, she's still a sucker for anything Austen-esque. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to disbelief once she starts writing in the journal--because somehow, it's writing her back. . .

Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance. Those twelve tiny words hit Nic like a thunderbolt, as if her diary was channeling Austen herself! Itching for a bit of excitement, Nic decides to follow her "Fairy Jane's" advice. The result: a red-hot romance with a sexy Scottish musician who charms his way into Nic's heart in about five seconds flat.

Sean MacInnes is warm, funny, and happens to think Nic is the most desirable woman he's ever met. But a guy like Sean doesn't exactly fit into her Life Plan. With no one but Fairy Jane to guide her, Nic must choose between the life she thought she wanted--and the kind of happy ending she never saw coming. . 
Anyone who knows me knows how I am a Jane Austen fan, specifically for her Pride and Prejudice novel; It is even my all time favorite movie and any book that has any relation to Jane Austen grabs my attention immediately! Austentatious, from its title, had me sold. Picture you finding an old journal at a used shop and then writing in it, normal right? then the next time you open it to write some more, you find a REPLY BACK to your journal entry! and by none other than the lovely Jane Austen herself! Would you be thrilled? I know I would! However, the protagonist, Nicola, is anything but thrilled. She is an engineer with a one mind track and that is to stick to her "Plan". The plan basically outlines Nicola's rise to the managerial position she always wanted and the type of man that Nicola 'can' fall for and date. 
When she meets the ever so hot Sean MacInnes in the most embarrassing of coincidences she can't seem to accept that maybe this is fate and that a musician CAN be compatible with an engineer. Throughout the whole book she has this tug of war with herself where one side tells her this courtship is set to fail because, well he's a musician! and the other side tell her that maybe, just maybe, the annoying advices she's been getting in the journal were the change she needed to amend her life plan. Now this is where I start to have problems with Nicola. I adored her from the beginning because she is an engineer, and I am an undergraduate chemical engineer which made me like her instantly! Do we have many female protagonists who kick butt in their profession? who aren't damsel's in distress? But then, she starts this whole 'I'm an engineer, I must date nerds like me' and 'how can a musician like ME? an ENGINEER?". This was the whole complication in the book; Nicola not feeling like she should date Ian because they're not compatible. See, I did enjoy her dilemma's, but they were strung for a bit too long and the ending felt a bit too rushed. She suddenly is hit by a realization that makes her decide. I just hoped she reached it sooner. 
I also liked how Alyssa showed the readers that even though you're an engineer, it doesn't mean you need to stick to that stereotype through Nicola's intern, Beck. She had magenta hair, a sparkly pink nose stud and a spunk attitude, basically the opposite of what a 'typical' engineer is. I would have loved if we had more pages with Beck and explored her side of the story, because in the book, she also snagged a nerd of her own. Overall, Austentatious was an enjoyable book, with a lost heroine that needed Jane Austen's guidance to find her own fairytale ending. Now the only question left to ask is: Can I please get my hands on that journal?
3 musical stars!


  1. Hi there :) just popping in... I totally agree with you I love reading anything that has a tie to Austen. Will add this to my TBR pile.

    Book Enslaved

  2. Ooh this sounds interesting. I have never come across this before! I'm glad you found it enjoyable overall despite a few problems. And I totally want to get my hands on that journal too! How cool would it be to have something like that? :)

  3. The cover captured my interest and then poof! I'm here! :D

    This book sounds like a good read and contemporary is my thing at the moment. Which means that I am totally going to check out this book!

    Thanks for sharing your review! :)

  4. This sounds so good! Jane Austen, music, comedy... what'd not to like!! Thanks for the awesome review!

  5. I usually hesitate when I see any Austen related modern books. I can't help but think it's cheesy (unless it's a liiiiittle bit like a re-telling, then okay). I totally understand what you mean-- when the story holds on to that one loose hinge of an argument that can easily be smoothed over! *sigh*

    Anyway, great review.

  6. Thanks for participating in the Standalone Challenge, but just so you know, the SARC is a Young Adult challenge. Adult novels do not count towards it. (sorry)

    1. oh my sister put the book! I was going to tell you to delete it from the list but i'm sure you already did. Sorry :)

      - juhina

  7. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good laugh, wants to find a new best friend in Nicola, has enjoyed the witticisms of Jane Austen, and would like to learn more about the best city in Texas. It is a wonderful read that immediately draws the reader in, and you can't help but fall into Nicola's world to find out what happens next. Do yourself a favor, read "Austentatious," and learn to believe in Magic!

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