Book Review: The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

Hello, readers! I hope today is treating you well.

The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker

April 22, 2019 from Carina Press

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

The audiobook. The voice actor Billie Fulford-Brown does a great job of performing the characters’ voices.

It’s entertaining and fast-paced. So much happens. Much like in the Austen-inspired play the heroine Freddy and the other actors perform in the book, there are twists and turns and action. Much more in the way of action than I expected.

The complex relationships among family members. Please see above about twists and turns.

Freddy! The heroine is determined and relentless, even when crap hits the fan and/or things get rough for her.

Grumpy hero is grumpy. Freddy refers to the hero Griff as Lucius Malfoy in the beginning of the book, which I found charming. Griff reminds me of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Of course, there’s a gentle, loyal, and loving man beneath all that grump.

Initially, I wanted to skip this part because I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about The Austen Playbook.

Maybe the lack of direct conflict between Griff and Freddy in the latter half of the story is one thing I can nitpick. The quick resolution of the scruples each of them have about being together and the quickness of their getting past each other’s mistakes; however, line up with their characters. Especially after each of them undergoes their own growth.

5 stars

Seeing as how I re-listened to the last three chapters and epilogue of the audiobook right after finishing, I think it would be remiss of me to give this anything but 5 stars. (I rarely reread.) Also, my initial rating on Goodreads was 4 stars, and, upon reflection, I realized 4 didn’t cover how much I like–nay, love–this book. 

Highly recommended. And if you like to listen to audiobooks, definitely check it out. I found the copy I listened to on Hoopla.

Have you read The Austen Playbook? What did you think?

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