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My Jane Austen Summer (2011)

The aptly named heroine of Cindy Jones' debut novel, Lily Berry, is a twenty-something Texan who is down on her luck and tired of the road she is taking through life. When her boyfriend breaks up with her and tells her she is "needy", Lily decides to head off to England to a Jane Austen literary festival where she is hired to fill an acting role. What she finds though is that your problems never truly leave you, even when you cross the ocean. For one thing, Lily is not a professional actress, which puts her at odds with Magda, the stage manager from hell. So Lily finds herself doing office work and reading the vampire novel of a priest in training during secret attic meetings. Willis is like no one she has ever met before. He just gets her - and that is something that can't be said for most men in her life. Yet it's complicated because he is not only about to become a priest, he is also engaged to a very prominent society woman. Though this is an intriguing debut, the ending was rather boring. There was so much more that could have been done or been said by these two characters, yet it wasn't. Overall, it's a great read, even if you aren't a fan of Jane Austen, but if you're looking for a sweet and sentimental story with a girl-gets-the guy type ending, this one isn't for you. (AS)

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