Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway

Series:Jane Austen Takes the South #2
Published by:Howard Books
Publication date:7/8/2014
Format:Digital Review Copy


Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fascinating, charismatic young man on the cusp of a brand new industry, she ignores Brooks' misgivings and throws herself into the project. 

Brooks struggles to reconcile his parent's very bitter marriage with his father's devastating grief at the recent loss of his wife. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of his family life. She's a friend and he's perfectly happy to keep her safely in that category. Marriage isn't for men like Brooks and they both know it until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back? 

Featuring a colorful cast of southern belles, Civil War re-enactors, and good Christian women with spunk to spare, Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs brings the modern American South to light in a way only a contemporary Jane Austen could have imagined.

My Thoughts

Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway is a modern retelling of Miss Jane Austen's Emma. I do really enjoy reading retellings because you get to see some of the many different possibilities that a really good story can take under a different author. I tend not to read romance books besides Miss Austen's works, but I'm glad that I picked up this one. I am not an overly emotional person, at least that's what I tell myself. However, I felt warm and gooey inside when Caroline and Brooks, both so utterly clueless, just stumble and crash into walls on their way from best friends to something more. Just super cute, but not in that sickeningly, gagging type way, basically I didn't almost throw up from all the gushing. A very clean cut read, no over sexualization, just a good old romance, that I think even Jane herself would have approved of propriety wise. Caroline and Brooks' romance is very subtle and refreshingly absent is foul language and over complicated relationship issues. I would recommend it to anyone that loves a cute romance that blossoms out of years of friendship, however if you are looking for a tear off each others clothes type of romance this book is not the book for you. There is also two recipes in the back to try out and that lead me to thinking a lot about how Miss Austen would feel about chili-slaw dogs? Do you think she'd be horrified by them or love them? I personally like my hot dogs on a pretzel roll smothered in liquid cheese, but I see a chili-slaw dog tasting in my future. I have a feeling it will be divine!

Thanks for coming by,

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