Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Austen Escape

GIVEAWAY
REAY, KATHERINE
THE AUSTEN ESCAPE

Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuninely enjoys her job and her colleagues -- particularly a certain adorable and intelligent counsultant. But something is missing. When Mary's estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen's Bath.While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversations, work out their lives and hearts.

My Review:

An entertaining romp through all things Austen. If you're a Jane fan you will be in full swoon mode by the halfway point in this novel. If you're not a Jane fan, you will still be swooning because Nathan thrills Mary with an 'odd sense of excitement-meets-comfort' (p 34) that keeps her (and readers) in a discombobulated state.

Mary is quirkily scientific and trying to keep up with her clever and crazy mind is...delightfully confusing at times. Nathan is a solid hero who isn't sure how to read the mixed messages Mary is giving out. Have to give him bonus points for persevering to the bitter end!

The whole notion of an authentic Austen getaway complete with costumes and role playing is quite intriguing and crazy fun to read about. But this isn't just a lighthearted love story -- though there is some of that. This is also a complicated look at past and present and the human need to escape when reality becomes too much to handle.

The only thing missing (for me, anyway) is the absence of an inspirational thread and since The Austen Escape is published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher, I was hoping for one. Still, a great story, enjoyable read but more of a mass market novel than Christian Fiction genre.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Austen Escape, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 28 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

40 comments:

  1. I've been conflicted as to whether I'd like these books or not (there are several if I'm correct). I've not watched or read any Jane Austin books, and while I do love Regency, also wondered if there was an inspirational theme in them. I know I can easily borrow them from my library, but there are other books with the inspirational thread I so love in them that I am willing to forfeit this one.

    I always love your honest reviews Kav and letting us know of spiritual content or lack thereof. It helps me determine which books to add to my want-to-read list and which I could easily skip and not feel like I'm missing out :-)

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    1. I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan (gasp! -- did I just say that out loud?) I'm most familiar with Pride and Prejudice -- have read it a number of times and watched copious movie versions. Have never been fond of Emma but I did enjoy Sense and Sensibility -- ironically the movie more than the book (insert another horrified gasp here) -- all that to say that I wasn't familiar with all of the Austen references in this book but it didn't hold me back from enjoying it.

      The lack of inspirational thread was disappointing though not unexpected given the publisher. I've stopped purchasing Thomas Nelson books unless it's a book by an author I know will deliver an inspirational thread. I get them from the library instead. My one woman financial protest to Christian publishing without the Christian part. lol

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    2. Kav, you aren't alone! I'm not very familiar with Jane Austen or Sense and Sensibility or even Pride and Prejudice. Having never read the books or watched the movies, so I'm sure the references would go over my head, thus spoiling my full enjoyment of the story. Not that I couldn't look past that, but I'd feel like I was missing bits and pieces.

      And the other factor for me, I have made the commitment to myself to stick with Christian fiction or a any story that heavily portrays a Christian world view, ideas or mindset in the characters. Because my walk with Christ is everything to me and I want to please Him in all things. What I read, what I watch, what I hear and who I listen to in my own life. If a book can't feed my spiritual life, then I don't need to be reading it. I get there are "clean" reads our there with no sexual references or bad language in it's content, but it lacks substance without a spiritual thread for me. I need to be feed and not just entertained in a story. I know that may sound rather picky, but if Jesus was sitting next to me (and He technically is), would I feel embarrassed with my choice of reading material? Or would He find Himself mentioned in there?

      Thirdly, there are plenty of good quality Christian books for me to choose from that I CAN be picky :-) I call it being smartly selective!

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    3. Yes -- I'm yearning for that same substance too. And, as you say, there are so many faith-filled books out there that we can afford to be picky. :-)

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  2. These sound good to me though I haven't read any of the real Austen books. Thanks for the chance to win.
    iamabho AT gmail DOT com

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    1. I think you can get the Austen stuff without being familiar with the stories. There were some references I didn't get in an Austen sense but totally understood as far as the story goes. And Reay explains the Austen characters mentioned so readers aren't lost. Good luck, Linda.

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    2. Oh Good I'll have to check these out
      Thank You

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  3. I've been wanting to read Austen Escape! Kav, thank you for the great review and the chance to win a copy.
    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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    1. Here's your chance. Good luck, Caryl.

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  4. I am intrigued by this one, Kav. Thank you for sharing! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie. Good luck.

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  5. I loved this author's first book but I haven't read any since. This one looks good though!
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read more of Katherine Reay's books. Good luck, Abbi.

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  6. I saw Katherine on the Christy Facebook live party and made a note that I needed to try her books. So, this sounds entertaining but a bit surprising. Enjoyed your and Trixi's comments. And I tend to do my own "one person boycotts", too!

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    1. Thanks CC! I know not everyone has the same convictions as me and it's perfectly fine :-) Sad too, in a way, because I know there are a vast number of great reads that don't have a spiritual theme and are just as good and I probably would enjoy. I just don't feel I'm missing out on anything by sticking to my choices :-)

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    2. I don't want to discourage anyone from reading Katherine Reay's books -- I just felt like I needed to comment regarding the lack of a faith thread since I'm a heartfelt promoter of Christian Fiction. This author writes intriguing stories full of heart and the messiness of real life and I've enjoyed other books by her -- which I felt were more inspirational, though in a subtle way and that's fine by me. I don't need fire and brimstone preaching but I do want a connection to God in the stories I read. Like Trixi says -- it's all left to individual taste and comfort levels.

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  7. I am the same as you - never read the books *gasp* but have watched and enjoy the movies. I want this one because I have hard copies of all the others and would love having a full set. I do love your honest reviews, though, and your conversation with Trixi is the kind of conversations I like having about books. Thanks for your daily posts!
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. LOL Susan! I think Kav and I share many of the same convictions and choices in reading material. :-) I'm glad we each have our own "tastes" in reading and that there are so many varieties of stories & authors to keep each of us feed!

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    2. I think I have read all but one of Katherine Reay's books so I am a fan. I would just love a heads up before I start reading if it's a clean read instead of an inspirational one when the book is published by a Christian publisher. I think they should just make a 'clean' imprint or if they want to go more mainstream make an inspirational imprint so readers know what to expect.

      Glad you're enjoying the reviews and the book chats. Susan. Hope you get you complete the set! Good luck!

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  8. I’ve been wanting to read this book. Katherine Reay writes captivating stories. Her previous book, The Portrait of Emily Price, lacked the faith aspect but I still enjoyed it immensely.

    mindyhoung AT msn DOT com

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    1. Yes, she's a great author and I enjoyed The Portrait of Emily Price as well -- that one was an emotional sucker-puncher. lol Good luck, Mindy.

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  9. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books I have read by Katherine Reay and would love to win a copy of this one. It sounds like another delightful read. Thanks for the giveaway! 😊
    gobersATembarqmailDOTcom

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    1. You're welcome, VanG. Good luck.

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  10. On my TBR pile, but just haven’t picked it up yet. Good luck ladies.

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  11. I read and enjoyed Dear Mr. Knightely. It was unique. I’d like to check this one out . Thanks for the honest review. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    1. Yes, I liked Dear Mr. Knightly too -- Daddy-Long-Legs was one of my favourite books when I was a kid and I loved how she patterned Dear Mr. Knightley after it. Good luck, Paula.

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  12. I'm swooning already! ;)

    Many Blessings,
    Amada amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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    1. And rightly so. Swooning in anticipation is just as much fun as swooning in actuality. :-) Good luck, Amada.

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    2. So true, so true! ;)

      Thank you! :)

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  13. It does sound good. We can always use some good swooning. :)
    -Not entering just interested in your take. I haven't read this one yet, but have the ebook. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It makes me want to hunt down an Austen Escape holiday even though I'd be lost over most things. lol

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  14. Jane Austen is my favorite author (named my daughter after one of her characters). I like the way Katherine Reay puts an Austen twist on her novels. I haven't read The Austen Escape yet though!

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    1. Oh, you definitely want to read this book then, Dianna. You will be in your element. Good luck!

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  15. I've loved all of Katherine's books so far! I can't wait to read The Austen Escape next! mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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  16. I have only read one of her books but enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the giveaway!!!

    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Diane. Good luck.

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  17. I have read a couple of Katherine Reay's books, haven't read this one yet.

    ladysnowangelphotos(at)gmail(dot)com

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