A double review today and we are very in tune over the greatness of this book. In fact, we recommend all of Lucy Parker’s books.
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.
Title : The Austen Playbook
Author : Lucy Parker
Format : eBook / eARC
Page Count : 400
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Carina Press
Release Date : April 22, 2019
Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .25 / ★ ★ ★ ★
Hollis’ 4.25 star review
The man looked like an assassin in a war film, and would be temperamentally suited to the part. He probably even orgasmed with a frosty stare into the middle distance.
I finished THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK with happy tears in my eyes. This book gave me all the feels. And all the lols, too. As usual I highlighted the crap out of this book.
She wanted to do productions that she wholeheartedly enjoyed, she wanted a passion outside of theatre, and really — she just wanted to be happy. She also wanted other people to be happy, and it often seemed to be an either/or choice.
Parker’s grumpy heroes are some of my favourite, and Griff is no exception, but we need to talk more about her real and charming heroines, too. Freddy was forking fabulous. But the added element of reality to the author’s romances (stretch marks, bad shower sex, just to name a few delightful examples) are what keep this grounded and balanced considering the London West End-style hijinks and drama that tend to ensue.
“According to London Celebrity, control freaks are at much greater risk for arthritis, impotence, and pattern baldness. Just so you know.“
“As long as you have a reliable source.”
This couple was so beautifully, wonderfully, honest. Their openness, their communication, the acceptance of their feelings.. it was just gorgeous. It made me happy, and fuzzy, and very swoony.
His tone conjured images of empty chocolate boxes, and the aftermath of a party, and missing the bus by thirty seconds, and all of life’s fleeing moments of gloom.
Set against a live-action whodunit Austen performance, there are reveals and betrayals and all sorts of excitement to be had. There was really nothing I didn’t love about this one but, as always, Parker includes some nastier characters in amongst the lovelier ones.. though I just about died when one of said nasties got a wooden phallus in the eye. Trust me, not only is it on brand for the story, it’s just what she deserves.
“For a man who grew up in a house with blowjob carvings on the library mantle, you’re very judgmental of other people’s decor.”
With each new addition to the London Celebrities series, it’s getting harder and harder to have a favourite couple because they are all so wonderful. Freddy and Griff are a great addition to this world and I hope to see them in some of Parker’s famous extras and, maybe, even in the background of book five? Hmm? Maybe?
“Calls me a contagious joy fairy when we’re alone in a dusty backroom. Compares me to a stagnant pond in a London newspaper. Timing, my friend. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Micky’s 4 star review
Delightful and witty with a great story to keep the reader fully engaged, THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK continued the series with the same quality of writing and development of characters that I have come to expect from Lucy Parker.
Book four took the setting outside of London to Grumpy Griff’s (Ford-Griffen) country seat. Griff was a TV/stage critic whilst managing the failing finances of his family’s home. Griff had thrown a few review punches at Freddy, the quirky heroine, in the past. Freddy was a breath of positive fresh air with some vulnerabilities hidden behind the ‘everything will be okay’ facade. I took to her immediately.
“He was frequently rude, definitely a Slytherin, and clearly viewed her as a sort of irritating insect who kept buzzing around his space, but there was something very reassuring about his solid warmth when she hurt.”
There was an interwoven backstory behind the main story of a play in the country. Freddy and Griff were thrown into each other’s paths and there was a persistent, bubbling chemistry between them. I had all the feelings when they were interacting, either with looks or banter.
“It was more than physical; it was a building and layering of a bond that went much deeper than that.”
As well as the clever backstory (which Parker conveys with ease), there were a literal cast of side characters, brothers, mean girls, fathers, colleagues and sisters. There is something about the acting world on stage that Lucy Parker translates so well to the reader. The English setting was spot on as always with dialogue, colloquialisms and contexts. The banter and dialogue were engaging. My only little niggle was the unstated dual POV, I loved the dual POV but had ‘who is this’ moments, however I did settle into it.
I can’t recommend this series enough and the best thing is they standalone, you can dip your toe into any of them and read out of order if that’s how you roll. Go discover Lucy Parker and you won’t regret it.
I voluntarily read an early copy of this book. Thank you Carina Press and Netgalley.