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Friday, August 30, 2013

AUSTENTATIOUS by Alyssa Goodnight | Audiobook Review

Alright, you guys have already got to eavesdrop as I sat down and chatted with not only Alyssa Goodnight, but also the book's stars, Nic and Sean. And you're probably already aware that you can win it, right now. If not, you should totally go do that, but not until AFTER you've heard what I have to say about
Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight
Get It | Add It
Contemporary, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Kensington
In this quirky, sexy novel set against the lively, music-filled backdrop of Austin, Texas, a young woman learns that romance can wreak havoc with even the best laid plans. . .
It started innocently enough. While browsing in one of Austin's funky little shops, Nicola James is intrigued by a blank vintage journal she finds hidden among a set of Jane Austen novels. Even though Nic is a straight-laced engineer, she's still a sucker for anything Austen-esque. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to disbelief once she starts writing in the journal--because somehow, it's writing her back. . .

Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance. Those twelve tiny words hit Nic like a thunderbolt, as if her diary was channeling Austen herself! Itching for a bit of excitement, Nic decides to follow her "Fairy Jane's" advice. The result: a red-hot romance with a sexy Scottish musician who charms his way into Nic's heart in about five seconds flat.

Sean MacInnes is warm, funny, and happens to think Nic is the most desirable woman he's ever met. But a guy like Sean doesn't exactly fit into her Life Plan. With no one but Fairy Jane to guide her, Nic must choose between the life she thought she wanted--and the kind of happy ending she never saw coming. . .

I listened to this one on audiobook, so you guys are actually going to get 2 reviews in 1, here: my thoughts on the story, and my thoughts on Janine Hegarty's narration of it. And I might as well just jump the gun and tell you I loved both. Okay, so yes, I may have made it pointless for you to read the rest of this review now, but I trust you'll stick around for my dazzling wit.
No? Unceasing charm?
Because you've got nothing else to do, and reading & commenting on this review earns you an extra entry in the Austentatious giveaway?
Ahh, there we go...

Now, as I was saying, I couldn't really help but love this. The only thing I was torn on was whether I wanted to experience the book on audio - those voices! That sly humor! - or on the typed page, where I could tab all the things I found funny. Which was basically all the things. I already knew I liked Goodnight's style from having read Austensibly Ordinary, but you never know if something's a one-off, or, since AO is the 2nd book, maybe she Goodnight had dramatically improved and the first one was...dramatically unimproved, or something. Basically, you never know. And with an audio, you also don't know how well the narrator is going to convey any humor that is there, or how well you'll connect to the narration style. Added to the fact that I just don't do audios often... it wouldn't be inaccurate to say I had reservations, especially once I began the book and the narrator sounded a little too "documentarian" for my tastes. This was only in the beginning, though, and it actually worked really well with Nic's character; it changed beautifully (but subtly) as the character loosened up, and I got a better sense of who Nic was as a result. It didn't take me long to decide the audio was worth my time, and by the first time Hegarty did a Brit accent, she had won me over. By the time she got around to doing a Scottish accent as well, I was thoroughly smitten. She conveyed emotion, humor and a number of personalities with ease, and I was always able to not only keep them straight but instantly recognize them. It was kinda fantastic.

I'm sure it helped that Hegarty had a very engaging story to narrate. There was lots of emotion, lots of humor, and just a shitload of personality. Excuse me, Janeites. How crass of me. It had a well-trimmed bonnet-ful of personality.
But seriously - Goodnight's style is personable and hilarious, and Hegarty conveys every drop of it. I was smiling so much while listening to this that my face hurt. My face actually hurt.
Listening to this while doing dishes? ---> Grinning like a loon in the kitchen window.---> Face hurts.
Listening while checking the mail? ---> Laughing out loud for no apparent reason. ---> Face hurts.
My neighbors had to have thought I'd lost my mind. But I don't even care,* Nic's combination of buttoned-up neuroses and Sean's casually-sexy prodding was delicious, and I ate up every minute of it. [I like Sean MacInnes. I want one.] I liked Nic and Sean together, I liked the side characters, I liked the romances and the magical realist aspect. I liked the style and I liked the narration, and I liked all the bursting-at-the-seams personality, and - there's really just nothing negative I have to say.

It was cute, it was charming, and it won me over just as easily as Austensibly Ordinary did. And hell, as much as I liked Cate from AO, I might like Nicola more, and that's saying something. When it comes to Sean or Ethan, though... Well, I'll just take one of each, please! ;)

*Who am I kidding, they already knew.

Click the pic to be taken to the Austen in August Main Page!
Thanks to faestock & inadesign for the images used to create this button.


  1. Yes, I would read your reviews for your wit and charm. Your feelings and analysis are very helpful too. (and that was free folks).

    For real, I haven't gotten into audio books yet, but this one sounds like it might make for a nice starter. Thanks!

  2. Yay! Thanks- as you said, the narration of an audiobook can make or break it (I'm struggling right now with listening to The Doctor's Wife, for that reason), and I'm so glad to hear this one is good. Thanks for letting us know!

    1. I have given up on audiobooks before it even started - got as far as the reading of the title and was like, NOPE, not doing that voice... lol

  3. You're no help - I cannot decide whether it's better to read the printed book or listen to the audio version. But you definitely have me wanting to know more about the story and characters!

  4. She really did do an amazing job with the narration! I was so impressed. :)


  5. I want to do both and I plan to get them soon!

  6. I'm a fan of Alyssa's descriptive, assured writing style.

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