On IG, a fellow bookstagrammers started the “Austenatious Book Club” which features work by Jane Austen as well as Austen-inspired! For January’s read was the debut by Jennieke Cohen.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.
I love Austen and Austen-inspired fiction so this was a no-brainer. It had action right from the beginning and Vicky isn’t a typical female. She’s willing to work and get her hands dirty as well as reading novels and speaking her mind.
At the beginning, I thought all the novel references to beloved characters in Austen’s work was a little much. Its fine to somewhat copy Austen’s plots or characters but I don’t want to read about someone just wanting to be like a character without them doing anything because then I’d rather read Austen’s book. This did get better about a third of the way through.
Vicky has to marry to help save her family and she has to choose between two suitors-one who can give her everything and is parent approved, the other ghosted her five years ago and hasn’t tried to court her at all but the hope! And throw in danger in the course of a few weeks leads to a fun climax and its woven perfectly!
Can’t wait to read more work by Cohen! Perfect debut novel!
This was a 5 Star read for me. It perfectly set the tone of our book club as well as reading for the year.