Leah Marie Brown comes to the blog today with the third in her Riches to Romance series, this one loosely based on Emma by Austen
Badly Done, Emma Lee
I think it must be a signature of Brown’s – to write characters that are self-absorbed and unusually naïve as to the ways of the real world, for the early pages of this book were eerily similar in feel for me to the one other title I’d read from this author. But, despite the Emma references (my least favorite Austen title) and the cheerleader-esque approach to life, this Emma Lee did have a heart, a sense of her place in the world and a true desire to make people feel better – like a cute little puppy turning circles and posing in ‘cute’ mode. It wasn’t a wearing sort of cute though: Emma Lee truly believes in her ability to make friends and be a flash of sunshine for others, seeing her friends finding happiness does truly make her shine, even as she is afraid of allowing anyone too close to her.
See, with her father’s death after losing her mother as a baby, and the subsequent loss of everything else to unpaid taxes, she’s moved from spoilt princess waiting for the next big thing to a young woman who must find her own way in the world, apart from her go-getting elder sisters and her friends. An unexpected bequest left her a house in the Cotswolds, and after her coup de grace of an engagement and wedding for one of her best friends, she believes that matchmaking is her particular gift – and taking her meager savings, a pair of shiny new red wellies and a suitcase full of hopes, she heads off to England to grab her dream.
In England, she is met by Kingsley, the son of her mother and aunt’s best friend, with his two younger brothers, stately home and abbey ruins, the people of the village: a germaphobe pharmacist and neighbor, the organic farmer with her half-sister, a model she doesn’t get on with, the candy shop owner and manager, a young woman with a Victorian obsession and a mother who is manipulating and dependent on her. Instantly believing she needs to match Kingsley and his brothers with women, and that she could be the spark that sees everyone matched out: she’s ignoring (or trying to ) the connection between she and Kingsley, and missing EVERY literary reference made from near everywhere. C’mon .. popsugar is the last thing she read? Fortunately her mother’s friend is able to share books, family secrets and hope with Emma Lee, and throughout the book Emma never really loses her ability to make people smile, even as she is horrible at matching. Lighthearted and quick to read, this was a wonderful fun and easy read that fit the bill for some quiet hours of entertainment and laughs with a unique, and ultimately sweet, character.
Title: Badly Done, Emma Lee
Author: Leah Marie Brown
Series: Riches to Romance #3
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Setting: Britain, Small Town, Southern
Published by: Lyrical Press
Published on: 30 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
All seemed lost—until this Southern belle embraced a new beginning in the unlikeliest of places . . .
Spoiled, stylish, socially connected Emma Lee Maxwell has spent her life in the idlest of pursuits—attending debutante balls, organizing sorority mixers, and acting as Charleston’s unofficial Gossip Queen. But when her family’s fortune suddenly dwindles, Emma Lee realizes her days as a Lowcountry Princess are numbered.
When she discovers that she’s inherited her aunt’s cottage in Surrey, she hightails it to England, nurturing fantasies of polo matches and jaunts to London. . . . Instead Emma Lee is surrounded by spinsters and sheep farmers, and spends her nights reading her aunt’s old Jane Austen novels. So when she’s invited to join the local chapter of the Austen society, she reluctantly agrees. But the novel Emma inspires an epiphany: She will put her people-pleasing ways to good use by becoming the village’s very own matchmaker! And she’ll start with three local brothers . . .
There’s just one skeptical, handsome, charming challenge: the oldest brother, Knightley, is stubbornly insisting Emma Lee abandon her well-meaning ways and focus on making a match of her own—with
him . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.