The Austen Playbook

London Celebrities - Book 4

By Lucy Parker

Carina Press - May 2019

Contemporary Romance

Freddy Carlton knew which direction her career was supposed to go, but she had come to the realization that her manager father's opinion was quite different than her own. When the opportunity to work on a unique contemporary live tv show was offered, she quickly accepted. The legacy of her name had kept her from performing roles that she loved. She knew it, the critics knew it, and it was time she took her career in a new direction. The Austen Playbook was certain to be just the challenge and excitement that she wanted in her career. Equally exciting was learning that it would be filmed at a theater built for her grandmother. She just never anticipated that a critic who tended to see the worst of her performances would call Highbrook home.

James "Griff" Ford-Griffin had taken the mantle of containing the fires his parents and younger sibling set, but he feared they might still lose their heritage. His parents continued to spend as if there was an endless supply of money, and Charlie had just signed papers that could be a fiasco. A televised version of The Austen Playbook game, filmed live while the audience voted on what direction the show should follow. The actors would be required to learn all variations of each scene, and Griff would open Highbrook for the filming at The Henry Theatre on their property.

Griff well knew the scandalous history of The Henry. His grandfather, married at the time, had it built for a woman he'd been having an affair with. The woman went on to become a legend, playwright and actress. The following generations had followed in her career footsteps. He knew that Freddy had better potential than she had been showing in her recent performances, but he never realized just how spectacular a woman she was offstage as well. Together, Griff and Freddy look into their mutual family history, and learn that perhaps all criticisms aside, they make a perfect match for the future.

The Austen Playbook, the fourth story in Lucy Parker's London Celebrities series, is an absolute delight. I loved the mish mash of Austen characters, and not knowing who the audience would choose to be with whom. Which fan favorite, or villain, the votes would kill off. And since the cast didn't know, they had to plan for every outcome. Intertwined with the difficulty of learning the thick script, Freddy is dealing with family issues, and coming to realize that Griff isn't the gruff character his columns make him out to be. I loved everything, the romance, their investigation of their families' histories, the chaos of the cast and crew, and the suspense of how the play would end. The Austen Playbook does stand on its own.

Kathy Andrico -


FTC Disclaimer: I did receive a copy for review. However, this website only posts "good" reviews. If I cannot post a positive review, I notify whoever has provided me with the book/ARC/ebook.