Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Blame it on the Brontes by Annie Sereno

She’s going to write her own happy ending.

English professor Athena Murphy is an authority on the novels of the Brontë sisters. But as they say in academia, publish or perish. To save her job, Athena decides to write a biography of C.L. Garland, the author heating up bestseller lists with spicy retellings of classic literature. Tracking down the reclusive writer and uncovering her secret identity, though, means Athena must return to her small midwestern hometown where Garland—and her ex-boyfriend, Thorne Kent—live.

Seeing Thorne again reminds Athena that real life never lives up to fiction. He was the Heathcliff to her Catherine, the Mr. Rochester to her Jane. Not only did their college breakup shatter that illusion, but they also broke each other’s hearts again a second time. Now she has to see him nearly every...single…day.

The only solution is to find C.L. Garland as quickly as possible, write the book, and get the heck out of town. As her deadline looms and the list of potential C.L. Garlands dwindles, Athena and Thorne bicker and banter their way back to friendship. Could it really be true that the third time’s a charm?

Athena and Thorne have a love story only a Brontë could write, and the chance for their own happily-ever-after, but first, they’ll need to forgive the mistakes of the past.

Publisher: Forever |  Genre: Contemporary Romance  | Source: Publisher | Rating: 2 Cups

Publish or perish, Athena knows she needs to come up with something good to save her career and she knows exactly what it has to be: Uncovering the identity of C.L. Garland a bestselling author who writes saucy retellings of the classics. While she thinks it’s going to be an easy task, seeing as the author is rumored to be living in her hometown, the unexpected surprise of her ex owning the café she’ll be working at has made things extremely complicated.


Okay, to be honest, I was there for the title. I’m a massive fan of the Brontë sisters and this title just called to me. I tried the audio version, which the publisher kindly sent me, and couldn’t handle the narrator’s portrayal of Athena. So I switched to the print book and, turns out, it was not the narrator, it was Athena. She was annoying and made the book unbearable. Normally the mystery aspect of a book will allow me to carry on even though the characters aren’t my cup of tea but, yeah, I figured this one out in under 60 seconds.


This was almost a DNF for me and, honestly, a 2-Cup rating feels like I’m being exceedingly generous, but I ended up finishing the book because I was interested in the Brontë references. And the only thing I liked about Athena was that she liked Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff.


Overall, I feel like the only thing that’s selling this book is the Brontë references. The writing was weak and awkward at times, the characters had little to no chemistry, the mystery was nonexistent, and I’m struggling to figure out why this was labeled as a rom-com. 

No comments: