First let me say I picked this up in a charity shop and after a brief perusal thought it would be good for a bit of fun a titillation. I was disappointed.
The book starts off well enough the fictional Austen admirer discovers secret letters while on a visit to a stately home in England. The letters she claims to have found hold the secret sex scenes Austen was forced to omit from her greatest works, there is even the foreword from the fictional Austen expert to make the book look more authentic. And then we get to the letters themselves.
This is where the book goes down hill. While I am sure the fictional letters contain scenes which may have caused a stir in Austen’s day by todays standards to say they are tame is an understatement. I have seen far more graphic depictions of sexual acts in the horror books my daughter reads which she complains she has to buy in the young adults section. It would also be fair to say given some of the details in Gothic novels of the time (think The Monk and The Castle of Oranto) then some these scenes would probably not have even been cut although possibly published under a male name.
And then the author does something unforgivable infact I decided to deduct a whole star on good reads just for this. She has her fictional Austen spell tease with a Z! I mean please if you are going to parody one of the greatest writers of all time at least keep the style right.
This book had the potential to be a real page turner, instead I have to be honest if you see it at a charity shop and have an hour to kill in a pleasant way then fair enough but would I recommend going out of the way to buy it nope sorry. It is like expecting to climb into a steamy sauna only to find yourself sitting in a lukewarm bath. I gave it 3 out of 5 on goodreads only because couldn’t give it 2.5 and I did like the idea.