My rating: (4.5 / 5)
Suspiciously Reserved takes on the tale of Jane Fairfax, the lovely and sweet orphaned girl from Jane Austen’s Emma, who gets shuffled a bit into the background in the initial tome. By setting the story in modern day Canada, the author makes the story accessible to a whole new audience and creates characters that anyone can relate to. The one – well not really a problem, more like a curious note – about this is that there were moments, particularly in dialogue, where I forgot that I wasn’t reading a regency era piece. Adkins is so skilled at picking up the style of speech and the writing style of authors like Austen that my brain drifted right back to the original now and then, only to be brought back to “reality* when I realized someone was emailing. Or playing on a Wii. Hah! It made it a fun read, and I really loved that aspect of it.
The romance in this novel is sweet, and while filled with tension and drama, it reads as natural and evolves in such a way that you feel your heart soaring – and sinking – along with Jane’s. There were times I wanted to hug Frank, and times I wanted to slug him. I was awfully emotionally involved in the story, as it really captured me. Because of that, maybe, I found the ending a little rushed. The number of typos and errors seemed to increase toward the ending as well, though there wasn’t a significant number for a self-published book (I caught maybe half a dozen through the whole book, with four in the last 15% or so). Overall, this is a fabulous read, whether or not you were a fan of Jane Austen’s Emma (who is a minor character in the book as well). Sweet, romantic and a nice getaway from a hectic life.