What is girl to do when two ghosts, Mina and Dierdre, interfere with her life but ask what would Jane Austen do?
Eleanor Pottinger is a costume designer who has kicked out her fiancé for cheating on her. She has arrived in England for the Jane Austen festival, of whom she has a great fascination, only to discover there is no room at the hotel. The young niece of the owner discovers the mistake and puts Eleanor in a tower room that holds the two ghosts. The ghosts discuss if Eleanor is the one to help them and the next morning Eleanor finds herself back in Jane Austen’s time – the Regency.
When Eleanor wakes the next morning, she thinks that the organising committee has gone overboard in their preparations but is prepared to take on the role assigned her. She eventually does realize she is back in time and tries to make the best of the situation. Eleanor also remembers that she has a job to do to get back to her own time. Nothing prepares her for the enigmatic Lord Shermont and a meeting with Jane Austen.
Lord James Shermont has a mysterious past. He was found on the road and taken in by the local aristocratic family and claimed as their own. This adds to his mysterious reputation but does not dispel the attempts by the unmarried ladies to attract his attention. When Shermont is with Eleanor he discusses his past and she realizes that he might also be a time traveller. Shermont himself does not realize this but there are fragments of odd moments in his memory that he does not understand, especially when he tells Eleanor that he introduced himself as James Bond to the family.
As with all stories involving Jane Austen or any of her beloved characters, the author treads a very fine line between having the reader enjoy the story or disliking what the author has done to those characters. In this story, it is the use of Jane Austen herself which might attract the comment. But as avid Jane Austen fans know she was very circumspect when she was alive and she is also in this story. Eleanor is the asking herself “What would Jane Austen do?” when she finds herself in a situation that calls for either wit or a solution to a problem.
The story does revolve mainly around Eleanor and Shermont and their attraction to each other. The characters from modern day in the Regency era were in keeping with how a reader might expect them to act, a little disoriented, unsure but going with the flow to ensure they do not look too out of place in the time period. The characters, especially Eleanor, did not whine about the lack of facilities, although at one time she did think about the things she was missing but only when she a toothache. Both of the characters, Eleanor and Shermont, were suited to each other. Eleanor receives her just reward at the end of the story.