BOOK CLUB: On The Same Page

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Author: Penelope Janu
ISBN: 9781925589474
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: December 2018
Publisher: XO Romance
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

I loved this book for a lot of reasons but I think the main thing I loved about it was the spotlight Janu shines on the validity of the romance genre. It has long been known that many people turn their noses up at the genre, they demean the literary merit and refuse to take it seriously. These are attitudes that romance authors the world over have to face on a daily basis, even though the genre is bestselling and makes millions of fans happy. I LOVE that Janu has woven this into her story as an integral part of the narrative.

Penelope Janu is an emerging author with two novels published by Harlequin Mira, both of which I reviewed and loved. On The Same Page is the winner of the XO Romance Prize for 2017 and deservedly so.

Miles Franklin, named for the famous author, is the only child of two highly successful serious authors. She is a successful lawyer representing a range of authors, mainly from the romance genre. Miles Franklin is also the mind behind the historical romance writer Emma Browning.

Emma is quite a closely guarded secret so Miles is less than thrilled when her PA, and best friend, enters her into the prestigious Stapleton Prize. Miles is convinced Emma couldn’t possibly win, even though she made the shortlist, but she is still pretty panicky. The Stapleton winner will be published by Iconic International and it’s CEO is determined to meet the author.

Lars Kristensen is the scrupulously honest CEO of Iconic International determined to share with the world the true identity of Emma Browning. He is definite romantic hero material, even if he is determined to tear down the world that Miles built. In this battle of wills who will end up on top?

Janu has created some vibrantly complex characters and Miles is just an amazing young woman. Historical fiction has called to her since her early adolescence and the derision of her parents saw the creation of Emma Browning and she has become an integral part of Miles, a piece she is fiercely protective of.

Emma Browning has also created some complex and admirable characters, women of strength and independence who refuse to bow to what society expects of them and who refuse to compromise their sense of self for a man though a happily ever after is always in their future.

Janu explores the way in which Emma is an extension of Miles; the part of her that believes in happily ever after, that is kind and considerate and even nicer to Pippy than Miles is.

On The Same Page is an entertaining read with some laugh out loud moments but it also has its fair share of heartache.

Miles goes to extraordinary lengths in the name of research and that offers no shortage of giggles in the retelling, it brings her into contact with a diverse range of characters that go on to become important players in the unfolding of the story.

On The Same Page is a beautiful tale of acceptance, exploring the validity of the romance genre and traversing the publishing world with all the behind the scenes work that goes into contracts and releases.

Janu has offered us an insight into the work of Emma Browning with a look at many of her scenes, some still drafted and others more polished. There is also a wealth of literary references sure to bestill the heart of all lovers of the classics.

On The Same Page offers so many different reasons to love this book that I say you should just go pick one up, I think there is a lot to love even if it isn’t usually your genre.

Penelope Janu can be followed on Facebook and

On The Same Page is published by XO Romance and available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to XO Romance 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading On The Same Page so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: On The Same Page

  1. On the Same Page – Review Read as part of the Beauty and Lace Club
    Miles Franklin is a struggling Lawyer with a big secret!
    Both of her parents are successful and well known in the literary world and are horrified that an unseen before Author of Historical Romance could win the prestigious Stapleton Award. If only they knew it was their disappointment of a Daughter, Miles who is the mystery writer Emma Browning.
    Winning the award means “Emma’s” anonymity is under siege with the publishing house pushing to meet and promote her and her books, photos, booking signing, workshops and more, all of the things Miles has spent her life avoiding.
    On the Same Page follows the journey Miles takes as a person, friend and Author in her quest to keep her secret.
    I particularly enjoyed Miles’ way of “researching” for the steamy chapter 45 scenes in each of her books.
    Writing is what makes her happy but how long can Miles keep “Emma” all to herself?

  2. A romance book with a twist! I loved the quirky nature of this book!

    Miles Franklin’s day job is a lawyer. But on the side she is a historical romance author called Emma Browning.

    To her surprise and unbelief, one of her novels wins one of the biggest literary awards in Australia.! A competition that usually frowns upon romance novels..

    Miles’s troubles are about to begin!

    Lars Kristensen is the CEO of the company that is publishing her book. But no one knows that she is Emma Browning and that’s how she wants to keep it.

    What follows is fun, quirky and light hearted reading as Lars is determined to find out who Emma is and Miles is determined that he doesn’t!

    What I liked most about this book was the parallel love story of the actual characters of the book and the characters that Miles writes in her current book. I thought that was really clever!

    Thank you XO Romance and Beauty and Lace.

  3. Miles is living a double life… lawyer by day, historic romance novelist at night. What is so wrong about being a romance writer? Well it would be ok if your parents weren’t famous prestigious writers who frown upon romance writers! …. and it would be ok if the spotlight wasn’t put on you for winning an award.
    Miles tries so hard to keep her identity a secret but Lars, the CEO of the company who wants to publish her books, is making it hard for her!!!
    A funny and romantic book that is enjoyable and easy to read. My only qualm about the book is the ending… I was waiting for a more strong young woman who stands up for herself… not sure I felt that, although I did enjoy the book.

  4. I loved that Miles came from a dysfunctional family, with parents that were self-absorbed, narcissistic, literary snobs. It created a very genuine (and interesting) reason why Miles had to hide her identity as a historical romance author. Her parents would have been furious at her for sullying the Franklin name. But in the end, I felt it was pushed too far, the parents characters became a little too over-exaggerated.

    I loved Miles battling the big bad publishing company. Trying to wrest back creative (and financial) control of her work after her secretary forged her signature and she found herself forced into a publishing contract that she never would have agreed to. But towards the end, she was too flaky, dodged too many phone calls, refusing to read any emails or letters. For a supposedly professional woman (working as a lawyer), it was a little too much.

    I love how kind-hearted she was. Especially her interactions with the girls at the Pole Dancing class. But she lets everyone walk all over her, and then has a panic attack (or hides) instead of dealing with things. In the end I just wanted to shake her. I also didn’t really believe Miles’ happily-ever-after. The pairing just didn’t work for me. I don’t think the chemistry was enough to overcome their differences. She needed to grow and become a stronger person for them to be a great couple. Yet, at the end, she was pretty much was sticking her fingers in her ears singing la-la-la-la, if I pretend it’s not happening, it will all go away. I lost a little respect for her in the end, yet I loved her so much at the start of the book.

    Still, a fun and quirky read – 4 stars.

  5. Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and XO Romance by Brio Books for the opportunity to read On The Same Page by Penelope Janu. I was excited to be chosen as I have read her other 2 books and really enjoyed them.

    This book is a romance story, easy to read, entertaining and lots of humour.
    Miles Franklin is a successful lawyer who secretly writes historical romance novels under the name of Emma Browning. Her PA enters “Emma” for a literary award and of course she wins.
    There begins the unraveling of her ordered life. Miles is desperate to keep her secret and protect her privacy, particularly from her parents who are serious writers and disapprove of romance fiction.
    Lars Kristensen the CEO of the company publishing her winning novel and all her past works is desperate to meet Emma the author. There are sparks between Lars and Miles, but where can any romance go when Miles is protecting her secret at any cost.
    Miles is supported by lots of lovely quirky friends. Miles is often annoyingly indecisive and frustrating, and it is because of that one keeps reading to see what happens next. Loved the research for her novels, especially the pole dancing classes.
    A thouroughly enjoyable read.

  6. Judi Lipp says
    Penelope Janu joins my select list of favourite authors and I am exploring her backlist. This book could have been written for me. I am a mystery fan and the secret identity of Emma Browning that is unknown to the book’s characters while known to readers appeals. A favourite read from my past is Jean Webster’s “Daddy Long Legs”. This story is told by the medium of letters and I recalled it as I enjoyed the correspondence between Lars and Miles. Another thoroughly enjoyable device that kept my interest was the inclusion of text from Emma’s writings. The liberal use of literary quotes is entertaining – some are familiar, others require further exploration. There is good humour in the tale that combines the life of lawyer, Miles Franklin with the rollicking historical romance penned by Emma and her re-enactments of pivotal scenes. I resent any belittling of one of my favourite genres, historical romance. Next year I am attending a whole day where Georgette Heyer will be celebrated. Miles’ narrow-mined and elitist parents had me gnashing my teeth.
    I truly love this book and I recommend, “On the Same Page” without hesitation.

  7. Thank you Beauty & Lace and XO Romance for the opportunity to read ‘On the Same Page’. I have read Penelope Janu’s other books and LOVED them so I was very excited to hear she had released another book. I love Penelope’s writing style…not too serious and definitely a read that relaxes you. I also love how she also seems to have the perfect ending for her books. Can’t wait until she writes more. ‘On the Same Page’ has a good plot and keeps you in suspense till the end with a nice bit of romance mixed in.

  8. Thank you so much Beauty and Lace and XO Romance for the opportunity to read this book. From a few pages in, I was hooked! I loved Miles quirky personality, and the relationship between her and Lars. I also enjoyed all of the other characters including her PA and her parents. It was a very entertaining book and I enjoyed every page. I will definitely be looking to read more of this authors books!

  9. Janu brings up the issue of Literary snobbery in On The Same Page. Does it exist? I’m sure it does but I’ve never come across it.

    Miles Franklin is the daughter of two acclaimed authors. She was sent to a psychiatrist in her early teens as she was reading and writing historical romance stories. Her parents thought there was certainly something wrong with her. She was wasting her literary talent.

    Miles is a lawyer by day and a successful Historical Romance author by night. Hiding her secret behind the pseudonym, Emma Browning. However when her latest novel wins a literary award there is much disapproval in literary circles, including that of her parents.

    I loved Miles! A relatable character; she was uncoordinated, out of shape, anxious and had a chronic blushing problem. She put a lot of herself into her chracters and also a lot of the things she wanted to be.

    Janu ties the classics cleverly through the narrative with references to many of the greatest literary romances of all time. I loved the snippets of Miles’ Historical Romance stories which gave the reader stories within a story.

    There is a minor but powerful subplot of teenagers in crisis and how a little attention and caring can make a huge difference in their lives.

    The story is filled with humour usually at Miles expense. and written in the first person we learn a lot about Miles’ hopes and fears. I would have liked to learn a little more about Lars.

    On the Same Page is a wonderful story that will make you laugh and also sigh

  10. On The Same Page is a witty tale of a lawyer come author who wins a competition for her romance novel. While this would normally be something to be flaunted, the author wishes to remain anonymous which causes a huge fuss with the publishers and fans.

    We discover more about the author (Miles) and why she feels she needs to hide her identity. Between her and Lars (the publisher) there is a lot of tension (and not always the bad type) cue in some steamy scenes…

    I did initially find it hard to get into this book. Maybe it was because I was wrapping my head around all the characters (the story within the story) however it did get pretty interesting as the pace built up.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and XO Romance for the reading and reviewing opportunity. I am happy to recommend this book.

  11. This is the first Penelope Janu book that I have read and I really enjoyed On The Same Page!

    It only took a few pages for me to get hooked and I read the book quickly. I loved the plot of lawyer by day / romantic novelist by night. It kept me interested, it made me laugh, I liked the characters, the romance element and importantly it made me relax and forget about my day.

    I would definitely recommend this book and I will be reading more Penelope Janu books.

    Thank you to the Beauty and Lace Book Club and XO Romance for the opportunity.

  12. I recently read On The Same Page by Penelope Janu, and found it to be a light and enjoyable read that kept me turning the page, wanting to know more and having a giggle to myself at some of her research tactics!

    Miles writes romance novels under a pseudonym name (Emma Browning), and wants to remain that way – unknown. However her assistant enters Emma in for a literary award, and she manages to win above all others! Miles comes from a family of literary novelists, and they frown upon “silly romantic” stories.

    The publishing organisation then sets up all these meetings and signings for Emma to attend, so it is difficult to keep putting on a face saying she can’t make it. So will she finally break and let everyone know? I’m not going to spoil any of the story, as I think that’s what keeps you reading – if you knew how everything played out then there would be no use reading this fun story. I also love the character of Lars and how he is determined in every way to find out who Emma is and to meet her, but Miles is doing everything she can possibly think of to have him not know!

    I really liked the cast of characters in this story, they each were really engaging and I definitely had a few laughs from some of the antics happening. So go ahead and take a break on the holidays coming up and pick up On The Same page by Penelope Janu – it’s a great little read that I enjoyed.

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