Author: Penelope Janu
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.