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Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs (Jane Austen Takes The South #2)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  608 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits comes a new and comical contemporary take on the perennial Jane Austen classic, Emma.

Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respi
ebook, 288 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Howard Books (first published May 24th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Margie Cool
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I got this book after the reading the bad review on Amazon. That reviewer sounded totally crazy, like it was erotica and Christian at the same time. I had to see for myself. I thought it was really cute. A bit rushed at the end, like she ran out of time, but the Brooks guy was SO AMAZING and I loved Caroline!!
The Civil War stuff was really interesting, since I'm not Southern.
And I totally saw this story happening, like it was a movie. This would make a great movie, maybe with somebody cute li
Erica Speare
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, clean
I usually just hit the stars and don't bother to write something, but the weird review makes me want to say... I didn't see anything bad in this. There was one great kiss, but no swearing or sex. I LOVED the story and gave it five stars on Amazon.

This story is an update of Jane Austen's Emma with far fewer characters. Caroline Ashley gave up a career with the Washington Post to come home and stay with her mother after the death of her father. Three years later, Caroline's mother still isn't well enough to be on her own and Caroline has settled in comfortably, aside from her mother's Bridge parties, pink lemonade and failed chocolate triple-layer cakes. Her best friend, Brooks Elliott (Mr. Knightley) lives next door with his widowed fathe ...more
Sheila Majczan
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first book in this series, loved it, and am sure I will buy and read the next one.

However, I do agree with some of the other reviews that there are some missing elements here. Our Emma/Caroline character didn't quite come up to snuff. She did have a lot of very good qualities but came across as unfulfilled, which could have been handled more completely at the end. The job with Frank's Manga publication was a weak step back into employment. The job offer from her previous employer, The
I was enjoying it, despite a few things here and there I don't agree with like the modesty of some of the women, or the way the author chose to include moments of characters taking too much pleasure in the nice way someone smelled or looked (and that's saying it nicely), but there were some things that just will not get my good opinion on.

As far as the remaking of Emma, it was fun and sweet, a nice modern twist. Though I didn't find it needed the civil war buff stuff from the characters, it did
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
After reading any thoroughly delighting in Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits, the first book in the Jane Austen Takes the South series by Mary Jane Hathaway, I knew her inspired retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma would combine elements of Jane Austen, southern cooking and living, and an inspiring, faith-filled message. As a transplant from New York, I dearly love seeing Jane Austen’s world and characters melded with the beauties and traditions of the south, the two worlds certainly do have a lot in ...more
SUMMARY: Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fasci ...more
I grabbed this at the library during the CFD retellings challenge and just now got around to finishing it. For the most part I really enjoyed it, once I got past the first few chapters, and near the end I liked how the author gave such a subtle and appropriate scene of how the heroine walked into the room and the hero was so overcome by loving her that he dropped a book, and she just thought he was clumsy. But, the same night, the heroine accidentally got spiked punch...and not just kissed the h ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean-romance
Loved this! Clean sweet and romantic. A little graphic. The blend of Austen's story with the modern day Southern culture are perfect. The romance is great!
Sarah Peralta
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So cute. I really liked this one. I love these Austen stories set in the south.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Loren Dushku
Emma, Mr. Knightley, and chili-slaw dogs è un retelling in chiave moderna di Emma di Jane Austen, ambientato nel sud degli Stati Uniti. Credo che questa scelta sia stata particolarmente azzeccata, in quanto la storia ha potuto giovarsi di grandi, antiche tenute non presenti in altre parti degli States.
La trama non segue pedissequamente quella del romanzo originale, con alcuni personaggi non presenti (Mr Elton e sua moglie Augusta, ad esempio), od altri non proprio rilevanti (come il corrispettiv
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I'm re-reading it now in fact. I first discovered her when I was 19 -- just about the age of the title character in Austen's book. I related to her sharp tongue and slightly caustic wit all too well. I softened with age; I'm sure Emma would have, too. So, because I love Emma the book and Emma the character, I approached Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili Slaw Dogs with the same mix of interest and trepidation that I approached the Emma movie starring Gwyneth Pa ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austenesque
A fun modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma set in a southern town where people take their garden parties and Civil War reenactments seriously. The novel centers on old friends, Caroline, a journalist who leaves her job to care for her ailing mother, and Brooks, a journalism professor dealing with his own family issues, who must contend with their changing feelings for one another amidst all their disagreements. It was fun to pick out all the allusions to Austen’s novel, and there are recip ...more
I wanted to give this a 3.5 rating. I have read another of this author's Austenesque novels, one based on Pride and Prejudice, and this one is better in several ways. I like the updated
setting in a small Southern town, which is a
good proxy for an English village like Highbury.
I liked using a Regency Ball as an opportunity
for linking to the world of Jane Austen. I liked that the religion was downplayed on this unlike
in the previous novel. Most of all I liked the
Mr. Knightley hero!
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one after I got pride, prejudice and cheese grits for free a few months ago. I thought I couldn't love anything more than the first one, but I do. This story is so sweet and there are so many small hints at his love for her that I was sighing all the way to the end. Loved it! Wondering when the next one will be out?
Donna Parker
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You had me at chili…and Mr. Knightley. Mr. Knightley eating chili? Sorry, what was I writing about, oh yes, this engaging restructuring of Jane Austen’s Emma by Mary Jane Hathaway.

Sometimes I like adaptations of Jane Austen, sometimes I don’t. This one is lovely.

Modern day.
Southern United States.
Caroline and Brooks have been friends since childhood.
Caroline has returned home to care for her mother. Brooks listens to her, cares about her, he’s hot, kind, chivalrous, smart, funny, rich, and brings
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dans le cadre des 200 ans d'Emma, je me suis penchée sur les austeneries existantes. Celle-ci m'a attirée par son titre complètement absurde, je vous l'accorde, sa sublime couverture et ses bonnes critiques. De plus, il s'agit d'une réécriture moderne, mon type d'austenerie favori!

Caroline Ashley était journaliste au Washington Post, mais au décès de son père elle décide de rentrer chez elle pour aider sa mère à surmonter cette épreuve. Mais cela fait maintenant plusieurs années et elle a comp
Laura Carter
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not my typical kind of book. I don't mind a little romance, but when the basic plot is "when and where will they become a couple", I pass it by. But! Emma is my favorite Jane Austen book, so I had to try this one out. I was very pleasantly surprised, I even stayed up late to finish it. The plot was very similar to Emma, but with a modern update that really flowed well and wasn't forced. I also thought the dialogue and relationship between Brooks and Caroline was very natural and flowed w ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know that I have been reviewing a lot of books this summer and giving them pretty high ratings, but the fact is that they deserve it! This summer has just been full of really awesome books that deserve to be read and talked about. This book also deserves the five cupcake rating that it received. The second book in the Jane Austen Takes The South series is just as good, if not better, than the first which I read and reviewed just last month. The second installment is reminiscent of Jane’s Emma, ...more
Sharon Redfern
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emma is not my favorite Austen book. That said, I like the treatment that it is given in this book. Caroline has come home to Thorny Hollow to temporarily care for her emotionally needy mother. Her best friend, the handsome and intelligent Brooks, is also dealing with a grieving parent. As time progresses, the two start to realize that their feelings may go beyond friendship but a good looking, but smarmy man and a haughty, beautiful woman cause some roadblocks on the path to romance. It is fun ...more
After completely loving Ms. Hathaway's first Austenesc book I was happy to learn she had written another one, based on my favorite Jane Austen book "Emma". The thing I loved about her first book was that she'd created a story based on Austen's Pride & Prejudice, but it wasn't Pride & Prejudice in a different era. This one, I felt was definitely more like a retelling of Emma, and I spent more time trying to figure out how the characters matched up to the original story, than enjoying the ...more
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
Classic story of friends who realize they love each other.

I loved reading about Brooks and Caroline. Wonderfully written story that kept my attention. I did notice a few editing glitches that need to be caught, but the story was so engaging, I didn't mind, and simply read past the editing errors. This book is of bad words, heaving bosoms, and other tasteless, unnecessary filth. Thank you Ms. Hathaway! There are parts of this book that are laugh out loud funny, and other parts that a
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Cheese Grits' is a fun, quick read that will delight. It's the second book set in the South where men are gentlemen and the woman wear pearls and attend garden parties. I fell in love with the setting right away. I also appreciated that the characters were life-long childhood friends so no insta-love (thank goodness!). The only thing I didn't understand is WHY Caroline never caught on to Brooks' feelings. If I had a tall, hot guy best friend, I am sure I'd eventually have the hots for him. The ...more
Caroline Ashley and Brooks Elliot grew up next door to each other in a small town in Mississippi. Both lived in family mansions that had been in the family for generations; they were live-long best friends. Both are dealing with a surviving parent with issues and at a party based on Jane Austen's books they dress in Regency costumes and finally figure out that both of them has fallen in love with the other.

Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs is their story with several distracting villains,
Crystal Yawn
After reading Pride, Prejudice and cheese grits i was looking forward to reading this. I was willing to overlook the need for an editor because i liked the first book so much. I highlighted the obvious errors in this book. 16
The main characters are supposed to be best friends. Yet they can't tell when the other is interested in someone else? Just because Caroline talks to Frank she is in love with him? Wow if it were only so easy. Same oddity with Brooks and Lauren, do they even talk? Are our ma
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, this novel follows close friends, Brooks and Caroline, as they deal with ailing parents, careers and their deepening feelings for each other. I thought this book was charming and entertaining with likable characters. At times it felt like it moved very slowly but it may be because I am so familiar with Emma that I knew what was coming next. I liked when they all dressed in Regency clothes to have a Jane Austen party but that along with the Civil War re-enactments was ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a Jane Austen fan but I do like southern fiction. This is the second in the series and I found that there was not as much humor in this one as there was in the first one. The setting of the south is good, though, as there are bridge and garden parties and southern belles galore. There are also great southern gentlemen. There are a few bad guys too. I did enjoy reading about Civil War reenactments, antiques, southern mansions, etc. The plot is good but does seem to end rather quickly.
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans
Recommended to Betty by: downloaded from Eidelweiss
Caroline Ashley is guilted to come back home after the death of her father. She loves living in Washington, D.C. and is an up and coming journalist at the Post, but her mother seems unable to function on her own. Caroline decides to complete the book she has been writing for two years.

Brooks Elliott and Caroline have been best friends since the cradle. He is a journalism professor and can't believe Caroline walked away from her job. He is bound and determined to get her back where she belongs.

Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits and loved Shelby and Ransom. I didn't think I'd love this one as much, but I'm totally torn, and can't choose. Caroline and Brooks were perfect in their discovery of each other as more than friends. Brooks, wow- what is it with these Southern gentlemen that has me fanning myself while I read? The author sure knows how to craft these heroes; I was even jealous of Caroline at that dance with Brooks.
Although based on Jane Austen's Emma, the story is original
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 11, 2015 12:37PM  
  • Echoes of Pemberley
  • Pirates and Prejudice
  • Pride's Prejudice
  • Pride & Princesses
  • Becoming Elizabeth Darcy
  • The Journey
  • The Houseguest: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
  • On Any Given Sundae (Sweet #1)
  • Catch a Falling Star
  • Fitzwilliam Darcy Such I Was
  • Pemberley Ranch
  • Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship: The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen’s Most Eligible Bachelor
  • How Forever Feels (Friends First, #4)
  • Prejudice & Pride
  • A Jane Austen Daydream
  • Here We Come (Aggie's Inheritance, #3)
  • All My Tomorrows
  • The House that BJ Built
About the Author: Mary Jane Hathaway is the pen name of an award-nominated writer who spends the majority of her literary energy on subjects un-related to Jane Austen. A homeschooling mother of six young children who rarely wear shoes, she’s madly in love with a man who has never read Pride and Prejudice. She holds degrees in Religious Studies and Theoretical Linguistics, and has a Jane Austen quo ...more
More about Mary Jane Hathaway...

Other Books in the Series

Jane Austen Takes The South (3 books)
  • Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits (Jane Austen Takes the South, #1)
  • Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread (Jane Austen Takes the South, #3)

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“She closed her eyes, not really hearing the rest of what he murmured against her ear. All she knew was that it echoed everything that was in her heart. He was a surprise. Love was a surprise. And a surprise love between friends was the best kind of all.” 5 likes
“Why do people call it settling down when it’s a man and finding the right one when it’s a woman?” 3 likes
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