It is a truth universally acknowledged that on a long plane flight sometimes you just want a book that involves two characters who are meant for each other, some sort of twee business venture, and a three-legged dog. If you are extremely lucky, the novel steals from Jane Austen and mentions a lot of yummy sounding restaurants in Austin, Texas (breakfast tacos, I want breakfast tacos!!!)
Jane and her sister Celia have run a successful tea shop in San Francisco for the last seven years—ever since their father got into business trouble and fled to a non-extradition country—leaving them on their own and with their younger sister, Margot, to support. When their wonderful landlord, Atticus, dies, they learn that they have less than a month to vacate both their business space and the apartment above it so that their landlord’s nephew and his wife can rent the space at market value. To add to that trauma, Celia has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend, Teddy. Though they try to find a new space in San Francisco, the sisters realize that they are priced out of the market and so when a distant cousin offers them a place to stay in Texas, they decide (with a bit of hesitance on Jane’s part) to head southeast and see if Austin is a good fit for them personally and professionally.
Callum Becket has left the army and is returning to Austin to try to save the family business. His decision to join the military as a young man estranged him from his father and brother but now both are dead and Callum has inherited the house he grew up in and a chain of failing BBQ restaurants. Callum is also coming home without a left leg and with a decent case of survivor guilt/PTSD. Luckily, his old army buddy, Ian, has offered him a place to stay so that he can figure out his next steps.
Since this Ian just happens to be the distant cousin of Jane, Celia, and Margot, the scene is set for a romance. However, Hilary Manton Lodge is playing with Austen tropes, so there is a lot getting in the way of Jane and Callum figuring out they are perfect for each other. Also, because this is one of those novels, every chapter ends with a recipe for something that sounds pretty tasty. A perfect way to make a long plane flight go a bit faster (and to make me crave tea and breakfast tacos!)