I'm unsuccessfully trying to use this, and can't see where I'm going wrong.
My theme has wpautop disabled because it was causing unwanted reformatting of some text. As expected, it also removes the p tags from the 'read more' link when using <?php the_content();?>.
I've been able to get some css control of my 'read more' link by adding a span:
<?php the_content ('<span class="continue-reading">CONTINUE READING »</span>'); ?>
But I'd prefer to have the whole line wrapped in p tags - which your code should do.
I've added it to the home.php template, and all my pages call JQuery. But it doesn't modify the code. What might I be doing wrong?