Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review of A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Jen Turano is a new author in the Historical Romance genre. This novel is the first of four in the Ladies of Distinction series.

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiance, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she`s determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.
Cover ArtMr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society–all the female ones, at least–are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.
Eliza`s hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton`s path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza`s determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone`s antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.
When all of Hamilton`s and Eliza`s best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

This story transports the reader to New York in 1880.  Turano provides a story from another time without any distracting history lessons.  The finer details of the past are mingled in with a light touch. Perhaps, to a history buff, it might not be sufficient - but for a fun, Sunday afternoon read, it was quite fine.

The main character, Eliza is fun and quirky right from the moment the story begins.  I thoroughly enjoyed the circumstances that propel Eliza to tackle the crazy things she does throughout the plot.  She is independent, spirited and determined to regain her father's fortune and reputation. When you bring the trouble-prone Agatha into the mix, you have very many laugh out loud moments.  This is the primary gift of the story - its humour.  Jen Turano does a great job.  Some parts may feel a little 'slap-stick', but it fits the story. The humour and action reminded me a lot of the movie A Knight's Tale - mixing a little modern in with the historical.

Overall the entire story is fun to read.  A great vacation style novel.  The downside for me was wishing for more depth to the characters.  Especially the two male counterparts, Hamilton and Zayne.  They have good qualities and some slight-flaws as every character should.  I had only hoped for a deeper analysis of their motivations and their wounds.  A personal preference for sure.

If you are looking for an enjoyable read that is light and thoroughly entertaining you will love this story.  You can find it at almost any online or retail book store.  Be sure to watch out for the upcoming books in this new series, Ladies of Distinction, by Jen Turano.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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