Customer Reviews for

Glamorous Illusions: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful Start to a New Series

Another wonderful start to another wonderful series by Bergren. I am a huge fan of Lisa’s River of Time series, as is another of our reviewers (Kole). This series follows a girl that has been living a simple life, barely making ends meet with her family. Soon she is swe...
Another wonderful start to another wonderful series by Bergren. I am a huge fan of Lisa’s River of Time series, as is another of our reviewers (Kole). This series follows a girl that has been living a simple life, barely making ends meet with her family. Soon she is swept up into a world she has never seen, with a family she has never known. Alternating her point of view with Will’s, one of her tour guides, gives the reader the chance to get to know both of these characters from inside and out.

Glamorous Illusions has less action/adventure to it than the River of Time series, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own. It is all about self discovery and following one’s heart. Both Cora and Will are determined to do the right thing through and through, even though they both need to learn about themselves and the changes in their world in order to do so. There are many characters in this book, but never too many that I mixed them up or was confused as to who was who, as they are all very distinct personalities. Lisa does have a way with writing strong woman and I love it!

I am not an avid Christian book reader, but what I have read of Lisa T. Bergren’s series isn’t preachy. Yes, it does have Christian characters and speak of God, but it isn’t overwhelming and simply lends itself to the characters and the wonderful story she has created. The characters ponder over the challenges that they are faced with and turn to their religion to help see them through it. I hope this book is filed under Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, and Christian books at stores because there are so many readers that will enjoy this series.

Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

posted by BookSakeBlogspot on June 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Not for me

Its a lord this, thank you god, honk if you love jesus book. Wish they would have it explain it more on the review, so i woudnt have picked it!

posted by LeeAnn-bookluvr on June 7, 2012

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  • Posted June 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Start to a New Series

    Another wonderful start to another wonderful series by Bergren. I am a huge fan of Lisa’s River of Time series, as is another of our reviewers (Kole). This series follows a girl that has been living a simple life, barely making ends meet with her family. Soon she is swept up into a world she has never seen, with a family she has never known. Alternating her point of view with Will’s, one of her tour guides, gives the reader the chance to get to know both of these characters from inside and out.

    Glamorous Illusions has less action/adventure to it than the River of Time series, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own. It is all about self discovery and following one’s heart. Both Cora and Will are determined to do the right thing through and through, even though they both need to learn about themselves and the changes in their world in order to do so. There are many characters in this book, but never too many that I mixed them up or was confused as to who was who, as they are all very distinct personalities. Lisa does have a way with writing strong woman and I love it!

    I am not an avid Christian book reader, but what I have read of Lisa T. Bergren’s series isn’t preachy. Yes, it does have Christian characters and speak of God, but it isn’t overwhelming and simply lends itself to the characters and the wonderful story she has created. The characters ponder over the challenges that they are faced with and turn to their religion to help see them through it. I hope this book is filed under Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, and Christian books at stores because there are so many readers that will enjoy this series.

    Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2012

    As others have stated in their reviews, I really enjoyed Lisa Be

    As others have stated in their reviews, I really enjoyed Lisa Bergren's River of Time series, and when I saw that this book was coming out, I immediately put it into my wish list. And it did not disappoint. The story drew me in immediately, and I had to pace myself in order to not read it in one day but to enjoy it over a few days. I really enjoyed reading from the perspective of both Cora and Will. I also enjoyed reading about the early 1900s and the whole idea of a "Grand Tour". I personally love visiting England and France, so the settings of the book were a plus. The front cover of the book is beautiful as well, so I'm glad to have it in paperback.

    The only two things that I found lacking were a.) the side characters and b.) the fact that the book leaves the reader hanging. I would have loved to have had a better idea of who Cora's half-siblings were as I felt that their descriptions didn't give much detail. I couldn't really picture the sisters at all, so I really had no feeling about them. I think it would have added more depth to the book to learn a bit more about each of them. And I find it a bit frustrating to be left hanging at the conclusion of a book, especially when there are many months between the publishing dates of each consecutive book. I'm glad the series is continuing, but I would prefer to read the books right in a row. But that's just me . . .

    Overall, this book is well-written, quite enjoyable, and perfect for anyone who loves reading stories that are set in Europe and/or during the time period right before WWI.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    Great start to a new series!

    I am very impressed with this book! It is easy to get caught up in the storyline and follow its flow. It's clear that Lisa Bergren has done her research because this story is jam-packed with lots of little historical references and nuances that make it substantial. The chapters alternate from the viewpoints of two main characters, Cora and William. (This reminds me of the first novella Bergren wrote to follow "The River of Time" series. In that novella the chapters alternate between the vantage points of Gabi and Lia.) Seeing the same situation from multiple angles adds an interesting dynamic to the book.

    I appreciate reading Christian fiction that's more than just a sweet story. I crave depth, character development and a storyline that isn't predictable. "Glamorous Illusions" didn't disappoint me in any of these areas!

    This was one of those books where I had to struggle to "pace myself" while reading it. I could have easily convinced myself to pull an all-nighter and polish it off - but then it would have been over. This book is THAT good, and I just wanted to savor it for a little bit longer. The best part of "Glamorous Illusions" was noticing that it is just "Book One!" I look forward to reading future books in the series!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Not for me

    Its a lord this, thank you god, honk if you love jesus book. Wish they would have it explain it more on the review, so i woudnt have picked it!

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    The first novel in a new series by Lisa T. Bergren asks the read

    The first novel in a new series by Lisa T. Bergren asks the reader to consider what they know about their life as it is. Then she asks you to go further, and ponder the ramifications of something immense intervening in their paths. This is what happens to Cora, the central figure of the novel.

    I have always enjoyed Ms. Bergren's novels, and this one did not disappoint me. She is skilled at drawing you into her story and making you care deeply for her characters. It is also refreshing to read a book that doesn't go too far in its' graphic descriptions. There is plenty of romance and intrigue in the pages, yet it doesn't take you too far. I look forward to the next book in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Great Series!

    Lisa Bergren does a wonderful job of transporting the reader into the early 1900's and to the various places the characters travel to in Europe. I really enjoyed following Cora's journey of discovery and love throughout the entire series. Worth the read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Lisa bergen a favorite

    Read the series

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  • Posted June 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Glamorous Illusions will take anyone on a ride full of adventure

    Glamorous Illusions will take anyone on a ride full of adventure,mystery, travel, and romance. Taking place in 1913, the story evolves around Cora Kensington, a girl Montana, whose future is about to change as soon as her biological father appears in her life. Not knowing that the father that she thought was hers is not her real father, Cora is immediately thrown into a world of mystery and secrecy. Discovering that she is the illegitimate daughter of the Copper King, she will have to adjust to a new life style all for her parents. As soon as she is told that she will have to take the Grand Tour with her half siblings and their friends, Cora will not only have to fight to gain their approval, but she will also learn to find the importance of what she has and of who she really is. In a world of glamour and richness, Lisa T. Bergren takes readers to a whole new world, full of amazing adventures in the most amazing places in the world. As a lover for all things traveling, I was really excited to read this book. The cover itself completely grabbed my attention, the art represents the book really well. There are only a handful of historical romance books that I've read, but this one has made it to my “all time favorite” shelf. The story is beautifully written,and it captures the feel of the cities very well. I found myself completely immersed in the book. Cora's adventure definitely keeps the reader wanting for more. Her personally is very likable, and she is strong minded (which protects her from her unlikable siblings). I absolutely love Will in the story, he is the only person that Cora can truly trust, and it makes it hard as a reader to see that my favorite characters in the book don't always en up together. But as new adventures unfold, the book suddenly stops with a cliffhanger. Which wasn't my favorite part, but I will definitely read the second book of the series. I can't wait to see what happens next. I would recommend this book to those that love historical books, romance, and for those that love traveling as well.

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  • Posted May 21, 2013

    Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren gave a glimpse into the l

    Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren gave a glimpse into the life of the super rich at the beginning of the twentieth century. The year is 1913 and Cora has returned home from Normal School for the summer. Her dad has a stroke and recovers quite well. Then he has another stroke and this time he is completely incapacitated. Cora is working herself into a state exhaustion to keep the small farm going in spite of the drought that is plaguing the entire area. Cora is in the barn working when a fine carriage appears at the door of the farmhouse and two very well dressed men alight from the carriage. One man, a doctor, goes inside to examine Cora’s father. The other man, Wallace Kensington, the copper king of Montana, is talking to Cora’s mother and when Cora walks up her mother introduces him and then he drops a bombshell. He is Cora’s birth father. She does not believe him but then her mother convinces her that what he says is true. He is there to offer her the deal of a lifetime. She is to take the Grand Tour of Europe with his other three children and three of their friends and in return he will send her father to the best hospital in Minnesota, pay her mother three times the worth of the farm, and pay for the rest of her education at the Normal School. Cora argues that she can keep the farm going but after talking more with her mother she accepts Kensington’s offer in spite of her doubts. During the Grand Tour not only will Cora get to know her brother and two sisters, but she will come to learn a lot about herself.




    The author did an excellent job developing the characters and they definitely came alive on the pages of the book. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot and many times one was left wondering what was going to happen next. There were also several times when I was sitting on the edge of my chair wondering if Cora or someone else was going to get out of the trouble they were in. There was even one incident when death seemed likely for one of the travelers. The dialogue in the novel was very enjoyable and whether it was Cora talking with Will, the two youngest girls talking and giggling, or any other individual speaking, the dialogue was great. When the Bear, leader of the group, was lecturing about the museums, art works, buildings, cities, and other items I could almost see what the group was seeing and felt as if I were right there with the group. The author obviously did a great deal of research for this novel and it shows throughout the entire book.




    I highly recommend this book to all who like to read historical novels about the lives and loves of the super rich in the early twentieth century.




    I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C. Cook at Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Cora Kensington is forced to leave her mother and ailing father

    Cora Kensington is forced to leave her mother and ailing father to spend time with her birth father, a wealthy copper king, that she had not even been aware of until he showed arrived unannounced at their Montana farm. She is to take time to get to know this man she refuses to claim as her father.  What shocked her the most was that her mother wanted her to go with him and spend time with him and her siblings she knew nothing about.  How can she leave her Papa and go off with Mr. Kensington?




    She is to go on a Grand Tour of Europe with her siblings. Mr. Kensington told her if she does this he will pay for her to finish Normal School to become a teacher, which is her heart's desire.




    When she meets her siblings they went out of their way to snub her.  She was not surprised, after all she was their father's illegitimate child, an interloper.  Mr. Kensington informs her he will not be going on the Grand Tour. Who will defend her from her very outspoken siblings?




    Cora is introduced to Will  the very handsome tour guide and she realizes she has found a loyal friend.  Now she does not feel so alone. But Will has been warned that he is not to become romantically involved with any of the clients on the tour or he would be removed from the tour.




    Cora is overwhelmed at all the beauty and decadence of the rich and famous while on their tour of England and France.  She will have good and bad memories to carry her through the rest of her life from this Grand Tour.




    But will she be able to accept her birth father and will her siblings accept her as their sister?




    The author has written a real page turner with healing grace, romance, suspense, mystery, and an abundance of history as Cora tours Europe.  I did not want to put the book down and was so glad I was able to pick up book two of the series to read more of Cora's Grand Tour.




    I highly recommend this book.




    Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own reading pleasure and was not required to submit a review. This is my honest opinion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A good read, I enjoyed it. What do you do when you find out you

    A good read, I enjoyed it.
    What do you do when you find out your father is not your father?
    this is how the first book in "The Grand Tour" trilogy starts out.
    Cora comes home from teacher college only to find who she had always called father has had a stroke.
    All her plans for the future are now put on hold as her family tries to save the family farm...until a wealthy older gentleman shows up and claiming to be her father who, if she will just go with him as his "unclaimed child" he will take care of her father and her mother, the woman he once loved.
    So begins Cora's journey with her new found wealthy & powerful family on The Grand tour.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2013

    This book is breath-taking in its scope, in the questions it rai

    This book is breath-taking in its scope, in the questions it raises, and in the way it pulled me until I had to put the world on hold for just a few more minutes so I could finish the story. Loved it and aching to dive into book 2!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Sooo good

    I read the sample and was terribly disapointed because it was boring! Then i borrowed the book from the library and couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Wanted more

    Enjoyed the story. Didn't know the story would not end with this book. I want to know what will happen next.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    After reading her River of Time series, I was more than willing

    After reading her River of Time series, I was more than willing to give Bergren's other's books a shot as well. When this one came on my radar, I really loved the sound of it. And while I didn't get the overly Christian fictions feel with her series, I thought this one might have a little bit more. I was right, and also completely ok with it.

    I really loved the lavish backdrop that this story is set in. Who doesn't love the traditional rags to riches story. I love that Cora is bound and determined to show that she can be different. She shows how her upbringing has affected who she is. But, it's also apparent that some of her characteristics come from her father. I think that is definitely something she needs to come to terms with over the course of this book. She does a very good job of coming to terms with what has happened to her, but she also needs to realize her place within the family might not be exactly what she thought.

    I've never heard of the Grand Tour before and found the concept fascinating. The American rich trying to pretend they are some new generation of nobility by mimicking what they do for their coming of age children. I wonder what European nobility thought of the practice when it first began. I think it would be fun to be an outsider looking in on all of this. The idea of being able to attend all of these functions and learn about all the history in each country sounds awesome.

    I liked the family dynamics behind all this. Her father surprised me the most. From the little we do get to see of him, I didn't like him very much. But, by pushing Cora to accept who she is on her own (plus admitting his own faults and failures) show what kind of man he is. I liked her siblings because I think they were true to who they were plus how they should be in the situation. I also really enjoyed William and look forward to were the story goes with is character.

    I will be continuing this series. I think I found another winner with Bergren!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Love!

    Love the book and I can't wait for the next book to come out and read this! Great great read!!!!!!

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  • Posted September 3, 2012

    Fantastic!

    A wonderful, inspiring book about self discovery. I highly recommend!

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    Does anyone know what the next book is???? I loved this book

    Does anyone know what the next book is???? I loved this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Page turner

    This is book one i cannot wait to read the next one!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    FYI

    Book Buddy has the description mixed up with another book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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