Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. 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.
Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett's chagrin, all the eyes of New York societyall the female ones, at leastare on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.
When Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton's path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.
"Set in New York City circa 1880, Turano's historical romance has witty dialogue, a spunky heroine, a bounty of humor, and a fast-paced plot. There are wonderful secondary characters, too, including an ankle-biting boy, a relentlessly matchmaking mother, and a full cast of despicable villains. A Change of Fortune will make a delightful addition to any library." Booklist (starred review)
"Turano's charming story of losing and gaining both wealth and love in 1880s New York City will certainly please fans of witty and classic romance stories."RT Book Review
"[A] delightfully lighthearted debut novel."Desert News
About the Author
Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, and A Talent for Trouble, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.
Read an Excerpt
A CHANGE of FORTUNE
By Jen Turano
Baker Publishing GroupCopyright © 2012 Jennifer L. Turano
All right reserved.
Chapter OneNew York, 1880
Miss Eliza Sumner turned the page of the book she was reading aloud, glancing up and biting back a smile at the unusual sight of her two charges, Grace and Lily, listening attentively to her. She lowered her gaze and continued reading, raising her voice dramatically when she got to a riveting passage regarding a motley band of pirates.
"There you are, Miss Sumner," a voice exclaimed from the doorway.
Eliza set the book aside and hurried to her feet as her employer, Mrs. Cora Watson, advanced into the room.
"I've been searching everywhere for you," Mrs. Watson proclaimed.
As it was a normal occurrence for Eliza to spend her evenings in the schoolroom, she was a bit perplexed by Mrs. Watson's statement, but felt it best to keep that particular thought to herself.
"Here," Mrs. Watson said, thrusting a bundle of silk into Eliza's hands, "I need you to put this on immediately."
"I do beg your pardon, Mrs. Watson, but am I to understand you've taken issue with my gown?"
"Certainly not. Your gown is completely acceptable for the schoolroom, but I need your services at dinner."
"You wish me to serve the meal?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Mrs. Watson said.
Eliza eyed the massive amount of fabric in her hand and cautiously shook it out, unable to suppress a shudder as yard after yard of hideous color unfolded before her eyes. "Is this ... a dinner gown?"
"Mother, surely you don't expect Miss Sumner to wear that," Grace said, scurrying to Eliza's side. "Why, it's the most revolting shade of ..." She paused and looked up at Eliza. "What color would you call that?"
"I believe the proper term would be puce," Eliza supplied.
"I think the proper term should be ugly," Lily piped up, joining her sister with her nose wrinkled. "It'll clash with her red hair, Mother."
"I know," Mrs. Watson said, "but it's the only gown I have on hand at the moment." She turned to Eliza. "Please don't take offense at this, Miss Sumner, but you're rather stout in build, and the only member of my family possessed of a similar figure is my aunt Mildred, who just happened to leave this gown the last time she visited."
As Eliza's "stoutness" was the result of layers of linen wrapped around her middle, she took no offense at all over Mrs. Watson's remark. Before she could formulate a suitable response, Grace let out a snort.
"Aunt Mildred only left that gown because she knew it was awful and not of the current fashion. Poor Miss Sumner will barely be able to walk, seeing as how the skirt is so long."
"She'll simply have to make the best of it unless she has a dinner gown of her own to wear."
Eliza bit her lip. While it was true she possessed more than her fair share of dinner gowns, they were currently back in England, and now was hardly the time to ponder that particular subject. She could not allow Mrs. Watson to discover the pesky little fact that she was in actuality Lady Eliza Sumner, not plain Miss, nor could she divulge the fact that her father had been the Earl of Sefton. She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry to say I have no formal attire at my disposal."
"Hmm, pity that," Mrs. Watson replied. "You'll have to wear Aunt Mildred's gown."
"May I be so bold as to ask what you require of me at your dinner?" Eliza asked.
"Oh, forgive me," Mrs. Watson said, wiping her brow absently with the back of her hand. "Agatha's developed spots. You need to take her place at the table."
Eliza stifled a groan. One of the main reasons she'd sought out employment as a governess was so she could remain inconspicuous, and attending a dinner party hosted by one of the upcoming social leaders of New York City was not exactly what she had had in mind when she accepted the position.
"But, Mrs. Watson," Eliza began, "surely you don't believe ..."
"I cannot have an uneven number at the table," Mrs. Watson interrupted. "I finally received an acceptance from the Trumans, and Mr. Watson would not be pleased if I did anything to embarrass him, such as sitting down to dinner with an odd number of guests."
"Father must want to sell Mr. Truman a huge vat of soap," Grace declared.
"It's hardly proper for a young lady, Grace, to discuss business," Mrs. Watson said before turning back to Eliza. "I expect you downstairs in thirty minutes."
"Don't you believe your guests will consider it bad form for me to attend your dinner party?" Eliza asked, wincing when she heard the clear note of desperation in her voice.
Mrs. Watson narrowed her eyes. "Did your letter of reference not state you were proficient in the subject of etiquette?"
"Well, yes, certainly, but ..."
"And did it not also state you are a distant relation of the aristocracy?"
Eliza nodded, knowing perfectly well her "distant relation" to the aristocracy was not very distant.
"Then I would have to assume you've attended a formal dinner in the past."
"I have not attended a formal dinner in quite some time."
"Has that caused you to forget your manners?" Mrs. Watson asked.
"Ahh ... I don't believe so."
"Then there is absolutely no reason for you to balk at my request. I would have to believe you are well equipped to handle the silver."
"I am the governess," Eliza muttered.
"No one needs to know that, dear."
"I would have to believe someone at the dinner table will ask me my name," Eliza said.
"I suggest you tell them you're Miss Sumner."
"What if they ask me more questions?"
Mrs. Watson released a sigh. "My dear, I don't wish to cause you distress, but quite frankly, you are not the type of woman with whom one wishes to enter into conversation at a dinner party."
Eliza swallowed a laugh. Apparently her attempt at disguising her appearance and her true identity could be deemed a success.
"I really must get back downstairs," Mrs. Watson continued, seemingly unaware of the fact that she'd delivered Eliza an insult and a compliment in the same breath. "I have numerous details left unresolved, and I want everything to be perfect." She sent Eliza a nod. "I'll try to find a maid to help you into that gown."
Eliza watched Mrs. Watson walk through the door before shifting her gaze to Grace and Lily. "Our story will have to wait for another day."
"We were just getting to the good part," Grace complained. "I'm sorry my mother is being so demanding. She used to be somewhat fun."
"I don't remember her being fun," Lily remarked.
"That's because you were born after Father's business became successful," Grace said. "Mother wasn't responsible for hosting so many parties, and I'm afraid it's given her a bit of an edge." She sighed. "Agatha remembers a time when even Father was fun."
"Speaking of Agatha," Eliza said, "what type of spots do you think she has at the moment? Should someone send for a physician?"
"She hardly needs a physician," Grace said with a grin. "Agatha is only suffering from rebellious spots because Mother invited gentlemen tonight who are known to be eligible bachelors."
"Am I to understand there's nothing wrong with her?" Eliza asked.
"She's a bit crazy, but honestly, Agatha's always been that way."
Eliza felt her lips twitch. "Maybe I should pay Agatha a visit and call her on her ruse so I won't have to don this gown and make a complete cake of myself."
"You talk funny sometimes," Lily said.
"I imagine it comes from being British."
"Your accent is charming," Grace said. "I bet if I spoke like you all the boys would fall in love with me."
"As you are too young to even contemplate boys, being all of eleven years old, I think we'll return to the subject at hand. Where is your sister?" Eliza asked.
"She's gone into hiding and won't turn up until after dinner," Grace said.
"Wonderful," Eliza muttered before she walked over to the discarded book, picked it up, and handed it to Grace. "You may continue reading this to your sister, and you'll have to fill me in on the story line when we meet again two days from now. Tomorrow is Sunday, my day off, but I'll be waiting with bated breath to discover what happens with the pirates."
She turned on her heel and strode into the hallway, making her way to her room. She closed the door and allowed her shoulders to slump as she gulped in deep breaths of air, the reality of her situation setting in.
This was a disaster.
She moved to her bed and dropped the dinner gown on top of the covers, spreading the fabric out even as her eyes narrowed. There was no way she would be able to fit into it, no matter how "stout" Mrs. Watson claimed her aunt to be, because the gown had a cinched waist, a waist that would balk if she tried to squeeze her stuffing into it.
She unbuttoned the front of her serviceable gown and shrugged out of it, her hands moving immediately to the front ties of her specially made corset. She made short shrift of unlacing the ribbons and began unwinding one of the strips of linen she'd used to pad her figure. She dropped the cloth to the ground, retied her corset, and then snagged the gown off the bed, wrestling it over her head. It got stuck halfway down her body.
She squirmed out of it, unlaced her corset, and unwound another strip of cloth, her fingers moving rapidly as she suddenly recalled that Mrs. Watson was supposed to send a maid to assist her. She squeezed into the gown and buttoned it up the best she could before she scooped the abandoned linen off the floor and stuffed it beneath her mattress. She struggled to button the last few buttons, but finally admitted defeat when she simply couldn't reach them.
She could only hope the maid didn't notice anything unusual. She grinned. Honestly, if she didn't look unusual at the moment, she'd eat this gown. She moved to the mirror, grabbing hold of a chest of drawers when she tripped on the hem. She twitched the fabric out of her way and straightened, her grin widening when she got a good look at her reflection.
She looked like an opera singer.
Large blue eyes stared back at her out of a pale face, which had a smattering of freckles marching along the bridge of her nose. Her grin turned into a smile, showing straight white teeth and causing a dimple to pop out on her right cheek. Her smile faded as her eyes lifted to her hair, which she had pulled tightly away from her face and secured in a matronly bun and which in no way resembled the intricate styles of her past. She shook herself. There was no time for reflection just now.
Her gaze traveled the length of her body, and her mouth dropped open. Although she'd managed to get the gown over her middle, it now gaped around the neckline and she was at a loss as to how to fix that little problem. She tugged the material up only to have it slide back down the moment she let go.
"Pins," she declared, spinning on her heel and stumbling over to a table, which held a battered jewelry box some former governess had apparently left behind. She rummaged around in it for a minute and managed to locate a few pins. She jabbed them into the fabric and moved back to the mirror.
"That's hardly better, but it will have to do," she told her reflection.
Would anyone be able to recognize her? Her gaze lingered on the dumpy and unusually shaped woman staring back at her. Who would ever believe she'd once been the most sought after woman in London? What would her friends think if they could see her now?
"You don't have any friends," she muttered, turning away from the mirror as a knock sounded on her door.
The door opened, and a maid by the name of Mary entered the room. "Mrs. Watson asked me to assist you, but it seems you managed nicely on your own."
"I still have a few buttons I can't reach."
Mary stepped to Eliza's side and quickly buttoned her up. "What an interesting color."
"Lily thinks it clashes with my hair," Eliza said.
"It does at that, but I must say, it's not all horrible. The color draws attention to your eyes."
"That will never do." Eliza moved back to the jewelry box and pushed the contents around, delighted when she located an old pair of spectacles. She shoved them on her face and then promptly lost her balance as the room swam out of focus.
"I didn't know you wore spectacles," Mary said.
Eliza thought Mary might be frowning in her direction, but as she couldn't clearly see her face, she wasn't sure. "I only wear them on very rare occasions, dinners mostly. Spectacles make it easier to see the silver."
"I've never heard of such a thing, but if you can't see the silver, I suppose you should keep them on," Mary said. "Pity though, seeing as you have such lovely eyes and Mr. Hamilton Beckett is expected tonight." Mary lowered her voice. "He's the most sought after gentleman in New York."
"Then I would have to believe it would be difficult for me to garner his attention with or without my spectacles," Eliza said wryly. "I am the governess, and the only reason I've been pressed into service is because Agatha has developed spots."
Mary made a tsking noise under her breath.
Eliza frowned. "Do you know about Agatha's spots?"
"The entire house knows about the spots."
"Does Agatha make a habit of refusing to attend her mother's dinners?" Eliza asked.
"No, but I believe the poor dear has finally had enough of her mother's schemes. I overheard them earlier today, and they were engaged in a bit of a tiff. I don't believe Miss Agatha appreciated the fact that Mrs. Watson was forcing her to sit next to Mr. Beckett at dinner."
"I thought you said Mr. Beckett was the most sought after gentleman in New York?"
"He is, but I think Miss Agatha finds him too old," Mary said.
"How old is he?"
"He might be thirty."
"Thirty is hardly old."
"Not to you."
Eliza stifled a laugh. Here was further proof her disguise was a success, seeing as how she was only twenty-one years old, not much older than Agatha. She sent Mary a smile and then headed for the door. "Thank you for your help, Mary."
"Maybe you should say some extra prayers to help you get though the evening," Mary suggested.
Since Eliza was less than pleased with God at the moment, seeing as how He had not helped her sort through the mess she currently found herself in, she ignored Mary's statement.
"Would you like me to help you down the stairs?" Mary asked as Eliza ran smack-dab into the doorframe.
"That won't be necessary," Eliza said as she sailed through the door, ruining the effect by tripping on the trailing fabric of her gown.
"I'll say those prayers for you," Mary called as Eliza straightened and slowly walked down the hall.
The steps proved to be quite the obstacle, and she finally had to push the spectacles down her nose in order to navigate them. She paused on the first landing to tug her hem out from under her feet, and as she did so, she saw a pair of eyes peering at her through a crack in a door.
"Agatha," she muttered.
The door shut with a snap.
Eliza considered marching over to the door and demanding Agatha take her rightful place at the table, but the arrival of another maid distracted her. She shoved the spectacles back up her nose.
"Miss Sumner, Mrs. Watson is asking about you," the maid said. "My, don't you look ... fetching."
Eliza released an unladylike snort. "I think hideous would be a more appropriate word."
"You might have a point," the maid said. "Do you need help getting down to the dining room, since you seem to be dragging a large amount of skirt behind you?"
"I'll be fine," Eliza said, sending the closed door one last look before she continued on her way, vowing to herself she would have a few words with Agatha if she survived the evening.
After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes, she finally managed to reach the end of the stairs and cautiously made her way to the dining room.
"Miss Sumner," Mrs. Watson exclaimed, appearing at Eliza's side. "What took you so long?"
"I apologize, Mrs. Watson, but I had a bit of difficulty maneuvering down the steps."
Eliza couldn't be certain, but she thought she saw Mrs. Watson's lips quiver.
"Oh dear, that gown is worse than I imagined," Mrs. Watson declared as she took Eliza by the arm and peered into her face. "I must say, those spectacles are the perfect accessory. They make you look eccentric, which will go far in explaining the gown."
As Eliza was trying for inconspicuous, the last thing she wanted to hear was that she'd managed "eccentric."
"This is a horrible idea," she mumbled.
"Nonsense," Mrs. Watson said, steering Eliza through a crowd of people and coming to a halt in front of an incredibly long table.
Excerpted from A CHANGE of FORTUNE by Jen Turano Copyright © 2012 by Jennifer L. Turano. Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This novel is very eventful from beginning to end, and also funny. Life can be chaotic as with Eliza’s life, nonetheless God’s plan will prevail. When we experience a stream of bad luck and seems as though nothing is going our way, rest and be assured God is working things out. God’s blessings can even surpass our expectations. As we see in this novel God aligns people, events and situations so that his will can be done. This an amazing story of learning to trust God, even when we don’t know the outcome. Trust God to have our best interest at heart even when times are dismal. It is during those times that we distance ourselves and we are not in accordance with God as Eliza did at the beginning of the novel. In the end, she realized he was at work. I admire the courage of both Eliza and Agatha. Eliza determined to find those responsible for stealing her fortune and ruining her family name and Agatha for being a good friend and sticking with her, regardless of what they encountered, even landing themselves in jail. Lawrence, well, he was honest about his feeling about Eliza and got exactly what he deserved. I am happy Eliza found true love and a gentleman. Thank you Bethany House for allowing me to share my opinion. Also for giving me the opportunity to select a great book and providing copy free of charge.
Jen Turano has a gift for creating humorous characters with vibrant personalities. Eliza is a delightful protagonist that you can't help but fall in love with. Hamilton is a wonderful hero. I fell for him almost immediately. The plot was wildly entertaining and almost bordered on ridiculous at times (I mean this as a good thing). This is a really sweet story. It's squeaky clean and adorably funny. The only thing that I didn't like were the random religious discussions that popped up out of the blue. They felt forced and out of place. I love having good morals and Christian values included in the books I read, but this one was a bit awkward in that regard.
A funny and lovely romance I will admit that I read this book very fast, but I still managed to fall in love with it. From the moment she toppled over because of her extremely long/large/and ugly gown and commented on how well the floors were maintained to the very end I was laughing, smiling and my mind was working to figure everything out. I loved Hamilton and how he continues to rescue Eliza. I covered my eyes with the books when I felt embarrassed for her, and I sighed basically whenever Hamilton was around. I felt for the characters, and I fell in love with them. All of them. I also loved the mystery that surrounded the story and it kept my brain turning while giggles escaped my lips at the many funny things that both Eliza and other characters say. I was swept away into a world of humour, mystery and romance and I am completely thankful of the journey. Good: Eliza—You are pretty funny, and determined. Hamilton—I don’t know how to describe you other than awesome. Zayne—love your humour. Bad: Sometimes the story line was a little slow for my liking but those moments were few and far in between. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall the writing style was very easy to follow, the story line was entertaining and the mystery did challenge my mind a bit. I never had to back track to read something over and there was just the right about of humour and romance. "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".
I love, love, loved this book! A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano is an fun book that I could not put down. Lady Eliza Sumner and Mr. Hamilton Beckett instantly reached into my heart and did not let go even after I read the last page. The cover of this book totally captures the personality of Lady Eliza. I hope to see these character re-appear in a series, as well as future love stories for Mr. Zayne Beckett, Miss Agatha Watson, Grayson and Arabella. I have heard that Theodore Wilders story is due out in May 2013. I love these character so much that I hope Jen will also write love stories for the children of these families. I don't like to read spoilers, so therefore I do not write them, but I highly recommend this wonderful book by Jen Turano. I look forward to more great books from the pen of Jen Turano in the future and I am a now a lifetime fan. I give this one a 5++ out of 5 stars. I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.
What I liked: I liked how it read quickly for me and it was full of fun and engaging characters. What I didn’t like: That you have to wait for the rest of the series. Overall Impression: Jen Turano is a new author and I can say that I will be reading more of her books in the future. I enjoy reading the story from both Eliza’s and Hamilton’s points of view. To me this seemed to make the book read a little faster. If you are looking for a funny fast read with a little suspense thrown in then this is the book for you. I liked how Eliza who was a “Lady” took it upon herself to investigate who stole her inheritance and went to go find them. Along the way Eliza meets Agatha who becomes her partner in crime. I can’t imagine going from being a Lady to a Nanny and in a new country to boot. After Eliza meets Hamilton they decide to work together as they are looking for the same enemy. You will also see how they grow closer to each other while on their “journey”. I know a few of the people we have met along the way will be in the future books in The Lady of Distinction Series. 4 Stars for me.
I loved every moment of it!
I really wanted to like this one since I liked its main character right off, but the dialog was weak and the spiritual element felt tacked on. It may be that the books later in the series are better.
Jen Turano in her new book, "A Change of Fortune" published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the life of Eliza Sumner. From the back cover: Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. 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. Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett's chagrin, all the eyes of New York society-all the female ones, at least-are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone. When Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton's path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along. Let me start out by saying that I think "A Change Of Fortune" should be made into a major motion picture. Jen Turano has given us one really fun book filled with some great characters and a rollicking plot. Lady Eliza Sumner is a Lady, that means she has never worked and on top of that she is a bit clumsy. So what happens? Her fortune is stolen so she has to come to New York to steal it back hiding in the role of a governess. Eliza is not a very good thief so, naturally, she winds up in jail and has to be bailed out by new friend, Hamilton Beckett. Now they must join forces to try to reclaim Eliza's fortune. Along the way romance develops and the book picks up from there. Eliza and Hamilton are extraordinary and well written. This is a just plain fun, exciting story that entertains while giving us an adventure. Ms.Turano has batted in a winner and I enjoyed it a lot. I am so looking forward to more from this very talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic story. It contained a little sadness, intrigue, suspense, humor, and happiness. I loved the characters which were full of compassion, love, caring and fearlessness.
I found this book to be very very good. There was a good flow good action and the author captured a true love story. So very clean book no foul language. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Kathy Weekly
Although somerimes amusing, this book is just average Everyone mutters a lot, I found it annoying
It is a well known fact that I ADORE Jen Turano. In fact, my friends like to tease me about my "That's Jen Turano" face from when I met her in Nashville last summer. However, I only discovered her books in January of 2015 with After a Fashion. Ever since, I have been building my library and now own all her books and have finally been able to start catching up on reading them! A Change of Fortune is filled with the quirky humour that I have grown to love in Jen's writing. Fun characters, mystery, wit, and romance. A fun quick read that is sure to lift your spirits and bring a smile (or two) to your face. There are also plenty of situations that will keep you on the edge of your seat and biting your nails. You won't want to put it down until you know the ending. While Hamilton and Eliza must deal with hurts and betrayals from the past, God uses the troubling circumstances to bring them closer to Himself. Set in New York City, 1880. The Gilded Age is one of my favorites to read. The fashion, the society, the adventure, is something you won't want to miss! A Change of Fortune is the first full length book in Jen's first series, Ladies of Distinction. Don't miss her other fabulous books.
If any book deserves five stars, this one does. The author combines intrigue, clean romance, a touch of faith in God with romping good humor. It is entertaining and thought provoking and not often I read a book with all of these elements included. It is also not often I giggle.and laugh out loud, either. I certainly did when reading this one. I will definitely look for more books by this author. Thank you, ten times over for this free book! If you are looking for a story for pure entertainment and stree relief, read this!
A Change of Fortune is the first book in Jen Turano’s Ladies of Distinction series, but definitely isn’t the first book I’ve ever read by her. In fact, I’ve already read both this novel and A Most Peculiar Circumstance, the second book in this series. But, since that was a couple of years ago and I had never picked up the third and fourth books, I decided it was finally time to finish the series, and I knew I should read the first two again just to refresh my memory, and because I love them. And I have to say, I had forgotten how fantastic this story is!!! I just finished Jen’s most recent series—A Class of Their Own—earlier this year, and I have to say, I think her older series is even better than the new! Lady Eliza Sumner is just the cutest character! I feel so bad for her because of all that has transpired leading up to this novel, but I couldn’t help loving her through the twists and turns her unfortunate circumstances took her. She is bright, spunky, and just the sweetest little thing, and I love the way she faces every challenge head on. She embarks on so many wonderful adventures throughout the course of this novel, the most important being the one that leads her to Mr. Hamilton Beckett, because after that, the rest is history. Hamilton Beckett is such a fun character to get to know! He is such a perfect gentleman, yet at the same time the most wonderful father and friend in the whole world, and I just loved getting to watch his feelings for Eliza grow and thrive. Besides that, I absolutely loved seeing him interact with his perfectly adorable children, as it was one of the sweetest parts of this book. His little daughter and son were a great source of merriment for me throughout this story, and I loved watching him be a doting father to them. All in all, I really loved this book, possibly even more than the first time I read it, and I stand by my decision to give it all five bookshelves. It has had a place on my all-time favorites list for quite some time, and I don’t think it will be leaving anytime soon. Plus, I’m super excited to re-read the second book in the series, and to read the third and the fourth for the first time! And, I highly recommend this series, and really any of Jen’s novels, as they are fantastic and always a wonderful source of laughter, adventure, and romance! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
I enjoyed this story. It has a good message and was easy to read as well as made me laugh out loud. I recommend.
Action. Packed reading to keep you turning pages.
Strong personalities, struggle with Faith and finding both Faith and Love. Amazing story of realizing all things happen according to God's plan for each of us.
Too predictable, too much talk of "God's Plan". I guess I am not the target audience.
I enjoyed this book. The story and characters were thought out and fully developed. Sweet and funny story. esk 07/2016
A great story and it was well written
What a wonderful story, so good to read a true romance story with God in it.
What a fantastic story! Full of suspense, hope and love. This book will keep your interest. Well written. I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series (which I just purchased). Just so you know, there are 239 pages. Enjoy a clean, sex free and no vulgar language used in this story.
The story is entertaining, but the usage of 21st century in 1880 annoys me
The story is about a woman who plans to get her stolen fortune back by assuming a fake identity , and for some inexplicable reason, everyone trusts her without even corroborating if her story is true. Also, according to everyone, everything that happened to the heroine is part of God's plan, and prayers would solve anything. If that's the case, why even try? God will fix it eventually, wouldn't he? I don't understand how anyone can enjoy this type of reading.
I enjoyed the characters, but think the story geared to a younger audience than myself.