A Rumored Fortune

A Rumored Fortune

by Joanna Davidson Politano

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Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493414024
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 27,640
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears. She freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.
Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.

Customer Reviews

A Rumored Fortune 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
PaulaShreckhise 12 months ago
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Politano is a historical masterpiece. It is a Christy Nominee for 2019. Miss Politano has woven a rich tapestry in a mesmerizing tale of “A Rumored Fortune.” What if you had a fortune at your disposal but were afraid it would corrupt you, or make it hard to tell who your real friends were? Tressa Harlowe is cast in a very untenable position. Remembering seeing it as a child, she knows there is a fortune somewhere in Trevelyan Castle but can’t find it and creditors, workers and relatives are pounding at her door. There is also a stranger who was hired to tend the grape vines before her father’s demise. Donegan Vance has secrets and it is more than knowing how to care for the vines. Tressa muses: “I’d once thought secrets a beautiful, enchanting thing. Now I wish there was no such thing.” The chapter headings, entries in a “notebook of a viticulturist”, are full of Godly wisdom. The story is anchored in the Biblical illustration of the vine and the branches: “Of all the seasons, pruning is the one that finds the vintner working most intimately with the vines, involved in every detail of the plant.” Tressa is prompted to look at people through the eyes of 1 Corinthians 13. This was a very romantic book that focuses on trust, sacrifice, true motives and true hearts, with a few misconceptions along the way until at last eyes are opened. Like her other two books, Ms. Politano is very eloquent with her prose and teaches valuable lessons. She is a very favorite author of mine. *I purchased this ebook from Amazon. All opinions are my own.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Rumored Fortune will leave you personally changed. Without even knowing how she did it, you are drawn closer to God and have a greater understanding of who you are in Him. You can't read her books and NOT walk away changed. On the plot level, it is an amazingly rich story in love, finding your worth, and enduring the hard seasons of pruning to become a fruitful branch of the vine. Woven with amazing details of vineyard care, you are drawn into a story of gentle romance where two people learn to grow toward God and toward each other. I simply adore the relationship between Tressa and Vance. He is a swoon-worthy hero who helps others and teaches Tressa a great deal about herself. He's not perfect, but he is a hero worth loving.
sandralb More than 1 year ago
I recently read Ms. Politano's latest book Finding Lady Enderly. I was so taken in by this book, I had to research her previous books. I was not disappointment in A Rumored Fortune. This was a story that kept me guessing until the end. And left me wanting more. This is a page-turner laced with romance. Tressa Harlowe is a character you will fall in love with. She has tried all of her life just to get her father to acknowledge her. She has always felt lonely and like she doesn't natter. The hero Donegan Vance is one of my recent favorite heroes. Be still my heart. This was a wonderful historical romance. I highly recommend it.
JarmVee More than 1 year ago
Another stellar book by one of my favorite historical romance writers! Joanna Politano did not disappoint with her latest novel. This one is ripe with nuances and meaning from the vintner’s notebook. Intrigue, romance and a fortune winds together in an unforgettable read. Things are not what they seem. . . better not judge a book by it’s cover. Or a character by his words and actions. One never knows. Can’t wait for her next work of art!
Abby1219 More than 1 year ago
Love love and love this story!! Loving someone who doesn't seem to love us back is one of the hardest things to do, but yet it could be exactly what that particular person needs, even if they don't know it at the time. God has a reason for placing each and every person in our lives, the treasures that may be hidden in plain sight. God is the source of all good things, especially the opportunity to be in a relationship with Him. In Him we'll always have all that we will ever need, no matter how bad things may seem. It's in leaning on Him that we'll find and get His peace, and when things finally turn around for the better we'll know that it only could've come from Him.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
This author has quickly become one of my favorites. Her writing style grips your heart from the very beginning, while leaving plenty of intrigue to keep you turning the pages. I loved her debut novel and this one only impressed me further. A Rumored Fortune delivers great suspense and mystery, but it also entertains readers with its love story and message of faith. I especially loved seeing how our leading man and leading lady interacted with each other throughout the story. They both learn from each other and teach each other some great truths. I was rooting for them instantly and was thrilled every time they met on the page. I couldn’t guess how the story was going to end. And it surprised me in wonderful ways. I highly recommend this book! It’s bound to win over many hearts. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
swissgranny More than 1 year ago
I loved Lady Jayne Disappears, Joanna Davidson Politano’s debut novel, so I was excited to read her second book, A Rumored Fortune. Politano’s writing is exquisite, and it’s so full of deep meaning if you dig into it, pull it apart, and analyze it. The surface story is fantastic, but I thought the analogies between vineyards and people really enriched it. It’s obvious that the author did much research into this subject. The richly painted setting and characters drew me in and kept me intrigued to the end. I loved the added touch of the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. They were filled with wisdom that pertains both to vines and people. “Pruning involves difficult decisions. It’s about removing growth, even what is good and beautiful, to attain something far better.” --Notebook of a viticulturist Politano is an expert at creating multi-layered, interesting, endearing characters. Tressa and Donegan both drew me to them, although Tressa was less than enthusiastic about Donegan through much of the story. I loved his loyalty and honor and the care he took of Tressa. The growth and development of the two individually and in their relationship was well-paced and captivating. With realistic and creative secondary characters, including the vineyard and the castle, the story came alive and held my interest throughout. I enjoyed the main thread of intrigue as to the rumored fortune, which was the basis for the book, but the added romance, suspense, and inspiration were a plus for me. The scripture from John 15:5 quoted at the end of the book is a perfect one to go with it: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” I’m eagerly awaiting the next book from this excellent author. She is definitely a favorite of mine. Some of my favorite quotes from the book are: “I’ve just asked God for help in providing for my family, and I’m not about to go wasting his solution.” “I can only take so much pruning,” she whispered. “Why is God doing this to me? He’s . . he’s pruning the very life out of me.” “No, he’s bringing you to life. It takes a harsh summer to yield abundance in the vineyards. Perhaps this is your summer.” “When you feel you’re dying in the heat of summer, all a branch needs to do is to hold on. . . . Cling with all its might to the vine. That’s all, simply hold on.” I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Becky_B More than 1 year ago
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano is a book you want to read and savor. The book is filled with romance, intrigue, mystery, treasure hunting, and words of wisdom. It is so well written. I love the author’s descriptions of people, places and her wonderful use of language. The book follows our heroine Tressa Harlowe and our heroine Donegan Vance as they both change and grow towards the Lord and fall in love. The book is set at Trevelyn castle. The estate has a vineyard that is being cultivated by our hero. There are many wonderful quotes about raising grapes from the notebook of a viticulturist at the beginning of each chapter. For me the quotes were thought provoking and added greatly to the novel. Ms. Politano weaves in the theme of vineyards throughout the story. My favorite quote from Tressa “I can only take so much pruning, “she whispered. “Why is God doing this to me? He’s. . . He’s pruning the very life out of me.” A Rumored Fortune is the second book Joanna Davidson Poloitano has written. I consider her an author to watch, and one of my favorites. I highly encourage you to read this fabulous book. I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.
BookwormMama2014 More than 1 year ago
A missing fortune? A swoony hero? A dastardly bad guy? You can probably see why I jumped into this book without hesitation. This second book from Joanna Davidson Politano reaches new heights and, dare I say it, even better than her debut novel (which was exceptional). Set on a beautiful estate with a winery, I learned a lot. Donegan's wisdom and passion are beyond compare. Tressa's determination and longing for love make them the perfect pair! Watching them fight through their internal struggles and overcome so many threats, is inspiring. Set in England 1866, you will be sucked into the story from the first page. And make sure you pick up a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears while you're at it. I listened to this story on SCRIBD. You can check it out with your free trial. I received a complimentary copy of A Rumored Fortune from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
eLynda More than 1 year ago
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Politano's debut novel so looked forward to this second book from her. My expectations were to read a good story with an interesting plot and three-dimensional characters. But this book, this book went far beyond that and absolutely shattered those expectations, blowing me away. From the opening pages, I loved these characters. Tressa has wit and spunk while still maintaining femininity and class. Though not technically alone, she bears the burden of caring for those around her when they should be providing for her needs instead. She feels terribly alone but continues to walk forward as best she knows how. Donegan is a brooding hero, hiding secrets of his own. But from the first rescue, I couldn't help but cheer him on through the rest of the novel. The prose is beautiful and descriptive, allowing me to see the setting and people come alive in vibrant color. There are many quotables in this book that caused me to ponder the story in a different way and even to consider how they were true in my own life. The romance is intense, though it perks below the surface for much of the novel. But when the hero begins to pursue, it is an incredible journey that swept me along with Tressa. Without giving anything away, the intensity and loveliness increase until the end, when an exquisite twist almost made me cry. True love shines brightest when compared to the counterfeits by whom Tressa has long been surrounded. The beauty of this book is that it imparts truth in the form of fantastic entertainment. The vine analogy for life is really quite profound; I know Jesus compares us to the branches and He the vine, but the selected quotes beginning each chapter highlight it even further. I will never look at that illustration in quite the same way as it has taken on more depth and even richer meaning than I understood before. This book is stunning in many ways, intense, and hands-down the best book I have read this year. That is not intended to diminish any other authors or the books I have enjoyed, merely to communicate the power and depth of this particular novel. This will be one of those stories I read and reread many times, and will mention to anyone who will listen. I highly recommend it for those who enjoy historical fiction or suspense, and while romance readers have to wait a bit, once that really kicks in, it'll leave them breathless, too. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed are both honest and my own.
RobinWillson More than 1 year ago
Delicious mystery! There's a hidden fortune belonging to an heiress desperately in need of it, with several relatives and so called friends also in pursuit. Her father hired someone to manage the vineyards, and watch over her. A God filled and guided man. Intricate suspense and romance, in a journey of faith. Christian historical set in England. And there's a castle! Excellent quotes from Vinters that relate to the story. Joanna is an author new to me, and goes to the top as one of my favorites. There is a richness and depth to her stories that is equaled by few. #ArumoredFortune #NetGalley Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Author and Revell/Baker Publishing Group - Netgalley book review bloggers program. 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.”
LilacDreams More than 1 year ago
Tressa and her mother are summoned home. There, they’re told her father has died. He never told her where he’d hidden his treasure. Now they can’t pay their servants, their vineyard workers, or their bills with the townspeople. Worse, fortune hunters descend on them. Tressa adored her father, even though they didn’t have a close relationship. She’s told he drowned, but his body wasn’t recovered. Therefore, she clings to hope that he’s still alive. The vineyard manager he supposedly hired before his disappearance is a puzzle to her. She doesn’t want to trust him, but at times, he seems her only ally. Neither parent makes a positive impression. Her mother married for security, is relieved her husband is dead, and pushes Tressa toward an old suitor to secure her future. Her father pushed her away because of his own issues. In spite of them, Tressa is a level-headed young woman. Between searching for her father, finding a means to sustain the vineyard and their home, and fending off gold diggers, Tressa experiences more downs than ups and finds herself utterly depleted with no one to look to except, maybe, God? A happy ending is achieved for most, but questions remain: How, in an age before telephones, was the maid able to summon the hero who miraculously rescues Tressa at a critical moment? And why did no one question the villain’s identity?
TrishRobertson More than 1 year ago
With deep and thoughtful prose this enthralling story wove its way around my heart. From the very beginning, the characters monopolized my attention and I was along for a beautiful journey on a tapestry of exquisitely crafted words. Tressa’s story touched my heart with its raw emotion. She grew up longing for her father’s attention and love, and now that he is gone she feels lost. Growing up, Tressa spent many hours in her father’s vineyard and now as she works with the vineyard manager to hold the estate together she will grow closer to her heavenly father and through the very vines growing in her vineyard learn to have a relationship with God. Woven into this story is an intriguing mystery of a hidden treasure. With the wolves circling, some disguised as sheep, Tressa must decide who to trust and who to keep at arms-length. But will she make the right choice? I’ll be honest, I struggled to not flip ahead to the end to find out who was behind the mystery. This story is so tightly woven, with lots of layers that you will be left guessing till near the end before you realize the truth! I had several suspicious and found myself talking to the characters on more than one occasion. In the end, I was glad that I prolonged the agony of not knowing and stayed with characters as the truth unfolded. I really loved reading this book and give it 5-stars! You will want to be sure to carve out some solid blocks of time for enjoying this story, as you won’t want to put it down! (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
Care to go on a treasure hunt? How about a treasure hunt with fair maiden and a handsome, mysterious and gallant gentlemen on a beautiful dark steed? Intrigued yet? A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano is the second of this marvelous storyteller’s novels that I have had the pleasure to read. Tressa Harlowe and her mother return to the estate after being notified the master was ill and they must return immediately. Upon their arrival, the two learn that it was too late, he had already passed. Rumors abound about the hidden treasure at Trevelyan and have for years. Yet, why are the bill collectors descending upon Tressa and her mother for payment? There’s also family that have come to express their condolences and to stay, sneaking about looking for the treasure. It’s bad enough that the treasure hunters have been invading the estate under the cover of darkness, looking for the supposed treasure, must she be subjected to family and her former fiancé greedy impulses too? Someone must attend to her father’s vast and beloved vineyards. Donegan Vance, the handsome and mysterious stranger seems to have taken on the enormous task. Tressa has more important concerns; like how she will pay the workers. Besides, there’s something about him. Something about him that attracts Tressa, but his nature is to tell the truth, leaving her sputtering in anger and sending him away from her. When Tressa discovers her father’s journals, she must seek Donegan’s assistance in translating them because they are written in Welsh. As Donegan delivers translated pieces of her father’s journal, Tressa begins to remember visiting her father’s gardening room as a girl and the big black trunk that used to have a lot of coins enclosed. She must find the treasure in order to pay off the bill collectors and to pay her staff; a staff threatening to leave, and losing the estate. She begins to wonder if the treasure is real or if the treasure lies within herself. I enjoyed reading A Rumored Fortune and am looking forward to reading more from this author. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions, thereof, are solely my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I did not want to put this book down. I wanted to join in the treasure hunting myself. That would have been fun. I was very sorry for Tressa the way she was raised. This book had so many twists and turns. Tressa and Donegan were a great couple. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano is full of mystery and intrigue. From the opening pages of the book, Tressa Harlowe came to life for me starting when she is summoned home from abroad only to learn her father had died and she was left to care for a mother who was needy and self indulgent. Under normal circumstances it wouldn't be too bad for a family with their wealth. However, her father's fortune was shrouded by mystery and uncertainty and well hidden, leaving Tressa no money to run the large estate. She found new problems at every turn. These things provided an interesting backdrop for a fine mystery complete with long lost relatives, a former suitor and a tall, dark, handsome stranger who seemingly was hired by her father to manage the vineyard. He is not all that he seems...or maybe he is more... I liked this book for the strong female character who overcame difficult situations that would leave many a Victorian lady to swoon after the first offer marriage simply for protection. In the end I found her to be a resilient, faithful young woman. Love and fortune are not always found in the usual places and this author provides profound lessons among the pages of viticulturist's journal! I am happy that I was introduced to this author's works by Revell Books who provided me with a copy for an honest review. I recommend it for those who love a good mystery set in Victorian times.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It kept my attention from page one and was extremely difficult to put down. Switching between the viewpoints of Tressa and Donegan, it moved at a really good pace. The characters were well developed and very real. I learned about tending a vineyard and really enjoyed the lessons from the viticulturist at the beginning of each chapter. Author Joanna Politano shows us how easy it is to misunderstand those around us; their actions and words. However, unconditional love, forgiveness, and a trust in God is a constant thread through this story. If you enjoy Victorian Christian fiction, mystery, and a treasure hunt, then I highly recommend A Rumored Fortune. You won’t be disappointed! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
valet More than 1 year ago
Page after page I've kept reading A Rumored Fortune and I haven't got myself to stop for very long. A wonderful romance along with the heart stopping suspense has kept me on edge of my seat. Thank goodness, God has also been right there with them to direct and guide their paths. I've tried to pace myself with ordinary activities but no matter where I am, I can't wait to be able to pick it up again. Then, today it has happened, I've realized the end is near. Heartbroken and determined to delay the end of a wonderful read, I've tried doing something mundane like the dishes. That worked for only a short period of time so I'm writing this review, delaying the last chapter. Believe it or not, so much is going to be wrapped up in the last chapter that I can only guess. I don't want it to ever end. Wonderful characters described so thoroughly that you never forget who they are. Some of them are evil, some are rich, some live in poverty, and some seem like they could be your best friend. A wonderful, wonderful read! This book was given to me by Revell. I was not required to write a positive review.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
Wooo whoo! Another bookshelf keeper! Tressa was filled with excitement and expectation at her father’s summons for her and her mother to come home. He had never done it before! Upon arrival she finds it was the butler who sent the message and her father is dead. She is of course heartbroken. She had never given up hope to have a relationship with her cold and distant father. Her mother is delighted because now she can spend his vast fortune he controlled. A monkey wrench is thrown into her greedy plans because it is rumored he has hidden the wealth but no one knows where! He had promised to tell Tressa before he died! So she and her mother sit in their magnificent castle home with an unpaid staff of 65 and “shillingness”. As you know when it rains it pours with life’s problems. Merchants are demanding unpaid bills, treasure hunters and greedy relatives descend upon the castle hoping to get part of the hidden treasure. On top of that she is met by a shadowy man that claims was hired for her father to care for the vineyards. A job he never delegated to anyone! I found this book to have many “treasures” of the best kind. First was the spiritual analogy of the vineyard and John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Even though this was a fiction book, it drew the reader to the importance of Christ and their relationship with Him. The author did it so naturally! It made the story even more beautiful. Instead of just reading and enjoying it I also derived spiritual insights and thoughts. The quotes from the notebook of a viticulturist before each chapter were though provoking, making me want to them more than once. I loved the mystery, suspense and excitement! I was guessing from moment to the next about what was going to happen. Even when I jumped to conclusions I was usually wrong! Tressa’s sweet spirit and living as a Christian in such dire situations was refreshing. Her focus was on the needs of others despite her problems. I must say her mother was a bit annoying with her shallowness and “llama llama mama drama.” The author’s detailed descriptiveness of characters, emotions and setting made it like a movie was playing in my head! An incredible book! I will definitely want to read every book Ms. Politano writes! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
BugsBookReviews More than 1 year ago
About this book~ "Tressa Harlowe's father kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Now Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune-before someone else finds it first." Profanity/Violence~ Tressa goes to a gate that leads to a grave, it's not bad but it was kind of spooky. Sexual Content~ Awareness of each other. Tressa remembers that only her nightclothes covered her beneath her cloak. Donegan and Tressa kiss(1 semi-detailed, 1 not-detailed, cheek, ear, and nose kisses). Harlowe hopes that Tressa kissed Donegan back when Donegan told him that he kissed her. Other~ Mention of a wishbone and what to do with one. Age recommendation: 12+ My opinion~ Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish this book. While I was intrigued during the beginning, I lost interest in the book after a while. My studies have also been quite heavy, so I haven't had that much time to read. As to the content of this book and the style, it was great. A good, clean read for those who like treasure hunts and hints of Gothic mystery. I was a little of my comfort zone reading this book, but out of what I read I would give it a 3 star rating. I just kind of lost interest in the story, and as I mentioned before, my studies have been taking most of my time. Overall, I would recommend this book, and I am sorry that I wasn't able to finish this book. *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting read with a different twist than your usual treasure hunt. Some parts I found a little slow going, but the author kept me interested in the story and added plenty of surprises along the way to make the story appealing. I enjoyed how Tessa's character matured and grew throughout the story, and I also liked the hero and the sense of mystery that surrounded him. He seemed to have good depth of character. Tessa's mother, on the other hand, is quite the character, and had me in a bit of an uproar at times, with her antics and attitudes. All in all, there were lessons to be learned. I loved how the author incorporated the story of the vineyard and the vine-dresser into the tale, using the Scripture from John 15, as Tessa's father had been a vine-dresser himself and taken pride in his own vineyard. I also liked how she used her appreciation for random acts of kindness as part of the plot too. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I was impressed enough to read another one in the future. A big thanks to Revell for providing me with a free copy of this book. I was not required to review it positively and all opinions are my own.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “The undeniable truth of God’s pursuit engulfed me in a great awareness of love I’d never expected. That word connect — it was not a command from God, but an invitation. A lifelong one. The realization of this abundant love beamed onto me in glorious rays of lovely moonlight, solidifying his true position in my life.” ** Travel to 1866 England with Joanna Davidson Politano’s “A Rumored Fortune” — a tale with mystery, romance and lessons to be learned. Tressa Harlowe is returning to her home at Trevelyan Castle after learning of her father’s mysterious death — a boating accident where his body was never recovered. To make matters worse, her father Josiah has left the estate in a financial quandary, with rumors of a hidden treasure. As creditors and laborers of their precious vineyard threaten action against Tressa for payment due, she must quickly figure out if there really is a treasure, and where it could possibly be located. She must also determine if she can trust the ruggedly handsome Donegan Vance, a mysterious yet gruff man her father hired to manage the vineyards. Is Donegan there to be helpful and trustworthy, or is he just in it for the money too? Politano sprinkles just enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as to the mysteries of the story — just who can be trusted? is there really a treasure? if so, where is it? She also does a great job of deeply diving into her characters, revealing their deepest and most inner workings. She also creates several delightful “minor” characters — like lady maids Margaret and Lucy; the loyal butler, Amos; Ginny, Donegan’s 9-year-old niece; and some lovely towns people. Full of so many goodies, “A Rumored Fortune” is a tale of forgiveness, redemption, finding a purpose, love, and secrets (“Secrets were wonderful commodities, little nuggets to be grasped and then spent at the right moment”); poverty versus wealth, both financially and spiritually; drawing something good from even bad situations; evaluating what kind of fruit we bear; speaking truth in love and gentleness; seeking peace and answers from God; and the concept of striving, not thriving. Two major themes are treasures and vineyards. As Tressa seeks her earthly father’s treasure it also causes her to reflect on her heavenly Father’s treasures. Politano also relies heavily on imagery taken from caring for a vineyard. She compares almost every aspect of life to the process of caring for a vineyard, and of course brings it back to the biblical passage referring to Christ being the vine and we are the branches. Overall, “A Rumored Fortune” is a very good novel. At times the vineyard imagery got almost a little too excessive, and occasionally some of the passages could be a little too introspective with not enough action, but overall I really enjoyed Politano’s latest novel. Four stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
A Rumored Fortune was a tale shrouded in mystery. The main character, Tressa, was forced to navigate the turbulent rumors and dangers that surrounded her family estate and vineyard. I really felt for Tressa. At times she was a good judge of character, and at other times she fell short and made the wrong decisions regarding people’s true motives. It was truly understandable, though, given that she was working with such limited information. I also felt sorry for the lack of love this very caring young woman had received growing up. There were many interesting side characters to sort through and two love interests who were vying for Tressa’s attention. The overall story slowly revealed the details of the past, clues about the rumored fortune, and hints regarding the true nature of all of the major players. This author did a good job at hinting at the truth through vivid word imagery. I enjoyed this mysterious tale. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
amandainpa More than 1 year ago
This is Joanna’s sophomore novel and it was just as amazing (or better) than her debut. Her writing is beautiful. She is very gifted at setting the scene and placing the reader in the environment right beside the characters. The setting of this story was an old castle but in the time period of 1866. The story had a Gothic feel which added to the atmospheric quality of the story. There were some twists in the story (one in particular) that I would classify as jaw dropping. I live for twists in my books so I loved this aspect in the book. I also loved the plot…it was such a fun concept of a treasure hunt to locate this “rumored fortune”. It reminded me of modern day families, friends, and acquaintances that “come out of the woodwork” when someone is blessed (or cursed) with a windfall. The fact that there were several unlikable characters in the story made it more fun for me. For some reason, I find that the addition of unlikable characters add validity and more of a realistic quality to stories. Overall, this was an excellent, quick read that I adored and I will read anything that Joanna writes from now on! I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
AMHeath More than 1 year ago
What I Loved: This was a prime example of fine Christian fiction. From the moment the story began, I was captivated by Tressa, her world, and her story. And as it unfolded, I was treated to an interesting new mystery. The conclusion of the mystery wasn’t clear from chapter one, so it was nice to go on the treasure hunt with the rest of the cast. The romance was sweet and clean. But what really stood out to me was the way Politano crafted the story to include tips on keeping a vineyard to mirror the Christian life. Again, and again, and again I found myself being convicted, refreshed, and reminded of various areas in my relationship to Christ. If you read this novel, keeping in mind the Biblical context of Christ being the vine and you being the branches, there is so much more waiting here for you than just an entertaining story! Bringing the focus back on Christ is what makes Christian fiction such a valuable form of entertainment, and Politano kept the focus where it ought to be in the most natural way. Oftentimes, with a vineyard setting, the reader may see things such as wine tastings but that wasn’t the case here. The focus was solely on the growth of the grapes and not the producing of wine. Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend A Rumored Fortune to all Christian Fiction fans but especially fans of Christian Historical Fiction. I give it 5 stars. ~ I received a copy from Bethany House through Net Galley. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own.