After a Fashion

After a Fashion

by Jen Turano


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Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764212758
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/03/2015
Series: Jen Turano's A Class of Their Own Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 761,576
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of five books, 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

Read an Excerpt

After a Fashion

By Jen Turano

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer L. Turano
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1275-8


New York City, 1882

Miss Peabody, I do so hate to interrupt your work, but an urgent message has just arrived that requires immediate attention. Would you join me for a moment so we may speak privately?"

Setting aside the feather she'd been about to attach to a delightful monstrosity of a hat, Harriet Peabody rose to her feet and hurried after her employer, Mrs. Fienman, who'd disappeared through the office door. Realizing that what Mrs. Fienman needed to disclose was unlikely to be of a pleasant nature, Harriet stepped into the office and pulled the door firmly shut. After dodging numerous hats lying about the floor, she stopped in front of the desk and resisted the urge to fidget when Mrs. Fienman simply stared at her.

"Would you like a cup of tea, dear?" Mrs. Fienman finally asked, causing sweat to immediately bead Harriet's forehead.

Mrs. Fienman had never offered her tea, not once in all the time she'd worked for the lady

"Thank you, but I'm not actually thirsty," she managed to get out of a mouth that had turned remarkably dry.

"I insist." Mrs. Fienman nodded toward a tea set.

"I'd love some tea." Harriet moved to the teapot and poured out a cup, wincing when droplets of tea splashed onto the table, a result no doubt of hands that had taken to trembling. Brushing the droplets aside with a corner of her sleeve, she picked up the cup, turned, and noticed the odd circumstance of Mrs. Fienman thumbing through a copy of the latest fashion magazine. She cleared her throat. "The urgent message, Mrs. Fienman?"

"Ah, yes, quite right." Mrs. Fienman stopped thumbing and nodded to a chair stacked high with hats. "Have a seat."

Harriet edged gingerly down on the very front of the chair, desperately hoping that no hats were being squashed by the fashionable bustle attached to her backside. It truly was unfortunate she had not yet perfected the collapsible bustle she'd been attempting to create. Such a bustle would have come in remarkably handy at that particular moment.

"Now then," Mrs. Fienman began, "I need you to make a delivery for me."

Pausing with the teacup halfway to her lips, Harriet frowned. "A delivery?"

"Indeed, and I must state most emphatically that it's a very important delivery, one that I wouldn't trust to just anyone."

Setting the cup aside, Harriet rose to her feet, taking a brief second to collect her thoughts before she dared speak. "I do hope you won't take offense at this, Mrs. Fienman, but I wouldn't be comfortable delivering anything of a ... shall we say, shady nature."

Mrs. Fienman's jowls began to quiver, she turned an interesting shade of purple, and then, to Harriet's amazement, the lady gave a loud hoot of laughter. Mrs. Fienman chortled for a full minute before she finally gave a last hiccup of amusement and motioned Harriet back to the chair. "How amusing to learn you find me capable of 'shady' dealings, Miss Peabody, but I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth." She tapped a finger against one of her many chins. "Although, I have often thought that if I did possess a mysterious attitude—which again, I don't—it might be helpful for drumming up business."

Unable to summon up a suitable response to that peculiar remark, Harriet moved back to the chair, sat down, and immediately sucked in a sharp breath when she heard an ominous crunch. Knowing without a doubt she was sitting on top of what had to be a ruined hat, she couldn't help wonder how much Mrs. Fienman was going to insist she hand over to compensate for the damage done. Harriet did have a few extra dollars at her disposal, but they had been painstakingly saved with the intent of splurging on a lovely birthday dinner—not a crushed hat.

She didn't really need a savory steak to celebrate the day of her birth. No, enjoying the company of her friends would suffice, but ... a steak would have added a nice touch of extravagance to the evening, and she hadn't savored a tasty piece of beef for months.

"... so I need you to take the carriage and see to it that Mr. Addleshaw's fiancée is satisfied with the hats we've created for her."

All thoughts of tasty beef evaporated in a split second. "Am I to understand the urgent situation you're facing is due to your need for a delivery of hats?"

"Too right it is, and not just any hats, but hats specifically created for Miss Birmingham. She has only recently arrived in town, and is newly engaged to Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, one of the wealthiest gentlemen in America."

Mrs. Fienman sent Harriet a wink. "Word about the city has it he's made an obscene fortune through some manner of finance. It's my dearest hope to grab a piece of that fortune through return business from the gentleman's fiancée." She picked up a letter lying on her desk and began fanning her face with it. "This note from Miss Birmingham, while being somewhat hysterical in nature, states that the lady is concerned the hats she ordered might not complement some of the pieces of a wardrobe she had delivered to her this morning."

Harriet's mouth dropped open. In her world, urgent meant someone had died, the rent was overdue, or dinner could not be served due to lack of funds. It never meant one was anxious for a delivery of hats.

"I've sent Timothy off to get the carriage," Mrs. Fienman continued briskly, "and he'll be back directly. All you need to do is help Miss Birmingham sort through the hats, and soothe any ruffled feathers she might have if some of the styles don't exactly complement her gowns."

"I do beg your pardon, Mrs. Fienman, but I must inquire as to why you're not personally seeing to this situation, considering it seems to be of a delicate nature."

Mrs. Fienman's expression turned a little shifty. "I thought it was past time we got you out of the back room and mingling with clients."

"And you believe my 'mingling' should begin with the fiancée of one of the wealthiest gentlemen in America?"

"You, Miss Peabody, are made of stern stuff, which is why I've chosen you for this unpleasant ... or rather, delightful task. I cannot send Gladys or Peggy because Miss Birmingham is possessed of a slightly tumultuous personality. She would have those two in tears within minutes. Why, I wouldn't imagine you'd even cry if your dog died."

"I don't have a dog."

"Well, no matter. I'm certain if you did own a dog and it tragically died, you wouldn't shed a single tear, would you?"

Harriet forced a smile. "While I certainly appreciate your confidence in me, I must remind you that, when you hired me, you specifically told me I was to keep to the back room and not mingle with our clients. Because of that, I am not being modest when I say I'm not exactly equipped to deal with a member of the quality."

"My reasoning behind banishing you to the workroom was not because I ever doubted your ability to mingle with clients, Miss Peabody. It stemmed more from the fact that with your all-too-pretty face, unusual violet eyes, and luscious black hair, you'd cast our customers in the shade. However ..." She released a dramatic breath. "Miss Birmingham is not one of our usual clients. She apparently took issue with my rather large figure, and has specifically requested her hats be delivered by a person possessed of a pleasant and slender appearance." Mrs. Fienman waved a hand at Harriet. "Since you're the only person available with those qualifications, you'll have to make the delivery."

Alarm began to ooze from Harriet's every pore. While she was perfectly aware she possessed a slender figure, brought on by a distinct lack of food on a regular basis, she was fairly sure she'd detected a faint trace of glee in Mrs. Fienman's voice. She had the sneaking suspicion the glee was a direct result of her employer hoping she would cast this Miss Birmingham in the shade, which certainly wasn't going to help her deal with the lady. Before she could voice a protest, though, Mrs. Fienman leaned forward.

"I must admit I've been most curious about where you obtained such stellar good looks. Do you take after your mother or your father?"

"I never met my parents, Mrs. Fienman. My mother died giving birth to me, and my father, well ..."

Mrs. Fienman's eyes turned considering. "Do forgive me, Miss Peabody. I should know better than to ask questions of a personal nature, especially from a lady forced to make her own way in the world. But, ancestry aside, you're a lovely young lady, which is exactly what Miss Birmingham requested and exactly what I'm going to give her." She wrinkled her nose. "A word of warning, though, before you depart—Miss Birmingham seems to make a habit of throwing things when she's annoyed, so watch out for flying shoes."

A droplet of perspiration trickled down Harriet's back. "While this Miss Birmingham sounds like a charming sort, I honestly don't believe I'm equipped with the social rules and expected manners to deal with her."

"Your manners are perfectly adequate for this appointment. It's not as if you should expect Miss Birmingham to invite you to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea with her."

"What if she goes beyond shoe chucking and attacks me? Am I allowed to defend myself?"

"Certainly not." Mrs. Fienman shook a plump finger in Harriet's direction. "Defending yourself against a society lady would definitely sully the good name of my business. If that were to happen, I would terminate your position immediately."

"But ..." Harriet began as she struggled to come up with a plausible reason not to take on what was surely going to be a daunting task. "What about Mrs. Wilhelm's hat? I've only put on ten of the fifty feathers she's requested, and she's expecting delivery of that hat tomorrow."

"You'll have plenty of time to finish Mrs. Wilhelm's hat after you get back from dealing with Miss Birmingham."

Harriet glanced at the clock, saw that it was after two, and felt a sliver of disappointment steal over her. By the time she got back from making the delivery and finished Mrs. Wilhelm's hat, there would be no time left to celebrate her birthday.

Drawing in a steadying breath, she decided to throw caution to the wind and appeal to what little kindness Mrs. Fienman might actually possess. "I wasn't going to mention this, not wanting anyone to feel compelled to make a fuss, but today is my birthday. While I normally don't mind working extra hours, I was hoping I wouldn't have to work those hours today, since my two best friends have made arrangements to have dinner with me."

"Ah, your birthday. How marvelous!" Mrs. Fienman exclaimed. "Why, I adore birthdays, and if I'd known today was yours, I would have ordered you a pastry." She rooted around the papers strewn across her desk and pulled out a crumbly piece of dough that might have, at one time, been a tart. "Here, have what's left of the pastry I got this morning."

For a second, Harriet remained frozen in place, but since Mrs. Fienman was now waving the pastry determinedly at her, she had no choice but to rise to her feet and accept the woman's offering. A sticky mess of frosting immediately coated her fingers. "Thank you. I'm sure this will be delicious."

Mrs. Fienman beamed back at her. "You're most welcome. Now then, you'd best be on your way" She put a finger to her jowl. "Tell you what, don't bother coming back to finish Mrs. Wilhelm's hat today You can come in early tomorrow morning and finish the job. Won't that be lovely?"

Not giving Harriet an opportunity to respond, Mrs. Fienman gestured toward the door. "Timothy should be out front by now. Remember, be pleasant, and duck if you see shoes flying your way"

"Ahh ..."

"No dawdling now, Miss Peabody. Unpleasant matters are best dealt with quickly Enjoy your tart."

Harriet couldn't find the incentive to move. She looked at Mrs. Fienman, who was once again thumbing through the magazine, then at the mess of a pastry clutched in her hand, and swallowed a sigh when she remembered her prayer only that morning.

It was a tradition, her birthday prayer.

Every year—well, for the past six years—she'd asked God to send her something wonderful. He hadn't always sent what she asked for, but one year He'd sent her unexpected money to pay the rent when she'd thought she'd be out on the streets. Another year, He'd led her to Mrs. Fienman, which had given Harriet stable employment. Last year, when she'd turned twenty-one, she'd asked for a gentleman, and while she hadn't received that particular request, her aunt Jane had given her—rather grudgingly, of course—a gown that had once belonged to her mother. Since she'd never met her mother, had never even seen a portrait of her, the gown had afforded her a glimpse of her mother's slender figure. The fact that the silk was a delicate shade of violet had given Harriet no small sense of delight, given that violet was her very favorite color.

This year she'd decided to keep her prayer simple and had only asked God to send her something of His choosing, something she would find wonderful.

Surely His idea of wonderful couldn't constitute a half-eaten tart and dealing with an overly emotional society lady, could it?

"Miss Peabody!" Mrs. Fienman suddenly yelled, raising her head from the magazine and causing Harriet to jump. "Oh, you're still here ... Good. Although I would have thought you'd gone to fetch your reticule, but ... no matter. I almost forgot something."

She pushed aside some papers, extracted one and held it up. "I need you to present Miss Birmingham with the bill—unless, of course, Mr. Addleshaw is in residence. He wasn't in town when I met with his fiancée last week, but was off doing whatever it is important gentlemen do to earn their vast amounts of money Make certain you make it clear that full payment is expected in a timely fashion."

"You want me to give this bill to either Mr. Addleshaw or Miss Birmingham and inform them to pay it promptly?"

"Neither one of them will take issue with the request, if that's your concern." She glanced at the bill, smiled, and then lifted her head. "Good heavens, you'll need to change that hat."

"Change my hat?"

"Indeed. Not that there is anything remotely wrong with the hat you're wearing, other than it's entirely too tempting a piece to be anywhere near Miss Birmingham. I wouldn't put it past the lady to snatch it right off your head, and we wouldn't want that, would we? Especially since it's your birthday." Her expression turned calculating. "I'll tell you what we'll do. You may give me your hat in exchange for the one you so carelessly sat on. That way, I won't be forced to extract your hard-earned money from you. You may think of it as yet another birthday treat."

Pushing aside the pesky notion that the day was quickly turning disappointing, Harriet turned and eyed what remained of the hat she'd squashed. "Are those ... birds?"

"They were," Mrs. Fienman corrected, "before you sat on them. Now I'm afraid they resemble mice, and sickly looking ones at that."

"And you believe it would be for the best if I dealt with Miss Birmingham while wearing sickly looking mice on my head?"

"Miss Peabody, you're stalling again."

"Too right, I am," she muttered before she set down the remains of the tart on the edge of Mrs. Fienman's desk. Reaching up, she pulled out a few hat pins, lifted her hat off, handed it to Mrs. Fienman, and turned and scooped up what remained of the bird hat. Plopping it on her head, she made short shrift of securing it, refusing to shudder when a mangled bird dangled over her left eye, obscuring her view.

"I don't believe you'll need to worry about Miss Birmingham snatching that hat o" your head," Mrs. Fienman said as she began twirling the hat Harriet had been forced to part with. "This really is a creative design, Miss Peabody. It's the perfect size for a lady who wants to look fashionable, yet it won't hinder a lady as she goes about her day. Tell me, would you happen to have other hats crafted in this particular style, ones that might be put up for sale here at the shop?"

"I'm afraid that even though I do have an abundant supply of hats at home, none of them would be appropriate to sell here. The materials I use are scavenged from hats society ladies have abandoned to the poor boxes in churches throughout the city."


Excerpted from After a Fashion by Jen Turano. Copyright © 2015 Jennifer L. Turano. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
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.

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After a Fashion 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Alice_Knightly8 More than 1 year ago
WARNING: Reading After a Fashion may cause the following side effects: -sleepless nights -depression (you will never be as witty as Jen Turano...face it.) -random bursts of emotion -belly-aching laughter  -fangirling (with side effects of it's own due to squealing, obsessing over fictional characters, etc.) -frequent use of large words- whether you know their meaning or not -sudden urges to jump out of moving carriages or join a circus -a dazed look that may alarm your acquaintances (but not your friends- they'll simply demand to know what book you've just finished, and your closest will probably ask to borrow it.)  -a desire to give your pets names like Peabody and Oliver -aggression towards some rather nasty and slimy villains -perhaps not-so-unrealistic expectations about riding into the sunset with your happily-ever-after -a compelling desire to hibernate and be unsocial until side effects wear off (be further warned that afore-mentioned side effects do not wear off quickly.) -an excessive happiness and satisfaction ...until you discover that there is more to come in the not so distant future, whereupon discovering this you will not rest easy until you've secured those as well. Take with tea and an open- or flexible- schedule. After a Fashion will hold you spellbound with it's vivid setting and colorful cast of characters. A must read for all historical fiction readers who love to (or need to) laugh! Jen's novels always take precedence on my to-read pile, and they never disappoint with their incredible wit and totally unexpected plot twists. You can't miss out on this wild ride through New York city- from the slums to Delmonico's!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could barely put it down because the action or conversation among the characters never stopped or slowed down. Excellent read!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was fantastic as always.  There is always such wit and humor.  Then you get romance and a little suspense.  I love Harriet Peabody and Oliver Addleshaw.  They work so well together.  It was so much fun to read.  I received a copy of this book from the author and from the Book Club Network.  I so look forward to her next book.
butterflii410 More than 1 year ago
Such a fun book!  I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other.  The lightheartedness of the story and the quirkiness of some the characters made it hard to put the book down.  I must say I was surprised by the ending but it was still a good story! Looking forward to the next in the series! Jen Turano has become a regular author on my bookshelf. I was given a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
If you need a cute rom- com story I think Jen Turano is the go to author for that. In her book After a Fashion, she had me laughing out loud and reading with pleasure about the antics of the characters and the ridiculous circumstances they found themselves in. This story is a little bit of My Fair Lady with a touch of Sleeping Beauty and a dash of The Importance of Being Earnest- you will just have to read the book to know what I mean. This was a hard to put down book for me due to its whimsical nature and the thread of danger and deceit that was just lurking in the background. Capturing my attention from the very first page, including a surprising twist I did not see coming, this book is a favorite for 2015. I look forward to the next book in this series after the very cute epilogue. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
After a Fashion by Jen Turano is a delightful, light-hearted romance, full of wit, charm and amusement. The main characters, Miss Harriet Peabody and Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, are very well supported by a unique and colorful cast who provide many humorous moments. Harriet Peabody dreams of having her own shop in which she will sell refashioned gowns to independent working women like her. Unfortunately on an errand for the millinery shop where she is employed, a difficult customer causes her to lose her job and income. At the same time wealthy, single and successful businessman, Oliver Addleshaw finds himself without a suitable lady companion to assist him at business dinners and other social settings. Since Hattie’s difficult customer who caused her job loss was somehow connected to him, Oliver offers Hattie a quite lucrative position, working with him as his companion. Persuading Hattie to work for him is a major challenge. Her family background, lower social status and lack of social etiquette prompt her to refuse his generous offer, but circumstances require her to reconsider. She, though, has a lot to teach Oliver about compassion and kind treatment of others. Their journey on the way presents many humorous situations and entertainment for the reader. The author has numerous twists and turns in the plot. I highly recommend this book. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I truly enjoyed this book !! It was well written with an upbeat of fun and intrigue.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I liked the idea of the book that started off great. But seemed to just drag on to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is on the level of a 3 stooges movie. The characters are idiotic and have little substance. The author goes way overboard in trying to create comical scenes leaving the story going nowhere. Glad I got this book for free.
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
Oh how I love the stories that this author writes! I love how this story made me laugh out loud at the circumstances that these characters found themselves in. It was a story filled with wonderful and quirky characters. Add romance and humor to the mix and I consider this book to be a winner. Full review at my website. I received this book in a giveaway. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
Jen Turano's books are ones I really enjoy reading. This book is full of charm, romance and the twists and turns.. they make me smile and keep guessing how it's going to turn out. A fake relationship, fancy dinners, elegant balls, a threat, I never would have thought a love of fashion could be so dangerous to a sweet hat girl just trying to do her job. I put this delightful historical fiction on my favorite list! I received a copy of the book from for my honest opinion.
TheGenreMinxBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new series A Class of Their Own. This is a Christian romantic comedy but it has sarcasm and I love sarcasm and some hey now, pre-martial kissing, ooh la la…so risqué! It is a cute book and although there is the faith element it is not so over powering that it would offend non-believers. From the start of this book I am loving Miss Harriet Peabody’s character! She is a strong and independent young woman who is quirky and handles chaotic situations with sarcasm and sometimes not so much grace due to her personal insecurities. Working in a hat shop Harriet dreams of opening a boutique that sells essentially recycled gowns that have been made over so that ladies of mid to lower class can be fashionable, something that is not truly achievable in this time setting of the late 19th century New York. Having been sent on an errand to deliver a hat order to a member of high society that would take the most courageous soul to survive, Harriet finds herself in a comedic scuffle that ends with her being terminated from the millinery. As chance would have it that scuffle also led to an idea that formed in Mr. Oliver Addleshaw’s head that he would end his relationship with bat-crazy not quite fiancée and ask Harriet to pretend to be his new fiancée. What could he offer Harriet to make her even consider this offer? Well money of course….is this the Christian version of Pretty Woman? So here is poor Harriet with dreams that will never be fulfilled ie: dress shop, Oliver with dreams of a business deal without the strings attached ie: wifey, so let’s make a deal. They agree to a ruse that she will act as his love interest for the period of time that it takes for him to land the business deal and then they will both move on having received what they both desired. What could go wrong? Well there is the fact that they dislike each other…immensely. Which makes this book hilarious and all the more engaging. What transpires is a business arrangement that is more they bargained for. That makes both parties frustrated beyond all means but that also leads to a promising romance that they both truly wish to ignore. The main and supporting characters are well rounded and refreshing. The plot twists and climax are well implemented and there is also a dark side to this story. Harriet has a few skeletons in her closet that she is terrified of getting out…which only adds to her at times eccentric behavior. I found this story to be entertaining, hilarious, and at times even suspenseful. The spirituality woven throughout the entire book is well done because it is not so over powering that I rolled my eyes at all. I am now a fan of Jen Turano because her writing style made me laugh throughout the book. I also love sarcastic characters and that element also made me truly enjoy this book. If you are looking for a well researched and written historical fiction novel that combines elements of comedy, Christian values, and romance then give this book a try. You will not be disappointed.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
After A Fashion (A Class of Their Own book #1)***** by Jen Turano 1882....New York City...Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of opening her own dress shop catering to working women such as herself. In the meantime she creates beautiful hats—or did until she lost her position. The circumstances leading up to her loosing her position are simply hilarious.....including a large dog named Buford who is terrified of heights. Multimillionaire Oliver Addleshaw is at the brink of closing a very important business deal when things go terribly wrong. Feeling partially responsible for Miss Peabody's current situation, he comes up with a plan that will benefit them both. Now if he can convince her to help him. Wonder of wonders, Miss Peabody is the first lady who is not batting her eyelashes and swooning at his feet, which he finds rather puzzling, delightful...and challenging. After A Fashion is a fun, humorous book...oh, did I say fun! We get a taste of history, suspense, strong-willed and feisty characters, faith—learning to trust God in all things, forgiveness and humor. We watch as characters grow in delightful ways. There are so many of the characters that I love: Harriet and Oliver, Millie and Lucetta, Mrs. Hart, wise Reverend Gilmore, Oliver's grandfather and the surprise characters at the end—not giving away the surprise. And of course, there are characters with evil intent, dishonest and devious. I found myself chuckling and laughing out loud at the humorous situations and dialog. Near the end, my eyes opened wide with delight when I figured out what was coming next—love, love surprising ending! ~I won a copy of this book from the author via Celebrate Christmas Party....this is my honest review~
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
After a Fashion is a fun and quirky book. It is an easy and enjoyable read. The story-line is believeable and the characters engaging. There are twists and turns, humor, romance and fun along the way. I enjoy Jen Turano's books and this one did not let me down. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
LizR1990 More than 1 year ago
Jen Turano is quickly becoming a must read author for me. Her novels always grab me from the very first sentence and refuse to let me go until I close the back cover. The first in a new series, After a Fashion is a comical ride that is bursting with wonderful characters who promise adventures of their own to come. The story opens with an altercation that leaves Harriet Peabody in need of a job and Oliver Addleshaw lacking a dinner companion to help him woo a potential business partner. Oliver and Harriet tentatively join forces but, when do things ever go according to plan? Harriet and her friends Millie Longfellow and Lucetta Plum are delightfully witty and are not afraid to take matters into their own hands if need be. Then if you throw into the mix the reclusive and eccentric Abigail Hart, who is bent on seeing each of the girls married, you get a delightful cast of characters to carry us through a delightful new series. Every time I read a new Jen Turano book her writing and the ease of her comedy strike me. I always find myself laughing out loud and even crying on occasion. I would recommend her book to anyone who enjoys comedy and light romance. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *
MiamiKel More than 1 year ago
Before I get into the entirety of this charming novel, can we just take a moment and swoon over the cover artwork for After A Fashion? *sigh* Have you ever been pouring through a book, turning the pages and then having that moment of clarity that you actually feel like you are watching it as a movie instead of reading it in a book? Turano descriptive cast of characters is so incredibly well that this fast flowing, seamlessly easy read projects more like a movie! Each scene, from flying hat boxes to the playful dog, Buford, gave such life to this book. Refreshing, hilarious, unwaveringly descriptive, After a Fashion sews it up in as one fashionable tale! Set in the 1880's, this light-hearted read begins with Harriet Peabody, who works in a New York City hat shop. Customers are rich and obnoxious, and she dreams of the moment when one day she can open her own dress shop where she can take gowns and refurbish them for the every day women. When a moment of misfortune lands her way, she loses her job and has a huge sum of money to unfairly repay. Enter Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, wealthy businessman and witness to the unfortunate circumstances that Ms. Peabody loses her employment, swiftly offers her a job. That job? To offer her a position to pose as his betrothed! As a most sought-after, eligible bachelor, he needs someone to accompany him as his companion on one of his business deals. He sees something unique and different in Ms. Peabody, unlike the usual cast of snobby, rich girls, who pine their days away planning weddings and being in society. She takes the job, until something from her past threatens everything she is carefully hoping for - paying her dues, taking care of loved ones and special people, and all while showing compassion and hope for a future. This christian romance book is typical in the sense that most christian historical novels are - backdrops are sweeping and descriptive, a sign of the times so clear. Love felt but not displayed until exaggeratingly sweeping declarations of love while falling into each others arms ..... however, if you are a reader of christian romances, it will be all too familiar. Disclaimer: I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House, a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review. Any reflection of such is my own and this review is an honest reflection of such.
Anne_Baxter_Campbell More than 1 year ago
Oh, my goodness--Jen Turano is at it again. Another rollickingly humorous historical romance. Ms. Turano definitely loves the twists and turns in life and throws them hither, thither, and yon into her books. The experts tell authors to give their heroes and heroines a few faults--but Jen, you need to remember--only a few. It seems Harriet Peabody and Oliver Addleshaw wound up with more than their fair share. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Harriet winds up agreeing to be Mr. Addleshaw's temporary fiance'e in order to impress the Duke of Westmoore, but all the problems to overcome might instead overwhelm them. A temperamental former almost-fiance'e, a conniving parental aunt, a disgruntled fired employee, and a cowardly dog might just undo the whole plan. Not to mention Oliver's slightly shady past business dealings is making Jen's touchy temper get away from her. It could take a miracle or two to get our characters through this mess. I chortled and smirked my way through this book, and I think you will too. I received this book free in return for an honest review.
kp68 More than 1 year ago
After a Fashion, by Jen Turano, is a high action tale that tells the story of Miss Harriot Peabody, a poor hat maker, making an agreement with Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, one of the wealthiest men in 1882 New York City! Harriet's first meets Oliver when she is in the midst of a highly charged conflict with two wealthy women. These women are acquaintances of Oliver's. Harriet has been sent to fit one of these women with some newly purchased hats; however, the situation ends up with Harriet losing her job! Oliver soon suggests that he hire Harriet to assist him in securing a highly sought-after financial deal with a duke. When he next suggests that Harriet present herself as his fiance, she knows that she is in a situation that is way over her head! Harriet gets herself in some very awkward situations while trying to fit into Oliver's world, like setting a high-end restaurant on fire! When Harriet's aunt shows up on the scene wanting to try to blackmail some of the wealthy people that Oliver knows, you know that she will need someone to come to her rescue! Hang on for this fun ride as you watch Harriet navigate in this world that is completely opposite to what she has known all her life! Will Oliver protect Harriet from her aunt's vicious motives? Hang on for a wonderful surprise at the end of this tale!
LittleMissBookwormCH More than 1 year ago
Jen Turano is one of my favorite historical romance authors who focuses on the rich and the working class during the Gilded Age. Her research into the time period combined with quirky characters and unique plots like the one found in After a Fashion, make each novel a must read. Set in 1882 New York, After a Fashion sets the stage for Turano’s new series A Class of Their Own. Throughout history, there has always been an invisible barrier between the less unfortunate and the wealthy. The Gilded Age is one period of time that really highlights the separation between the two on the social ladder. I loved how the plot of the story seems to cross that barrier and blur the lines a little. A millinery shop girl + wealthy gentleman = a test of social boundaries and a lot of problems. Turano has a writing style that really separates her from other historical romance authors. She mixes a combination of unique humor, drama and suspense to really draw a reader in. After a Fashion, like each previous novel comes across as a screwball comedy. As such, the setting of the story really comes to life with vivid descriptions that make you feel like you’re standing right next to Miss Harriet Peabody, experiencing everything she does. Miss Harriet Peabody seems to find herself in a lot of awkward situations with hilarious endings to them. Despite her many insecurities, she possesses an independent spirit and enjoys the simpler things in life. Guilt motivates Mr. Oliver Addleshaw into helping Harriet in the beginning, but as he spends time with her during their fake courtship, Oliver finds himself becoming attached. However, his opulent lifestyle creates a lot of tension between the pair and even threatens their budding friendship. Harriet’s realistic beliefs and Oliver’s determination to break the social norm is woven nicely throughout the story. Even the secondary characters were fleshed out with quirky personalities and flaws that make each one endearing. After a Fashion is a fast paced historical comedy with every element of the story blending nicely together. I found myself captivated from the first line until the last. I loved the chemistry between Oliver and Harriet. I loved the suspense. I loved the plot twist at the end . . . one that I didn’t expect. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, In Good Company. I give After a Fashion by Jen Turano 5 Stars. *I received a copy of this book from the author through Bethany House, in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own and are not influenced by any outside source.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Jen Turano's After a Fashion This book is historical fiction at its best. The author makes you feel as if you are right there beside the characters in the 1882. It was interesting learning about the millinery shop workings, refashioning gowns, the theatre, business ventures, the place of woman and daily lives of the rich, working class and poor. The characters are artfully drawn and well developed. The chemistry between the main characters was undeniable. There were time when I had to laugh out loud at some of their shenanigans. The supporting characters were all colorful…each in their own way adding much flavor to the story. I loved the male main character, Oliver Addleshaw’s dog, Buford. He made for a very entertaining read. Harriet Peabody, a millinery shop girl, is sent on an errand to deliver hats to Oliver Addleshaw’s home for his supposed fiancée. Harriet never imagined how wrong things would turn out on this errand. But Oliver feels responsible for her plight. He offers her a solution to his problems and to her newly unemployed status. But will things be as smooth and successful as Oliver thinks??? Mix historical fiction, a real live fairytale, humor, social issue and romance for a good read. Thank you to book for this Book. My opinion is my own.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Perfectly delightful! It's a Jen Turano book, do I need to say more? I LOVE her stories! I picked one up on a whim probably three years ago and have been totally hooked since. She writes such hysterically funny historical fiction and I always enjoy the blend of romance, humor, and the dash of suspense. When I cracked the pages of After A Fashion I knew I would be in for a real treat. It was just as delightful as I expected, even more really. After A Fashion is full of quirky and totally zany situations. Think about it, Jen Turano has a hat shop girl, who has a few secrets, masquerading as a society lady in order for the hero to make a business deal. What kind of trouble could she possibly get into? A restaurant fire, a hysterical woman dressed only in her unmentionables, blackmail, some crazy hat designs, an eviction, a shocking revelation, two very stubborn people, and Buford. Sounds like the perfect Jen Turano book, doesn't it? I really can't say enough about Jen Turano in general and After A Fashion in particular. I absolutely loved After A Fashion. It was a great start to a new series and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book. It's historical. It's romantic. It's comedy. It's a total winner and you won't want to miss After A Fashion by talented author Jen Turano. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this. While I don't think this series will be as good as the last series (I mean there isn't an Agatha Watkins to spice things up), it was still a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
        Harriet Peabody has always dreamed of putting her difficult past behind her and opening her very own store that sells refashioned gowns to independent women. Unfortunately her vivacious and somewhat unconventional personality plays a part in helping a simple errand become a spectacle that causes her to lose her position at a millinery shop. With nowhere else to turn, Harriet reluctantly accepts an offer she never ordinarily would, for a job that will change her life.         Oliver Addleshaw is an upstanding businessman who is at a loss to how he got himself into such a big mess with the woman who claims to be his fiancée. When she causes Harriet to lose her job, he feels himself partially responsible, and so comes up with an outlandish scheme to help Harriet, as well as aid himself in making a good impression on his soon-to-be business partner. What he doesn’t expect is to find himself questioning all he thought he held dear.         After a Fashion is the first book in Jen Turano’s A Class of Their Own series, and is a novel that I have been eagerly anticipating reading for quite some time. I have read most of the books in her other series, and loved them very much, so I knew this novel would be one I would enjoy. While Jen is very talented at creating the most endearing characters, it is her heroines that I love the most. They are always independent, headstrong women who know what they want from life, and aren’t afraid to go get it. As you can imagine, that makes for some very hilarious interactions!         After a Fashion was extremely entertaining, and, thanks to a horrible migraine that had me in bed most of the day, I started—and finished—this book on Monday. I read it in only a few hours, but that was because I just couldn’t put it away, headache or no. With all of the funny moments and unexpected turns that filled this book, I couldn’t help loving it. Now, it is on my all-time favorites list, and it has received all five bookshelves from me. Clearly I would recommend this novel to absolutely anyone, and I am extremely excited for the second installment—In Good Company!
Pooke More than 1 year ago
Happy Birthday? Harriet Peabody has made it a practice to say a special prayer to God on her birthday.  This year, instead of asking for something specific, she left the choice completely up to the Almighty.  She just asks Him to give her something she would find wonderful. At first, it seems God has done the opposite, because her life starts to fall apart--and it all begins on her birthday.  She is assaulted by a bratty member of high society, and then loses her job because of it.  Even though it wasn't a very good job, it provided enough money to pay her portion of the rent for the shabby apartment she shares with her two friends, Lucetta and Millie .  An offer you can't refuse.  Next, she becomes acquainted with the rich, handsome and completely frustrating Oliver Addleshaw.  He wants to hire her to pretend, for a short time, to be his fiancée.  Her job would be to help him host business dinners along with society functions.   He offers her more money than she could make in years.  She thinks he must be quite mad.    Of course, an offer like this opens up all types of ways for things to go wrong--along with a lot of ways for things to go right, too.  We are introduced to Oliver's charming grandfather, Archibald; her gentle and caring Pastor, Reverend Gilmore; along with the snobby high society of New York City in 1882.   Also revealed is Harriet's dream of designing a new type of dress bustle, as well as, opening a dress shop where she creates fashionable, affordable gowns for women of modest means.     After the "engagement" takes place, strong-willed Mrs. Abigail Hart, a rich widow, declares herself Harriet's chaperone.  She demands that Harriet, along with her friends Lucetta and Millie, move in with her immediately.  Harriet's estranged Aunt Jane, who is constantly running confidence schemes, also makes an appearance.  She attempts to blackmail Harriet into introducing her into high society so she can pull off a really big caper.  Now for something you'll really like.... What can be the result when all these diverse characters and their stories are mixed together?  An absolutely great tale!  I haven't read a book I liked this much in a long time, and give this story six stars instead of the normal limit of five.   This is a well written work with lots of interesting characters and a great story-line.  Actually, it is a screwball comedy in book form, with a completely satisfying and happy ending.  I highly recommend it to anyone who would like an escape, at least for a while,  to a world made up of fascinating people living out a great story--with some laughs thrown in along the way.  The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review.  All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment.
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
In an era (it’s NYC in 1882) when it’s difficult to be an independent woman of self-supporting means, Miss Harriet Peabody works hard. She has solid employment from a local milliner. It’s a respectable job, and she adores the fashion industry. She’s innovative as well, and kind-hearted, wanting to someday open a shop selling refashioned gowns to other working women like herself. The day Harriet meets Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is an unfortunate one for her, as she’s left unemployed. Knowing this and assuming (wrongly) that she’s desperate for any new employment, Oliver eventually enlists her help by presenting her as his fiancée for appearance’s sake when meeting with a business partner. It is a business partnership only. Which is fine by Harriet, as she’ll never really fit into Oliver’s world of wealth, prestige, fancy dinners and elegant balls. She’s a fraud wearing expensive garments, but that’s a trifle compared to the fake relationship the two are in. After all, the relationship is just for business purposes, right? As a reader/fan of Turano’s ‘Ladies of Distinction’ novels, I looked tremendously toward this new novel and was not disappointed. I liked the ‘business partnership’ that Turano incorporated into the story for Harriet and Oliver. I always love that her female characters aren’t damsels-in-distress, but ladies who seem to value independence and independent thinking. Of course, we expect a romance to develop, but this story isn’t just about two people falling in love. It’s also a tale wrapped in business, mayhem, charm, wit’s end and trickery. It’s posh lifestyle versus life just scraping by. It’s trusting in God and finding that trust again. And at the center of it all are two imperfect people from two very different walks of life and a strong cast of supporting characters, also diverse in their current predicaments and upbringings. Highly recommend! -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.