Monday, December 10, 2012

Review of "A Change of Fortune" by Jen Turano

Rating: 3 Stars
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Summary: Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiancé, 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.
When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along. - Bethany House
Review: I was first introduced to Lady Eliza Sumner and Hamilton Beckett in Jen Turano's prelude novella, "Gentleman of Her Dreams."  The novella sets the tone for spunky, quirky characters and entertaining situations.  Those qualities continue in "A Change of Fortune," with comical and sometimes over-the-top events.  The plot is quite lighthearted, but does contain themes of faith, trust, and true fortune. 
I had high expectations for "A Change of Fortune," but it did not capture me as much as I expected.  The balance between fun and depth tipped more in the direction of fun and quirkiness.  While I appreciate comical scenes, I like them to be interspersed with more realistic and serious situations.  There are many moments in "A Change of Fortune" to make readers laugh with the amusing outlandishness of the characters' escapades.  The characters are somewhat larger-than-life, but they are still likable.  Hamilton's children are especially charming and sweet.   

Much of the plot is carried by dialogue, which I found distracting at times.  Some scenes felt cluttered when they featured several characters contributing to a conversation.  The emphasis on conversation did not allow me to delve below the surface of the plot. As a result, I was not completely drawn into the novel.
"A Change of Fortune" provides readers with an escape into a world where humor can be found even under unfortunate circumstances, and laughter can develop in tense moments. Jen Turano's "Ladies of Distinction" series promises to be entertaining.  It is easy to see the potential for future novels within the pages of "A Change of Fortune."  My first impression of the series was developed when I read "Gentleman of Her Dreams."  Hopefully the other novels will follow in its footsteps. 

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”

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