Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano
Series: Ladies of Distinction
Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance
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(Synopsis in review)

I think sometimes I need a palate cleanser. I had been reading so much speculative fiction lately that I was desperate for something different. And good. I'll admit, I went into this book hoping I'd like it but figuring that I wouldn't. I don't have the best track record with romance novels. Or Christian romance novels. Or historical romance novels. Or - okay, you get the point.

So, anyway, I think I discovered this book from one of Goodread recommendations and thought it sounded entertaining. I found myself a preview of the book and skimmed ahead until the heroine and the hero met. (Mostly hoping to avoid the alpha-hero-ness that I hate in books.) As soon as I read their meeting, I knew I had to buy this book.

It's the story of Lady Eliza Sumner, disguised as a governess in New York City, searching for the man that stole her family fortune. In a short period of time, Eliza was dealt several blows: she lost her father to illness, her fortune to a con artist and her gold-digging fiancé to a woman - any woman - with money. (She is doubtlessly better off without the last one.) She is, currently, not on speaking terms with God. Mr. Hamilton Beckett is a recent widower with two young children, a broken heart because of his wife and a matchmaking mother. When these two meet, the sparks flying are immediate.

Eliza is a quirky young lady. She is in possession of a wonderful sense of humor and quite determined to finish what she set off to do - no matter the trials in her way. She's a wonderful lady and, I don't doubt, she would be a faithful, loyal friend to have. As important for me as liking the girl in a romance is liking the guy. Hamilton is quite the gentleman. He loves his family and is considerate to people - though he mostly wishes to be left alone by all the socialites looking for a husband. He's quirky and intelligent with a certain quiet sexiness about him.

The other characters were so much fun as well. Everyone's a little of the crazy side, I believe, but that makes for some wonderful conversations. What I especially liked was the moderately large cast - unusual for most romances I come across. Even better is the fact that Eliza gets a girl friend. Someone to hang out with and talk about guys with. (Or, rather, be grilled about guys by.)

The humor of this book was so delightful. This is what I think most romances lack for me. Zany humor of the style of Grant and Hepburn come from the leads and just pure fun humor from the supporting cast - kind of reminds me of the old romantic comedies of the thirties to fifties.

I'll admit, if you're looking for accurate historical fiction, you're probably better off passing on this one. However, if you care more about getting attached to characters and laughing, then I certainly recommend this book.

This is the first in a series, with the other three following different couples. (And I'll certainly be reading them.)