21 December 2012

Guest Review of Jen Turano's by Lisa Norato

A Change of Fortune


5 out of 5 stars for this delightful, engaging novel!

A CHANGE OF FORTUNE 
(Bethany, 2012)
Reviewed by Lisa Norato

Author Jen Turano writes with sparkle and whimsy in a debut novel that had me thoroughly engaged with her characters and their very often comical exploits. Eliza Sumner has ensconced herself in the height of New York society disguised as a pudgy Victorian governess who shall go completely unnoticed…or so she believes.  Eliza is hardly unnoticeable and the confession of her true identity—that of being Lady Eliza, daughter of a late earl—is soon drawn out by one of her charges.  

A few years younger than Eliza, Agatha joins her supposed governess on the first of many zany escapades, as Eliza tries to reclaim the fortune stolen by her father’s man of affairs.  After tarnishing the Sumner name, Bartholomew Hayes fled to American to take up residence amongst New York City’s elite.  Eliza’s mission is to ferret out the villain, reclaim her stolen fortune and promptly return to England.

She quickly gets herself into a fix where she not only lands in jail but gets herself dismissed.  With no money, no employment and nowhere to go, she is rescued by a gentleman she met at a dinner party she was forced to attend.  Hamilton Beckett is the City’s most sought-after bachelor.  Well, not so much a bachelor as a widower with two small, unruly children and no intention of ever marrying again.

Hamilton takes Eliza into the shelter of his home where she promptly forms a deep and mutual affection for his children, despite the fact that they have sent each of their many nannies fleeing.  The children are precocious and adorable and had me laughing many times over.  Hamilton and Eliza join forces when it is discovered they share a common interest in Bartholomew Hayes.  He is suspected of having an unsavory connection to a man who has been trying to sabotage the Hamilton family’s railroad business.

Despite Hamilton’s disinterest in marriage and Eliza’s determination to return to England, feelings develop and sparks fly, but how can Eliza know for certain if Hamilton’s regard for her is anything more than an interest in securing a mother for his children?  Or perhaps he is simply interested in her fortune like the fianc√© who jilted her back in England?

A Change of Fortune had me smiling all the way through with its large cast of animated characters.  I look forward to the next novel in Jen’s Ladies of Distinction series.

Question: It is the Friday before Christmas. What is one last minute thing you end up doing every year? 



Review by Lisa Norato, author of "Prize of My Heart" (one of Carrie Fancett Pagels' favorite books for 2012!) and other novels. Lisa blogs at Colonial Quills, also. She lives in the Northeast.

28 comments:

  1. My last minute thing .... the little extras to have at the house when people stop in !!! I never remember till I think about what I need for groceries and who is stopping by, always a few things I will need, just in case.. I love the holiday season !!!!! Chicki

    Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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  2. Thanks for visiting this morning, Rosemary, during this busy season. May you have lots of lovely visits with family and friends and enjoy a blessed holiday! I love Christmas, too, and when the holidays have passed and the excitement's over, I recommend Jen's book to curl up with and a cup of hot cocoa!

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  3. LISA, thank you for being our guest this week and what a wonderful review! Sounds like such a fun book!

    I do everything beforehand so I can relax for a few days. Just going to the grocery store to get things for our family Christmas Eve get together is about the only last minute thing I do. I love curling up with a good book or two after the holidays. Alot of relaxation time in cold SC during Jan. and Feb.

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  4. It's a pleasure to be here, Diana, to tell everyone about Jen's book! I'm with you; lots of reading time spent in jammies during the cold months of Jan. and Feb here in New England, too.

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  5. I do my baking after all else is done. My sons and their families would be disappointed if there weren't the Christmas treats they grew up with, like shortbread cookies, gingerbread men, and fudge.

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    1. Mmm, Janet, sounds delish. Especially with Christmas Eve being on a Monday this year, this should be a busy baking weekend all over.

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  6. LISA what a great review!! Jen's book is wonderful, I think everyone should pick up one for Christmas. :) THanks for being with us today!

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    1. I forgot to answer the question, wrapping the presents is usually the last thing I do on Christmas Eve when the kids are in bed.

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    2. Thanks, Teresa, and I agree! Jen's book would make a great gift, and speaking of wrapping, that is the last-minute thing I need to do myself this year!

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  7. Baking! I always wait until the last minute :) Call me Mrs. Procrastinator!

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    1. Fabulous review, Lisa! I read this book in half a day, I was SO HOOKED!!!

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    2. Thank you, Anne...er, Mrs. Procrastinator, lol. Merry Christmas to you and yours! And happy baking!

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  8. I am usually done with everything a few weeks before Christmas, but this December has seemed to come and go so fast! I've had to do some last minute Christmas shopping and that makes me feel like I forgot something. I don't like being rushed...I SHOULD be ready now. :/

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  9. Time does seem to be passing unusually fast this year. Thanks for stopping in to share, Debbie, and may you have a blessed Christmas!

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    1. Have a wonderful Christmas, Lisa and a blessed New Year!

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  10. Hi Everyone - sorry I'm late chiming in today - but the reason why relates to Lisa's question - My husband always, always, always waits until the last minute to do his shopping - and for some reason - well, he took today off work - but wanted me to go with him - I had to skulk around stores while he shopped for me - and I'll just pretend I didn't see him in that shoe department - holding up a most fabulous boot.....but, here I finally am and thank you for all the comments.

    LISA - loved your review - thank you for taking the time to do it - and I wish you a very, very Merry Christmas.

    All the best,

    ~ JEN ~

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    1. Jen! I think it's great that your husband shops for you, and even took off work to do it...even if he does wait till the last minute. Hope he got you those fab boots plus some other cool stuff. Thank you for writing such a wonderfully entertaining book! And may you have a very merry, blessed Christmas!

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  11. I always wait until the last minute to get stocking stuffers!

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    1. Greetings, Megan! Oh, stocking stuffers are the most fun to buy and receive. Good luck with the shopping and may you have a wonderful holiday!

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  12. I take that last minute before midnight on Christmas Eve to turn my face towards the sky, close my eyes and pray: "Snow!" (It doesn't always work, but here's hoping for a white Christmas every year.) Joyeux Noel!

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    1. Kristy, here in New England that prayer is predicted to come true. We are expecting a light snow on Christmas Eve. Hope your holiday is blessed!

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  13. LISA... what a fantastic review you've written!! It makes me want to pick up this great book again to read!!! As you mentioned in your review, it is delightful, engaging, and thoroughly enjoyable!!

    It's Saturday over here in Australia so even less time before Christmas hits! Last minute things usually always include a dash to the shops to grab something we've completely forgotten, tidying and readying the house and placing the gifts under the tree!

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    1. Thank you, Noela! It was a great book, wasn't it? Wishes for a blessed Christmas being sent to you in Australia! I'd love to visit there some day.

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  14. Usually it's out for a few last minute gifts or Christmas dinner fixin's!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Louise! Hope you get all your last minute items out of the way with no stress.

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  15. I usually end up wrapping the presents at the last minute! I hope I win this book! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Merry Christmas, Veronica! Your name will entered in the drawing and good luck.

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  16. Baking cookies on Saturday is probably the last thing I needed to do to feel ready tor Christmas.
    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)Yahoo(dot)com

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