A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction Book #1)
by Jen Turano
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, 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.
"Set in New York City circa 1880, Turano's historical romance has witty dialogue, a spunky heroine, a bounty of humor, and a fast-paced plot. There are wonderful secondary characters, too, including an ankle-biting boy, a relentlessly matchmaking mother, and a full cast of despicable villains. A Change of Fortune will make a delightful addition to any library." --Booklist (starred review)
"Turano's charming story of losing and gaining both wealth and love in 1880s New York City will certainly please fans of witty and classic romance stories."--RT Book Review
"[A] delightfully lighthearted debut novel."--Desert News
Eliza is no milk-toast English Miss. She has come to America and taken a job as a governess so she can track down those who took her fortune and ruined her family’s reputation. She inadvertently discovers the assumed name and whereabouts of her father’s steward who embezzled the family fortune. Agatha, the elder daughter of the family that employs her, insists on tagging along when Eliza attempts to sneak into the home of the thief. They run into the Beckett brothers who are already there sneaking around. The Becketts believe the thief has a connection to a man who has been continually underbidding their company bids.
The misadventure gets Eliza and Agatha in trouble and Eliza fired from her position. Hamilton Beckett offers her refuge at his home until they can find proof of the theft and the connections.
Hamilton is a widower with two children – a precocious five-year-old daughter, Piper, and a three-year-old son, Ben, who has a bad habit. Eliza is soon charmed by the children, not to mention the tingles she feels when their father is in the room. Hamilton’s match-making momma is quick to notice the attraction between the two and eager to scheme ways to put them together.
One stumbling event leads to another with Eliza finally having to risk facing the villains. Hamilton and his mother, plus friends, are there to give her support even as she faces serious danger. Along the way Eliza realizes she needs to stop being angry with God. She needs to learn to “Trust” again. After all, her misfortune has saved her from marriage to a money hungry fiancé and, just maybe, it has brought her to a new family where she can love and be loved.
This is a totally delightful read! It is a bit madcap at times but that is part of the lighthearted fun. I enjoyed the undertones of romance and Hamilton’s bumbling attempts to secure Eliza’s hand… and heart. There is danger, kidnapping and a last minute stand-off. Even then, the gentle humor, and God’s protective touch, shine through in the story. I like how Ms. Turano gently portrays God’s hand at work in Eliza’s life.
I will definitely be reading more books by Ms. Turano, starting with the next book in the series. I highly recommend this to readers who love historical and inspirational romance.
I purchased this book in print for Ladies Book Club (and purchased the ebook for my reading.) This was our November book discussed on 12/5/15.
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