Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: A Change of Fortune

Author: Jen Turano
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Series: Ladies of Distinction # 1

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiancé, and her faith. 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.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.

Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.

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.
“Heat seared through Eliza at his touch. She’d had her hand kissed numerous times before, but not once had a simple grazing of a gentleman’s lips against her knuckles caused her to react this way. She tugged her hand out of his grasp, mumbled one last ‘good evening,’ and stepped away from the table, this last action causing the remainder of her bindings to roll down her legs. Gathering what little dignity she had left, she turned and moved as quickly as she could out of the room.” – Paperback Copy pg. 34

“The conversation was turning tricky. Eliza knew it wouldn’t be prudent to blithely admit she’d assumed a disguise in order to perpetuate a fraud, especially as she was currently a governess to Agatha’s sisters. ‘I didn’t care to attract unwanted attention from my employer,’ she settled on saying.” – Paperback Copy pg. 40

“She really needed to be more careful with what she let slip. ‘My father died of a long illness, and I prefer not to speak of my ex-fiancé, as the gentleman turned out to be nothing but a cad.’” – Paperback Copy pg. 44

“Eliza didn’t have the strength to tug her hand out of Hamilton’s grasp. There was something decidedly comforting about having his warmth seep through her skin, and even though she was still incredibly put out with the gentleman, she wasn’t prepared to abandon his comfort just yet.” – Paperback Copy pg. 219
Lady Eliza Sumner has just lost her family, her fiancé, and her family’s entire fortune. So she decides to do the only rational thing and travel across the ocean from Europe to New York City in order to track down the thief that stole it from her. She abandons her title, her aristocracy, and her good name and lands a job as a governess to two young, beautiful girls in hopes that she can get closer to the fraud that took her family’s name and virtue. Eliza doesn’t expect all the trouble and mayhem that are in store for her, and neither does she expect to hold the favor of Mr. Hamilton Beckett.
Eliza Sumner had guts, lots of them. She was such an inspiring character to follow. She traveled all the way to America, after having lost her family and her fortune and finding out that her fiancé was nothing more than a gold digger, just to reclaim what was rightfully hers. She has no idea how she is going to do it, but she is determined to find a way. I loved her quirky nature. She was not described as being the most beautiful maiden in all the world, but she seems smart and witty, almost like a Nancy Drew type character. Not to mention she tends to land herself in trouble more than a few times. I laughed with embarrassment for her at times and nodded my head in appreciation of her witty remarks at others. Just from the cover of the book I knew that our heroine would be a ball of fire!
Eliza and Hamilton’s relationship was perfect for me. It came around slowly but the spark was there from the very start. I knew right away that they would be the perfect match. Personally I like it when the heroine is a little stubborn and doesn’t give in to any male that lies down at her feet so easily. Eliza makes Hamilton ponder the situation and ponder Eliza’s intentions. I really enjoyed watching them develop and all the twists and turns that came along with that. Eliza had her sights set on regaining her father’s fortune and she didn’t let Hamilton stand in the way of that. I have to say that I admire that trait in any heroine.
Agatha, although not the main character, provided me lots of belly laughter. She was such an unlikely sidekick for Eliza and at first I honestly had my doubts about her, but when I found out that she carried a pistol with her at all times I changed my mind instantly. She was just such a finicky character and had some unusual ways about her, and I believe that this is what made her my favorite character out of the bunch! She also had some great one-liners, and I do enjoy those the best.
This was an awesome debut and an awesome start to a new series which I will be sure to follow to the end!
***A huge thank you to the publishers at Bethany House for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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