Title: A Change of Fortune
Author: Jen Turano
2012, Bethany House
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
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.
I'm almost at a loss as for what to say about this book. I liked the idea of the book a lot. Eliza Sumner is in America, posing as a governess and trying to find the man who stole her fortune. I thought it was an excellent premise. Unfortunately... it went downhill from there. I'm not really sure what the point is of writing a historical fiction novel if there's not going to be much historically accurate. I think I was expecting more of the novel in that respect and that's why I was disappointed. There was hardly anything that the characters did that seemed accurate to the time period. The characters were all very underdeveloped and there were a lot of them.
I'm not sure how to explain the dialogue. It seemed like it moved way too quickly or maybe it was that it seemed so contrived. Not really free-flowing and realistic. Also, the farther the story went on, the more ridiculous it became. I don't necessarily have a problem with books of this nature (I have read and enjoyed The Impossible Bachelors series by Kieran Kramer), but I guess I didn't think this book was meant to be this way and that bothered me.
It wasn't all bad... I enjoyed most of the book if I overlooked all of the above and just tried to ignore the fact that it wasn't period correct and kind of outlandish. I probably will not be picking up the next book in the series though.
Disclaimer: I received this book for my honest review from Bethany House Publishers. I did not receive any other compensation and all opinions are uniquely my own.