A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

This novel is an enjoyable read with a few twists and fun dialogue, but it is set in the wrong century. There is so much about our time, and our way of thinking in this story that one can almost imagine it taking place in the 1950s or 1960s, especially the part about the girls being arrested for prostitution. While I am sure that this could be possible, the horror of it happening to two young women who were more used to the parlor than the seedy part of town is not fully explored. The surprise of harlots being on the corner is just short of shocking to the reader given that the house the young women are going to is supposedly of very high caliber. The reader must untangle from the incongruence before jumping back into the story flow. There are other instances like this. I get the feeling this is the editor's doing, and not the author's because the story feels a bit choppy.

There is no subtlety in the story where the reader can imagine love blossoming, or imagine a situation that would lend more humor. Everything is spelled out to a T. If you like that type of story, then this one is for you. However, I miss the anticipation of the kiss as in other romances. Here is the problem with a romance combined with a suspenseful plot. Rarely has this combination been done really well.

There is very little head jumping, praise the Lord! Going back and forth between the two main characters is rather enjoyable and is done perfectly. The POV travels from Eliza to Hamilton and sometimes to others, but is not distracting, and that means it is done well. The reader is never left wondering "Where am I?"

The storyline is very fast paced, perhaps in places a bit too fast. But, it is never boring and never gives you the feeling that you have to skip to the good parts. The writing is very good, but the story could be fleshed out in places to give a bit more detail concerning the era and society-ways. Sometimes the humor comes from a blase' attitude toward a situation. While that may not have been how a nineteenth century man would have viewed a woman in pants or find himself with her skirt in his hand, it does lend to the fun of the situation. Read it for fun, not for history and you'll very much enjoy it.

This one gets 4 of 5 stars.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Change of Fortune
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
Jen Turano


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

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Change of Fortune, go HERE.


Jen grew up in the small town of St. Clairsville, Ohio, where she spent an idyllic childhood riding her purple spider bike, ice-skating on a little pond and reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books in her tree house. High School was, surprisingly enough, fabulous as Jen spent time with her girlfriends. She headed off to college with no idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up, but settled on pursuing a career in fashion because she thought it sounded glamorous. Her parents thought she’d lost her mind, but they resigned themselves to her choice and after earning a BA degree in Clothing and Textiles, Jen set off to take the fashion world by storm, only to discover retail was certainly not the glamorous career she’d imagined it would be. She moved to Buffalo, New York to take a job in the buying office of a large department store, learning all there was to know about cookware, which again, was hardly glamorous, especially to a girl who did not have a knack for cooking. She met her future husband, Al, a few months after taking this job and eight months later, they were married. After moving into management at another department store and working that for a few years, the company went out of business and Jen decided she’d had enough. One year later her son was born and Jen hung up her heels for good and concentrated on being a mom.

She began dabbling in writing when her son, then in elementary school, said he liked her made up stories as much as those in his books. It was then that she fired up the computer and never looked back.

Jen loves to write humorous stories with quirky characters and a dash of intrigue and finds historical romances especially appealing, seeing as how she’s been reading them since she was a teenager. Her mother gave her a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss, The Flame and the Flower, and Jen was hooked on the genre. When not reading romance, she loves to read mysteries, young adult and her favorite series of all time, Harry Potter.

Besides writing, Jen enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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