Hi everyone! I’m sorry it’s been a while since I wrote. I had this post planned for last week, but it didn’t feel right to share it at the time. But, especially with the holidays coming up, I realized that I need to kick myself back into gear and start getting these reviews up and shared. Oh, and did I mention that I absolutely adore ‘book season’ (which is just about wrapping up)? Seriously, SEVERAL of my favorite authors have all come out with their newest novels, so my TBR stack just multiplied exponentially. lol. Although, I don’t think it’s a pile or stack as much as bookshelves… maybe bookcases? lol. So, this week, I am reviewing an older series, but one I recently discovered and absolutely love! The author? Jen Turano. The series? Ladies of Distinction. So, bare with me on this long post, but I think you’ll find it worth it.
This is probably one of the funniest series of novels I have ever read! Several times I’ve had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard, which led to several odd stares from my husband. And of course, explaining why these scenes are hilarious always makes them even more so. Lol. Jen Turano brilliantly weaves together strong characters, wonderfully entertaining romances, great, deep messages, with a deep suspense-driven storyline. One page has you on the floor laughing, while the next has you at the edge of your seat, breath held to see if the hero can rescue the heroine in time, or if she can rescue herself. Both her heroes and heroines are so strong, and extremely intelligent. While they entertainingly but heads, they also match each other’s personalities very well. I think the heroines are my personal favorite. She has a wonderful blend of such strong personalities; these women are truly strong and intelligent, and can definitely handle themselves, but they do so without losing their femininity. And, the heroes have a special place, because they are truly swoon-worthy, suave, and dashing heroes running in to rescue their damsels in distress, without forcing said damsels to stay in the kitchen. But maybe I should introduce you to some of the charming characters and the specific books in the series. While each is a stand-alone story, it does help to read them in order, as most of the characters are present from the first book. Besides, it’s hard not to want to read all these wonderfully hilarious tales.
The first story is the novella: Gentleman of Her Dreams. This is probably the most stand-alone of the stories, but it sets up the setting for the rest very well. Charlotte is a go-getter, with an imaginative mind, and the gumption to go after what she wants. And when she determines that God’s chosen a certain gentleman as her husband, she gets into some very entertaining scrapes trying to get his attention. And then there’s Henry, her long-time best friend, just recently returned from sailing around the world, who is roped into helping her with her marriage-scheme when he himself has realized he has feelings for her too. It’s an entertaining read, and a great beginning for this series.
A Change of Fortune is the official first novel, and starts the series off with its unique twist of mystery and comedy. Eliza is a born noble, a lady of England, but her father’s death, and being cheated from her fort
une, sends her to New York searching for the man who swindled her. She poses as a governess to find the man, but she didn’t expect to literally fall into the arms of New York’s most wanted bachelor. Hamilton wants nothing to do with women; his sole focus is on a man who seems to be cheating his family out of money. But when the charming governess falls into his arms, he finds his focus wavering. When they discover their shared enemies, a tenuous partnership is formed. But while Hamilton wants to do all the work himself, Eliza is not going to just sit by and determines to take her fortune herself, even without Hamilton’s help. Their relationship is probably the most even from the beginning, but even they are enjoyable to watch banter. Throw in a couple of unruly kids with big hearts and you’ve got a frolicking good time.
A Most Peculiar Circumstance lives up to its title. You’ve got Arabella, wealthy socialite, who has no problem traipsing around the country to help out women in need, even if it means getting into messy situations. Theodore is one of the best private investigators in the country, and when he’s hired by Arabella’s brothers to track her down, he’s expecting a sweet, docile woman who knows her place, not the spit-fire who landed in jail. While Arabella’s one of the most progressive women he’s ever me, Theodore is one of the most old-fashioned men she’s known. Sparks immediately fly, and both seem to bring out the arrogant side from the other. The banter between them is akin to Benedict and Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado, and I couldn’
t help but fall in love with the way their relationship progressed. Throw in some unscrupulous men who threaten both of them and it’s a recipe for a fun adventure.
In A Talent for Trouble, Felicia, the image of lady-like perfection, and
Grayson, the English nobleman hiding behind his secrets, get thrown together for an adventure that’s other-worldly. Felicia
is kind, compassionate, and has spent years grooming herself to become a minister’s wife, even going so far as to wear horrid gowns. But, when the man she wanted chooses another, she soon finds herself free to choose to be someone else entirely: the girl she is inside. That girl is spunky, adventurous, and too inquisitive, especially of the new-in-town lord, for her own good. Grayson, for his part, is haunted by his choices in his past, and deaths he believes are of his own making. But, when his past seems to come back to life, they learn they have to work together to make right certain wrongs, and hopefully stay out of prison.
The last book, A Match of Wits, finally tells the story of Agatha and Zayne, two people who have obviously fallen for each other since the first novel. However, while Zayne is no longer with his former fiancé, even more pressing issues seem to keep the two apart. Agatha is a strong-willed, independent woman, who writes scathing exposés about the downtrodden, earning her more than one enemy along the way. Zayne is hardened by life’s circumstances, and the last thing he wants is to be dragged back home to his family by the obstinate girl too proud to admit she needs help. As both work hard to be the hero the other ‘needs’, they hate being seen as needing help. Sparks fly as these two match their wits to the other, fighting themselves and each other, even while needing to find and fight a bigger enemy.
All together, this series was a great read, filled with memorable scenes *cough* jail *cough*, adorably lovable characters, and flying sparks between the love interests make these truly memorable. It is a series I highly recommend for anyone looking for a great laugh, strong characters who learn and grow, and a wonderful moral message about trusting God through the difficult times. I hope you enjoy these stories, and this wonderful author, as much as I have!
If you’re interested in finding out more, you can always follow this wonderful author on Facebook, as well as check out her website. Each of these wonderful books is available for Kindle and NOOK, and the novels can also be found in paperback at most retailers.