4 October 2013

Review: A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

Miss Felicia Murdock is distinctly put out with God, because it seems they’ve had a slight misunderstanding. She was of the impression that she could best live out her Christian faith as the wife of Reverend Fraser—who is about to marry someone else. Despite her expectations, God doesn’t stop the wedding with a bolt of lightning, forcing Felicia to reconsider God’s plan for her life. As she is now twenty-four, that future obviously doesn’t include a husband.

Her manipulative mother has other ideas (and it’s so nice to see a manipulative mother who actually has the best interests of their child at heart, and who isn’t simply following her own agenda). She is thrown into the company of Mr Grayson Sumner, who is actually Lord Sumner. He’s in New York in an attempt to escape his heritage, and provide a home for Ming, his adopted daughter.

What follows is an amusing and exciting romp through 1881 New York society. Although she appears a bit of an airhead, Felicia actually does a lot of good work among the poor of the city, which leads her into trouble on more than one occasion, and gives Grayson the opportunity to rescue her. Unfortunately, this brings him to the attention of the owners of the Chinese opium dens, which puts him in danger as well.

I very much enjoyed A Talent for Trouble. It was an original plot with a group of likeable yet imperfect characters, and an underlying theme of God’s willingness to forgive anyone, no matter what they’ve done. It was well-written, and I especially like the way the author uses humour to soften what can be difficult issues.

A Talent for Trouble follows on from A Change of Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance and the novella Gentleman of Her Dreams (currently free on Kindle). It can be read as a stand-alone story, but it does feature many characters from the earlier books and it will be easier to understand the back story if you have read the earlier books.

Recommended for those who enjoy witty historical romance from authors such as Karen Wittemeyer, Mary Connealy and Carol Cox. Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Jen Turano at her website.

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