Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Behind the Scenes




Behind the Scenes
By Jen Turano
Apart from the Crowd #1
Bethany House, 2017


Summary

After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.



My thoughts

Behind the Scenes is pure delight! As an entertaining read, high marks. In its sense of time and place, high marks. For adorable, quirky characters, high marks again. And for laugh-out-loud dialogue and situations? Highest marks of all.

Witty dialogue and quirky characters remind me so much of Georgette Heyer’s style. The engaging prose flows seamlessly; no Christian fiction author that I’ve read does this style as well as Turano.


1883, New York City


The opening scene of the Vanderbilt costume ball with 1200 guests takes up almost one-third of the book and it’s a delightful romp. I wasn’t sure about all this when I first met the “wallflowers” - Permilia Griswold, Gertrude Cadwalader, and Temperance Flowerfew, but they quickly grew on me. Asher and Permilia have great chemistry and I loved the way their relationship steadily grows – as well as elements of Cinderella that are cleverly woven in. A strong ensemble cast adds depth – a couple of my favorites being Gertrude’s employer, Mrs. Davenport, and Asher’s friend, Harrison.


There’s much more to this story, however, as Turano subtly brings in culturally relevant themes such as the questioning of social mores, the role of women, the worth of people from all walks of life, education, and helping those less fortunate. It’s always great to be reminded that, as in life, opportunities come from the most unexpected places – and people also.


Behind the Scenes has an element of mystery and some surprises along the way. The ending is delightful. This promises to be an entertaining series and I look forward to the story of Gertrude and Harrison, Out of the Ordinary, which releases in November 2017.


Recommended.


I was provided a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and Bethany House. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.



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Jen Turano, author of eight books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

Website





GIVEAWAY




To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and the four books:  After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Click on the link below to enter.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04910/

16 comments:

  1. Jen is such a great author. She brings enjoyment through her words as well as her actions.

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    1. I couldn't have said it better, Melanie. Jen has quickly become a favorite of mine.

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  2. isn't this such a fun book?!?

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    1. Oh, Carrie, I just about had a smile on my face the whole time. So good to laugh and yet see deeper themes at the same time. I'm behind on checking out your reviews, but I'm pretty sure we think alike on Jen's writing.

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  3. This book sounds like the delightful diversion that I need right now after an extremely busy semester. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. After I've gone through a stressful time or a challenging book, I need something like this. Behind the Scenes should be just the thing for you, Susie. Glad the busy semester is behind you!

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  4. I wish we could go back in time and see the Vanderbilt costume ball! The "wallflowers" names make me laugh!!

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    1. I can't imagine how Jen came up with those names, Becky! And the costume ball was something to behold. Hope you get to enjoy this book soon.

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  5. I've wanted to read Behind the Scenes since I first read about it. Thanks for the review which makes me want to read it all the more. :)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Kay, and I think you'll enjoy Behind the Scenes. Whoever wins Jen's giveaway is in for a good time!

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  6. I would love to read Behind the Scenes, sounds like a very good book.

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read Jen's book, Connie. I think you'll enjoy it.

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  7. I read one or two of Jen's earlier books and somehow they didn't quite click with me. But I read the prequel novella to Behind the Scenes and loved it!

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    1. Sometimes certain books don't "click" with me either, Patty. I'm glad tried the prequel and enjoyed it, so hopefully you'll enjoy Behind the Scenes also. Best wishes in the giveaway, Patty.

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  8. ive been looking for new authors to discover, and this one intrigues me! :)

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