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Glamorous Illusions: A Novel (Grand Tour Series) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Cora Kensington is a young woman who grew up on a farm in Montana. She returns home in the summer of 1913 from her studies to become a teacher. But the crops are failing and her father is ill. It seems that things are bleak until a rich stranger appears at their door and everything in Cora's life changes. She is given the opportunity to do the “Grand Tour” of Europe with kin she's never known on a journey meant to educate and refine.
Bergren does a fine job of building characters that stand out and that I cared about. I love Europe and so the setting really appealed to me. Cora is on a journey of self-discovery. Her love for the farm, the simple life she left behind with parents she adores causes her to struggle with her new enjoyment of the life of the privileged and rich that she is now experiencing. Although I always enjoy a rags to riches story, I felt things came a little too easy for Cora. Having been raised on a farm, she should have struggled more with the etiquette of the rich, but instead she seemed to fit quite well and hardly made any faux pas. She seemed too perfect.
I loved William's character the most because his actions fit well with his station in life. He was very real to me. I understood and empathized with his struggles.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I appreciate reading Christian fiction that's more than just a sweet story. I crave depth, character development and a storyline that isn't predictable. "Glamorous Illusions" didn't disappoint me in any of these areas!
This was one of those books where I had to struggle to "pace myself" while reading it. I could have easily convinced myself to pull an all-nighter and polish it off - but then it would have been over. This book is THAT good, and I just wanted to savor it for a little bit longer. The best part of "Glamorous Illusions" was noticing that it is just "Book One!" I look forward to reading future books in the series!
I sat down hoping to read a well written, light Christian romance and escape into another world for a while. The author delivers. While slightly shallow, the book was nicely done and good enough to keep me steadily reading. The author changes POV's quite often, which did cause a little distraction, especially when the main character was the only one to speak in first person when it switched to her. It's a cinderella story, with our beautiful heroine being swept away from her rough life on the farm into a lavish life of the rich and famous. She immediately embarks on a 'grand tour' of Europe, and spends the rest of the book trying not to lose herself or sight of her faith in the ensuing storm.
There is some nice romantic tension, a well-done self discovery plot, and quite a bit of interesting facts about famous historical sites. I did find myself scanning over a few descriptions because they became rather tedious, which should not be the case when describing'The Louvre', but overall, it was entertaining. As I got nearer to the end, the character development really started to shine, and I found myself fully invested in the characters and unable to stop reading. I couldn't flip through my kindle fast enough, especially when the author threw in some danger and action.
Then, right as the book hits it's climax, BAM! Nothing. No kidding. There is no ending. If I would have been holding a physical book, I would have thought it was a joke and that someone had ripped out the last pages. I haven't felt my time was so wasted since watching the end of 'Lost'.
I'm aware this is going to be a series, but I won't be picking up the other books. I LOVE a series, because I hate for a story to end. But in every series I've read, there are at least a few resolutions, with just enough loose ends to keep you wanting more. Every string was left dangling in this book, as if the author was worried you wouldn't buy the next book if she even hinted at which direction it might go. Speaking for myself, the plan backfired. I won't buy another book because a) I won't remember or care about the characters in a year, when the next installment is released and b) I'll be scared the second book will end as badly as the first because it's a three-part series.
I would have given this book four stars if not for the ending.
Glamorous Illusions was a great and unique story! I loved the characters - especially Will and Cora - and found myself engrossed in the story and what was going to happen! When I reached that final page, I was like "Nooooo! This can't be the end!" So, it definitely leaves you hanging and anticipating the next book, Grave Consequences, very much!
I loved all of the different locations in Glamorous Illusions, including Montana and Paris, and how the story switched POV's from Cora, Will, and Wallace (I think those were the only three).
Overall, I loved Glamorous Illusions and recommend it! Especially if you enjoy historical novels, but (if you are like me) be prepared to be left wanting to read Grave Consequences as soon as you finish this book, only it doesn't release until March 2013!
*I received a copy of this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Glamorous Illusions has less action/adventure to it than the River of Time series, but that doesn't mean it can't hold its own. It is all about self discovery and following one's heart. Both Cora and Will are determined to do the right thing through and through, even though they both need to learn about themselves and the changes in their world in order to do so. There are many characters in this book, but never too many that I mixed them up or was confused as to who was who, as they are all very distinct personalities. Lisa does have a way with writing strong woman and I love it!
I am not an avid Christian book reader, but what I have read of Lisa T. Bergren's series isn't preachy. Yes, it does have Christian characters and speak of God, but it isn't overwhelming and simply lends itself to the characters and the wonderful story she has created. The characters ponder over the challenges that they are faced with and turn to their religion to help see them through it. I hope this book is filed under Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, and Christian books at stores because there are so many readers that will enjoy this series.
Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Apparently, she is not Cora Diehl, daughter of an impoverished farmer, after all. She is Cora Kensington, daughter of an ex-senator and Montana copper-mining baron. A man who now wants an opportunity to develop a relationship with his illegitimate daughter, to introduce her to her half-siblings, and to send her on the Grand Tour of Europe under the supervision of Sir Stuart McCabe and his nephew, William McCabe.
Cora has been raised with a strong Christian faith, and this comes through constantly in her speech and thoughts. Travelling in England and Europe challenges Cora to consider and confirm her beliefs and priorities as she consorts with the rich and titled. It also provides the promise of romance and the beginnings of suspense that will no doubt be continued in the rest of the trilogy. The final two books, Grave Consequences and Glittering Promises, will be released in 2013.
Glamorous Illusions is well researched, but with a touch of modern sensibilities (e.g. the ongoing debate about whether treasures such as the Egyptian obelisks should be returned). There were a few annoying unanswered questions, but appears to be one of those trilogies that is the ongoing story of one main character, rather than three entirely separate stories about three related characters. For this reason, some readers may well prefer to wait until the final book is released before reading.
Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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