Review: Since first discovering she was a part of the prosperous, wealthy American copper family, the Kensington’s, Cora has begun to forge relationships with her half-siblings and their traveling party. Near-death experiences and grand parties have fashioned some of the most harrowing and wonderful experiences of Cora’s life. Feeling more accepted by her two sisters and brother, her heart has been thrown into turmoil. Dashing and handsome with a wealth beyond her imagination, Cora has caught the eye of Pierre, a member of Paris’ aristocracy whose wealth is welcomed in her father’s company but whose lifestyle seems more akin to that of royalty to the simple farming upbringing Cora had. Enchanted by his suit and kind-hearted manners, were her heart not already given to the young tour guide, Will – whom her stern father would never approve of – Cora could see herself welcoming Pierre’s suit. How can she go about pleasing her new family, protecting Will from the wrath her father could surely unleash all while staying true to her own self?
Picking up immediately where the first novel, Glamorous Illusions left off, Lisa’s second chapter in the lives of the Kensington-Morgan clans travels is no less decedent in its settings featuring a compelling, “real” heroine and the best part of all, it shows no sign of letting up as reader’s gear up for the final novel in the trilogy. Never is there a dull moment in Cora’s overseas travels that continues on through Austria, France and Italy. The skill with which Lisa writes this book is unparalleled. History lovers should never feel slighted with the detail carefully inter-woven into the heart of the novel. Chocked full of interesting historical tidbits for any reader who enjoys fascinating fiction with a historical framework, the author never misplaces the concept of what this started out to be; a coming-of-age saga involving a girl whose identity has suddenly been upended.
Cora’s heroine is a wonderful personification. Her character is not only likable but also a sympathetic personality who is easy to relate too – we’ve all at some point struggled with a form of identity, it’s a part of the growing up process. The first person narration seems understanding of that leading Cora to become more of a “friend” than an impersonal character. The stage on which Cora’s self-doubts, dreams and confusions play out is opulent and thought-provoking. Much as I love romance (and there is plenty of that smoldering here, never fear!), what is so poignant is the abiding fear struck in Cora that she’ll never want to turn back from the life of comfort she was swept into. One of the characters’ who is far too often lost in the shadows of everyone else is, Anna. I adored her conversations with Cora and the genuine advice she imparts to her mistress. Then there are the charms of the romantic triangle. Pierre is, of course back along with Will, the young guide (or Bear). It isn’t hard to like both men even though we all probably have a frontrunner. For Cora the choice is clear – for readers, both will likely make you swoon at some point or another. *wink*
If you’ve not yet been swept up into the charms of Lisa’s Grand Tour, there is no better time; wait no longer. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!
What’s Next: The third and final book in the Grand Tour Series leads the travelers to Tuscany and Rome, and finally, finally…home. September 2013
Synopsis: For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future-her very life-depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger. And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences. – from the publisher
With thanks to Litfuse and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.