Monday, October 22, 2012

Glamorous Illusions

Summary: When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

My Take: First I will confess I have a serious case of cover love for this book. It has to be one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen. I think the model fits Cora perfectly -- and the background certainly puts you in the right mood for this story.

I loved Cora and all the interactions with the other characters. I would have given this 5 stars except I didn't like the way the book ended. I understand this is the beginning of a series, but it almost feels like . . . Well a little like The Lord of the Rings. That was written as one book that was broken into three. The big challenge, to destroy the ring and save Middle Earth, is put forth in book one but not completed until the end of book three. There are many smaller challenges in the middle, but it still seems unfinished when you only read one book.

I got to the end and of this book and there didn't seem to be any conclusion - even a partial one. They just started the tour, there is no romantic decision . . . It just felt like there should be more. That's a great way to build interest for the rest of the series, but it was also frustrating.

The romantic tension was palpable in places and the characters were very well drawn. There were interesting people that you wanted to know better. Cora's character goes through some changes that help her to be more mature and secure.

In the end it wasn't a romance or an adventure - more a story of a girl becoming a woman. I anticipate more romance as the series continues.