21 June 2012

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren, Book review

Publisher: David C. Cook
ISBN-13: 978-1434764300


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 thoughts:

'Glamorous Illusions', Book 1  of 'The Grand Tour' series has a most enticing front cover. One look at the lovely gown featured with the Eiffel Tower in the background will have you wish you too could be part of this Grand Tour. I was ready to be dazzled!

Let me begin by saying Lisa T. Bergren is a seasoned author with over 35 books and sales of over 2 million copies but new to this reader.

David C. Cook, the Publisher gives us in turn a tantalizing resume of 'Glamorous Illusions' starting with 'It's the summer of 1913...A fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discover s a terrible secret about her past...invited to take the 'Grand Tour' of Europe, a trip intended to finish a person's education and solidify an understanding of refinement and ancient culture...

I immersed myself in this fictional story turning page after page hoping to glimpse the wonders of a 20th Century trip abroad through the eyes of our young protagonist beginning with a portentous crossing aboard the Titanic sister-ship. 
Grand Tours were scintillating events and much anticipated occasions for any well bred young lady or gentleman to acquire a certain polish and large amounts of monies were disbursed by generous parents to this effect.

Breathtaking scenery along with ancient History and the discoveries of Music, Art, companions and fine culinary partaking provided the perfect ending to one's education. If one might find herself/himself an impoverished title in the bargain, families would look benignly and pride themselves in having acquired a touch of blue blood in the bargain.

The idea of our heroine leaving her Montana struggling beet farm for a Grand Tour of Europe in the company of her newly discovered high society siblings has many hints of Cinderella. However Cora's journey of self discovery along this grand voyage is often confusing, her true sentiments hard to fathom! Even as I close the book I would be hard pressed to guess what she hoped to find.

I could not picture any young lady destined to be a teacher to learn in one month how to move comfortably through the society throngs for example.
I found it also hard to believe the group described did not have at least one female chaperone (anything less would have been frowned upon in most societies and introductions near impossible), servants were unlikely to know what would be expected and therefore could not have advised.

Illegitimacy was not more condoned in France than in England and therefore the courtship of Pierre de Richelieu hardly believable. Family pressures alone would have demanded he kept his distance. Accordingly the young lady would have been appraised his attentions were not honourable and very likely whisked away to the next stop of the Tour.

Leaving these details aside, I felt none of the excitement or glimmer associated with such trip. One would hardly describe the wonders of the Eiffel Tower, Centuries old English manors, French chateaus or the wealth displayed at the Louvre for example in such a desultory way and hints at someone who trouped behind a guide (If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium). 
The elements are there but seen almost through a veil and does not impart the stimulating experiences for the reader's pleasure. 

Finally the end of this first novel in the series left me perplex. A hint or two leads me to believe there is more to the story but neither the romance nor the Grand Tour details provided much satisfaction. 
One can only sigh and say: 'C'est la vie!' 

More of a Young Adult story, I give this one 3 stars.

About the Author:

Lisa T. Bergren is Tim's wife; Olivia (16), Emma (13) and Jack's (8) mom; a traveler (www.TheWorldisCalling.com); a freelance editor; a writer; and an explorer of people, places and the ways of God. 
Visit her website (here) for more information.

Win a $350 “Glam” Visa Card Prize Pack from @LisaTBegren & RSVP for 6/27 Facebook party!
What is our "true" identity? Join the conversation at Lisa Tawn Begren's Glamorous Illusions Author Chat Facebook Event Page. On the evening of 6/27 we'll gather to talk about our spiritual journey, share our stories and a few laughs.

In the meantime, celebrate with Lisa by entering her Glamorous Illusions Giveaway!

One "glamorous" winner will receive a "Glam Prize Pack":

  • A $350 Visa Cash Card (Oh ... think of what you could do: treat yourself to a mani/pedi, a fabulous new dress, dinner for two, or even a two-night escape in a lovely hotel - you're only limited by your imagination!)
  • Glamorous Illusions (by Lisa Tawn Begren)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 6/26/12. Winner will be announced at Lisa's "Glamorous Illusions" Facebook Party on  6/27 {Fun begins at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT}. Lisa will be hosting an evening of meaningful chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Lisa via video or phone.)

So grab a few of your friends and your copy of Glamorous Illusions and join Lisa on the evening of June 27th for an evening of fun.

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Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

I received this book free from LITFUSE AND DAVID C. COOK as part of their blogger review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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