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A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

A Talent for Trouble

by Jen Turano

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496238,224 (4.09)5



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This book was definitely an improvement over the last two. The first 5 chapters or so were really engaging- interesting, fairly well written and funny. But things quickly went downhill after that. It was so hard to slog through that it took me 3 months to get through 75% of it, before deciding that it had dragged on long enough and life is too short to waste time reading books that hold zero interest for me. I'm sure I could predict every major plot wrap-up anyway.

The writing style was almost constantly distracting. Each and every sentence was too wordy, stuffed to the brim with the same 10-15 adverbs, such as entirely, slightly, disturbingly, rather, quite etc. and phrases like "clearly evident."

The plot was transparent immediately, but it was more the way that it was stretched out that bothered me. Felicia's story would have kept my interest longer if it had started earlier, with more of her pursuit of the reverend being covered. The shenanigans she'd have gotten into and her obliviousness to her feelings being widely known could have been very entertaining. And it would have given time for Grayson to develop real feelings, being present, though not front and center until the middle/end.

I'd have liked to then see Grayson make a stand for her (it would have been so much better than the whole, "she'll never love me, I don't deserve her" self pity reminiscent of Twilight. So unattractive), and her learn to trust and love a man with a past over time. There could have a been a great Christian message there. While Ms. Turano does acknowledge these themes, they are only challenges for the blink of an eye, before the heroine senses from God that she is being judgemental and should forgive Grayson. The rapidity of tehe switch was nrealistic and unrelatable.

I thought she missed the point with Eliza and Grayson's talk. It started well, but went downhill when in response to Grayson's comment that God couldn't or wouldn't forgive his level of sin, Eliza was decides to talk Grayson out of taking as much responsibility as he did and feeling the levels of guilt that went along with it. What? I think the message should have been, God, the creator of the universe and every cell in your body is capable of forgiving any level of sin. And to harbor guilt after asking for forgiveness is to hold disbelief of His power in your heart. Ask Him for forgiveness, give your guilt over to Him and ask Him to help you start fresh. Because He can and He will if you will only come to Him.

I like Ms. Turano's humorous approach and I still think she has potential, but I think she misses opportunities for better stories when pursuing the cheap and tired storyline. ( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
Where I got the book: review copy provided by publisher. This review first appeared on the Historical Novel Society website and in the May 2014 issue of the Historical Novels Review.

This inspirational romance takes place in New York City in 1881. Felicia Murdock has spent the last four years suppressing her natural taste for adventure to act the demure maiden in the hope of snaring the affections of the minister at her church. When he marries someone else, Felicia rediscovers her old self; she also discovers Grayson Sumner, a British aristocrat with a murky past.

This fast-paced story could be best described as a cheerful romp with a side helping of high-stakes adventure. Grayson’s past is murky indeed, and the New York underworld intrudes satisfactorily into a society setting that Felicia is clearly trying to make more exciting. At first Felicia comes across as closer to fourteen than twenty-four, but as the novel proceeds she settles down into a feisty, appealing heroine who accepts her own flaws and prefers other people to see the reality behind her well-bred beauty.

There are times at which the dialogue seems a little too twenty-first century, with phrases such as “I must be up-front with you” and “come again?” pulling the reader out of the nineteenth-century environment. Yet the overall quality of the writing, the author’s ability to spring surprises on the reader and her easy, non-intrusive handling of the characters’ spiritual journey make for a pleasant read which should delight fans of lighthearted romance. ( )
  JaneSteen | May 23, 2014 |
A TALENT FOR TROUBLE by Jen Turano is another wonderful Inspirational Historical Fiction set in 1881 New York City. #3 in the "Ladies of Distinction" but can be read as a stand alone. See,"A Change of Fortune", and "A Most Peculiar Circumstance".

This is the tale of Miss Felicia Murdock and Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton and what a tale. Fast paced. Filled with faith, healing, forgiveness, adventure, romance, trouble, danger, and love.

With strong characters and an interesting storyline, you will not be disappointed with "A Talent for Trouble".

Received as a gift.



REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Mar 14, 2014 |
Felicia Murdock is young, beautiful, wealthy and to say the least a bit quirky! She had her life planned out as so many young women do, and felt it was her destiny to marry Reverend Frasier. For many years she had worked at changing everything about herself, her dress, activities, and personality to become the perfect pastor’s wife. The story opens as she is returning from the reverend’s marriage ceremony . . . to someone else!!
She is of course crushed and devastated as she was positive it was the Lord’s leading for her to marry him. After being restrained by her own devices for so long, the real Felicia bursts out even more outlandish and unpredictable than ever before. The entire community is stunned at the beautiful, shapely young woman that has been hidden by her bizarre “modest” clothing, but not as shocked as they are at her unrestrained spirit!
Totally unprepared for such a dynamo of a woman, Grayson Sumner is persuaded to spend time with her to cheer her up. She is constantly putting them in all sorts of dilemmas, problems, close calls, and even danger. Mr. Sumner finds himself overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and spontaneity but at the same time becoming increasingly attracted to her sincerity and innocence. He fights falling in love with her because his past holds some shady secrets that he feels would not only cause Felicia to reject him, but more seriously endanger her life.
This book is hilarious, suspenseful and action packed! I guess I would have to compare Felicia somewhat to a Victorian Lucille Ball! I had such fun reading it. I found it very different than most Christian fiction novels!
While I was entertained there were also many spiritual lessons within the story. One is how we often make our plans and put God’s name on them. Then we wonder why they don’t work out! Another important lesson is that we are often afraid that if others know of our failures, they can’t love or accept us. When the truth is if someone truly loves those failures won’t matter. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
This was my first book of Jen Turano’s and I look forward to reading more!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  Moonpie72 | Mar 4, 2014 |
A Talent for Trouble can be described as a screwball comedy. Main character Felicia Murdock definitely has a talent for finding trouble, from the parlors and ballrooms of Fifth Avenue to the pubs and opium dens of New York’s slums. She attracts notice where ever she goes, and Grayson Sumner is her chief admirer. Through a number of misunderstandings, interesting situations and even dangerous events the two fight attraction until it is too late for both of them.

An historical, romantic comedy, A Talent for Trouble will appeal to those who like witty dialogue and ridiculously funny antics. A light and quick read, it also examines the spiritual themes of accepting forgiveness and finding value in who God created you to be. And if you have read Turano’s previous books, you will be happy to find the return of many of your favorite characters. But if this is your first taste of Turano, don’t worry; A Talent for Trouble is easily read as a standalone.

(Thanks to TLC Book Tours for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Nov 22, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764211269, Paperback)

Charming Wit and Romance from an Author Sure to Delight Readers

Miss Felicia Murdock firmly believed her destiny was to become a minister's wife. When the minister on whom she had set her sights marries another lady, Felicia is forced to take a close look at her life and comes to a few uncomfortable conclusions. Determined that something needs to change--and soon--Felicia discovers she is finally ready to spread her wings and embrace life the way she's always wanted.

Grayson Sumner--or Lord Sefton, as he's officially known--has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a normal, respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some well-meaning friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter a young lady who seems to have become quite adventurous and quite determined to get herself into all sorts of troublesome situations.

Intent on remaining independent, Felicia is reluctant to accept Grayson's help, especially as she finds herself developing feelings for him. However, just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in her life has endangered Felicia. Will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:16 -0400)

"After getting into one scrape after another in 1880s New York City, are Grayson and Felicia destined to spend the rest of their lives keeping each other out of trouble?"--

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