Glamorous Illusions

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Title: Glamorous Illusions
Series: Grand Tour
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Published: June 1, 2012
Pages: 416

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Cora Diehl’s life gets turned upside down when she arrives home from Common School to find out her father had a stroke. With a struggling farm and a sick father Cora knows she might not be able to continue school. She knows something is about to change but she has no idea just how much until a man arrives and says he’s her real father and the world that Cora knew changes forever.

Cora is now a Kensington and is thrust into the life of a copper king and his family. She now has to navigate Europe on her Grand Tour but also her new half-brothers and sisters, when they’ve made it perfectly clear that they don’t like her or want her around. On the journey of a lifetime, Cora realizes just how hard it is to fit into a crowd that you weren’t born into and how difficult it is to penetrate the pack, even if they are family.

In Europe, Cora begins to find herself again and figure out who she really is, not who her parents or newfound father wants her to be. She meets two men who start to change her life and open doors she thought were closed and start to show her that she’s not defined by her title or how she came into this world but rather who she is and how she lives her life. This journey will push her and her faith to the limits but it might justly her become the person she wants to be.

Will Cora forgive her parents for keeping this from her or will she live with bitterness forever? Will Cora fall in love on this journey or will she break the hearts of two different men? Will Cora find out who she is or will she go home as confused as she left? Will Cora be able to make her siblings see her as more than a nuisance or will she forever be known as the outcast?
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I’ve never read a book by this author before but I’ve always admired and been attracted to Lisa Bergren’s covers. This one was no different and it captured my attention with the stunning dress on the front with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. I found that I was just as captivated by the story of Cora Deihl once I started reading this interesting book. Though there wasn’t much excitement in this book, I still enjoyed it and the growth I saw in Cora’s character.

The story is a pretty uneventful one from the point that Cora leaves her hometown and until about two or three chapters from the end. That leaves a lot of space for basically history lessons and for Cora to be shunned by her siblings. It also leaves some space for a little infatuation to bloom. Though this book isn’t the most exciting book out there I somehow got hooked by Cora’s story and struggle to fit in with siblings and settle into a role that she wasn’t prepared for, however I would’ve liked to have had a bit more excitement throughout instead of clumped at the ends. I guess her and Will made the story worth reading for me.

This book technically isn’t a romance but it’s a precursor to one, or at least it seems that way, and Cora starts to fall for not one but two completely different men. One is a French duke and very powerful, the other is Will a guide and bodyguard and someone who always seems to make her heart flutter. There’s definitely a love triangle going on and the real question is who’s going to win over Cora’s heart in the end. (I’m thinking Will)

The author chose a rather odd set up for the writing style. Instead of making the entire book one style, like all first person or all second person, she chose to mix them up. Cora’s point of view is written in first person while Will’s and everyone else’s is written in second person. It’s a weird method and one I’m not totally sure I liked. It felt a bit disjointed at times and I’m not sure that was a good blend, but I am happy that she did write in point of views other than just Cora’s.

This author is completely new to me and I enjoyed my first book by her, but I wish there would’ve been some excitement in what can be considered a very vanilla book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series though, because now that we have some excitement going I feel like she should keep it up, but also because I want to see Cora grow into the woman she deserves to be and the only way to see that is to finish the book. I do recommend this book to select people and I think I can recommend this author.

Overall, this is a good but unexciting book. The character growth and love triangle is the only thing keeping it interesting. I recommend this to people who like continuos novels and love triangles. I don’t recommend this to younger resets but possibly mature teens and adults. I give this book a three and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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