Friday, March 4, 2016

Jen Turano: Playing the Part

By Kelly Bridgewater

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucinda's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out. 

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows. 

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can't ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it'll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

From Amazon
My Thoughts:
I was surprised the first time I picked up a Jen Turano book. I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I really LOVE her writing. Her characters are witty and do remarkable things. With her latest addition Playing the Part, Turano has kept the bar high in this thrilling novel.

I really enjoy how the story has a mystery to it. From the first page, Turano threw me off the deep end into the cold water with Lucetta Plum, who I saw in the previous two books in this series, as she wanted to run away from her stepfather and his friend, Silas Ruff, who wants to marry her. Lucetta and Abigail, her elder landlady, go away somewhere where they won’t be captured. What better way to highlight the mystery in the novel then to have Lucetta and Abigail travel to a remote castle. Why is there a castle? What secrets does Abigail’s grandson Bram have? One little minor detail, I really wish there was more time spent with the threat of Lucetta’s stepfather and Mr. Ruff. They weren’t as important as the first chapter allowed me to believe.

I love the castle as a setting. It fit the mystery motif, inviting me along for a great tale. Turano does a good job at playing at the idea of a genuine castle in the middle of nowhere. I like the moat , which leads to Bram and Lucetta’s icy first encounter. The castle evens has a dungeon. How great is that? I felt like I was roaming the castle alongside Lucetta as she tried to figure out her surroundings and her growing feelings for Bram.

Speaking of growing feelings, Lucetta does not want to marry Bram. She has repeatedly told him that over and over. Of course, this is a romance book, so the ending is completely predictable, but I still loved watching Bram make a fool out of himself while trying to keep his secrets hidden. I enjoyed watching their comedic romance blossomed.

If you haven’t tried Jen Turano, why not? I really enjoy her novels and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

A gothic comedic romance is the highlight of Jen Turano’s newest book Playing the Part. The characters and the setting are charming and kept me racing through the book not wanting to put it down. I really enjoyed Playing the Part and can’t wait for more books from Jen Turano.

I received a complimentary copy of Playing the Part from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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