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A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction, #1)
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A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,655 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiancé, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the seaso
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Bethany House Publishers
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Kym no swearing at all, no inappropriate language or anything else. Very clean.

Community Reviews

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"'She has high expectations of life. I could not fill those expectations. I've never been presented to the Queen,' Hamilton said.
'Because we live in America and don't have a queen.'"

Set in 1880 New York high society, A Change of Fortune is the most over-the-top, far-fetched, implausible, funny and loveable book I have ever read.

Recently, I had the joy of reading Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, in which I discovered the compelling world of late 19th century New York, and accordingly, I wa
Rebekah Gyger
I really wanted to like this book. The cover is great and my sister read it and told me it about the funniest book she had ever read. But I couldn't get into it.

The people were unrealistic, with all of high society actually speaking to and fine with a governess attending one of their parties. I could understand some of them not being snobs about it, but not all.

Also, the dialogue.... What can I say about it but that everyone talks way to much. Maybe they should stop to take a breath. With almost
First and foremost, I loved the fast paced adventure and the perfectly achieved balance of humour and romance which was slotted into the story! It was brilliant. Thanks very much to my wonderful friend for the recommendation - you know me so well!

I was hooked from very early on, page one in fact, as the first meeting between the hero and the heroine, Hamilton and Eliza, is very funny! Not to mention how shortly after this the very same Hamilton and Eliza happen to run into each other whilst bre
Jacob Proffitt
When, after four chapters, the refrain "ow, ow, ow, please make it stop" repeats in your head, it's time to put the book down. Authors of historical romance please note: if the background of your heroine can't have happened because of a half-dozen impossibilities it becomes blindingly obvious that you have failed to do even cursory research. Peers cover for peers. It's the heart of the system. There's no way that peers are going to buy "he squandered his wealth" without a corresponding, visible ...more
I'm almost at a loss as for what to say about this book. I liked the idea of the book a lot. Eliza Sumner is in America, posing as a governess and trying to find the man who stole her fortune. I thought it was an excellent premise. Unfortunately... it went downhill from there. I'm not really sure what the point is of writing a historical fiction novel if there's not going to be much historically accurate. There was hardly anything that the characters did that seemed accurate to the time period. ...more
My copy is an ARC received from Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It started off pretty quickly and gave the reader a basic play-by-play of what was going on all within the first few chapters, which I liked. Very Jane Austen-like. While I don't mind an author building up to their plot, there are some stories that just need to hit the ground running so the reader isn't sitting there, tapping their fingers like, "Okay, so when is this book actually going to begin?".
Breezy. Rollicking. Energetic. These are just some words that come to mind after finishing A CHANGE OF FORTUNE. From first to last, this story was thoroughly engaging. I couldn't put it down! I laughed out loud throughout this book, and sighed with a big ol' sappy grin on my face when I reached the last page. Jen Turano is a fresh new voice in historical romance; if you love Karen Witemeyer, Lisa Bergren, Deeanne Gist and the like, then this book belongs on your favorites list. A highly enjoyabl ...more
Emily Rachelle
{Review is of an ARC}

This book was highly praised by a friend of mine, and the cover looked beautiful and very high-end and professional.

Before I start being a Debbie Downer, let me point out that there were moments when this book had me laughing out loud. So it's not all bad... just mostly.

The story premise was good. The writing was not. Everything felt choppy and confusing, and there were several times when I had to take a break or reread something just to understand what was going on. I reall
Katelyn Shear
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. How could I enjoy a book like this any more than I already do? The answer to that is simple. I can't. I laughed and giggled and smiled like crazy. I also sighed, bit my nails, and covered my eyes in embarrassment for the characters. I don't normally enjoy books where one of the main characters already has children, but Ben and Piper were delightful. I could not keep myself from laughing at their antics.
Zayne had to be one of my favorite characters. While he was no
When Lord Sefton dies, his remaining child, Lady Eliza, is left with nothing. Her father's man of affairs has embezzled her vast fortune and left for America. Eliza sets out to find her fortune when English Authorities refuse to believe that it has been stolen. She is shocked to find that the assets are not the only things lost. The man of affairs has spread negative rumors regarding her father's handling of the family's vast wealth. Her fiance deserts her and society wants nothing to do with a ...more
Anne B
It is a rare book that can make me laugh when it comes to Christian fiction. Really that's because I haven't many Christian authors who incorporate humor well into their writing. This morning I finished reading A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano. On the back of the novel, it identifies this book as her first published novel.

I enjoyed it. It's a Christian historical romance fiction book. The story centers on Eliza Sumner who has traveled to America in the late 1800s to reclaim her lost fortune. T
Wow! This was really really good! I laughed the WHOLE time! :D The plot moved along quickly and never lagged or got boring. I couldn't put it down! I loved the intricate, humorous plot, and the charming characters! I cannot wait to read the other 3 books in the series. Ben and Piper were adorable, and Hamilton's mother was hysterical ("Everyone, out!"). I also really liked the hero's brother, Zayne. He was funny and really sweet, and made for a great secondary role. Agatha was a really fun secon ...more
Historical novels can often have a hard time capturing and keeping a snarky, fun-loving, sarcastic heroine without making her seem too soon for her time. So kudos to “A Change of Fortune” for very much succeeding in creating a cast of memorable characters.

It’s a fun loving story with characters that don’t take themselves too seriously, but also have serious situations working against them to create constant conflict. From being arrested to a little girl who speaks her mind, to a scheming match m
Lisa Norato
Author Jen Turano writes with sparkle and whimsy in a debut novel that had me thoroughly engaged with her characters and their very often comical exploits. Eliza Sumner has ensconced herself in the height of New York society disguised as a pudgy Victorian governess who shall go completely unnoticed…or so she believes. Eliza is hardly unnoticeable and the confession of her true identity—that of being Lady Eliza, daughter of a late earl—is soon drawn out by one of her charges.

A few years younger
Nov 07, 2012 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Margaret by: Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
In my world of reading lots and lots of Christian Historical Fiction I am always split in feelings when a new author comes along. Either I’m going to love them and be very enthusiastic about their new career and want to spread the word desperately or I’m going to want to love them and fall short. No need to worry here! Full length novel whirlwind of witty amusement is what I found here. Plenty of chuckles, snickers and even a few snorts (I’d rather you not repeat that…) kept me enraptured beyond ...more
Disguised as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess, this former lady of the English aristocracy has lost her father, her fiancé, her fortune and her hope.

A faith-based historical romance, Eliza lands in New York City bent upon regaining her family fortune, stolen by her late father's unscrupulous man of finances.

It was all supposed to be so neat and tidy: Journey to New York, retrieve her fortune, and return back to England. However, she is hired as governess to wealthy, handsome widower Hamilton Becket
This books seemed a little to contrived to me. The characters were quite modern in mannerism for an 1880 setting and the the way events unfolded was awkwardly put together. There were some parts that made me laugh so it wasn't all bad, but as a whole not a book I would go back to or readily recommend to others.
Lady Eliza Sumner has lost everything. Her fortune, her fiancé... her life. The only thing she can do to recover at least her money and jewellery, is to fly from England to America to chase the man who stole everything from her family. She pretends to be a governess, the plain Miss Eliza, and starts doing her researches. However, her goals are not so easy to reach, especially when the dashing Mr. Hamilton Beckett crosses her path and endangers her plans.

This book was so fun! I really enjoyed rea
This was such a fun and easy read that was also clean. I really enjoyed the characters and their charming wit. Laughing through a book is so much fun, and this book gave me that pleasant experience. I look forward to reading more from this author.
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
if christian historical fiction were written by oscar wilde...this would be it.
Historical Romance

What I Liked:

Very nice writing, was looking like an easy 4 star light but entertaining romance. Just the thing to destress and relax.


I quit reading by page 50, being taken aback by frequent references to God. Not as in "they went to church", "religion was important to the family", but "God has a plan for the two of us". This book was not labeled as Christian Fiction anywhere on the spine or either cover. The author's bio said nothing about Christian Fiction.
Gwendolyn Gage
What a fun read! I loved the main character, Lady Eliza, and what an introduction--a titled English lady, near penniless and hiding in New York. Disguised as a governess. :)

The historical and romantic aspects take a back seat to the comedy, but the craft is deliberate, witty, and unique in all the right ways. In other words, the author knows what she's doing, knows exactly the kind of story she intends, and it shows. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Favorite quotes:

"Hamilton f
Every once in a while an author comes along who changes the way you look at your favorite genre. My favorite genre, historical romance was knocked of kilter when Mary Connealy came on the scene ten or so years ago. With her sassy and hilarious heroines the way I looked at romance was forever changed. With her debut, A Change of Fortune, Jen Turano is well on her way to doing the same thing where Victorian-set romances are concerned.

While not the best book I've read I immediately fell in love wit
Maureen Timerman
Jen Turano has written a delightful and fun story of 1880's aristocrats in NY City. Eliza Sumner is on a mission to regain her stolen fortune, and the lengths she goes to will tickle your funny bone.
When spurned by her Financé ...well the Cad really wanted her money, and now that she is penniless, he is no longer interested. She is a smart cookie, and love how she got the money to go from England to NYC. She is now living as a Governess, while waiting for a chance to find the culprits.
When Mrs W
Renae Sattazahn
As far as I can tell, this is Jen Turano's first novel. Thankfully, it's only the first of four books in the "Ladies of Distinction" series. I can't wait until the next one comes out!
The main character, Eliza Sumner, is visiting America from England on a quest to bring the man that stole from her family to justice. She takes on a new identity as a nanny for a wealthy family and in the process meets Mr. Hamilton Beckett, one of the most eligible bachelors of the season. Since they find each othe
I received this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.

I am an avid reader of Christian historical fiction. I'll admit that the beautiful cover is what originally attracted to this book. When I saw that this debut novel was "a sure fit for fans of Deanne Gist and Karen Witemeyer," I became even more interested because I have enjoyed reading both of those authors. Unfortunately, this story didn't quite live up to my high expectations.

"Comedy of Manners Meets Comedy of Errors" is the
I received this book free from GoodReads First Reads.

Lady Eliza Sumner has left England, chasing after her stolen fortune and has landed in New York. Posing as plain old Eliza Sumner, Governess, she is making an honest living until she can recover her stolen money. One giant misunderstanding eventually leaves her unemployed and under the roof of Hamilton Beckett, a man who has also has a mystery to solve.

This book is a comedy of errors and mishaps, mostly caused by or centered on Eliza. She isn’
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Sometimes you read a book that just makes you laugh. Sometimes you meet a heroine who is simply a joy to get to know. Sometimes you meet a hero who is not only handsome and charming, but generous and kind. And when all three of those things merge together in one book, you have a delightful story and one you hate to see end.

Lady Eliza is on a quest to discover the whereabouts of the cad who stole her family fortune and title. That quest brings her to New York City from England and into a job as a
Carla Laureano
It's a rare writer that can make me laugh out loud, but Jen Turano managed it with her debut novel "A Change of Fortune." With a quirky, fast-paced story and a writing style completely unique in the inspirational market, I was hooked. While many authors write slapstick comedy in a way that has me shaking my head at the stupidity of the characters, "A Change of Fortune" manages to keep the characters likeable all the while making me shake my head in amusement at their constant antics.

Is it your t
3.75 rating. Just shy of 4 for being a bit light and a wee bit silly, but...
I was a little hesitant about the series simply because the small version of the books looked like they might be too melodramatic for me (they do look more interesting in person). I went into the library in a hurry this evening and, since my new library card has not yet gotten to me, I am limited to checking out one book at a time. Being in a hurry, I grabbed the first thing that looked interesting. And I've read it all
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Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a ...more
More about Jen Turano...

Other Books in the Series

Ladies of Distinction (4 books)
  • A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction, #2)
  • A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction, #3)
  • A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction, #4)
Gentleman of Her Dreams (Ladies of Distinction, #0.5) A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction, #2) A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction, #3) A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction, #4) After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own, #1)

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“Miss Sumner, may I inquire as to why you're lounging on the floor?" Mrs. Watson asked.
Miss Sumner uttered something which sounded very much like "it should be obvious" before she lifted her head. "You really must compliment your staff, Mrs. Watson. This floor is remarkably clean.”
“... That's why you're going directly back to the house. The last thing we need is for you to end up in jail again, and I'm quite certain disassembling another lady's hair falls under the category of assault.” 18 likes
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