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A Rumored Fortune

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,293 ratings  ·  364 reviews
Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published July 2018)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,293 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Simply fabulous Victorian Era novel! What's not to love about a treasure hunt?

In A Rumored Fortune Tressa Harlowe (and several family members) are searching for a hidden treasure. Tressa wants to save her family home and vineyard. The analogies of the vineyard to her life added to the novel. Each chapter begins with a quote by a viticulturist.

Joanna Politano continues to deliver elegant writing in the midst of mystery. There were several twists and turns that kept me guessing.

Pure joy!
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book this was! When I say that I enjoy historical fiction, this is the kind of book I’m talking about. Treasure hunting, a rumored fortune, ballroom parties, castles. Wow, this was such a delight to read.

The book is in first person for the girl MC, but isn’t for the boy MC. I don’t think I’ve ever read a historical book in first person, but I absolutely loved the way this was done. The writing is just gorgeous and I enjoyed every minute of it. There really wasn’t any dry parts or
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SQQQQEEEEPPPPP!!!!! Sorry for the shattered eardrums but this book is worthy of the combined squealing and eeeping hullaboo I reserve for a sacred few exceptional novels. I'm still all shivery delight as I think back on this story.

Mainly because of the distinctive Gothic style. It creeps in on the very first page and continues on right to the end. A heroine in peril. A hero with secrets. A sinister pall casting dark shadows over Trevelyan Castle. And so many characters with nefarious purposes. A
Charming, mysterious, romantic, fun, and swoon-worthy, A Rumored Fortune is Politano’s second novel, and, wow, does it deliver for this reader.

There is such a strong atmosphere to sink into within these pages. The setting is a castle, its grounds home to a vineyard. Though her castle home is important and much loved, it is the vineyard that captured Tressa's mind, as it had previously captured her father's before his mysterious death. However, both castle and vineyard have the funds that they n
4.5 stars

This one was much stronger than her debut, which I enjoyed but which did have a few plot gaps. "Rumored Fortune," however, seemed to flow from one scene to the other much better and I felt I had more clues to the mystery. I was glued to the pages and couldn't put the book down. The suspense of finding the treasure or not, and the question of who was after Tressa's family, and all of the suspects--loved how there were so many suspects!--kept my mind on its toes while I was speeding throu
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Welcome to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England.
Tressa Harlowe's father kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Now Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it.
It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows wh
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice mid-nineteenth century read. Ms. Politano weaves a fun story together. Add a bit of mystery, romance, horses and carriages, a castle, and you have yourself a book … oh and the death of a father who leaves a secret fortune behind. The writing was good, the storyline was plausible for the most part, and about the only thing I was not a fan of was how quickly everything got tied up, or actually not so tied up, at the end. There was one other point that bothered me, but I don’t want to taint ...more
Sarah Grace Grzy
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Recommended for ages 15+ for romance
Everything about this book drew me to it - the amazing cover, title, synopsis . . . It had me hooked.

Our MCs, Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance are both interesting and unique characters. I loved Tressa's sweet spirit, artistic mind, and generous heart, and found myself relating to her a lot, especially on the artistic front. Donegan Vance was a very intriguing character, but he somehow fell flat to me. I think the author made him out to be such a bad guy in Tressa's mind that by the time we the
This is my first read from Politano, and it was very enjoyable suspense. Set in Somerset, England in 1866, Tressa Harlowe and her mother have received news that her father has been lost in a boating accident and is presumed dead. They head home to Trevalyn Castle to find it heavily in debt, a new vineyard manager at the door, and the workers haven't been paid for many weeks. Yet Mr. Harlowe supposedly was quite wealthy. Filled with greedy relatives, fortune hunters, and missing money, this was b ...more
Beth Erin
Full review on

Please consider this my awestruck standing ovation... Politano wows with clever, intelligent, and engaging characters and completely beautimous storytelling! Reading this book richly satisfied an aching word-hunger within me and oh, the lovely phrases!

Tressa Harlowe is an endearing misfit who refuses to fit into the mold set by her aloof parents. I love that she is compassionate, willing to learn, and works hard. Stoic vineyard manager Donegan Vance is, in my
Toni Shiloh
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what to think about this book when I first started (I don't read blurbs), but a few people I trust in the book department promised me it was good, so I continued. And wow, I'm so glad I did. There is so much good to talk about! From the mystery of the "rumored fortune" to the romance and finally the vineyard theme of faith and Christianity. SO GOOD!!

I'd reread the book for the vineyard theme alone but enjoyed the romance and mystery of the fortune as well.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh so good! This was such an intriguing, swoon-worthy story that kept me guessing the entire way through. I loved the unique storyline involving the treasure hunt and the fact the you never knew who you could trust. I also loved all the words of wisdom that were included throughout the story in references to the vines and the Father. I think this will definitely be one of my favorites for the year. Another fabulous and cleverly written story by Joanna Davidson Politano!
I’m really enjoying this author’s stories. This is only her second novel and I’m expecting great stories in the future. She has such a way with beautiful words and providing both main en supporting characters who has depth.

I loved the way the process of a vineyard were intertwined in the story and the lessons Tressa had to learn. It was such a beautiful way to give an example of John 15 and help readers understand a vineyard better. Tressa came across as a mature lady who could think on her feet
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
Joanna Davidson Politano truly has a gift and I couldn’t be more excited to read another book of hers!

How’d you define wealth? A fortune?
Tressa Harlowe can be deemed to have both, living in a castle in a big estate where income comes from the wits of her father who has grown a vineyard in a place people claimed to be impossible.
Still, her life seems to be defined by what she doesn’t have: a title, a sensible mother, honest friendships... and the love of a father.

It’s heartbreaking to see this lo
Sarah Monzon
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! A really enjoyable read with both plot and characters that will have you turning the pages. Beyond that, though, I immensely appreciated the spiritual themes of grafting and connecting to the true Vine.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Rumored Fortune is a masterpiece! Joanna Davidson Politano’s debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, was on the list of my top ten fiction reads of 2017. So I was a little worried that her next novel would not live up to her stunning debut. As you can see, I loved A Rumored Fortune just as much!

Ms. Politano is a master storyteller and a wordsmith! It’s hard to describe why her writing is so unique. Some words I would use are lyrical, whimsical and creative. It is such a pleasure to read the way sh
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookshelf, 2018
This is Joanna’s sophomore novel and it was just as amazing (or better) than her debut. Her writing is beautiful. She is very gifted at setting the scene and placing the reader in the environment right beside the characters.

The setting of this story was an old castle but in the time period of 1866. The story had a Gothic feel which added to the atmospheric quality of the story.

There were some twists in the story (one in particular) that I would classify as jaw dropping. I live for twists in my b
Diane Estrella
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the very first interaction of our hero and heroine, I was hooked.

"Hold on as tight as you need."

And that is how the story progressed. Him being the most noble unofficial gentleman in the most sensitively, brutish way. As gruff as he came off, his gentle heart was shown in all he said and did. He was dreamy in every possible way. Tressa was the kindest most generous lady whose heart was open to everyone and everything. She didn't know all that she was searching for until the distractions wer
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an absolute delight it was to read A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano. Ripe with analogies and a handsome hero, this is a book you will not be able to put down.

Did you notice my use of the word "ripe"? This wonderful book, while a great read that will get you lost in the main mystery, uses John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing," as it's central theme.

​Tressa Harlowe is an heir
Heather Gilbert
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
This novel is sure to please those who are looking for a romance with mysterious, unpredictable twists. I enjoyed having to guess about some things until close to the end. The heroine, Tressa, is sweet and reflective, which reminds me of Jane Eyre. An enjoyable read!
Kelly Bridgewater
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I have read Joanna Davidson Politano's first novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, and it was like nothing I ever read before. Chalked full of mystery and a unique Victorian voice. So of course, when I read the synopsis on her second novel, A Rumored Fortune, I couldn't wait to dive into a treasure hunt in a castle in the Victorian era. Unfortunately the book fell flat for me.

Politano does a fabulous job at creating the setting and allowing me to experience the world of Trevelyan Castle. The house and
A.M. Heath
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What I Loved: This was a prime example of fine Christian fiction. From the moment the story began, I was captivated by Tressa, her world, and her story. And as it unfolded, I was treated to an interesting new mystery. The conclusion of the mystery wasn’t clear from chapter one, so it was nice to go on the treasure hunt with the rest of the cast. The romance was sweet and clean. But what really stood out to me was the way Politano crafted the story to include tips on keeping a vineyard to mirror ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Impressive mystery with well written slow burn romance. My first JDP novel & I’m a locked-in fan. I’m ready to go out & get every one of her other books to add to my library!

The setting had this Victorian-misty-spooky aura & I loved it. The climax was built up so well. I just had to keep reading.

My only critique is that I got tired of the branches/vines references & analogies. 😂
In her novel A Rumored Fortune, author Joanna Davidson Politano, has written another historical romance mystery that will have readers on their toes. Politano’s story and characters spring to life off the pages of her book in this excellent written and captivating story. The mystery and dynamics of the story will hook readers and keep them up and turning pages late into the night. An excellent combination of mystery and romance, Politano weaves her own love story into this delightful novel. Read ...more
Karen R
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another intriguing Victorian mystery! A heroine whose life circumstances seem bleak, surrounded by people not sure she can trust, Tressa's story draws the perfect picture of a soul in need of rescue. Set in 1866, along the coast of England, this story has all the elements of a Gothic romance: a creepy, mysterious castle on a hill, characters who all had something to hide, and a treasure hunt that takes a dangerous turn.

The author does a good job of creating emotional tension, telling the story t
Natalie Walters
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to put into words how I feel about this book because saying I LOVE it feels inadequate. I was captivated by the first page, drawn into life of Tressa Harlowe and the troubles thrust upon her and the Trevelyan household.

Ms. Politano has this way of writing that makes me feel joyful. It's not just the amazing characters but the way she brings them to life with genuine emotion and thought that have me enchanted with each turn of the page. I LOVED Tressa and Donegan. I was enchanted by th
JD Sutter
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mystery was intriguing, the characters were compelling and genuine, and the romance, while somewhat predictable, was heartwarming and not unrealistic as some are. The setting for the story was beautiful and fascinating. Highly recommend this book! More detailed review on the Bookworm Banquet podcast: ...more
Paula Shreckhise
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Politano is a historical masterpiece. It is a Christy Nominee for 2019.

Miss Politano has woven a rich tapestry in a mesmerizing tale of “A Rumored Fortune.”
What if you had a fortune at your disposal but were afraid it would corrupt you, or make it hard to tell who your real friends were?
Tressa Harlowe is cast in a very untenable position. Remembering seeing it as a child, she knows there is a fortune somewhere in Trevelyan Castle but can’t find it and creditors, wo
Emilie Chase
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was so whimsical and magical. I loved almost every aspect of this book. The suspense was unlike anything I have ever read, and the setting was... 😍 Like cmon it’s England!! In 1866!!
( let’s not even get started on that absolutely heart-wrenching romance 😉). My favorite element, though, was the faith aspect in this book. My heart feels so refreshed after reading this book, that I feel I must re-read it all over again to truly appreciate its depth. The only parts I was not a fan of was
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent sophomore offering from Politano!
The mystery and family dynamics are intriguing and kept me turning pages, but it is the Biblical parallels that make this book shine above others in the genre. The beautiful word pictures of vines, branches, grafting, and nourishing the vines are amazing and will lead the reader closer to God with these descriptions.
The characters are human, flawed, yet most of them are striving to be better versions of themselves. The overall mystery and suspense are
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Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for rando ...more

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