The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport



MY REVIEW:

“The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” gives readers an inside look at the lives of the wealthy residents of exclusive Prairie Avenue of Chicago during the late 1800’s just prior to the opening of the World’s Fair. As the gilded age is nearing its end, lifestyles are indulgent among the rich with heavy emphasis on their social standing. Making the proper marriage connection is of utmost importance within the upper class.

Lucy Banning is the only daughter of one of the Prairie Avenue families. She has been groomed to marry the son of her parents’ best friends for most of her life. As Lucy is pressured to set a wedding date and spend her time planning the event, she is much too involved with her secret college class and her orphanage work, the true loves of her life. When she meets her brother’s friend Will, she realizes that she loves Daniel like a brother and can never marry him. His resistance to her decision and his increasingly unusual behavior haunts her every move. A subplot that features a new maid in the Banning household adds extra interest to the story and just might be the lead-in to the next installment of this series.

“The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” has just the right blend of drama, romance, and even a bit of suspense. The neighborhood of Prairie Avenue was so well described that I could imagine walking down the street and viewing the marvelous architecture of the homes there. Lucy was a strong character with many redeeming qualities, especially her tender heart toward those less fortunate than herself. Will was the perfect match for her even if he didn’t measure up to her family’s social standards.

I very much enjoyed my brief look into the world of the rich and famous of Chicago and a lifestyle that no longer exists. I can’t wait for the next book of the series.

 

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Riveting Story of Love, Wealth & Secrets as Historic Chicago Prepares for 1893 World’s Fair

Marshall Field, Henry Studebaker, Pullman, Kimball, Glessner, Bissell, Armour and Rothschild— these names add up to business inventiveness and unbounded wealth in turn-of-the-century Chicago – but changing social classes are threatening the luxury of the elite Prairie Avenue, the playground for the rich and powerful. Olivia Newport introduces readers to a world of luxurious mansions, secrets and forbidden love in the Windy City.

Set on Prairie Avenue, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning gives an inside look to the rich and powerful on the eve of the 1893 World’s Fair in the Windy City. Olivia Newport transports readers to a time of opulence in the first installment in the Avenue of Dreams series.

Lucy Banning may live among Chicago’s rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work–and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World’s Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family’s expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

From lavish upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history–and everyone is invited.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Olivia Newport‘s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.

Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart



MY REVIEW:

At first glance, “Words Spoken True” appears to be the usual historical romance novel. It is true that the book is set in historical mid-1800’s Louisville, Kentucky during an era of political unrest and adequate coverage is given to that aspect of the story. Another focus is the competition between two major newspapers in the city which includes many interesting details about the publishing business during that time period.  And of course there is a special romance where Adriane Darcy, daughter of the Tribune’s owner finds herself attracted  to Blake Garrett, editor of the competing Herald despite her engagement to another man. Every one of these factors should be enough to make “Words Spoken True” an excellent choice but the author has chosen to rev it up another notch by including a serial killer called the “river slasher” into the mix.

I pretty much liked everything about “Words Spoken True”. Characterization was excellent. Adriane was a great blend of spunky and feminine and didn’t back down from a challenge. Blake Garrett was the perfect hero, both strong and sensitive. I could easily visualize Louisville during that period because of the excellent descriptions. Although the plot had a somewhat slow start, it soon picked up speed and pulled me right along so that I didn’t want to put the book down. With plenty of action, suspense, and romance as well as multiple twists and surprises, the story also included a subtle spiritual theme. My only complaint is that I read too fast and it was over way too soon.

Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father’s newspaper offices. She can’t imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for readers gets fierce.

When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune’s future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story- -and the girl. Can he do both before it’s too late?

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold readers in its grip until the very last page. Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart once again delivers an enthralling and enduring tale for her loyal and ever-expanding fan base.

Read the first chapter of Words Spoken True HERE.

 

Endorsements:

“I’ve come to expect wonderful books from Ann Gabhart, and her latest historical romance, Words Spoken True, doesn’t disappoint. In this novel, Gabhart gives readers a peek into the lives of two news reporters–one a man and one a woman–both intent upon creating the best newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. Amid unsolved murders, riots, and adversity, the ability to trust each other and trust God is put to the test. Gabhart weaves a story that is a page turner from beginning to end. This is one you’ll highly recommend to friends.”–
Judith Miller, author, Daughters of Amana series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.