Joanna Davidson Politano’s second novel A Rumored Fortune is a wonderfully Gothic tale filled with all the requisite components such as a huge, isolated castle with dark and mysterious rooms and a presumed death with no body to show. Against this perfect backdrop the lone heiress is forced to deal with her mother and her late father’s creditors as well as all the people who show up eager to find his famous treasure. Then there is the perplexing man hired by Tressa’s father to take care of his beloved vineyard. Somehow in the midst of all the turmoil and even threats, Tressa is able to maintain her dignity and somehow show compassion on those who would take advantage of her.

I devoured this wonderful book with strong characterizations and vivid imagery. Even somewhat insignificant characters served a purpose as true human motives were revealed. Donegan was a perfect hero with secrets of his own and internal conflict as he struggled with his own motives. Unexpected plot twists held my attention and kept me wondering how everything would transpire by the final page.

This author has earned a permanent position on my keeper shelf with her first two novels. I eagerly anticipate her next book.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


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 what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Read an excerpt here.


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 random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at