Monday, April 17, 2017

Behind the Scenes: Apart from the Crowd series

Welcome Back!  I hope you had a delightful Easter weekend and received some delicious treats to eat!  Jen Turano has released a new historical romance series entitled Apart from the Crowd. There is a free prequel novella called At Your Request (on Amazon).  You can follow Jen Turano on Amazon and receive email updates on her book releases.  

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano is the first book in Apart from the Crowd series.  Miss Permilia Griswold lives in New York City with her father, stepmother and stepsister.  Permilia (what an unusual name) was raised by her father, George after her mother passed away.  She traveled with him around the country while he took care of his mining business.  Permilia received a man’s education and Permilia thought she would help her father run his businesses.  Then George Griswold married Ida, a widow.  Ida is a society woman who believes a woman should debut, get married, have children and go to parties.  Ida raised her daughter, Lucy in this manner.  Permilia is frustrated by all of Ida’s rules and the endless functions and society parties.  The Griswold’s have been invited to Mr. & Mrs. Williams Vanderbilt’s costume ball (event of the year).  Permilia is considered a wallflower by society because of her unconventional ideas, manner of dress, and the way she speaks.  Mr. Asher Rutherford of Rutherford and Company (a department store) is also attending the ball.  Lucy is interested in Asher, but Ida does not believe he is a suitable mate for her daughter because he is “in trade”.  Permilia is sneaking around the ball taking notes for her society column Miss Quill’s Quality Corner.  While helping a friend, Permilia overhears a plot to murder Asher.  Permilia tells Asher about it, but he does not believe her until he is attacked with arrows.  Permilia and some friends come to his rescue, but the killer will not be so easily thwarted.  Asher and Permilia will need to join forces to find the evildoer, before they find themselves in the obituary pages instead of the society columns.

I was looking forward to Jen Turano’s Behind the Scenes.  I had enjoyed the lighthearted humor and engaging characters in her A Class of Their Own series.  What I appreciated in that series was missing in Behind the Scenes.  I found the writing to be awkward with stilted dialogue.  Permilia was too peculiar (her education, way she spoke, unusual dress, clumsy, cannot dance, gets tongue-tied, etc.).  I did not understand Asher being so possessive of Permilia at the ball.  They had only had two unpleasant encounters prior to this occasion.  Asher went out of his way to protect Permilia especially from Eugene Slater, an interested suitor.  Then there is the offensive stepmother, Ida and her equally annoying daughter, Lucy.  I give Behind the Scenes 2 out of 5 stars.  I just did not like Behind the Scenes.  I tried to read the complete novel, but it was impossible.  I ended up skimming through some portions of the story.  The ball scene took up 35% of the book (it seemed like it went on forever).  The reader is subjected to every little detail about the ball.  The dances, what people were wearing, room décor, food, and so forth (this attention to detail continues throughout the book).  There was also one inane incident after another.  I do not mind some light, fun humor, but this was just plain silly (idiotic would be a better word).  Every single one of the wallflowers were eccentric.  I found the ending to be predictable.  The mystery was easily solved early in the story.  The Christian element was very light.  I did like Mrs. Davenport and the Huxley sisters (Mabel and Henrietta).  I think a book about Mrs. Davenport would be more entertaining (what a character).  I believe I will be skipping the rest of the Apart from the Crowd series.  The next book in this series is Out of the Ordinary and it will be out in November.  Behind the Scenes will be out on Tuesday, April 18.

I appreciate you visiting and reading my book review.  I will be back on Tuesday to share my thoughts on The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere.  I am currently reading What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman.  May you have a exceptional Monday.   Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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