15 March 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1)

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Series: Book One in the Apart from the Crowd series
Genre: Christian historical romance
Format: Free ARC obtained through NetGalley
Expected publication date: 04 Apr 2017
Sweet or hot?: Definitely sweet

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, I will get a few coins and my coffee budget will thank you. However, if you are skint and have to borrow the book from your library, I understand.

Unlike many readers, I don't have a list of "auto-buy" authors, but if I did then Jen Turano would probably be on it. I've never been disappointed by any of her books. That is why I jumped at the chance to get an ARC when I found out she was writing a new series, even though requesting ARCs is not a regular part of my book blogging life. Anyway . . .

Behind the Scenes is set in 1883 and follows the romance of Permilia Griswold and Asher Rutherford. Both characters were introduced in the free novella that started the series, At Your Request. Permilia is a wealthy young woman whose forthright manner and late debut have relegated her to the wallflower section at events. Since wallflowers are generally ignored, this allows her to secretly write about the fashionable set as gossip columnist Miss Quill. Asher Rutherford is the owner of a highly popular department store and the subject of a death threat that Permilia overheard at the society event of the year. Unfortunately, she didn't see the faces of the assassin and his client. As they say, hijinks ensue when Permilia and Asher try to stay one step ahead of the killer while trying to figure out who he is.

I hope my summary doesn't make this sound like a thriller because it isn't. It is closer to a cozy mystery than a thriller, except there is no body. This book, like all of Turano's novels, is light fun. It is a romance, after all. We know the hero and heroine will make it to the end of the book; the mystery is a reason for them to keep getting thrown together so we can enjoy their delightful dialogue, which I can hear clearly in my head as I read.

Turano's style isn't preachy, so she doesn't beat the reader over the head with the messages in her books. Asher questions whether he should be more "masculine" like the alpha males around him. Permilia wonders why she couldn't keep working with her father in his mining business instead of being sent to the city to be turned into a lady. Gender equality, being who you are, finding God's path for your life -- these concepts are all worked into the story naturally. Although I am a Christian, I do appreciate reading a "clean" book that doesn't feel like a Bible study.

As is customary with romance series these days, this book does not end in a cliffhanger. There are a few minor loose ends that will draw you to the next book in the series for more information, but the main plot of this book is definitely wrapped up at the end. If you pick this up when it is released 04 Apr 2017, it would make a lovely spring break read.

Behind the Scenes at Amazon
Behind the Scenes at Book Depository

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