Sunday, August 19, 2018

Review: "A Rumored Fortune" by Joanna Davidson Politano

Last fall, I read Joanna Davidson Politano's debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears. I loved it so much that it made my yearly top ten list. So it was with great anticipation that I picked up her sophomore novel, A Rumored Fortune.

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 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.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.

A Rumored Fortune is an intriguing historical mystery with a touch of romance. Twists and turns abound in the story, and Tressa is never quite sure whom to trust. (As a reader, I fairly quickly discerned who was and wasn't trustworthy, and I ended up being spot on in what I suspected.)

While the main mystery revolves around Tressa's father's fortune, several smaller mysteries also exist, and I found those to be even more intriguing than the search for the fortune. There's also a delightful romance between Tressa and Donegan, the vineyard manager. Donegan's love and care for Tressa leaps from the pages, yet he is also so respectful of her feelings and hesitations. Basically, he's the consummate swoony hero 😃.

While I enjoyed the story, it did move a little slowly for my taste, and I found myself skimming as the story went on. There are definite flashes of brilliance in this novel, but it didn't live up to the incredibly high expectations I had based on my enjoyment of Politano's debut. 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Politano's Lady Jayne Disappears (5 stars).

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

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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