Monday, May 14, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

"She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue 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 squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.

When she meets Will, 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?

Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago's high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes."

My Rating

Spring

My Review

With an intriguing setting and great writing, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is an enjoyable read. The glimpse into early 1890s Chicago is interesting - especially seeing it through different eyes, from the perspective of wealthy and confident Lucy to that of burdened and caring Charlotte. Despite their differing positions in societies, both girls show spunk and servants' hearts, and they both have many secrets to help each other keep.

Because of Lucy's and Charlotte's characters and the historical tidbits, this book makes for a neat historical fiction piece. As far as being historical romance...well, the romance just fell flat for me. There's just enough sweetness and conflict to hold a romance-lover's interest, but I would have liked to get to know both suitors better. As it is, Lucy generally shines and the boys just follow in her shadow, for better or for worse.

Also, there are times when the reader is privy to the set-up or beginning of an event, but then most of the event is skipped over - which can be clever in showing the importance of "ordinariness" and in keeping the story moving, but also disappointing and frustrating to the reader who wants to witness what happens.

All in all, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning has promise - it might not always follow through, but it nevertheless offers a clever and engaging visit to the past.

*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

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

4 comments:

Amanda Stanley said...

Wow, this cover is beautiful - almost looks like a dvd movie cover! They are making them better and better. Great review, Amber! Gosh, it's been so long since I've read (and written!) a book review - happy I broke the dry spell with one of yours ;-) Too bad the romance fell flat. Truthfully, romance is 85% of the reason I read fiction! ;-) But it sounded like a nice story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

Blessings,
Amanda

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

The cover really is very pretty! I like the idea of putting that old-photograph type background behind the heroine/model in her lovely dress. :) And yes, I definitely agree about the covers getting better and better! It's a treat to just look at the books before you even open them, LOL!

I'm glad you liked the review, and I'm honored one of my reviews would be the one to break the "dry spell"!

Yep - I'm big on romance, too! ;) But even though it didn't completely work for me in this book, it was still a good story, and I still liked the hero. :)

Thank you for stopping by!

~Amber

Kav said...

Oh -- Amber -- I felt the same thing about some of those scenes that weren't!!!! One in particular that was so important to Lucy and do some conniving on her part to make happen. I really anticipated that scene would be the building of a connection between Will and Lucy...but it was cut out. I'm sure it had to be edits because the author had to have written such a scene! Anyhow, it totally cafuzzled me!

I did enjoy the book though -- the vivid historical detail, Lucy's giving heart, the mysterious Charlotte. I'm looking forward to reading her story in the fall!

Great review, as always.

Amber S. said...

Kav,

"Cafuzzled" is a great word! ;) Yes, it did seem odd that big events were skipped over, and even little events appeared to be cut short at times (with interesting chapter endings), if that makes sense. That would make sense if it was the edits, although it's a bummer that we didn't get to experience more romantic tension, as you noted in your review!

I agree that it's an enjoyable story overall, though - and there's a lot about Charlotte's back story (and possible new love interest with a "co-worker"??) that is left to be revealed!

I love your reviews, your consistent focus on the positive, and your generosity to fellow bookworms - and I appreciate your kind words about my reviews, as well! :) Thank you for all you do!

~Amber