A Talent for Trouble
by Jen TuranoMiss Felicia Murdock firmly believed her destiny was to become a minister's wife. When the minister on whom she had set her sights marries another lady, Felicia is forced to take a close look at her life and comes to a few uncomfortable conclusions. Determined that something needs to change--and soon--Felicia discovers she is finally ready to spread her wings and embrace life the way she's always wanted.
Grayson Sumner--or Lord Sefton, as he's officially known--has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a normal, respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some well-meaning friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter a young lady who seems to have become quite adventurous and quite determined to get herself into all sorts of troublesome situations.
Intent on remaining independent, Felicia is reluctant to accept Grayson's help, especially as she finds herself developing feelings for him. However, just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in her life has endangered Felicia. Will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?
My Review: 3/10
This book was definitely an improvement over the last two. The first 5 chapters or so were really engaging- interesting, fairly well written and funny. But things quickly went downhill after that. It was so hard to slog through that it took me 3 months to get through 75% of it, before deciding that it had dragged on long enough and life is too short to waste time reading books that hold zero interest for me. I'm sure I could predict every major plot wrap-up anyway.
The writing style was almost constantly distracting. Each and every sentence was too wordy, stuffed to the brim with the same 10-15 adverbs, such as entirely, slightly, disturbingly, rather, quite etc. and phrases like "clearly evident."
The plot was transparent immediately, but it was more the way that it was stretched out that bothered me. Felicia's story would have kept my interest longer if it had started earlier, with more of her pursuit of the reverend being covered. The shenanigans she'd have gotten into and her obliviousness to her feelings being widely known could have been very entertaining. And it would have given time for Grayson to develop real feelings, being present, though not front and center until the middle/end.
I'd have liked to then see Grayson make a stand for her (it would have been so much better than the whole, "she'll never love me, I don't deserve her" self pity reminiscent of Twilight. So unattractive), and her learn to trust and love a man with a past over time. There could have a been a great Christian message there. While Ms. Turano does acknowledge these themes, they are only challenges for the blink of an eye, before the heroine senses from God that she is being judgemental and should forgive Grayson. The rapidity of tehe switch was nrealistic and unrelatable.
I thought she missed the point with Eliza and Grayson's talk. It started well, but went downhill when in response to Grayson's comment that God couldn't or wouldn't forgive his level of sin, Eliza was decides to talk Grayson out of taking as much responsibility as he did and feeling the levels of guilt that went along with it. What? I think the message should have been, God, the creator of the universe and every cell in your body is capable of forgiving any level of sin. And to harbor guilt after asking for forgiveness is to hold disbelief of His power in your heart. Ask Him for forgiveness, give your guilt over to Him and ask Him to help you start fresh. Because He can and He will if you will only come to Him.
I like Ms. Turano's humorous approach and I still think she has potential, but I think she misses opportunities for better stories when pursuing the cheap and tired storyline.