After reading the first Apart From the Crowd novel, Behind the Scenes (review here), I suspected that I would enjoy the second novel even more. I was so right.
Gertrude Cadwalader (I do love the nearly horrible but ultimately charming names for the heroines in this series) and Harrison Sinclair are the most personable protagonists I’ve encountered in a Jen Turano book. I liked them as secondary characters, but I adored them as the leads.
Revealing more of Gertrude’s back story allows the reader to finally understand why it is she is so very dedicated to Mrs. Harrison, constantly getting her out of scrapes, returning items she’s taken, and wearing her outlandish creations. Even in the Golden Age, Princess Leia buns were not exactly fashionable, and bustles were made from specific materials for a reason. Harrison is also provided with more dimension, and his stunningly bright and mismatched personal style explained, partly through the welcome inclusion of the female members of his family.
The laugh out loud moments, the adorable quirkiness of Gertrude, Harrison and the various secondary characters, as well as the mischief of Miss Temperance Flowerdew’s cousin and the main mystery story arc that helps to keep the plot moving forward, all lend themselves to a frenetically paced read.
Definitely a trilogy to read in order, starting with the prequel novella At Your Request (review here), as many characters make very welcome repeat appearances. I’m definitely looking forward to the third book, when the final wallflower, Temperance Flowerdew, takes center stage. It promises to be a delight.
Highly recommended for current and future fans of Jen Turano, sweet romance filled with humor, quirky characters, and faith, all spiced up by a bit of a mystery. This is quite possibly my favorite Jen Turano book so far.
Out of the Ordinary (Apart From the Crowd, #2) by Jen Turano | Bethany House, November 2017 | paperback or ebook, 352 pages
This review refers to a NetGalley e-galley read courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
From the Publisher:
Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.
When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.