Glamorous Illusions, by Lisa T. Bergren is an amazing book- I stayed on the edge of my seat the whole time and could not sleep until I finished it. Actually, the book ended with me on the edge of my seat and I saw that there were two other books following this one in the series (The Grand Tour Series), so I still could not go to sleep.
The book starts with one of the main characters, Cora Diehl, coming home from Normal School back to her parents’ farm. She is worried when they don't pick her up from the train station, and after she gets home (thanks to a ride from a kind neighbor) she finds that her father is having a stroke in the barn and she gets the doctor. A few days later, a strange man that Cora has never seen shows up at their door and talks to Cora's mother, Alma. Cora is very uncomfortable around him, but her mother acts as if he is an old friend. As it turns out, he is her long-lost father, and the papa who had the stroke simply married Alma because the man (Mr. Kensington) was already married. He has come to invite her to go with him to meet her family and go on the Grand Tour of Europe with her half-siblings. Of course, she does not want to leave her parents that she grew up with, their farm that's failing, and her friends and neighbors. He does not really give her a fair choice, and she is whisked away to a life she has never known-the life of the rich. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention that her long-lost dad is amazing rich, famous, and an ex-Us Senator. With a mansion, children, private tutors, ballrooms, servants, everything the complete opposite of what Cora has ever known.)
As she arrives, she meets the people who will be guiding her around Europe with her half-siblings. She also meets her siblings, and to put it lightly, they do not get along. At all. With Cora and most of her other half-siblings being in their late teens and early twenties, they aren't automatically ready to accept each other. Also, some of the Kensington's (her siblings) friends are going on the Grand Tour.
So, they set off for Europe, and the adventures begin. They meet up with lots of obstacles, especially with Cora being the illegitimate daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Montana. They go to England and France in this book, and it leaves off with them getting ready to go to Italy. From fancy balls to broken-into houses, this is an exciting, dramatic, and romantic adventure you won't want to miss.
Thank you so much to Net Galley and David C. Cook publishers for letting me read and review this book. It was excellent!
And don't forget to check out the other two books in this series: Grave Consequences (Spring 2013) and Glittering Promises (Fall 2013).