Miss Arabella Beckett has one driving passion: to help the downtrodden women of America. Naturally, she supports the women's suffrage movement and eagerly attends rallies and lectures across the country. On her travels, she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need that goes sadly awry and lands both ladies in more trouble than they can manage. An independent sort, Arabella is loath to admit she needs help and certainly doesn't need help from an arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor.
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I absolutely loved this book! Jen Turano has such a way with words. This fast-paced book is packed with humor, witty dialogue, and intriguing characters. The mystery and danger surrounding the plot kept me guessing until the very end. The romance between Arabella and Theodore was hilarious to watch as each battled their feelings for the other. The story is very well written and I could picture the characters as they are interacting with one another and getting into one scrape after another.
Arabella's character is well-written. The struggle she goes through with her self-worth is very natural, especially for a woman. I could relate to it. Theodore's character is also well-written. The progression of his thoughts and character development felt natural and not rushed. Arabella and Theordore find themselves in one "peculiar" circumstance after another, especially their romance! The secondary characters add depth to the story and also provide humorous side stories of their own.
Arabella has to learn, throughout the story, that sometimes it's hard not to judge another's circumstance. It's one thing to talk about caring for others and trying to help them, it's another thing altogether to feel compassion for them and really get to understand them. God wants us to feel that compassion for one another, especially when He calls us to the work we're doing.
Overall, this story was hilarious, enjoyable, and well-written. I really enjoy this author's writings and definitely look forward to the rest of this series!
They say opposites attract and there are not any two people more opposite than Arabella Beckett and Theodore Wilder. She says he is arrogant and opinionated, he says she’s bossy and stubborn.
The year is 1880 and the woman’s suffrage movement is beginning to attract national attention. Arabella Beckett works hard to make sure that women have the same opportunities as any man, so it’s no surprise when she ends up in jail after a failed rescue attempt to keep an innocent woman out of a harmful circumstance. Praying that God will deliver her, her knight in not-so-shinning- armor shows up to rescue her. Unfortunately her rescuer turns out to be her brother’s friend who has some definite ideas on how a woman should behave, none of which is with her sitting in the local jail in a mud soaked dress with a portion of her hair missing.
Theodore is a man with secrets. He owns his own private investigation agency, but also works secretly for the government. When asked by his friend’s mother to bring her daughter home, he agrees. But Arabella is unlike any woman he has ever encountered before. She is intelligent and not afraid to speak her mind. Over time however, Theodore begins finds that he likes the challenges she presents.
I loved both these characters. They each has both strengths and flaw that made them very likable and realistic. The dialogue between them was hysterical and all the muttering under their breath at each other was just delightful. And in the end they both discovered something new about themselves. Arabella found that there was more to life than her cause, and Theodore found there was more to a woman then just running a household and having children.
Aside from the two main characters the writer has created a whole lot of wonderful characters. The “ladies of the night” where a bright spot in the overall story. Theodore’s grandparents were charming. I love their background stories and how they tied into Theodore’s life. I found myself laughing out loud at all the scenes they were in.
This book first caught my attention because of the title. Peculiar is not a word that is general used in today’s language and because I am always on the lookout for new authors I decided I would give this one a shot and I'm so glad I did. I can’t wait to read future books by this author.
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Review 3 for A Most Peculiar Circumstance
Date:December 4, 2013
Miss Arabella Beckett is one interesting lady. She is following her passion of helping women get their rights through the suffrage movement. She comes from a high society family. In her adventures to help another woman, she finds herself in jail. Enter Mr. Theodore Wilder. He has come to rescue her. Just when Arabella thinks there is hope, she finds out her family has hired Mr. Wilder to follow her and bring her home. Not an easy task, as Miss Beckett is strong willed, and has other plans. This book is filled with adventure, set in the 1880's. I enjoyed the humor in this book, along with the witty banter between Miss Arabella and Mr. Wilder. With a Christian message interlaced in this story, it makes for a fun, easy read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. The opinions shared in this review are soley my responsibility.
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Review 4 for A Most Peculiar Circumstance
a fascinated read
Date:October 29, 2013
Location:Coral Springs, FL
I received an advanced copy of "A Most Peculiar Circumstance" from Bethany House for my honest review of this book. I am happy to say it is a wonderful read. I would definitely recommend this book.
If you enjoy a spunky heroine, with beauty, intelligence, and the ability to find trouble even if she is not looking for it, you will love meeting Arabella Beckett. She usually always has something to say and is very strong willed, yet there is more to her than most can see. She will keep you laughing, yet make you take a look at how you view others as well. It is a pleasure to watch as she and Theodore Wilder, a man of strong opinion, whom also is more than most people think of him, intertwine in each others lives though out this entire novel. There is humor, suspense, mystery, and great dialogue that will keep you reading and interested till the very end.
Two members of New York’s high society meet in Gilman, Illinois in 1880. Miss Arabella Beckett has been traipsing around the country, on her own, in support of the women’s suffrage movement. She finds herself in a bit of trouble as she attempts to help another woman out. All she can think to do is pray asking God for help. Much to her frustration help arrives in the form of arrogant, narrow-minded, Mr. Theodore Wilder.
Mr. Wilder is a private investigator extraordinaire who set out to do a favor for his good friend Hamilton Beckett. Mr. Beckett simply wanted his sister, Arabella, located and brought home in time for his wedding. The simple favor quickly became a lengthy assignment as Mr. Wilder had to chase her across the county.
The story is filled with many hilarious antics as many of the members of high society seem to never stay out of trouble. The characters are well developed and very enjoyable. I loved learning how Theodore’s grandparents met. Naturally there had to be some villains to defeat. How else can the hero rescue the damsel in distress.
If you are looking for well developed and accurate historical lessons in novel format you will be hugely disappointed. If on the other hand you are looking for a light entertaining comedy to put a smile on your face then this is the book to read.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
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Review 6 for A Most Peculiar Circumstance
Funny, Delightful, Christian Romantic Suspense
Date:September 10, 2013
Beautiful, strong-willed Arabella Beckett has landed herself in jail! Of course, it was all an innocent mistake, but jail nonetheless. She has been traveling across the country speaking at women’s suffrage conferences, and she was delayed by an unexpected side trip. Her family back home was very concerned, so they got their son’s friend, and famous private detective, Theodore Wilder to go on a search for her. It took him quite a while and when he did find her they butted heads quite frequently. It was so comical reading about all their conversations and sometimes, lack there of, and then there was all the other trouble that Arabella kept getting into! It was driving Theodore crazy!
Arabella was intent on helping women get their rights and helping them improve their lives, only later did she realize as she was sitting in jail again, that her attempts were totally off base. She was accused of being judgmental and that hurt and brought her back to God asking for His help in changing and truly helping the women that needed it most. Of course, she has a crew of men out to do her harm and it’s almost more than Theodore can do to keep tabs on her while trying to track down the criminals. I’ll not say anymore, other than you’ll love this book!
This is wonderful mixture of several genres that the author brought together beautifully. It’s historical, suspenseful, romantic, and funny! I can’t wait to read other books by this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”
A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano is not a mediocre romance novel. Prepare to be wow'ed. Ms. Turano lives up to the standard she set with A Change of Fortune. This novel is a beautifully written love story involving two independent individuals who want their own way. It is highly comical with a touch of suspense.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one in the Ladies of Distinction series.
***I received this book free from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
This is the second book in the Ladies of Distinction Series by Jen Turano. Similar to the first book in the series, A Most Peculiar Circumstance is set in 1880 soon after the end of book one. The heroine, Miss Arabella Beckett is travelling to further her passion, the Women's Suffrage Movement and is absent for the exchange of vows for her brother Hamilton and Lady Eliza (book one). Thankfully for new readers of A Most Peculiar Circumstance, you will not be lost if you haven't read book one.
One strength of the novel is the author's love and penchant for humor. The story is lighthearted despite the heavy topics supporting it. There is suspense and intrigue dabbled within the romance plot lines to keep the story moving and interesting. At times I found the humor reminding me of an I Love Lucy episode, but some readers might thoroughly enjoy that style.
Another strength I found was the friendship and bonds between the lady characters. Agatha, also present in book one, makes for many laughs again. Arabella befriends Katherine and Eliza; and the banter and fellowship between the ladies is entertaining. However, I found the male characters to be slightly thin. I would have loved to see more depth to them. Theodore in particular seemed too easy to stereotype his reactions and predict his movements. As well, the "ladies of the night" characters seemed very flat, uninteresting and unrealistic. There story line added much to the plot late in the book but there personalities were limp and uninteresting.
There is a lot of dialogue within the story and less introspective thoughts from the characters. I am undecided if I liked this more or not. It made for a quicker read perhaps, but seemed wordy at times. I did appreciate that the characters weren't burdened with the common ailment of romance novels of flipping between feeling one way and speaking another. That was refreshing. However, if all that keeps two people from falling in love is one honest conversation the story can lack interest and uniqueness. So, as I said - I am undecided.
The plot was an interesting idea and appeared to be a good conflict. As a reader though I found my interest waning too often and had to force myself to continue on reading at least twice. The ending was good and fun to read but felt detached from the rest of the book. I wish the author had left out the first half of the book and taken up the story when the ladies started disappearing. Then stretched the ending out more to develop the reason the ladies were taken and the search to recover them. The "bad guy" felt very random dropping in at the end of the book. (Especially since he had such a large part to play). The ending felt too contrived for me. Arabella is a very resourceful woman but I doubt her abilities would surpass that many other women. Perhaps they could have worked together more showing off more of the secondary characters determination and fortitude - which ladies of the night would definitely have in spades.
Overall I found the book entertaining and an easy light read. However, I did not enjoy it as much as the first installment. I have hopes that book three will take a slightly different turn and focus more on character development, and perhaps we will see a few challenges thrown in that don't involve ladies ending up in prison.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Theodore Wilder is a wealthy, young man who runs his own private investigation business. He is very good at his job. Only a few know that this business is just a front and that he really works for the government. He believes women should stay at home to take care of their children and their husbands. They shouldn’t be subjected to thinking many thoughts beyond fashion, food and family. When his best friend’s sister is late returning from a trip, he is dispatched on the simple errand of picking her up in Chicago and returning with her to New York. Once he arrives in Chicago, he discovers she is not there and begins a month long search for her, culminating in discovering her to be in jail. He bails her out and takes her home, all the while begin subjected to her women’s rights issues. He finds her very attractive, but they definitely are not suited for each other. Arabella Beckett has always been different. She gives no thought to her beauty, but invests in what she believes is her calling from God to better the lives of women. She freely talks about God in her conversations without apology. She speaks at suffrage rallies, championing the cause of women and their rights. She also is intelligent and compassionate. This caring heart leads her into a difficult situation where she finds herself the target of a crazy man. Her “rescuer”, Mr. Wilder, is a caveman in his attitudes towards women even though he is very handsome. After a particularly harrowing incident, Arabella re-evaluates her thinking about her calling. Is she too bossy and arrogant? Has she been wrong about God placing this venture on her heart? This is a refreshing story with witty and snappy dialogue. I kept turning pages quickly to see when the two main characters would meet again and begin their back-and-forth banter and funny mutterings under their breath. The characters were engaging, and some of the situations they found themselves in were very humorous. I was reminded that God is no believer in social status and the manner in which several of the characters treated the “fallen” women in the story admirable; they welcomed them in to their homes, fed them and talked to them as real human beings. All-in-all just a charming story that can be read in an afternoon as the pages will fly by and before you know it, you have reached to end of this delightful tale.
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Review 10 for A Most Peculiar Circumstance
Arabella’s Story is one hilariously adorable Read!
ohmygoodness, what a GREAT story!!!! I absolutely loved Arabella from the moment her story begins and her journey kept me reading until the wee hours of the night. The more I read the more delighted I felt. I noticed other descriptions of circumstances within the book similar to the title, here are a few of them: unfortunate circumstance, fortuitous circumstance, disturbing circumstance, lucky circumstance, and slightly alarming circumstance. The book begins with Arabella in jail because of a certain crime she had no involvement in, but because she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time things go from confusing to dastardly in a hurry! From the moment she sees Theodore, her family sends him to bring her home, she is extremely attracted to him which makes her feel peculiar at once. However, their opinionated mindsets have them clashing immediately and they fall into a comfortable pace of one upping each other in witty banter.
Theodore is furious to find Arabella in jail after promising her family he would find her and bring her home safely. She is gotten into unnecessary trouble and he is beside himself trying to resolve the situation. However, the deeper he probes into this investigation Arabella has uncovered the more he realizes she won’t be safe until justice has been carried out.
Both of Arabella’s brothers are in this story which complicate things in hilarious ways, Arabella meets her sister-in-law, Eliza, in this book and they instantly become great friends, and there are other characters who get thrown in that enhance the plot nonstop. Turano is brilliant at bringing the action to life with unforeseeable results that put Arabella and her friends in tricky circumstances. I laughed loudly more than once, my jaw dropped a few times and I was amazed at how quickly I turned the pages to see what would become of Arabella next. I would LOOOOVE to see this book become a movie, it’s just that good!
There is violence and mystery also thrown into this delightful book, but it only makes things more interesting as Theodore and Arabella resist the obvious attraction felt between them while keeping their friends safe, attempting to stay out of jail, becoming privy to a news story that sends these ladies of distinction undercover, dealing with the women’s suffrage and the endeavor of Arabella helping women be aware about their lack of rights, and all the while thwarting the different plans of marriage from Arabella’s mom!! Despite the roles of sexism, women’s suffrage, and corrupt men protected by the sheriff’s department; there is such heart, devotion, sweet chemistry with Arabella and Theodore, and characters determined to do the right thing in standing up for Arabella that even if the plot is predictable in some ways it doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of the story one bit. I had SO much fun reading this and I’ve learned that if this author writes a book, I’m definitely in line to read it! Turano has a gift for giving her readers witty banter, feisty characters, devoted friendships, gallant gentlemen, and troublemaking schemes with the right touch of depth balanced with romance…..you can’t help but fall in love with these ladies of distinction and their ability to tip the scales of what society expects of them (includes discussion questions at the end). Looking forward to Turano’s next book, coming out later this year!
I want to thank the Bethany House for the free review copy they provided. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I don't always like characters who infuriate each other, but with Arabella and Theodore I simply couldn't refuse! Their pairing was fun and definitely entertaining, I loved watching them match wits in their witty discussions.
While this is the second book in a series, reading the first book isn't a requirement, though I would strongly suggest reading it simply because of how amazing it is!
I loved the chemistry between the characters and how they both came from two different extremes for the times, with Theodore being more traditional and Arabella being a staunch feminist.
There was mystery and adventure, and tons of fun. I loved seeing Eliza back in this story and seeing how happy she and Hamilton are now. And now I can't wait for Grayson and Felicia's story!
Overall a fun tale with an upbeat feel to it, definitely a fun relaxing read.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
After reading Jen’s debut novel ‘A Change of Fortune’, I knew this woman is able to entertain her readers. I really enjoyed her writing and so I decided to pick up ‘A Most Peculiar Circumstance’ as well. Although the entertainment in the story is about the same is in ‘A Change of Fortune’, I noticed that once again it is hard to imagine that this story is taking place in the 19th century. Some things just seemed off. I’m not going to mention them, because I don’t want to spoil things.
The characters have an outspoken mind and love to talk. And that is exactly what 80% of this book is—the story line is carried by dialogue and the narration is minimal. The dialogue is fun, fast, and flowing and that makes a great read for most readers who are looking for a quick and entertaining read. The story line is somewhat predictable, but that isn’t a real bother. But it would be desirable to see the male characters being more masculine in this author’s future books.
All in all it is an entertaining read. The author has great potential and I look forward to see what she comes up with next.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy through NetGalley.*
I was ready and waiting for book #2 in The Ladies of Distinction Series, A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano. I have read and reviewed A Change of Fortune, the previous book in series and could not put it down. Yep it was that good. As expected Jen did not disappoint and I found myself being totally amused by all the delightful characters once again, especially Miss Arabella Beckett and Mr. Theodore Wilder. If you like to smile, laugh and be happy when you read a book then A Most Peculiar Circumstance and the rest of the series are sure to please. I really hope to be able to review book #3. Thank you, Jen. You are on my favorite author list. I give this book a 5+. (I wish the rating when higher)
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing In exchange for my honest review.
Madcap mayhem! You'll be chuckling your way through A Most Peculiar Circumstance even as you swoon over the testosterone laden heroes. And I say heroes because while Theodore is front and centre he is flanked by a marvellous contingency of comrades including Hamilton Beckett whom we met in Turano's debut novel, A Change of Fortune. The author excels at writing befuddled men who can't quite seem to grasp the finer nuances of the strong-willed ladies in their lives.
Honestly, there are so many laugh-out-loud scenes in this book, I don't even know where to begin. Witty dialogue, fast-paced action and zinging romance catapult this story into the lead for romantic comedy in my books. Definitely a joy to read and one you won't want to miss.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
"A Most Peculiar Circumstance" was much like it's predecessor: light, fun and not particularity deep or excessively romantic. The plot has it's usual run of the mill bad guys, and we also get a good dose of opinionated woman, throw in a handsome detective and you've got yourself a novel. Jen Turano has a penchant for wild and eccentric characters, and sometimes I think that's the only thing driving the book forward. However, they are quite amusing and their antics made me laugh. Arabella Beckett is strong willed and driven by a deep desire to help all woman. I enjoyed her sparring with Theodore, but then again, who doesn't like a little flint and steel... Now, I can readily admit that this is not one of my favorite books, nor is it likely to grace itself on my own personal shelf, but I did enjoy it as a light read to pass the time away. I'd recommend it to those who like their historical romance mixed with lots of dialogue and a little bit of humor.
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Review 16 for A Most Peculiar Circumstance
A Fun Read!!!
Date:July 10, 2013
Arabella Beckett is a pistol toting suffragette who has a hard time staying out of trouble. Theodore Wilder is a no nonsense private investigator who is as chauvinistic as they come. When one of Arabella’s misguided attempts to help others land her in jail, covered in mud and accused of shooting a man, she sends up a prayer for a little help. The form that help arrives in, the infuriating Mr. Wilder, is less than appreciated. However, it seems trouble isn’t done with the two of them just yet. Can the two of them sort out their differences long enough to figure out who is behind it all and what they have in store for Arabella?
A Most Peculiar Circumstance is full of chuckle worthy mayhem and characters you cannot help but adore. Arabella is a lively heroine with plenty of attitude that I had no problem getting behind and rooting for. She also experiences a good deal of personal and spiritual growth throughout the novel right alongside our swoon worthy hero Theodore. Their romance starts out the way I like it best. With plenty of quips and barbs! The secondary characters are also very well developed and easy to love.
This book is easily one of my favorites of the year so far and I eagerly looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
I should note that this book is the second in a series and would probably be best enjoyed if read in the proper order. I wasn’t able to read the first book before this one and while I had no problem following along with the story I could tell there were a few characters and situations that were introduced in the first book that I was missing out on.
*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*
In her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, Jen Turano brings attention to the beginning of the women's movement in America and the clash between men and women during that time.
Fighting for women's rights has certainly brought Arabella Beckett into the limelight, but that means she's also bringing in some unwanted attention. As she becomes the mark of some evil men's desire, she finds herself delving into the world of the women on the streets. Finding herself in jail on more than one occasion has brought her under the care of investigator Mr. Theodore Wilder, who believes women should find their place in the home.
Can two opposite-minded people who aggravate each other on a daily basis come to some sort of peace? How did women endure the struggle for women's rights in a world dominated by men?
While I enjoyed some of the historical facts brought to light through this story, the ending was still predictable, and overall this was another "easy read" of Christian romance.
The second novel in her "Ladies of Distinction" series, Jen Turano's "A Most Peculiar Circumstance" is every bit as funny and delightful as her first. Her characters are smart and funny, but able to grow out of the mold they start in.
Turano does a good job making the characters grow and change without losing their spark or compromising the values that make them who they are. Inherently, Theodore desires to protect women. When he is introduced to us, it manifests as 100% chauvinism, but as he recognizes the women in his life as more than just a tool for man's comfort, his chauvinism matures into chivalry; he still believes that women should be protected, but he learns see their worth as people too. Arabella has a calling for fighting for women's rights, but she ends up facing the fact that she has neglected to think and act with compassion for the hearts of the people she is trying to improve. With that revelation, she is able to move forward in a significantly more God-honoring way.
The best thing about the novel is the characters (and given that is very much a character- and dialogue-driven book, that is probably a good thing). Arabella, though both a suffragette and a blonde, falls under neither stereotype, but is really a warm-hearted, romantic girl with good intentions. While Theodore was, admittedly, a jerk to Arabella in the beginning, I couldn't dislike him, since his notions of proper womanly behavior made me laugh. Even more so though, it makes my heart glad that no matter his personal feelings for the female involved, he does everything in his power to defend her anyway, in spite of his chauvinistic attitude, and in spite of her apparent disrespect of him. While I firmly believe that women can be more than capable of defending themselves, there is something about a man rushing to a woman's protection that makes me feel safe and cherished. The world needs more men like that! (Though ideally without the women-are-decoration-only attitude).
Like her other novel, Turano made this one a clean, safe read, ripe with romantic tension without the excessive intimate touching, kissing, etc. that is often found in romantic comedies. A highly enjoyable read!
While this novel can stand on its own, I highly recommend reading "A Change of Fortune" for an introduction to quite a number of the characters and a highly amusing, heart-warming read. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book for the purpose of review; I was not obligated to make it positive.
Fun & sassy are two words that came to mind when I finished A Most Peculiar Circumstance. Miss Arabella Beckett is a woman out to change the world; or at least help women gain the right to vote. She's spunky and outspoken, speaking at suffragette rallies across the nation. Just what private investigator Theodore Wilder is not looking for in a wife. He's pulled her out of one too many jail cells to want any kind of permanent relationship with her. He wants a wife that is content to be at home and what I term 'eye candy'. Of course, any woman who marries Theodore will be marrying some 'eye candy' of her own.
The intricate way all of the characters play off each other is delightful. I was happy that newlyweds Hamilton and Eliza, and his children Piper and Ben were included in so many scenes. Several subplots are developing that I hope the author continues in future books. I want to know what happens with Zayne, Agatha, Grayson and Felicia.
A Most Peculiar Circumstance is a perfect summer read for lovers of historical fiction with straight forward Christian principles.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my opinion. No other compensation has been received.
Readers who are familiar with Jen Turano’s “A Change of Fortune,” will recognize her unique writing style in this sequel, “A Most Peculiar Circumstance.” Turano’s storylines are based largely on a framework of dialogue, with limited (or non-existent) description of setting or mood. Interestingly, this actually works, making for quirky, verbose characters, who generally talk their way through the action, climax, and dénouement.
You need not have read the first book in the series to enjoy “A Most Peculiar Circumstance”, as there is not a continuing storyline so much as a shift of focus to the misadventures and developing romance of Arabella and Theodore – minor characters in the first book.
“A Most Peculiar Circumstance” is fun and easy reading, with an unlikely plot involving high society, free-thinking women who frequently find themselves in jail, forging easy friendships with prostitutes, while the men in their lives are generally amused with the mishaps these ladies find themselves in. The storyline is predictable, and though it aims to be suspenseful it is not, for you never truly believe that any harm will come to anyone. Nonetheless, the characters are likable, the plot is fast-moving, and the story is entertaining.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.