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Customer Reviews for Revell The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2

Revell The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2

Charlotte Farrow, maid in the wealthy Banning household on Chicago's opulent Prairie Avenue, has kept her baby boy a secret from her employers for nearly a year. But when the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child's fate. Can she face the truth of her own past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life's tragedies determine the future for her?
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Customer Reviews for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Review 1 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Love and Overcoming Fear

Date:May 6, 2013
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Faye
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Charlotte Farrow continues to keep her secret, but when the woman caring for her child suddenly quits, and when her baby is discovered it is assumed that the baby was abandoned. Charlotte is left to watch silently while the family makes plans for her child, but can she keep herself and her child safe from those who would do them harm?
The sequel to Ms. Newport's The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, continues to follow Charlotte Farrow, and we finally get to find out about her past and what she was running from. I wouldn't say that is totally nescessary that you read the first book in the series before picking this one up, but I would not that it does help fill in the some of the setting and backround.
Charlotte learned about love and overcoming fear, I liked how this book followed Charlotte and how we got to see the Gilded Age through the eyes of a servant instead of someone who was wealthy. I guess the one thing that gives me pause was how even though Charlotte was in a tight situation, it got even worse and she hurt many people by not speaking up. I really felt bad for Elizabeth because she just wanted someone to love and Charlotte hurt her the most by not speaking up right away, so I really hope that Elizabeth get's a happy ending in future books :)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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Review 2 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

If you enjoy Downton Abbey, you'll enjoy this book

Date:January 30, 2013
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Julieanne Miller
Location:Oregon
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
So often when we read a novel written about the 1800's, we only read about the "upper" class, when in fact there was a large group of people who made the lifestyle of the well-to-do possible. The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is different. It gives us a look at what life may have been like for these servants.
Charlotte is the heroine of Olivia Newport's newest book in the Avenue of Dreams Series, In The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. Ms. Newport has interestingly portrayed the problems of that invisible class, the household servants. They were hired and fired at the whim of the butler, and often fired for little or no reason at all. They worked long hours for little pay and had to live by the very restrictive rules of their employers.
Charlotte Farrow came to the city of Chicago looking for a way to earn her living and provide for her newborn son. She is helped by a young woman, Lucy Banning, who finds someone to care for her son, and a job for Charlotte in Miss Banning's parent's home. This goes well until the caregiver is called to another city. Whatever is Charlotte to do now? The solution lies with Charlotte. Can she give up her precious son for adoption, or does God have another solution for her problem?
Charlotte's courage emerges on a ride on the first Ferris wheel. The inclusion of the situations the household help faced, the poverty of the average citizen, and the unfair labor and work rules that the workers had to live under and the descriptions of the Chicago World's Fair made this an interesting historical story.
If you enjoy watching the PBS hit, Downton Abbey, I would recommend The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow to you, with a little history lesson besides.
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Review 3 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 28, 2013
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sunny island breezes
Location:a sunny island
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a story of both courage and fear. Lucy Banning helped Charlotte keep her secret, but she married and left on an extended honeymoon to Europe.
Then the problems began. The woman who cared for Charlotte’s son had an out-of-town emergency, and a scullery maid discovered the boy in a laundry basket. That was when Charlottes deception began to explode with drama.
While fearing for the safety of both herself and her son, she does something that will probably cost her dearly.
Throughout all this, a romance is brewing. It seems that Charlotte’s fears may even cost her a chance with a good, loving suitor.
I’ve enjoyed visiting with the Bannings again and look forward to more books in the Avenue of Dreams series.
***A special thank you to Donna Hausler for providing a review copy.***
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Review 4 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

5 Stars!

Date:January 27, 2013
Once I read The Pursuit of Lucy Banning last year, I knew I had to get my hands on the next book in the series as soon as it was available! While Lucy's story gives readers insight about life "above stairs," Charlotte's story delves into life "below stairs." As different as the stories were, they were both outstanding, and I think I loved The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow even more!
The historical aspects of this novel were fascinating, and I was impressed by the amount of research that must have gone into writing this novel. All the talk of workers' rights and how it affected the wealthy as well as the servants in their homes cast a new light onto that issue for me—much different than my history and business classes in college did.
While the romantic aspects weren't as strong as I expected, I still loved watching how Charlotte and Archie's relationship progressed and matured. The other characters were interesting as well, and my fingers are crossed that we'll get to know Sarah better in the next book in the series.
Fans of historical fiction are sure to enjoy this novel (though I would recommend reading the series in order). [5 stars]
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Review 5 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Fell Below My Expectations

Date:January 27, 2013
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Christy Janes
Age:25-34
Gender:female
After reading Olivia Newport's exceptional debut novel, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, I was oh-so-eager to return to Prairie Avenue to catch the latest happenings in the Banning household. While Lucy's story had a definite taste of the rich and cultured "upstairs" life, Charlotte's story was all about the "downstairs" life of service.
The story started out great, but before too long, I grew bored. Believe me, I didn't want to. The arrival of Henry at the house, and the reasons why he was there, seemed contrived and not believable. The lack of romance also played a factor in my disappointment. Archie's attraction to Charlotte never appeared to be fully explored initially, and her reluctance to entertain a relationship with him lingered too long. And like the first book, the spiritual elements were lacking again.
But on the flip side, the continuance of the Chicago World's Fair and the history of their mayor were thoroughly enjoyable. The addition of the anarchist movement, while not mentioned at great detail, was a perfect element to include and showed the early beginnings of what we now know as the eight-hour workday.
I do wish to finish the series, and am curious as to which heroine will be the focus of the third and final book.
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Review 6 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Trip Back in Time to the World's Fair

Date:January 26, 2013
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Pam Burke
Location:Potosi, MO
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Olivia Newport's The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow provides an intriguing visit to the world of Chicago's rich Prairie Avenue district at the time of the 1893 World's Fair. The characters -- both the wealthy Banning family and their servants -- come vibrantly alive, thanks to the great detail with which Olivia describes them.
Charlotte's dilemma of how to handle the secret about her baby, as well as the difficulties encountered by the other servants, depicts much of the struggle of those seemingly trapped in the lower social class of the time. The willingness of some and refusal of others to bridge the wide gap between the classes makes for a very engaging story.
Historical fiction has become one of my favorite genres, and this book is an excellent example. The information Olivia Newport shares about Ferris's giant wheel and other details from that period of time make for fascinating reading. And if you happen to be a fan of TV's Downton Abbey, I think you may find yourself making connections with some of its characters as you read this book.
The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is book two in the Avenue of Dreams series. It worked well for me as a stand-alone novel, but I enjoyed it so much that I want to go back and get the beginning of the story in The Pursuit of Lucy Banning.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Review 7 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Historical

Date:January 26, 2013
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KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
An emotional white-knuckle read that deals with the inequality of women in the 19th century.
Charlotte is faced with an impossible decision to make in the midst of equally impossible, desperate circumstances. The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is a dilemma to end all dilemmas. Newport deals with the complexities of class distinction and the limitations it placed on both the wealthy and the poor. It's enough to make my blood boil!
Stalwart, compassionate Archie is what all heroes should be made of -- if only Charlotte could see it that way! But her complicated past makes it difficult for her to see the possibilities in a future that isn't rife with worry and grief and grim reality. My stomach is in knots just thinking about her story. Bless Newport for successfully navigating the way to a happy ending. I found The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow to be a gripping read from beginning to end.
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Review 8 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

ANOTHER AMAZING STORY FROM THIS AUTHOR...

Date:January 25, 2013
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My Book Addiction
Location:North Carolina
Age:55-65
Gender:female
THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW by Olivia Newport is an exciting inspirational historical romance set in Chicago in the 1890's. Book 2 in the "Avenue of Dreams", but can be read as a stand alone. See, "The Pursuit of Lucy Banning". When Charlotte's world starts crumbling down around her,she must chose her child's fate or her living. She is working as a maid in the Banning home,when the unthinkable happens. Filled with faith,secets, struggles,courage,strength,and love. 19th century Chicago with its social class and genre will draw you in and hold you there. Follow Charlotte Farrow and Archie Shepard on a journey of a lifetime. A compelling,sweet story with complex characters,an interesting plot with the World's Columbian Exposition given in much detail. Can a woman love her child,find happiness,peace,and love all while finding herself? You must read "The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow" to find out, you will not regret reading this amazing story. I can hardly wait for the next installment of these brave,courageous women. A must read for anyone who enjoys history,Chicago during the 1893's and romance.Received for an honest review from the publisher.
“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
RATING: 4.5
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
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Review 9 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Like Olivia Newport? Like Downton?

Date:January 24, 2013
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Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a book you won't want to put down!
I blew through this in a day. It was so easy to read and slip back into the setting from The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. I have been waiting for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow for a long time and I am pleased to report my expectations were reached! A very good friend of mine compared it to Downton Abbey, and I have to agree. It really held that separation of social classes that we're so familiar with in Downton.
I think my favorite character was Charlotte. (No surprise there!) I really liked Charlotte in the first book and was simply ecstatic to find out the next book in the series would be about her. Charlotte is such a sweet person, and she's a great mother to her son Henry, who stays with a woman while Charlotte works for the Bannings.
Another thing I liked is that we really get to know Archie, my second favorite character, in this novel. He is head over heels in love with Charlotte though she puts him off at every turn. I loved his persistence. There were quite a few times I thought, "Okay, this is it. He'll be done with her now." But I was wrong.
There were one or two things I didn't like, very minor things. For one, it felt like a character had a too sudden change of heart. But aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!
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Review 10 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An Unresolved Past, Secrets and Romance

Date:January 23, 2013
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Olivia Newport in her new book, "The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow" Book Two in the Avenue of Dreams series published by Revell gives us a romance set in 1893 Chicago.
From the Back Cover: The whole world is coming to Chicago. Charlotte's whole world is coming down around her.
While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow's attentions are entirely on one small boy-her boy-whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year.
When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child's fate. Can she face the truth of her past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life's struggles determine her path?
This compelling story of courage, strength, and tender romance captures the tension between the glittering wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.
History comes alive as Ms. Newport opens up the world of 1893 Chicago. Charlotte Farrow works for Lucy Banning, from the first book in this series, and she has a number of secrets from her past, primary of which is an infant son who is suddenly returned to her. Now, as her past is threatening to expose her Charlotte is struggling to keep her child. "The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow" is a story of secrets and a past that has not been fully dealt with and how God has to deal with it to bring about healing and moving forward all set against the backdrop of the World's Fair in Chicago. Ms. Newport has an amazing way with her characters as she breathes life into them. We get so caught up with the them and their stories that we want there to be more even as we see the book coming to an end. "The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow" is even better than the first book. I recommend it highly and I am looking forward to Ms. Newport's next book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Review 11 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable read for various reasons.

Date:January 22, 2013
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Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I read the first book in the series, but in my opinion it wasn't needed to understand this one. The author outlined the maid's background just enough in this book to give you a feel for what happened in the past. The author did a great job with the location and the surrounding details to make the setting feel like that era in Chicago's history.
The situation Charlotte found herself in truly did give her a dilemma that was complicated, to say the least. It's hard to show a parent trying to do the right thing for their child, especially when it's the mother making that decision. Many women are quite passionate about the subject of placing a child for adoption or allowing someone else to raise their child, so I can see this being hard for some women to swallow. Having done adoptions and varying foster placements with many clients over the years, I can tell you it's no small thing to set aside your own needs to do what is best for your child. I think the author depicted that well.
I also liked the ending and how Charlotte realized she felt truly loved for the first time in her life. I was wondering how in the world the author would sort that mess out, but in the end, she did a great job working out the details so the reader would feel satisfied with the outcome. This is not an easy subject to address, but considering the many emotional challenges that go with this issue, I think the author did well. It wouldn't be an easy task to make the situation work for this story, but the author pulled it off.
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Review 12 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

How the social mores affected Charlotte Farrow

Date:January 21, 2013
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Vera
Location:North Carolina
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Olivia Newport writes a very enjoyable book that plunks you right down in the midst of the specific historical period in which the story is set. In this case we go to Chicago in the 1890s during the period when the World's Columbian Exposition (world fair) is being held. In book one, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, we meet the wealthy folks living in the row of large, beautiful homes where tour groups actually go by to show the common man and woman how the wealthy pursue happiness.
In book one, Lucy Banning enables her maid, Charlotte Farrow, to keep her new born infant a secret. It is important here for the reader to know the social mores of the time. The servants of the upper class were most often required to remain single, have no children, and leave their position of employment should they marry. Compassionate Lucy helped Charlotte. Now in book two, we find Lucy married and leaving for her honeymoon. Charlotte's child is entrusted (secretly) to a nursemaid who cares for the child full time at the behest of Lucy. Suddenly the scene changes and Charlotte is now in possession of her child, on employee (the Banning residence) property, and found out. The dilemma is to convince the others that this "foundling" has been thrust upon them all because of Lucy's caring for orphans and that they should all care for the child until Lucy returns and settles the issue.
The story rambles on with the daily life of the Banning resident, the servants ins and outs with one another, the secrets they share and those that they withhold, and the care of the new foundling.
It is interesting to see how the struggles and interactions of Charlotte with the other servants are so very much directed by the social issues of the times. We get a glimpse into how servants felt about their plight and how there was a movement to provide better working conditions for all afoot on the fringes
It is interesting to see, too, how emotions and love can cause one to do that which does not seem normal but that which is perhaps best for the one we love. It is interesting to see how Charlotte's dilemma is resolved. You'll just have to grab a copy and see for yourself.
(Tip: Though not absolutely necessary, it is beneficial to read book 1 in the series, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, prior to reading The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow.
My review of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning can be read by clicking this link.
About the author: Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Revell, a Baker House Publishing Group on behalf of the author for the purpose of rendering my honest opinion and review. Opinions expressed are entirely mine.
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Review 13 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Treat for Fans of Olivia Newport's Historicals

Date:January 21, 2013
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Writer Woman
Location:Chicago Area
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved Olivia Newport's The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, which begins around the time of the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition, so much, that I grabbed the chance to review the next book in Newport's Avenue of Dreams Series, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow.
Charlotte Farrow was a prominent member of the "supporting cast" in the Lucy Banning book, and I couldn't wait to see what faced this young maid who struggled to keep her job and also provide for her young son, which, except for Lucy, none of the Bannings knew existed .
With Lucy on her honeymoon and unavailable to help, Charlotte is left to fight for her child when the woman who has been caring for him unexpectedly returns the baby to her. The contrast between the classes is vividly shown through the strong determination of this single mother and the backdrop of the upper-class world of the wealthy. Adding "color" is the Columbian Exposition, which was the city of Chicago's announcement to the world that this major city was fully back and restored after the devastation of the Great Chicago fire that left the city in ruins twenty years earlier.
I loved the characters in the story, the wonderful details that make the setting come to life, and the message of hope found in the pages of this book. I cannot wait for the third and final book in this series!
Revell Publishing provided me with a complementary copy of this novel for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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Review 14 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Read

Date:January 20, 2013
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MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book started with The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, when Charlotte Farrow arrived in Chicago with her infant son. With the help of Lucy, who found a woman to care for "Henry", she was able to go into Service at the Mansion.
This book opens with the woman who was caring for Henry, literally dropping him off, as she had to leave home. Now Charlotte has a big dilemma, she is not allowed to be married or have a child and keep her job. Lucy would have helped her, but she is in Paris on her honeymoon.
To top all things the evil man who is her husband has discovered her, and she is worried about the safety of her baby.
Staying with the family at the mansion is a relative of the family, there for a visit to find a husband, who takes a real shine to the baby. Will Charlotte tell who the baby is or do as Moses mother did years ago to save him?
There is also a sweet love story here, but will Charlotte be able to open her heart, or will her husband find her? Travel along with Charlotte as we visit 1890's Chicago, and the closing days of World's Columbia Exposition. Delightful, and a real page turning fast read.
I received this book through the Publisher Revell and their Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 15 for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, Avenue of Dreams Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Like an American Downton Abbey!

Date:January 11, 2013
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BookLoverKaren
Location:Oregon
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I am a hopeless Downton Abbey fan, so I was excited to crack open this new novel by Olivia Newport and discover a story that felt like an American version of Downton.
The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is set in Chicago, during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and the heroine is a servant in the home of one of Chicago's elite families. As Charlotte Farrow walks the fine line between the lower and the upper classes, she struggles to keep her past a secret--even when evidence shows up on the doorstep and throws the entire household into chaos.
I was fascinated by Newport's portrayal of the servants, the hierarchy they maintained, and the way the staff members interacted with the family. Even though this novel is the second in the series, I didn't feel lost not having read book one (The Pursuit of Lucy Banning), but I suspect it may have given this story an even richer backdrop.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Revell for the purpose of 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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