Start of a Delightful New Series from Historical Romance Author Jen Turano
Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn't guaranteed to "take." After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she's finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym "Miss Quill."
Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it's simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she's determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she'll end up at risk as well.
As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .
With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano's (A Change of Fortune) first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles. Miss Permilia Griswold is a rather unusual woman of a certain age, at least by the standards of New York society in the 1880s. She had a very untraditional upbringing in and around her father's mines. Not only is she unmarried, much to her stepmother's dismay, but she also is a confirmed wallflower, quite content to watch from the sidelines of the glittering high society affairs she's forced to attend. Enter Asher Rutherford, a member of the social elite who also owns and operates one of the most successful high-end department stores. Asher is intrigued by Permilia's singular strength of character, delight in helping others, and adventurous spirit. Things take a turn for the wonderfully absurd when Permilia overhears the details of murder plot with Asher as its star at a costume ball where her attire invokes Cinderella. The plot's subtle highlighting of Permilia as a woman who can take care of herself a Cinderella who doesn't need a prince pairs well with the quietly powerful and inspiring message of finding opportunities in unexpected places. \n\nThis review has been corrected to reflect the right series name.
Many Amusing Moments
It was a fun read. Many amusing moments and the characters were great. I recommend it.
Behind the Scenes
This was a fairly nice read. Period romance with a bit of mystery. Though I recommend reading the novella first, the author briefly explains events of the prequel so this can be read as a standalone. Research is evident in the writing, and I appreciate the progressive nature of this piece. I was slightly disappointed, however, that the author fell into the hyper possessive male trope, and very disappointed that Permilia’s pistol skills were all talk, deciding for some reason to pull an umbrella, instead of her pistol, in the face of a blade.
There were a couple of continuity errors, as Permilia stated the shoe could be a warning or blackmail, but soon after says she wasn’t expecting a warning, just blackmail or a threat. Also, at the Huxley home, Sprague “sat down right beside Permilia” but somehow “edged his chair a few inches closer to where Asher was sitting,” who would have been on her other side, having already “sat down directly beside her” earlier. But these are nitpicks.
One of Turano’s best!
Jen never disappoints. I’ve read this book several times and it just keeps getting better. But then I’ve read all of her books and that seems to be the case with all of them...
I’m on pins and needles for her next book to come out. Only a few more days!
Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book! Read it and you won’t regret it!