Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she's always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he's unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.
Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora's secret threaten those they love, they'll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.
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Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano takes us back to July of 1885. Isadora Delafield has a mother determined to marry her off to a gentleman with a title. The older Duke of Montrose has set his sights on Isadora and her mother, Hester is thrilled with the match. Isadora is repulsed by the Duke and his reputation sends her running with the aid of those who care for her. Isadora or Izzie finds herself in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania applying for the position as housekeeper at Glory Manor. With a name like Glory Manor, Izzie imagines a large residence where she can direct and organize servants which happens to be her expertise. Mr. Ian MacKenzie was raised by Amos and Birdie Alderson on their farm, Glory Manor. Birdie was injured in a plow incident and Amos has been forgetful lately. Ian needs someone to take care of them while he is managing his business interests in the city. He was unprepared for the four Duffy children that a social worker has put into Birdie’s care. Ian has his doubts about Izzie’s qualifications especially after he must show her how to use the washing machine, but he is in a pinch plus he finds Izzie intriguing. Izzie finds herself adapting to her new situation, but she is concerned by malicious activities happening at Glory Manor and other surrounding farms. Izzie and Ian will need to work together to overcome unexpected challenges. What happens when someone threatens those they love and a promising future?
Flights of Fancy is a delightfully entertaining historical novel. I found the book to be well-written with steady pacing. Isadore Delafield is a great character. She has a controlling mother who wants her daughter to marry a man with a title. The Duke of Montrose fits the bill, but he is twice Isadora’s age. When her best friend’s butler, Mr. Hatfield learns of the Duke’s intentions, he informs Mr. Godkin, the Delafield butler, of the man’s character and what happened to the Duke’s other three wives. The two men come up with a plan to keep Izzie safe. Ian MacKenzie is grateful to Amos and Birdie Alderson for taking him in as a child and making sure he got an education. Ian is now a successful businessman who is determined to marry a society lady. I enjoyed the witty repartee between Izzie and Ian. Izzie has no clue how to perform the most basic of tasks, but she is a whiz at organization and hiring others to accomplish her plans. Add in four rambunctious children, a cow who prefers a house to a barn and a chicken (who really should have been named Nigel). Also, Izzie tends to be long-winded with her unusual explanations (which make Ian forget what he asked in the first place). I found myself laughing from beginning to end while reading Flights of Fancy (I am talking about laugh-out-loud laughing). Jen Turano captured the historical period with her descriptions of the homes (mansions), the beautiful clothing, the attitudes of men and women (especially society mother’s like Harriet Delafield), the transportation utilized, the historical figures mentioned, and the types of businesses run. The Christian element is light but well thought out. Birdie is the character with the strongest faith which she shares with those in her life. My finger was kept busy flipping the virtual pages of my Kindle as I devoured this book. Flights of Fancy is a captivating story with romance, action, rich historical details, suspense, and whimsy.