Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd Book #1)
Book 1, Apart from the Crowd
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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. . . .
First book in Apart from the Crowd series!
Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano is the first book in Apart from the Crowd series. Miss Permilia Griswold lives in New York City with her father, stepmother and stepsister. Permilia (what an unusual name) was raised by her father, George after her mother passed away. She traveled with him around the country while he took care of his mining business. Permilia received a man’s education and Permilia thought she would help her father run his businesses. Then George Griswold married Ida, a widow. Ida is a society woman who believes a woman should debut, get married, have children and go to parties. Ida raised her daughter, Lucy in this manner. Permilia is frustrated by all of Ida’s rules and the endless functions and society parties. The Griswold’s have been invited to Mr. & Mrs. Williams Vanderbilt’s costume ball (event of the year). Permilia is considered a wallflower by society because of her unconventional ideas, manner of dress, and the way she speaks. Mr. Asher Rutherford of Rutherford and Company (a department store) is also attending the ball. Lucy is interested in Asher, but Ida does not believe he is a suitable mate for her daughter because he is “in trade”. Permilia is sneaking around the ball taking notes for her society column Miss Quill’s Quality Corner. While helping a friend, Permilia overhears a plot to murder Asher. Permilia tells Asher about it, but he does not believe her until he is attacked with arrows. Permilia and some friends come to his rescue, but the killer will not be so easily thwarted. Asher and Permilia will need to join forces to find the evildoer, before they find themselves in the obituary pages instead of the society columns.
I was looking forward to Jen Turano’s Behind the Scenes. I had enjoyed the lighthearted humor and engaging characters in her A Class of Their Own series. What I appreciated in that series was missing in Behind the Scenes. I found the writing to be awkward with stilted dialogue. Permilia was too peculiar (her education, way she spoke, unusual dress, clumsy, cannot dance, gets tongue-tied, etc.). I did not understand Asher being so possessive of Permilia at the ball. They had only had two unpleasant encounters prior to this occasion. Asher went out of his way to protect Permilia especially from Eugene Slater, an interested suitor. Then there is the offensive stepmother, Ida and her equally annoying daughter, Lucy. I give Behind the Scenes 2 out of 5 stars. I just did not like Behind the Scenes. I tried to read the complete novel, but it was impossible. I ended up skimming through some portions of the story. The ball scene took up 35% of the book (it seemed like it went on forever). The reader is subjected to every little detail about the ball. The dances, what people were wearing, room décor, food, and so forth (this attention to detail continues throughout the book). There was also one inane incident after another. I do not mind some light, fun humor, but this was just plain silly (idiotic would be a better word). Every single one of the wallflowers were eccentric. I found the ending to be predictable. The mystery was easily solved early in the story. The Christian element was very light. I did like Mrs. Davenport and the Huxley sisters (Mabel and Henrietta). I think a book about Mrs. Davenport would be more entertaining (what a character). I believe I will be skipping the rest of the Apart from the Crowd series.
A laugh-out-loud historical romantic comedy!
This wonderful book is filled with an incredible cast of quirky characters! I love both of the main characters especially. Many of the names are so unusual that just saying them out loud put a smile on my face. I have no idea how the author came up with them.
Miss Permilia Griswold has found her own way to make her life more tolerable. She has even found a way to feel that she is contributing to the world. I was extremely amused by her antics. It was very clear from the beginning that she was in a very real sense a fish-out-of-water. As the story progressed more and more information is revealed as to how she was thrust into such an awkward position.
Mr. Asher Rutherford is truly considered one of the highest level of those in high society. He is keeping his own secret that he feels would ruin that standing if it ever got out. I think that his choice of who to have as his closest friend brought me much amusement.
The plot of the story is delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this marvelous story. I was kept guessing about many aspects of the suspected danger Asher was in simply because of the twists the story took.
I received a free copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions 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.*
- Category: Religious
- Published: Apr 18, 2017
- Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
- Seller: Baker Book House Company
- Print Length: 352 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, Apart from the Crowd