Thursday, October 10, 2013

Glamorous Illusions

Title:  Glamorous Illusions (The Grand Tour Series #1)
Author:  Lisa T. Bergren
Pages:  402
Year:  2012
Publisher:  David C. Cook
What is an illusion?  An illusion is defined as something that deceives by giving a false impression of what really is.  This story begins in the wilds of Montana, but then shifts to the wealthy European stage.  The year is 1913, and the two main characters of this story are Will McCabe and Cora Diehl Kensington.  As the story progresses, Cora and Will learn what it is to be real and what is only as they think it to be.
Cora has been raised on a farm, doing chores from sun up to sun down.  She returns for summer vacation from college where she is studying to become a teacher.  She has finished two years and has two more years to go to complete her degree.  Upon arriving home, Cora discovers her father lying in a barn unconscious.  After being seen by the doctor, not much hope is given to Cora and her mother.  Cora soon learns that her father’s health will never be what it once was, her parents have no money and Cora’s likelihood of returning to college in the fall is very improbable, if not impossible.  Then, a stranger arrives at their house and Cora is soon told a secret she could never, ever have guessed.  This stranger offers Cora and her parents a future they never would have dared dream about.
Cora is soon thrust into the midst of two wealthy families, the Kensingtons and the Morgans.  Each family has children on the brink of adulthood who are going on a Grand Tour of Europe to learn about art, history and different people and cultures before returning home.  Cora continually struggles to become part of the group.  Her only friend is Will McCabe, a tour guide in training.  Will has two years of college under his belt, but due to financial reasons had to leave college a few years ago.  He hopes to earn enough money this summer to return to college in the fall.  He wants to be an architect, but his uncle wants him to take over the tour business full-time as his career.  Will identifies with Cora’s struggles to become a part of a new group.  He encourages her, befriends her, protects her, and begins to fall in love with her.  There can be nothing between them as Cora is now part of society’s elite and he is just a tour guide.  As Cora tries to come to terms with whom she really is, will she remember Who she really belongs to?  The One who will never abandon her, never let her walk alone?
This story is rich in historical detail, which is one reason I so enjoy reading historical fiction.  I learn new things, but I can also use my imagination and get lost in a good fictional story.  I will soon be reviewing the second book in the series, Grave Consequences, as well as the third book in the series, Glittering Promises.  Both of these books continue to follow Cora’s Grand Tour of Europe as well as her ever-changing lifestyle and knowledge of herself.  As I was reading, I was reminded that we have choices placed before us often, but do we consult the One who can always advise us best before making our decisions?
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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