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A Rumored Fortune de Joanna Davidson…
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A Rumored Fortune (edició 2018)

de Joanna Davidson Politano (Autor)

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8530256,533 (4.19)1
Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first. Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.… (més)
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I reviewed Joanna Davidson Politano's debut novel Lady Jayne Disappears and adored it, so I was quite excited to get my hands on her second work, A Rumored Fortune. Also a historical Christian romance with a strong female character, this one did not disappoint - and it too features a good mystery and more than a few twists to keep you on your toes.

Tressa is kind, thoughtful - and as Donegan reveals to her, naive about and sheltered from the world outside the castle in which she lives. While she lived a life of wealth and one free of material concerns - at least up until shortly after we meet her character on the page - the luster of her privileged life is dulled as we read of her childhood, and what saves her from the "poor little rich girl" stereotype is that her character is genuine, clever, and caring to those she engages with.

A Rumored Fortune is a layered tale. The alleged death of Tressa's father draws out greedy fortune hunters, and it quickly becomes obvious that some people can't be trusted...or can they? With plenty of red herrings to make us second guess who is there for Tressa and who will try to take advantage of her, Politano also shows that people are more complicated than they appear on the surface.

And there are twists! Caught up in the search for the missing fortune her father is said to have hidden, I found myself wondering if the fortune was more philosophical (was it actually Tressa, or the vineyard itself); why had her father pushed her away, and what was the mystery behind the source of his wealth; what had happened to her father; and who could she trust? The author beautifully weaves all these questions together, and as one seems on the verge of revealing itself, the story takes another turn.

The author also weaves in an excellent reflection on women and marriage, and love versus necessity as a driver in this period. From Tressa's mother and her cousin Neville's former actress wife Ellen Langford, to her hapless ladies maid Lucy and the very cheery, generous but poor Mrs. Sullivan, her treatment of the necessity of marriage for stability versus for love is human and perceptive, and her treatment of both her mother and Ellen's situations are insightful and much more layered than I expected - a thoughtful treat.

The Christian element is much more prevalent in this novel than her last, but Tressa's faith is as well woven into the essence of her character as it is into Donegan Vance's, so it doesn't feel gratuitous or preachy. A Christian myself, I'm ever leery of books where the main character prays for rescue and God responds with a billboard and fanfare and flashing lights; I like to think God sends us what we need, but it's up to us to see it the solution in front of us, and this is one of Tressa's strengths. She reveals that as a lonely child she had easy conversations with God, and as an adult she questions the prompts and pushes she receives in response to prayer as wishful thinking - again, something relatable as a rational, overthinking adult. If you are not overtly religious, this may make you uncomfortable, but I would encourage you to view it as part of her innate characteristics (she's kind, she's creative, and she's of deep faith) as it explains much about her character and it's development.

All in all, A Rumored Fortune was a lovely stand alone mystery AND romance. For me, though, its true strength was in the character development. We watched some of the main characters grow and change and even heal; through secondary characters like Tressa's mother and Ellen, the author made me push past the stereotypes of those who married for wealth and status by revealing the weaknesses and fears that drove them, humanizing them to where even if I couldn't like them, I could understand them. If a book can grant you a change in perspective, even if it was unintended, that is a gift. ( )
  jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
I was captivated by Tressa Harlowe. From the author's first descriptions of Tressa I was routing for her and she reminded me of Cinderella in the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Tressa's kindness to all and her amazing resilience are unmatched by most of those that surround her with one exception. Tressa's resiliency bring some creative solutions to the management of her family's estate.

When I read The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses): A Novel Paperback by Terri-Lynne DeFino, I was captivated by the words written at the beginning of each chapter by the late Cornelius Traegar (one of the writers that had initially conceived of the retirement home for writers). Each of the shared messages was not only a perfect complement to the chapter but at the end of the novel, I wanted to go back and read each of the shared chapter openings again for the profound messages for reflection. I couldn't imagine another writer that would have a character share a chapter opening in such a meaningful way until I began reading A Rumored Fortune.

Joanna Davidson Politano's magical novel is captivating for the story but in particular for the shared words at the beginning of each chapter from the Notebook of a viticulturist as written by Tressa's father, viticulturalist Josiah Harlowe. The notes are reflective not only to the growing of grapes but provide food for thought for life.

I didn't know that this novel was Christian fiction until I looked to view the copyright date and noticed the subject as part of the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. I thought it was an exquisite example of Christian fiction as Tressa's faith is tested time and again and even during what seem to be her darkest hours and she is questioning if God is listening she continues to talk to God. It is a quiet example (not preaching) testament of a woman's faith.

I loved the writing by Joanna Davidson Politano and will not hesitate to read more of her novels. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Nov 9, 2019 |
When she needed help the most, a slave, Louis, cared for orphaned Adria Starr. Now, years later, despite the good he has done, Louis is being sold—and Adria is desperate to help him in return.

Ann H. Gabhart’s River to Redemption is heartwrenching, yet heartwarming historical read. Character-driven and faith-filled, the story unfolds at a steady pace, keeping me easily captivated, and I loved it. I highly recommend it to fans of historical, inspirational fiction.

Thanks to Revell Reads, I received a complimentary copy of River to Redemption and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  hes7 | Oct 7, 2019 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Historical, Christian, and romance all in one. The characters made me want to care about them. There are many layers to the storyline, and sometimes you are let off track and have to readjust your thinking. The book is written from different characters point of view which makes it very interesting to read.
  melkathy | Sep 9, 2019 |
Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.


My Thoughts: This is the second novel for Author Joanna Davidson Politano and her books only get better and better! A story of intrigue, suspense, love, and lessons to be learned. Tressa and her mother are summoned home early from a trip abroad. Assuming that her father has called them home, Tressa is excited to see him again. When they do finally get home, she is met by a handsome stranger who comes to her aid and brings her to the castle only to find that her father has died. As she learns that Trevelyan has run into money problems she quickly starts searching for the hidden treasure; the only thing is, is that she isn't the only one. At the world of her father's death, everyone wants a piece of the treasure.


This is a gripping story that keeps the reader entertained throughout. It is full of twists and turns, that keeps the reader on edge wondering what will happen next.


The characters are well developed and very believable, as they interact with one another through the story-line,


At the beginning of each chapter, there is a nugget of wisdom that deals with horticulture and raising grapes but it also has a deeper meaning for what goes on in life. The characters also supported a great faith in God which is a good example for us in our own times of despair.


Tressa is a loveable character, and well portrayed in the novel. I can't imagine how hard it would be to trust in a time when it seems all people wanted was money. I think that she did an amazing job, with a few lessons learned.


I highly recommend this novel. I will certainly be looking for more from this author.



I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and 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.”

( )
  MaryAnnB1964 | Mar 1, 2019 |
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Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first. Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.

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