August 2, 2013

End of the Journey

Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 464 pages
Source & Format: NetGalley; e-ARC
Series: The Grand Tour #3
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Wealth cannot buy peace... or direction.

For Cora Kensington,  the Grand Tour was to be the trip of a lifetime. She discovered the family she never knew she had, and may have even found the love she longs for in Will. And yet her life has just become infinitely more challenging...

Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes - regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms - in order to remain true to who she really is.

And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it's time to decide Who and what defines her... and who and what does not.

Thoughts on Glittering Promises
I knew I was going to binge read this series as soon as I found the third and final book on NetGalley. I love being able to dive right into a series and see it all the way through to the end. In most cases, it just makes me love the series all the more and sad to say goodbye when everything is over. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked in this series favor.

I started this book and then it took me almost two weeks to finish it. It's not that it was a difficult read - I just got burnt out on these characters and their problems. Cora's two main problems - choosing a suitor and her newfound wealth - just felt so trivial after a while. I was bored by her problems, frustrated by the return of the love triangle, and incredulous over the continued drama.

The book was well-written and the plot, once I got into it, moved along quickly. But I was still mostly disappointed with and bored by the ending to this series. While I haven't loved these books, I've really enjoyed seeing the group travel across Europe. I'd noted the over-the-top drama in my previous review, and that was only heightened in this one.

The drama just got even more unrealistic for me in this final book. I'm not saying these things couldn't have happened - just that I was weary of the constant upheaval. Instead of one central conflict and climax, there were constant commotions. Honestly, I thought I was going to shake the book if Cora had to be saved one more time. When things went wrong, I made some outlandish guesses about what was going on... and I was right in the end! To be honest, it all just made me laugh.

While the love triangle was supposed to be on the back burner in this one (since Cora made a decision in book two), it comes into play again. And I was just frustrated by it! Both of the men were getting on my nerves, although for different reasons. Will's jealousy and Pierre's persistence became so grating.

Finally, the ending just wrapped up too neatly for me. I couldn't helping thinking that after ALL THAT... this was the ending I got? I hate to sound so negative, but I just found myself getting so frustrated. I don't know that this book was so different from the other two - I honestly just think that reading them all in such quick succession ended up highlighting some of the flaws by the time I got to the end. My patience was obviously wearing thin.

Glittering Promises was just okay for me, whereas I genuinely liked the first two, but I'd honestly still recommend (with reservations) the series to fans of Christian historical fiction. I think it was entertaining and enjoyable overall, even if it was fluffy and ultimately frustrating to me in the end. I think there was just so much build-up for an ending that fell a little flat in its "perfectness."

So Quotable
"And sometimes, sometimes, wanting things, wishing for, working for them, is a good thing. Otherwise, we become nothing but spoiled boys and girls frustrated that we don't get every new toy we  see."

8 comments:

  1. Great honest review. I love the quote. So very true.

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    1. Thanks Juju! I always hate when a book is disappointing :(

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  2. Ah, yes. This book was such a drama-fest. I mean, the first two were somewhat soap-opera-ish, but not to the extent that Glittering Promises was. And the love triangle? What was with that? Cora said at the end of book 2 that she chose Will, and that should have ended it. Le sigh. (Not that I'm a big fan of Will, though—his thing about Cora being wealthy was so annoying.)

    Great review, Hannah! :)

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    1. Haha! Yes, drama-fest is exactly the way to describe it. I enjoyed the first two (predictable and fluffy but mostly entertaining) but this one just went too far. The love triangle made me SO frustrated! Especially because she made a choice in book two and then didn't really seem firm on it in this one. I didn't love Will either but at least it was a decision!

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  3. Sad that this one didn't do it for you. The blurb sounded good! I'll have to look at the first two in the series, though.

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    1. Yeah, I enjoyed the first two more! The series as a whole was a little uneven, but I still think it's fun for people who already like Christian historical fiction.

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  4. I think that reading them back to back would definitely have been tiresome!! I read them as they came out, so I had a good long stretch in between each. Reading through your review, I agree with everything you said but I didn't feel the frustration while reading it. The most frustrating aspect of the whole series for me was Cora's vacillating between firm and flighty, but the author did a great job in my opinion of letting us see how Cora was frustrated with her own transformation as well, and that made me empathetic. I was honestly sad to close the book knowing that the series was done. I feel invested in the characters, and I don't think I would have preferred the ultimate outcome to be any different. My daugher's name is Cora, which may have influenced my reading of the book... a tad. ;)

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    1. Yeah, I think reading them back-to-back probably didn't help me with this series. It's like my frustrations kept building with each book instead of having time to kind of dissipate and calm down. I also think that's why I didn't feel empathetic for Cora - having her go back and forth repeatedly felt tiresome because of the fact that there wasn't any time between my reading of each book.

      That being said, I'm really glad you enjoyed these and didn't feel some of that frustration while reading! My friend who first told me about the series read them spaced out (like you) and really enjoyed them, so I'm sure that contributed to my feelings.

      And I love the name Cora - good pick! :)

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