Book: After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own book #1) by Jen Turano
Source: Borrowed from Publisher/NetGalley for an honest review
Publication: Available now
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Rating: 2 stars
This started out good as a historical romance but after a while it became too wacky then started to lag near the end and become boring. Also at times it felt far too modern instead of feeling like the story was set during the late 1800s.
After a Fashion is like a mash up of several different stories and movies from Pretty Woman to Cinderella to Pride and Prejudice to The Princess Diaries to Anastasia the animated movie to Pygmalion (or My Fair Lady) and many, many more.
The story which is set in New York follows Miss Harriet Peabody, a 22 year old young woman who works in a hat shop. On her birthday she experiences a very horrible day. Not only was she attacked by Miss Birmingham, a spoiled society lady but then the young woman's mother planned to have Harriet fired from her job. Then she is proposition for a business deal by Mr. Oliver Addleshaw who after a terrible ordeal with Miss Birmingham now needs a "lovely" companion to help him impress a Duke and his family. If all things go as planned Oliver will have a new business partner.
Although Harriet maybe kind and intelligent she is going to need a little help to transform into a society lady as well as her two good friends and roommates Millie and Lucetta. In steps Mrs. Hart a rich and rather reclusive lady who has offered to become Harriet and her friends chaperone and teach them the ways of society.
After being orphaned by her mother, Harriet grew up with her aunt who made her living being a con artist and concocting various scams and schemes. Harriet not wanting to go into her aunt's profession took off for more honest work which is how she wound up working in a hat shop. If she had not been about to lose her job (which was very certain), there was no way she would have taken Oliver's offer.
Harriet hopes that the money that she will receive from being in a pretend relationship will go towards her opening a dress shop for women who are poor or working class. But can she deal with the insufferable and arrogant Mr. Addleshaw?
Oliver Addleshaw is all about chasing money or the next business deal. Despite being extremely wealthy and coming from one the most prominent families in the country all that seems to be on his mind is business.
The romance was built up gradually with these two, with them going from not liking each other to slowly finding themselves falling in love. The romance and many of the characters were probably the best thing about this. The story lacked a lot even the twist at the end did nothing to improve it.
Even though this was a faith based book it's not as in your face as A Vote of Confidence was, however After a Fashion was just too wacky and boring at times to be a fun read.
Overall, this had a good start but ended poorly.