Welcome to this week’s Favorites Friday post! Yes, I’m quite aware that today is Saturday. Details schmeetails. The truth of the matter is that I fully intended to write this review yesterday and circumstances beyond my control prevented it. Namely… I have to work for a living lol. But books should never be penalized for the pesky realities of life, so I give you Favorites Friday on Saturday. 🙂
What would happen if Pride & Prejudice (without all the eloping) met The Sound of Music (without all the songs)? Throw in the hilariously entertaining writing style of Jen Turano, and you have a book that will from now on sit firmly at the top of my favorites list!
After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren’t always well received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.
Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.
At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance–with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children’s parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?
I adore Millie. She’s totally without guile, she’s sweet and spunky, and to top it all off… she’s a bookworm! Even if I hadn’t already loved her (which I did), she would have won me over with her description of what she had packed in her essentials bag: a few of her fave dictionaries, a thesaurus, her Bible, several of Shakespeare’s works, and two books by Jane Austen. Then she got around to shoving in some clothes. Have you been there before? The first thing you pack is your book bag and you load that baby down with more books than you will possibly read on your trip. Then, when said book bag is threatening to split at the seams, you manage to start thinking about what you will wear. (I of course have no experience with such things lol.) And bless her heart, she still hasn’t quite mastered her words yet. I laughed out loud once when Everett told her to spend some more time in the D’s since those words seemed to be giving her the most trouble that day.
The rest of the characters are just as lively! Our returning characters from After A Fashion get more page time – Everett (dreamy sigh), Mrs. Hart, Reverend Gilmore, Lucetta Plum, and sadly Caroline Dixon (who’s even…peachier… than she was in the first book, let me tell you). The children (and their various animals and antics – the peacocks!!!!) very often steal the show, however. I thought Jen Turano did a fantastic job of writing the three kids – depicting their sibling loyalty and aggravation as well as the deeper reasons behind their behaviors. She also did a fantastic job of writing the truly annoying (and then some) Caroline Dixon. I cringed every time she appeared on the page and sorta read with one eye closed during her scenes, almost as though my subconscious knew already it would be wincing and wanted to get a jump start on the expression. I also have to say that Reverend Gilmore and Abigail Hart are just becoming dearer and dearer to me as the series progresses.
This is truly zany mischief at its best, and there were very few scenes where I was not at least grinning and at most giggling out loud! (Those less humorous scenes were usually monopolized by Caroline the cantankerous, though some of her scenes had their moments too.) From little quirks to out-and-out hilarity, this book will bring joy into your life for sure!
But beyond the humor, there is also an underlying current of “sweet” that swims throughout the story. Warm affection toward children who have lost everything will tug at your heart, and watching the little family adapt to each other will make you want to go give out some hugs of your own. (Just make sure you actually know the children you are hugging. That could prove problematic otherwise.)
Bottom Line: In Good Company is a fun, sweet, breathless (from both laughter and swooning) romance with just the right amounts of suspense & villainy & faith thrown into the plot. You will giggle, cry, get angry, and cheer as these endearing characters parade through the Newport social scene with their own sense of class and style. If you love historical fiction and you have a soft spot for Mr. Darcy, don’t miss this book!
I give In Good Company 5 out of 5 stars and a solid spot on my favorites shelf! Looking forward to reading Lucetta’s story Playing the Part in 2016.
(I received a copy of this book from Bethany House as well as Netgalley in exchange for only my honest review.)
Jen Turano is the author of 6 books, including the critically-acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series. She makes her home in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and son. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.