I haven't agreed to review very many books lately due to my own deadlines, but when Revell Publishing offered a copy of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport, I jumped at the chance.
The story is set in Chicago in 1893 just as the World's Fair was about to open. This is Book One of a series of historical romances set on an actual street in the city called Prairie Avenue, where during the late 19th century many of the well-to-do of the city built lavish homes.
Although the Banning family is fictional, Newport name drops familiar names such as the Pullman family (think train cars), the Field family (think department store), and the Kimball family (think pianos). The street reads like a Who's Who in the up and coming business world of Chicago in that day.
Although Lucy comes from a well-heeled family, her interests lie more with helping at a local orphanage and taking college courses, which she does on the sly. She's expected to marry the son of her parents' best friends and wears the young man's ring. But, the more involved she gets with the orphanage and getting an education, planning a high society wedding just isn't at the top of her to-do list. And when her brother introduces her to a young architect who has just moved to town....well, you'll have to get a copy of the book for yourself to find out what happens.
I loved this story from beginning to end. In fact, the other night I sat here reading way past my bedtime because I was so close to the end of the story. It was well worth losing sleep!
You can learn more about Olivia Newport by going to her website or her FaceBook page. And you can purchase the book on line, in both print or ebook formats. Or at your local brick and mortar store. Don't miss it!