For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future-her very life-depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger.
And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences.
It’s always difficult to pick up the second book of a series: you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. With some, there is perhaps only a minor connection to book one. With others, it is vital that you’ve read book one first. Grave Consequences falls into the latter category. It picks up almost immediately after the end of Glamorous Illusions, with perhaps only a day or two having passed. There isn’t much backstory, and it is presumed the reader is familiar with the characters and knows what has gone before.
After the events at the end of Glamorous Illusions, the two families continue their Grand Tour of Europe. They head south from Paris to visit the towns of Carcassonne and Nîmes, but then visit Switzerland and Austria. Trouble continues to follow them, either in the guise of suspicious strangers or due to their own actions. Cora also manages to find danger more than once and has to be saved by the men in her company. Speaking of men, Cora is still torn between two suitors and the possible ramifications of choosing one of them. As much as Cora believes she can return to her previous life, her father has other ideas and he is a man willing to manipulate any situation so that it works in his favor. Few are brave enough to challenge him. Is Cora among them, and – given what she has experienced during this trip – can she really go home the same person she was when she left? She turns to God for advice, but the only thing He seems to be saying is, “Wait and trust.”
Similar to the previous book, Grave Consequences contains beautiful details of the places visited by the touring party. Although Will and his uncle provide the party with plenty of information about the destinations, the narrative never comes across as an encyclopedia entry. We’re also entertained with vivid descriptions of how wealthy tourists were entertained on their travels with special events, balls, and formal dinners. I did wonder, however, how Cora’s maid, Anna, was occupied during these times. Did she have particular tasks to do that filled her time? Was she able to see some of the highlights of the places the group visited?
The final title in the Grand Tour series will be called Glittering Promises, and is due out in October. What will Cora do with her life after everything she has experienced? Will she choose the man she loves or the man her father determines is the more socially acceptable of the two beaus? Will she have a choice? Will she be able to return to her previous life or has she been irrevocably changed? I look forward to finding out.
Publisher: David C Cook
Publication Date: 01 March 2013
Page Count: 340
Thank you to David C Cook for my free electronic copy of Grave Consequences, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.