A RUMORED FORTUNE by Joanna Davidson Politano, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney
"Do you see, God? Do you see where I am? The mess my life is? Everything has been taken from me, and soon my freedom will be gone, too. "
Grief stricken upon returning home to an empty castle, her father presumed dead and her mother emotionally disconnected from the loss, Tressa Harlowe feels the weight of the future teetering precariously upon her young shoulders. Added to her distress is the fact that there appears to be no money in the family coffers, while rumors continue to circulate about a hidden family fortune, drawing greedy friends and unpaid lenders to the estate in droves. How could her father have left his beloved Trevelynn Castle and its lush, prosperous vineyards in such a state of turmoil?
When the newly hired estate manager offers sage advice, Tressa cannot help but be wary of Donegan Vance; his rugged physique, brash manners, and plain spoken words splay open her feeble attempts at decision making. Caught between her mother's attempts at matchmaking, the ominous threat of a workers' revolt and a pending criminal investigation, only one man rises to her defense and it's not the one she would have expected.
Beautifully layered with mystique, "A Rumored Fortune" hides its secrets well, exposing the strengths and the frailties of its characters, leading its readers back to the source of life; the strength of the vine depending upon the decisions of the vine dresser, who patiently and lovingly issues the invitation to "connect".
"Pruning involves difficult decisions. It's about removing growth, even what is good and beautiful, to attain something far better."
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it nor provide a positive review.
Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.
Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.
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