First of all, before going into my review let's take a moment to talk about the cover. Look at that girl's face. She looks like she stepped on a rodent or a Parisian flasher just showed her the goods. I think what's supposed to be a look of wariness turned into a look of disgust lol. Oh well, it's still pretty when viewed from afar. But, I don't imagine Cora having such a snobby face, this actually looks more like Vivian to me.
Let me start my review by saying this book was a-mazing. It had everything. Glamorous Illusions is about a poor farm girl who returns from teaching college to find that her dad has taken very ill. Her parents don't even pick her up from the train station due to a medical emergency, she has to hitch a ride with a pokey old man and that's no fun at all. Cora is very determined to put on her big girl panties and be a strong woman and take care of the farm alone with her bare hands, in place of her father. However, her plans are ruined when she discovers her dad isn't her real dad. Her real dad is actually a very, very wealthy man and he has slightly different plans for Cora's future which brings us to The Grand Tour.
The first 100 pages or so of this book are based "in the wilds of Montana". Here, Cora leaves her home and gets to know her biological family in the big city of... Butte. She has a few siblings, as well as their close family friends and soon-to-be travel companions- and everyone reacts differently to her. The overall reaction is not too good. However, soon they are on their way to Europe to embark on The Grand Tour. This is the first book in the series and this book takes us from Montana, on a scary trip across the Atlantic and on to London. Let's just say Cora's time in The UK is a big bummer. Luckily, after a few days we travel across the English Channel and into France. Here's where the story really heats up. We meet Pierre de Richelieu, who has his eyes on Cora. Unfortunately the "bear" hired to oversee Cora's family and friends, Will, also has eyes on her. Both romances are not approved of though. Romance along the way is frowned upon, especially with the person hired as your glorified tour guide.
Cora's time in Paris is thrilling. France is somewhere I've always had very little interest in reading about, but I loved the Paris the author described and it wasn't the stereotypical viewpoint and atmosphere that most authors would have given it. Without giving away spoilers, but to prove her trip to Paris was, let's just say... very exciting... here's a few things that happen in Paris. A masquerade ball that ends in a game of hide-and-seek in a maze, someone almost falls off the Eiffel Tower, and there's a hostage situation. If that's not a fun family vacation, then I don't know what is.
To top it all off this book is a Christian Historical Fiction and I believe it also falls into the Young Adult category. Glamorous Illusions had two faith-based quotes that I really loved and shared on my Instagram.
All in all, I gave Glamorous Illusions 5 out of 5 stars. Job well done.