A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Synopsis: Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream. Her world is filled with designer clothes, luxury cars, and stunning homes. But her Neiman-Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly, she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family–and discover a life worth living.

Poignant and emotionally gripping, A Woman of Fortune reveals the many ways we deceive ourselves and how resilience of the heart is essential to authentic living. Drawing on her experiences as a legal investigator, author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters. Readers will love Claire’s unbending determination as she strives to keep her family from falling apart and learns to embrace the kind of fortune that lasts. - Goodreads
About the Book:
Publisher: Revell Books
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Texas Gold, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Women’s Fiction, Inspirational Contemporary
Rating: 3 out of 5
There are some books that are written beautifully, have a wonderful pay-off and feature a cast of characters searching for something beyond what they have enjoyed in a material world, which A Woman of Fortune is. Then there are those books that no matter their strong points, they just don’t connect with their reader. For me, that was this novel. It tells the story of the wealthy Massey family. Its matriarch is Claire Massey, who has built a good life for herself and three adult children with the love of her husband, Tuck at her side. On the eve of more success for the family – daughter, Lanie is about to start on a journey of being a young, promising senator’s wife, Tuck is led away in handcuff’s accused of a white collar scheme, the charges mount up against him, including wire fraud, leaving Claire feeling betrayed. Unsure where this leaves her marriage, Claire is left to pick up the pieces of her fractured life and try to hold her family together.  

To be honest, many of the moving pieces worked well. There were some interesting twists and I liked the intimate, inner struggle of the three POV’s – Claire, Lainie and Max. But, that notwithstanding, there wasn’t really anything that I related to in this story – I couldn’t understand some of the reactions and didn’t respect many of the choices the characters made. For me, Christianity wasn’t a big enough force for the decision that eventually put to rest its leading character’s doubts nor to be an impact that ties into the forgiveness payoff. Up until then, Claire’s reactions and life revolved around how the worldwide scandal her family became would affect her kids (understandably so) and how she’d be able to pick up and move on – without a skill or financial means to survive. There is a wild, reckless side of Lainie stemming from being rejected and this ended up being distracting. Then there is Max, who I actually would have liked to have gotten to know better because his character was the one who most changed, and in a novel that tears apart a family’s world, that’s what a reader wants to see emerge by the end of such a story as this is.

Thanks to her skills as a legal investigator, Coates storytelling is excellent. She writes with a skilled hand to create a world that I did admittedly love! Since most the stories I read tend towards the simpler lifestyle, there was a sense of carefree spontaneity in getting immersed in a wealthy world – one that the people in it didn’t have to worry over their shoes matching because they had “people” for that or could throw a lavish party that drew in Texas royalty. Because of this, the book draws its reader in – leaving us curious over a world we can touch though rarely are a part of. When all is said and done, it was freeing to experience the change in one character which perhaps, excuses all the tepid feelings the rest of this family stirred in me. Part of me eagerly wanted to get behind Claire and another believed that her choices didn’t have that one moment of clarity that seemed appropriate, nor an ending to pair with in, and in my opinion, that lessened what otherwise could have been a genuinely great novel.  

If you enjoy women’s fiction, then A Woman of Fortune (the first novel in a new series) is something worth looking into for that summer reading pile. Provided you're like me, and have one. *wink*  

My apologies to the publisher and author for the delay in this review.

Note: there are some minor descriptions of intimacy between a husband and wife, as well as conversation that reveals unmarried 20-somethings are engaging in unhealthy romantic relationships.  

Coming Next from Kellie Coates Gilbert: Following in her estranged father's footsteps, Dr. Juliet Ryan has devoted her scientific acumen to corporate America, providing safe drinking water for millions--and affording her plenty of perks along the way. Then, without warning, a fast-moving disaster sweeps Juliet into a whirlpool of corporate scandal and puts lives at risk. As she scrambles to find answers, Juliet must face her deepest wounds and join forces with her father to expose a far-reaching conspiracy. Underneath it all, she struggles to forgive those who betrayed her trust--not least of all her own father. - Feburary 2015, Goodreads

Take a look at this book video featuring Kellie chatting about her new novel.

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.


  1. I almost signed up to review this book (mainly because, just look at the gorgeous cover!) but I refrained myself since I have way too many books on my plate. Thanks for this great review, your reviews always feel so honest and I usually know whether or not I'd like a book from them! I'll probably skip this one, though it does sound like an interesting story. :)

    1. I have those books, too, Bekah. Some I *want* to read, and some I'm merely curious about, but I have to be firm with myself and say, "nope, you have too many books to read just now." Sometimes it works. ;)

      Thanks for the kind words. That's my number one goal - to be honest. Hopefully that always comes through. I feel like sometimes my reviews are in extreme - either I'm very nonchalant or I tend to gush, but both are my honest opinion, so that's what I strive to let come through each review. :)

  2. The cover is eye-cathcing and the synopsis seems promising... Interesting to read your thoughts, Rissi.

    I wanted to also invite you to my new blog. Please feel free to drop by anytime and to leave as many comments as you want -- EVERYONE is welcome to do so as a matter of fact :-)

    1. Ganise, hi! Thanks for dropping by - and for reading. If you read this one, hope you enjoy it.

      ...and girl, you have a blog again?? How did I not know this. Some kind of observer I am. ;) Of course, I'll be by to visit.

  3. Well, bummer!!! I was really looking forward to this one and have it as an ARC. I'll have to give it a try, but if I don't connect then I won't finish it. Too many books to read!

    1. I know... me, too, Tressa! I think maybe I wasn't its target audience and plus, I just couldn't connect with the characters. That being said, I sure hope you enjoy it! I've read some good reviews, so a lot of times I say, "it's just me." :)


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