‘GLITTERING PROMISES,’ BY LISA T. BERGREN. Review of book three in the Grand Tour series. All review text is © Rissi JC

There isn’t a historical series that has been more of a whirlwind than this atmospheric trilogy revolving around a girl coming of age in the most unusual circumstances. Classifying this as a “historical” is fair yet somehow doesn’t seem fitting since this novel covers so much ground. It seems unafraid to tackle deep-seated emotional scars as well as the delights of each city, from the City of Lights to the Ruins of Rome, it visits.

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STORY: Finding her identity (spiritually and as a person), Cora Diehl Kensington is ready to accept the responsibility of being a Kensington particularly running the mines Cora’s father has built with his business partner. This angers the Morgan’s and leaves Cora at odds over future business decisions. When tragedy strikes, Cora is again fighting to keep her emotional identity intact and find a way to outsmart the people who are still pursuing the tourists with ploys to destroy them.  

Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren | Book Review

From the beginning, Lisa puts readers under a spell (in the best possible way) with this Grand Tour series. It excites and engages us with a story of four young socialites. There is much heightened excitement going into Glittering Promises and that excitement is definitely warranted! The first half of the novel follows in a “safe” manner and details touring experiences, and strengthens relationships, and then the second half puts everything on hold and becomes more an adventure. There are not one or two but three “big” game-changers and fortunately when all the dust settles, the good are still standing.

Throughout this entire series Cora is one of the good characters. Told mostly in her first-person narrative, she’s a young character as real as one is likely to be. The inner struggle within Cora is not only genuine, but quite realistic. She’s a character easy to relate to, as some of us do wonder what our place in the world looks like. Seeing how much stronger each of the relationships are in Glittering Promises is a joy. There’s good camaraderie and loyalty, too.

This novel is also an exceptional read for any historical addict. Pages (and pages!) of descriptions chronicle popular European places. To anyone who hasn’t read this series, I’d recommend reading them in the proper order. It’s not impossible to read them individually however there’s many threads that carry through each. Fortunately, I don’t think Lisa could end this more exceptionally. If there is one thing that disappoints, it’d be the revelation that one person whom I’d slowly came to trust is in reality, not a good person. This one thing isn’t enough to affect the rating of the book, and while it’s sad to wave goodbye to Cora and her travelling companions, it’s a good end.

The Grand Tour is not a journey anyone should miss. It’s a whirlwind of emotions, adventure, romance and history, all of which is comes together effortlessly. 

About the Book:

Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2013
Find the Review Elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads | WordPress
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Series: Grand Tour – Book 3
Genre: Fiction; Historical
Rating: 5 out of 5

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

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Awesome review, Rissi! I was wondering if you would be disappointed by that revelation – I think I was a little, too. But still, a fabulous series, with exciting adventure, great descriptions, and definitely good characterization, as you noted! I LOVED Felix in this one – there's just something about big brother characters that I adore. You might just meet one or two in Forget Me Not, as well… ;)


    1. A little bit, yes. Early on, when this alluded-to-character first came into the picture to "complicate" things, I was leery. Over time, the person did earn my trust, so watching said person be the "baddie" was kind of… disappointing. However, it ended up being okay.

      This was/is a fabulous series! The locations, Cora and her companions make it worth any minor quibble. Felix was a wonderful person; he was always in the background but some of these scenes!? So sweet. (Mr. Morgan even had a great pivotal moment with Cora!)

      Aw, your Forget Me Not just keeps getting better. There is something about those protective older bros. Love that!

  2. Still have some 40 pages to read from this one, but I can see, I very much agree with your review. I also, was a bit disappointed by the revelation and thought it slightly unnecessary (I'm just guessing we're talking about the same person here!) But I loved Cora and loved the descriptions of the travels!

    1. I'm guessing we are also, Birdie! Cannot wait to read your review, then. :)

      Even with my slight disappointment, I was thrilled by how Lisa concluded the series. It was a wonderful end and Cora is one of the best young women in fiction (when it comes to maturing over the series) that I've yet to meet. That's worth a lot.

      Hope you ended up happy with the conclusion! :)

  3. excellent review! I just thought I'd mention that I was at a youth retreat in Utah, and met Jared Southwick, who gave each participant a copy of "Marysvale" Seriously, it is SUCH a good book, and theres two more in the series… You should review it if you like the ratings! Its super good!

    1. Thank you muchly for taking the time to read it, Leighanna. I appreciate that. :)

      Awesome! I've not heard of that book, however as you can probably tell, I am a bookish sort and am always happy to take recommendations. Thank you; I'll look into the book. :)

  4. Thanks so much for the fab review, Rissi. Knew I was treading in scary territory, there, messing with you-know-who, but I liked the surprise in that revelation. Not all are who they seem…ever.

    1. Thank *you* for writing this wonderful series, Lisa. Seriously, I don't think you could have ended it better.

      I admire when authors take a chance and by wrapping up this series how you did, you certainly did. You handled it very well though and sad as it was to wave good-bye to these young people, you gave us the best possible conclusion. :)

      Thanks for dropping by!

    1. Wonderful. I certainly hope you enjoy this novel, Esther. It's definitely one to remember. :)

      Wow. Thank you so very much for the award! I'm honored that you chose this blog as for the Sunflower award. That's always fun. And thank you for the kind words about the blog; it's been a lovely journey to be blogging here these last few years – thank you for being a reader. It's very much appreciated.

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