Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A Lasting Impression
Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee her home, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe, who shows her kindness by not turning her in to authorities. But when he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged him. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville society, Claire believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach—but only if her past remains hidden.
The Federal Army destroyed Sutton's home, confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined—as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves—and each other—for who they really are.
My Take: Sigh ... From the breathtaking cover (I imagined what it would be like to wear that dress - didn't you?) to the last page, I was totally immersed in the world she created. I felt totally satisfied at the end, like I'd been seated at a Thanksgiving meal -- every dish special and created with love.
Nothing went to waste in this story either. The plot moves like a southern dance. It never drags or goes so fast you can't keep up. It's as beautiful to watch (read) as it is to participate. The beginning of the story is bittersweet. There is hardship and sadness, but you feel and see the promise of a new future ahead.
The setting is gorgeous. I loved the details that went into telling us about Belmont and the art. The true life details only made the story more fascinating.
Then there are the characters. They are both determined and have integrity. They both want to rebuild their lives in one way or another. They also are private people and keep things to themselves. What is really wonderful about this book is watching not just their love grow - but their respect for each other. There is a real relationship for these two. They admire each other -- and they share some pretty nice kisses too. ;o)
I want to thank Bethany House publishers for providing me my copy in exchange for my honest review. This one is going on my list to pick favorites from. I hope you'll put it on your reading pile.