A Lasting Impression
Bethany House Publishers
It's the year 1866, September 7th to be exact, and Claire Laurent has just finished what she knows to be her very best painting. But as she stares at the image of her mother, so delicately included on this, her latest 'Jardins de Versailles', she knows it cannot be called her best, because it, like all of her other paintings, have been forged.
Wishing to paint her own masterpieces, worthy of acclaim, she would do anything to get out from underneath her fathers critical gaze. She could never have known her opportunity for just that, would come as swiftly and painfully as it did.
Not even a day later, Claire finds her self aboard a train heading to Nashville. Leaving behind her beloved New Orleans with memories of her mother and her only living family. Scared and confused she arrives in Nashville, a town she finds beaten down, and war torn. Desperate for something comforting she goes in search of her reserved accommodations, only to find them most unpleasant. Tired and lost she stumbles into a church with an unlocked door and falls asleep on a bench until morning, never suspecting what opportunities would rise with the sun.
With an overheard prayer, the stumbling into of an intriguing gentleman and the help of a minister, Claire is delivered into a world of wealth and opulence, far beyond her wildest dreams. She begins to hope. But she knows she has to keep her past hidden. If only that 'intriguing gentleman', Sutton Monroe weren't so determined to find out who she really was.
As she fights to keep her past hidden, Sutton fights to keep his past from haunting him. While mourning their losses and dreaming of their futures, they have another thing in common, Adelcia Acklen-Belmont's widowed mistress, who causes their paths collide in a most unexpected way.
In a nation on the mend from war, Belmont in all it's beauty seems to stand unscathed. But in the midst of Nashville’s ever changing landscape, secrets are unveiled, past wounds are exposed and disappointment threatens. But love is stubborn and wants to take root. Will pasts be forgotten so futures can be made new?
I did not want to put this book down! At first glance, I knew I was going to be deeply absorbed. The author did a great job transporting me back into 1866. I would have loved to be in this story. As a creative person, I loved the message she was trying to convey. I even found myself reading parts out-loud to my husband. She did a great job getting me involved in the page turning story, while speaking to my heart. This is a must read for any historical fiction fans! I especially loved gleaning a little piece of Nashville’s history, as I currently reside here. Great book, I'll be purchasing more of her work.
(I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for review)