I received a copy of A LASTING IMPRESSION by Tamera Alexander, from Bethany House. It is the first book in the Belmont Mansion series. I had never heard of Belmont Mansion in Nashville before. After reading this novel, though, I have added the mansion to my list of vacation destinations. The atmosphere sounds amazing, and I want to walk the ground just like the characters. I looked up the house online while I read, so I could picture some of the rooms. It brought the story even more to life.
The story involves Claire Laurent, an aspiring painter in New Orleans. Her father, owner of an art gallery, forces her to make forgeries for him to sell. When the art studio is broken into, one of his friends sends her to Nashville where they’ll start a new business. When she gets there, the man she’s supposed to stay with threatens her, and she learns her father is dead. Through the help of a reverend, she is hired as a liaison to Adelicia Acklen, one of the richest women in America. The fact that she is a real woman, and that author used some of her own letters to create dialogue for the character, cemented my love for the book. I felt as if I was traveling back in time, to a grand mansion inhabited by wonderful people.
Through twists and romance, A LASTING IMPRESSION kept me on the edge of my seat, eager to discover more. I even took the novel with me to work to read during my break and lunch. I look forward to reading the next installments in the series.