Monday, April 14, 2014

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1)


After an unwanted past, Claire strives to create something that will last as an artist among Nashville's elite society in the 1860s.
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 Opinion:

To my surprise, this is the first book I have ever read by Tamera Alexander. I have known about her work for awhile now, and I guess I assumed I had read some of her books before. Now that I think of it I haven't until now. So, for a FIRST impression this book definitely left its mark in a good way.
I was enthusiastic about the plot because I can completely relate to Claire and her struggle with art. Not the part about forging, but about not knowing how she could make a piece her own, or being anxious about what people were going to think of her work. I am in Honor Art right now at my high school and am always wondering what people think of my art. I also get frustrated when I don't think I am being original.
I loved Sutton Monroe! He was such a trip with his almost unending humor. He always had me smiling and apparently, everyone in the story as well.
A couple things that I would have changed would be to have more of a struggle between Sutton and Claire, and also to have had Antoine in the book more. It takes a while for Sutton to trust Claire, but when he does find out her secret it was like he was still all fine and dandy. Even though his worst fear had been realized. I thought Claire's Uncle Antoine was going to be a main character and I was pretty disappointed when he wasn't as big as I thought he would be. For the most part the book was good, but I felt like Claire was left off the hook with a slap to the hand. Even though she didn't do much of anything wrong and was sorry I still expected more obstacles to be in her way. She didn't get the challenge to overcome like I hoped for.

Rating: 4 Stars

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