A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

October 4, 2018

Title: A Lasting Impression
Author: Tamera Alexander
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780764206221
Publication Date: October 15th, 2011

About the Book:
From Christy and RITA Award-winning author Tamera Alexander comes a novel about the difference between knowing who you are--and knowing who you want to become.

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 from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong 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 Mrs. 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 Thoughts:
I have officially read this whole series in reverse! It is a series, thankfully you can read out of order. It was great to finally see the beginning and read the backgrounds of some of these characters I heard about in book three.

Tamera Alexander is an author who not only researches history for her books, she brings it to like in this gorgeous story. She mixes history, art, and personalities so beautifully. She has very real and very broken characters. Claire and Sutton's story is that of hurt and healing. Learning to cope with past. Grieving over loss. Questioning and regretting past decisions. The consequences of decisions. I loved how that was handled. We may not be fully responsible for the decisions we make, but consequences, whether good or bad happen.

There is so much to this story, but it isn't ever too much. The pace is great. It kept me wanting to know more....how are we going to get from point A to point B. Will this ever interact with this? So many questions kept popping up and they all kept getting answered...I love that!

I will say, before reading the Belmont Mansion Series, I had no idea who Adelica Acklen was. Her story was just phenomenal. I had to go look up her history and that of her mansion in Nashville. The interwoven historical characters and fictional characters was seamless.

I honestly can't wait to dive into the Belle Meade Plantation series and I can't wait for her newest book, With this Pledge, from her new series Carnton.

I did listen to this book on Audible. The narrator is the same through the whole series. It always makes me happy when the same voice continues on. The performance was great and really made it enjoyable.

If you are a history nerd like me, or you are looking for a great historical romance, I would completely recommend this book and series!

5 out of 5

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