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A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
Bethany House Publishers, 01 November 2011
To create something that will last is Claire Laurent’s most fervent desire as an artist. It’s also her greatest weakness. When her fraud of a father deals her an unexpected hand, Claire is forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville, only a year after the War Between the States has ended. Claire’s path collides with that of Sutton Monroe, and she considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But when they meet again and he refuses to come to her aid, she realizes she’s sorely misjudged the man. Trading an unwanted destiny for an unknown future, Claire finds herself in the middle of Nashville’s elite society and believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art may finally be within reach.
All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He’s determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.
Set at Nashville’s historical Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America in the 1860s, A Lasting Impression showcases the deep, poignant, unforgettable characters that set Tamera’s stories apart and provides an inspiring love story that will capture readers’ hearts and leave them eager for more.

I’ve had this book for a little while and was waiting for a time when I was ready to read what I knew would be a book of depth and substance – and I got it! I really enjoyed this book and was so pleased to read a book with genuine characters. Some people might be put off a little because this book doesn’t contain explosive action and lost of drama dare I say even melodrama. For this reason I love it! Don’t get me wrong, the plot and characters are compelling and there is enough drama to drive the story forward it’s just slower that’s all.
I found this book very interesting, especially the characters. I loved Claire’s heart and seeing her grow throughout the novel was wonderful. Her relationship with Sutton was beautiful, sweet and the furthest thing from sappy. I really felt like I got to see Claire and Sutton become friends first before working out how much more there was between them.
For me the most interesting character was Adelicia Acklen – which is not surprising because she’s real! I think it’s funny but so true that often the most interesting and unique characters are the ones taken from real life. How God makes us so unique is wonderful! Adelicia’s life and the experiences she had enriched the book and brought fullness to both Claire and Sutton. This is in many ways Adelicia’s story as it is Claire’s! I also had fun reading about Adelicia’s life online and seeing pictures of Belmont Mansion.
I’m not an art lover really, but it was nice to be brought into the art world for a few days along with everything else.
Oh and I loved the book cover!
Thanks for writing such a wonderful story Tamera!