A Lasting Impression, another strong romance by Tamera Alexander, takes the reader from her Western settings to the war-torn state of Tennessee a year after the Civil War.
Plenty of conflict abounds in this absorbing novel, from the young lawyer who has lost everything from fighting on the wrong side to the young heroine who dreams of painting masterpieces, but who must hide her sordid past of painting forgeries once she begins a new life.
Claire Laurent, the heroine is saved from penury and worse when she gets the job of personal assistant to the wealthy owner of Belmont, where she seems to be given a new chance at life.
Sutton Munroe, the hero, fighting to regain his family’s lands and his father’s good name, cannot begin rebuilding his life as long as he carries around the guilt of having prevented his father from signing the Oath of Allegiance (to the Union). He is haunted by the knowledge that he caused his father’s death and sentence of treason.
As the two hide their growing attraction, Claire knows time is against her. The past finally catches up with her and it is only by coming to the knowledge that God is on her side and cares for her that she is able to own up to it and face the consequences. The spiritual thread is deftly woven into the love story.
I would have enjoyed seeing Claire come clean sooner and read about the developing relationship between Sutton and Claire once he knew the truth than have a relationship built on her hiding so much of her past from him. That said, Alexander writes a powerful story about a young woman whose self-esteem has been badly destroyed by her father and who gradually comes to the knowledge of the Savior’s love for her and that her talent is God-given.
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