This book was one of the few that has made a Lasting Impression on me. Pun intended. It is one of my favorite books of all time, which is saying something because as you know, I have read a lot of books in my day. Tamera Alexanders writing is out of this world. Other authors dont even compare. This book seemed so realistic. From her writing style to her characters, it just seemed so real. This is not a small book. I mean, its four-hundred and twenty-six pages so, it is a pretty big book. And you know what? I didnt want to stop reading about Claires Laurents life. You can guess that her character development is also extraordinary. It felt like I personally knew them and they could step out of the book and be real people (another reason to LOVE this book). Finding these qualitys in an author is somewhat rare. Plus, it is based off of Belmont Mansion which is located in Nashville Tennessee. This is a beautiful place to imagine while youre reading this book. With a little touch a humor this book was everything you want in a historical novel. This is a very big and thorough book so if you are looking for something lighthearted and fast to read then I might recommend something else. I would encourage you to read this book.
A Lasting Impression is the first book in Tamera Alexanders Belmont Mansion series, and is also the first book I have ever read by her. However, this book has made me a fan of hers forever, because it was so good!!! I fell in love with Tameras writing from the very beginning, and I just devoured every single page! I absolutely love historical novels, and Tamera is fantastic at weaving them together, so I know I will be reading so many of her books in the future!
Claire Laurent was a character I fell in love with from the very beginning. She had suffered so much pain by the time we meet up with her at the start of this book, and she only has to go through more in the first few chapters to follow. However, she still manages to be a very sweet, charming artist whom I absolutely loved and wanted everything to work out for. I loved her innocence, despite all that she had witnessed in her life, and I couldnt help but know her repentance over her acts of forgery was genuine. My favorite thing of all, though, was her growing relationship with Sutton.
Sutton Monroe is one of my favorite characters out of all the books I have read. I just knew I was going to love him from the first moment I read about him on the back of the book, and I wasnt disappointed. He is so kind, and caring, and full of life and passion, and I knew he was perfect for Claire from the start. Besides that, I also loved the relationship he has with Adelicia, because it just added a whole other element to what I knew about him, and about her. And can I just say, I really love Adelicia Acklen as well, both the woman, and the name Adelicia. (It sounds so regal, doesnt it? )
Anyway, Tamera did a fantastic job on this novel, and I can gladly give it all five bookshelves, and a place on my all-time favorites list. I already owned a copy of the next book in the seriesA Beauty So Rareand in fact that is really how I got into her writing, so you can be sure Ive already been reading that one as well. Im looking forward to reading tons more of Tameras books, and I highly recommend them because they are fantastic!
There is so much about this book to love! Richly drawn characters, growing relationships, and fascinating history are in full swing as you spend time at Belmont Mansion with Claire and Sutton. Really love the emphasis on Claire's personal courage, how she grows when given the opportunity to use her God-given gifts, how she is drawn to the One who really loves her and gives her the strength to be honest in all her ways. The villains have their place in the story, but do not overwhelm the reader. I was grateful for that balance and the way the author compares Claire's painfully dysfunctional family with the loving family as led by Adelicia. The timing in the story line is just so perfect. The descriptions of Belmont and Adelicia Acklyn are riveting and inspired me to look for images. So fun to see what was inspiring to Tamera as she wrote this lovely story. Strength, courage, forgiveness, loyalty, compassion, hope, and love of all things beautiful - great or small. Highly recommend this one. Just ordered #2 in the series and cannot wait to read it! You will want to go to Nashville and see Belmont after you read this - a terrific story!