Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a murdered carpetbagger, gratefully accepts an invitation from 'Aunt' Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation and the dearest friend of Olivia’s late mother. Expecting to be the Harding's housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned once again when she learns the real reason why Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Caring for an ill Aunt Elizabeth, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a southern-born son who - unbeknownst to her and everyone else - fought for the Union.
Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him while harboring secrets that threaten his life. As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again....
Set within the remarkable history of Nashville's historic Belle Meade Plantation comes a story about enslavement and freedom, arrogance and humility, and the power of love to heal even the deepest of wounds.
©2012 Tamera Alexander (P)2012 Zondervan
“I love all genres of books, however when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
This is the first novel I've read by Tamera Alexander, and I'm starting to think that she won't make my top list of Historical Romance authors. There are MANY things going for this novel: the depth and beauty of the setting, the side characters are well fleshed out and endearing, and the parallel Alexander makes between Ridley's work with a mare and his pursuit of Olivia is brilliant.
And yet---I found myself eagerly reading for the romantic scenes I was hoping for: a deep and revealing conversation about Olivia's past marriage (didn't happen), a rescue during a dangerous situation (no rescue, and actually, any "dangerous" situation in the book is quickly dealt with little consequence)....just MORE. I wanted MORE out of their conversations. It felt like the romance piece was being ushered along to speed up Olivia's obligatory mourning period for her first husband. Therefore, weeks go by without her seeing Ridley, and when they finally interact, it isn't very exciting!
All in all, days later I am still thinking about the Belle Meade plantation and the characters. I just wish the romance had been more satisfying.
Those who don't like any sex scenes in a romantic book then this one is for you
I'm a 71 year old great-grandmother who loves to read, crochet, go for walks and commune with my Lord. I've flown airplanes, rode motorcycles, played softball and volleyball and worked at jobs from Police and Emergency Dispatcher to full-time Christian service. Retired now and enjoying time for myself and family.
Just waiting for Olivia's next experience as she grew into the beautiful young woman we all knew she could be. And the boundless details of those experiences. I was right there with her cheering her along.
The first kiss Olivia and Ridley experienced. It made me think back to my sweet husband's kiss when we were just sweethearts in high school. And then the hours of those wonderful kisses when we were reunited after 44 years of absense married to someone else, now deceased.
I haven't heard any of Tavia's performances before, but I'll be looking for them!
It certainly was!
Keep up the good work!
Carrie Fancett Pagels
I listened to this over a period of about ten days. This is a long book, longer than some of Tamera's other books. Her fans will love this book which is part of the new Belmont series. A great listen. Lovely romance.
~~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC"~~~ ***Love All Romances.....Especially Detailed Historical Type*** ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain Spoilers"~~
This book is such a wonderful story. It takes place just after the Civil war and touches on the struggles and victories during that time. It kept my interest throughout and was very touching at times. If you like a good wholesome story this is for you. I loved it!!
Tavia Gilbert did an excellent job with all the voices.
twists and turns of the south meets the North freedom for the woman in the murder of her husband and unlikely friendships and kin ships during the reformation of the south i enjoyed this story and the price for this is great rite now i was not bored and though a little pridictable not easily so
This book has a good history representation of history and the basic struggle of honor and relationships.
The way in which it uncovered the inner struggles of the main characters.
when they climbed down the lattice.
Yes. Tamera Alexander is a very good author and the reader did a supurb job.
The suspense of secrets being kept from others.
Tavia Gilbert does very well at different characters voices.
No extreme reactions but the book was very enjoyable and captivating.
I am in search of a new Historical fiction writer and perhaps a little harsh with my assessment here. I'v read most all of Francine Rivers, Lynn Austin, Frank Peretti and a few Colleen Coble. I will continue on my quest for a "page turner".
Tavia Gilbert's voice inflections and "southern" dialect left me cringing. The over accentuating of characters were distracting.
Corny. I couldn't finish.
This book was excellent!! I truly loved the story and was excited and it was nice to be able to go online and see pictures of the real place. It was wonderful.
This story was long enough to actually develop the characters and therefore to develop the story.The characters honestly struggled with everyday sorts of issues of right and wrong and gray. I gave it only 4 stars because I wanted more closure on some of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I wish there were a sequel, but maybe there is but just not in audio form. Liked it well enough that I may look that up!
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