“Alexander writes a beautiful story of love, friendship and finding purpose. The passion the characters have for one another and their dreams will keep readers engaged to the very last word. Book one in the Belle Meade Plantation series reminds readers that their path in life may twist and turn in unexpected ways, but God still has a good plan for their lives.' (RT Book Reviews, four stars
“Already a USA TODAY bestseller, this novel draws a fresh thread in this author's historical fiction tapestry. Tamera Alexander's painstaking research into the people, places and times of which she writes is evident on every page and she depicts the famous residents of post-bellum Nashville with great detail and even greater affection. Flitting among famous Southerners, Alexander's fictional protagonists are endearing and their romance sweet---with just the right amount of heat in their attraction. Both Ridley and Olivia grow in character over the course of the novel and readers will delight in seeing this Southern-bred Yankee and his Nashville belle reach their Happy Ever After.” (usatoday.com, Serena Chase
USA Today Bestseller
From the USA Today bestselling author of A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare comes an exquisite historical novel set against the real history of Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN that explores the struggles of real people of the post-war South and the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal.
Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but
a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.
[Excerpt from Chapter 1]
"...Settled on the carriage seat, Olivia drew in a deep breath, the first in what felt like five years. She knew it was wrong, what she was feeling. Because a widow of only a week shouldn't wish to dance a jig. But God help her, that's precisely what she wanted to do. Not on the grave of her recently deceased husband, of course--that would be considered rude. Just off to the side would suffice."