Alexandra Jamison, daughter of a wealthy attorney and part of Nashville’s elite upper class society, is growing more restless with her life. After the untimely death of her fiancé in a tragic train wreck, she wants her life to count choosing to teach at Fisk University, the first university for freedmen. Sylas Rutledge, new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, is also searching for answers. Not only does he hope to gain information about the same fatal train crash to clear his father of blame, but he also desires to boost his growing rail business by winning a bid on General Harding’s new train project for Belle Meade Plantation. As an outsider, Sylas hires Alexandra to tutor him in southern “business relations” in hopes of increasing his chances. As Alexandra and Sy’s relationship cautiously shifts from business acquaintances to friendship, she begins to find comfort and support from his friendship after she is shunned by both her family and friends for choosing to teach at Fisk. As their desire to spend more time together increases, they soon discover the beginnings of a long lasting love and a desire to share a future together.
Alexandra and Sy’s love story is one of the most well-crafted romances I have had the privilege of reading! Alexander’s subtle transitions in the characters’ feelings for one another lay out a gentle, slow progression from miscalculated first impressions to friendship to a deep and abiding love. Enjoyed how the author cleverly uses the “surprises” Sy bestows upon Alexandra as discreet markers of the transitions occurring in the relationship. I also appreciated Alexander’s compassionate depiction of Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers. As a former Nashvillian myself, I can attest that they are still true American treasures! Lastly, it is worthy to note that several of the subplots did not necessarily have the endings the reader expected adding depth and a genuiness to the story. This one is a must read!
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels. For more about Tamera's books, visit www.TameraAlexander.com.