It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.
But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.
For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.
Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.
Beautiful and poignant. That’s an easy way to describe what I thought of the book. Oh, I need to write more?
This was an unexpectedly sweet romance story. Maybe I didn’t read the summary closely enough, but I wasn’t expecting the warm-fuzzy angles. And not just boy-girl romance, but also friendship bonds and family love.
I know that Willa was the main character, but I found myself connecting more with Peyton. She seemed very unhappy and unsure of herself. She seems to be stuck in her life without knowing how she got there, or how to change anything. I found this to be totally believable, and I wanted to help her so much.
It was refreshing to read a book about 30 year olds. This is a great contemporary read that will liekly appeal to many age ranges, but especially with the same age as the characters in the book.
Challenges read for:
2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge