Teresa July has led a hard life, but now she has a chance to put her train robbing past behind her. Armed with a new job as a cook to one of Philadelphia's elite families, Teresa is determined to start her life anew, and nothing––not even her boss's stuck–up (and far too handsome) son––is going to stand in her way.
Madison Nance is sick of his mother taking in women
from the wrong side of the tracks, just to see them turn on her
generosity. That's why it's up to him to keep a close eye on Teresa's
every move. At least, that's the only logical explanation for why he
can't get the young woman out of his mind.
But when a woman from
Madison's past threatens Teresa's future, the two reluctant lovers must
join forces is they're ever going to have a chance at happiness.
Comment: I got interested in this book after this review at Phyl's blog last year. I added the book to my list and bought it last month. Last week it was the first read of September. I had never read anything by the author, but her simple style seemed to work well for me, because I liked he book.
This is the story of Teresa July, a convict who got a second chance at a lady's house. She is to learn how to be a lady herself and if after a while her behavior is changed, she will be free of charges. Terese goes to ms Nance's house and she is immediately taken by the lady and her own will to be responsible and caring for her.
Madison Nance is the banker son of ms Nance. He doesn't trust Teresa because there have been other women whose staying didn't went too well. At first he thinks Teresa will be the same but after a while he not only sees she's different, but he feels attracted to her too...
I liked this story. It's my first by the author and what pops up to mind is how simple her style seems but that doesn't mean this isn't a complex story with interesting themes included. There seems to be lacking some sort of "click" for this to become excellent, but after all things considered, the simpler style suit the type of story perfectly.
The story revolves around Teresa's redemption. She's a fascinating character, strong willed and confidant but with some vulnerability when it comes to what she thinks she could be, for she's not certain she could be a real lady but she will try to please ms Nance, a woman she recognizes as fair and serious in wanting to help her. I think this is the best way to understand Teresa, she thinks she knows her strengths but deep down she also wants recognition and to prove her value as someone worthy and not as a criminal.
Teresa's relationship with Madison starts slow and with some dislike on both parts, but with time they start to appreciate the other, to be cordial and feelings start to develop.
Madison is a more serious character but we learn about his not always shiny past, which adds a bit of spice to him. I liked how he felt protective of his mother and how he tries to help those he feels are being unfairly prejudiced because of the color of their skin.
Madison is closely immersed in the race issues addressed in the novel, and we get a simple bu straight idea of the message the author wants to convey and how things were at the time where the action takes place. It doesn't feel an history lesson but it adds the enough support to the plot's development, so I think it was done well.
Teresa and Madison' relationship gets more serious as time goes by and the setting changes too. When we see Teresa in a more familiar environment, she feels more alive and even her vision of Madison seems to become stronger. Due to plot's evolution, the end isn't that unpredictable but I kind of wanted to see how things would work if Madison were to solve the issues which arose in the middle of the plot, related to his bank. Oh well, there's a HEA and that matters.
In the end, a cute story, very interesting elements to read about and a very sweet HEA full of possibilities to smile about. Some things could be better, but overall, a very satisfying book.