The story opens with Nathaniel Fye, a famed concert pianist, lured and beguiled, like an innocent lamb, by the beautiful and ambitious Miss Francis Bellmont. Francis is a complicated character that, along with her father, and the prejudice of the culture, wreak havoc in the lives of the other, more saintly characters who refuse to let cultural norms cloud their emotions.
After marrying into the Bellmont family, Nathaniel quickly learns that Francis' beauty is only skin deep the family's secrets are deeply troubling. Nathaniel bonds with Francis' younger brother, Whitmore, a like-minded artist soul, who is secretly in love with the dark-skinned maid's daughter, Jeselle. Mr. Bellmont is a violent man who seems to leave the help and children alone and takes all his rage and anger out on his wife, Claire, the patron saint of the book.
Nathaniel's career is ruined in one of the book's pivotal moments and he is forced to take on a new profession as an instructor at a women's college. An unlikely widowed student enrolls in a summer class and challenges Nathaniel's ideals and beliefs that his career is over. He finds hope in the promise of his protégé. In a crescendo of events, fueled equally by love and hate, the student and teacher are compelled to try and help Whitmore and Jeselle escape the murderous prejudice of the south.
It was an intriguing read that I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who likes epic Antebellum tales of love and heartache.
Visit author Tess Thompson at: http://tesswrites.com/
Tess Thompson is a mother and writer. She’s also a Zumba dancing queen, though the wearing of the crown is reserved for invitation-only appearances. Her creative life began as an actress, director and playwright but found her true calling in narrative fiction, specifically Women’s Fiction. She wrote her first novel when her youngest daughter was a baby, working in the early morning hours and during nap time. Emerson, now eight, was a good napper. Tess has released seven novels since then.
The first of these, Riversong (Booktrope Editions), went on to become #1 on Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book chart in October 2011. Two years after its release, readership of Riversong continues to grow, spending weeks in the top 100 Kindle bestsellers; it’s known amongst her friends and family as “the little book that could.”
Caramel and Magnolias, the first in the Legley Bay Collection was released in the fall of 2012. In May of 2013 Tess released the sequel to Riversong called Riverbend and the third in the collection, Riverstar, in August 2013. Tea and Primroses, the second in the Legley Bay Collection was released February 16, 2014. The first in the Blue Mountain Collection, Blue Midnight was released June 30, 2014. Her first historical fiction, Duet for Three Hands, was released February 15, 2015.
She’s currently working on the second in the Blue Mountain Collection, Blue Moon, which will be released August 2015..
Like her characters in the River Valley Collection, Tess hails from a small town in southern Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, ages 11 and 8, who keep her busy and often confused.
Although currently single, Tess has not given up on finding a love story of her own. Until her prince arrives, she’s content creating what she hopes are epic, page-turning love stories with a little suspense and mystery for additional spice. She writes in her home office six days a week, sipping countless cups of herbal tea, with two naughty but adorable kittens, Mittens and Midnight, at her feet. But hopefully said Prince arrives soon to save her from becoming a bitter, crazy cat lady. Did she mention how adorable the kittens are?
Tess loves to hear from you. Drop her a line or visit her Facebook Fan Page or follow her on Pinterest or twitter.