Laura Nichols loved the old mansions of Louisiana and was determined to save as much of the South's history as possible. She had taken several courses in historical restoration and was a capable historical consultant. All she needed was a showpiece to really display her talents so she was thrilled when Masters & Masters Construction offered her the job as historical consultant to restore Crapemyrtle, a nearby family mansion. However, her chance to restore Crapemyrtle, a beautiful edifice she had been drawn to even as a child, was in jeopardy when she met the new owner, Justin Roman. Justin knew there was no way that this young slip of a thing could be qualified to restore his family's mansion. She looked barely old enough to be out of high school and she didn't have a college degree. Justin was sure that his old friend Russ Masters, who was in charge of the construction for the building, had given Laura the job because she was his girlfriend. Finally, after much persuasion, Justin agreed to give Laura a trial period, but he was determined to watch her like a hawk.
Laura knew that Justin didn't approve of her, but she was determined to do her best on the old mansion. She pulled out her great-great grandmother's diary and used the details contained therein to make the restoration as historically accurate as possible. No detail was too small for her to pay attention to and she was able to save many treasures from destruction. As time went by, Justin seemed to be warming up to her and her ideas. He gave her carte blanche to restore the building and to decorate it in period style. But Justin's fiance, Myra, hated the old house and wanted to modernize everything. Myra was also positive that Laura had her sights set on Justin and was determined to keep them apart. Still, as Laura and Justin continued to restore Crapemyrtle to its old glory, they drew closer and closer together. But what kind of a future do they have when Justin refuses to break his engagement with Myra?
This was a great romance with two star-crossed lovers who just happened to meet a little later in life than they should have. Laura and Justin are both wonderful characters who the reader will truly care about and all of the secondary characters were well developed, too. My favorite part of the book, though, was all of the detail about the restoration of the old house. I learned a lot about antiques and Southern plantations from the book and could tell that the author, Maxine Patrick aka Jennifer Blake, spent a lot of time doing research for this story. It is pretty short, but beautifully written and well paced. A great contemporary romance!
This report prepared by Debbie