The story about a mistakenly tarnished American beauty who secures a job with an elderly lady who is in the auction and fine art appraisal business. They travel together to France to appraise and auction antique pieces from a family owned chateaux. The chateaux is in need of many repairs. The money gained will be used toward restoration. There the heroine, Hannah, meets a somber and tortured Frenchman, Nardi, who is "imprisoned in a detached cottage (by his family) while he detoxes from an Ether addiction. He is an intense, handsome young artist who became self destructive from professional rejection, self esteem problems, and family dysfunction. Hannah, impossibly naive befriends Nardi and ultimately helps him "heal".
Ms. Cuevas/Ivory writes poignentely. The characters, although flawed are complex,likeable, and compelling. Hannah's determination, loyalty, and indomitable spirit casts a ray of light upon the darkness of Nardi's soul- and ignites an all consuming passion between the two. Nardi's recovery and healing helps Hannah understand and come to terms with her own past issues. The story is uplifting and speaks to the power of love, renewel, and growth.
This is the first book I read by Judith Ivory/Cuevas. Loved it! A definate keeper for me.
One of those novels that is so difficult to rate. I both loved it and hated it.
Excellent quality writing. Unique storyline. Likable characters you really root for. All that is the good.
The bad? The hero's dark side. His addiction, and how it's rendered, as well as how it makes him act.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with how the author handled it, only that it wasn't an easy, lighthearted read at all. I was wrung out by the end of the book, so even though it's one that has stayed with me for years and years, it's also made me steer clear of more of her books. I like my reads on the more pleasant side.