Rebekah Carrington returns to Nashville after a decade in Vienna needing employment, and auditions for a position in the upcoming Nashville Philharmonic. Rejected by Maestro Tate Whitcomb purely on the grounds of her gender, she follows another lead to Belmont Mansion, where the formidable Adelicia Acklen hires her to work with her children. However, even though he denied her a position in the orchestra, Tate needs an assistant who can help him complete his symphony, and Rebekah has all the qualifications. But will she be willing to help him after he ruined her dreams?
If the author doesn't know much about music, you wouldn't know it to read this book. It's a tribute to both the masters--such as Beethoven and Mozart--and to early American music, particularly hymns and spirituals. Tate reminds me of famous American composers Aaron Copeland and the Gershwin brothers, who mixed elements of both kinds of music in their masterpieces.
I enjoyed meeting Tate's family; they add an unexpected dimension to Tate's character. However, I do wish Rebekah's family situation had been expanded more, since it's purely the reason she has to seek employment and lodging outside her home (bringing about the entire story).
The book stands perfectly on its own, though there are cameos of characters from former books. Over all, though, it's a rich story in the author's classic fashion.
1. A Lasting Impression
2. A Beauty So Rare
3. A Note Yet Unsung
Belle Meade Plantation (contains some cross-over characters/connections to Belmont)
1. To Whisper Her Name
2. To Win Her Favor
2.5 "To Mend a Dream" (part of the novella collection Among the Fair Magnolias)
3. To Wager Her Heart
0.5: "Christmas at Carnton" (novella)