Saturday, July 23, 2011
Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Her mother a beautiful, wanted con artist and her father in jail, more often than not, due to his thieving ways, Birdie has obvious deep-rooted trust issues. On her own since she was sixteen, Birdie dreams of going straight and settling down; tired of the nomadic life her illicit vocation demands.
Hugh arrives in Liberty intent upon scooping a scandalous story in order to save his faltering career. Haunted by his past, Hugh is an expert when it comes to turning on the charm while simultaneously keeping a discreet distance between himself and others.
Following an elusive clue that tells of a hidden family treasure, Birdie arrives in Liberty the same day as Hugh. She hopes to find out what became of a freed slave named Justice, who seems to be an ancestor. Birdie longs to feel connected, to find relatives who are not tarnished by criminal tendencies and thieving inclinations. Hugh, likewise, is chased by his own demons. With his life in shreds, his reputation pummeled, Liberty may be a last chance at salvation. In Liberty, fate throws Birdie and Hugh together unexpectedly, much to the chagrin of both. As each of them strives gallantly to maintain their personal space and keep cherished secrets safe, they find themselves engaged, instead, in a halting quest to transform expectations and embrace a brighter future.
Birdie and Hugh are complicated personalities that do not fit any standard protagonistic mold, yet both have many likable traits, as well. I was captivated, held hostage, as the story progressed. There is humor and heartbreak in this well-edited story of a young woman searching the past hoping for a connection that will be powerful enough to derail an otherwise lonely and bleak future. About the last thing an accomplished thief needs is to have a journalist poking around and living practically in her coat pocket, yet that is the situation in which Birdie finds herself. This book, like its characters, defies easy categorization. It is a tale of mystery, a treasure hunt, an unveiling of interracial philandering and love in past generations, and an exploration of small-town dynamics. Mostly, though, it is a journey of self-discovery, and of finding unexpected courage, resilience, friends, and acceptance for two lost souls who somehow manage to trump the odds and make us cheer.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
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