Christine has a special place for me, because she is the first author to request that I read and review a book
for them! lol
Here's the blurb for the novel:
Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.
The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. Heavy with child, she carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.
If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that investigative reporter Hugh Schaeffer will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie discovers a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.
When I first began this novel, I was a little iffy about whether or not I would like it. It seemed a little cliche to me at first, and also I had trouble connecting to the characters, especially the hornball, Hugh. However, as the story went on, I fell for this book. Once I realized what type of people Birdie and Hugh really were, and how their tough exteriors were really just a facade to hide their insecurities, I really began to feel for them.
My favorite character was most definitely Theodora. She was a gutsy, little old lady who carried a pistol around with her. One quote from her that actually made me laugh out loud is, "Stop worrying yourself into a tizzy. He's a man. All men are fools, but the stupidest among them can find his way home." I could actually picture this wrinkled old lady biting Birdie's head off when she said this! Another awesome Theodora moment is when she pulls the gun on the nosy reporter from Akron! She was actually a wonderful, caring person, but she said what was on her mind to whoever would listen!
The story line was really great. I love how the characters grew emotionally and learned about themselves as the book went on.
I also thought that the mystery of the rubies was written well. It kept me guessing throughout the novel, and I loved the way all the characters ended up being connected in some way! I thought it was great how Nolfi was able to write about this exciting mystery, and connect everyone involved at the same time. The idea of the treasure wasn't some far out idea, it was feasible, and you never know, something like that could actually happen!
The sexual tension between Hugh and Birdie was so thick you could probably cut it with a knife, I just wanted them to get it over with and scr**! There were enough characters in this novel to make it interesting, but not to make it confusing. Nothing annoys me more than when there are 30 characters in a book, and I have to look back every other chapter to figure out who is who!
All in all I would definitely recommend this novel. The genre of books that I normally go for is historical fiction, but I was able to set aside the historical books I was reading and completely immerse myself in this one. This was the first novel by Christine Nolfi that I have read, and I would most definitely read another one by her. Her writing style is fabulous, and I was entertained the entire novel. Really, the only negative comment I have, is that it took a little while for me to really get into the story, but when things started coming together I couldn't put it down!
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars, and definitely recommend it to readers of any genre of books!