Since age 13, heiress Holly Latham has been in love with two things. Belle Chere, a beautiful historically significant property, and its current owner Lorrie Beaumont.
When Holly hears Lorrie has divorced and moved back to Belle Chere, she arranges to work nearby believing they are soul mates. Following her passion for historical homes, Holly has an accident while exploring an old, dilapidated home. She is saved by Nick Taggart. Against logic and her life goals they begin a love affair.
Holly fights her emotions for Nick believing that a union between an heiress and a poor, proud man will never work. Besides, she has other plans for her future.
When Holly and Lorie meet, things seem to be going her way except Holly can't stifle her feelings for Nick. He shares a passion for life Lorrie lacks.
What she doesn't know is that Nick harbors a secret. He wants a woman who loves him for who he is, not for his family fortune.
I felt the weakness of this story was Holly's and Nick's motivations. If you can ignore that, it's well written with a variety of plot twists including a buried treasure, murder and deceit.
A relentless campaign by phone, letter, and email has persuaded Hollander Latham's parents to purchase the home of her dreams: Spring Hill, a beautiful North Carolina plantation where Holly spent her memorable thirteenth summer. Now a successful architect, Holly is intent on reuniting with Spring Hill's neighbor and her love from that long-ago summer, wealthy heir Laurence Beaumont -- she dreams of working her way into Lorrie's heart while restoring his historic estate, Belle Chere. But as Christmas fast approaches, Nick Taggert -- a mysterious stranger who makes her laugh and tempts her with a surprising passion -- turns her plans upside down. One man can seduce her with fortune and privilege; the other can promise her the simple gift of love. And on a frost-covered Christmas night, Holly's choice will unmask astonishing truths and hidden dangers -- revelations that will forever change her charmed life and her vulnerable heart.