Nora Simeon is 26 and still recovering from the accidental death of her husband. Her mother is almost a stereotype of a matchmaker, and she keeps trying to set Nora up with prospective husbands. For now, Nora is content with teaching and her passion for Jane Austen novels.
Ethan Keller works in the hotel business. His boss is his uncle, who keeps throwing attractive women in Ethan’s direction in the hopes he gets married. Ethan, however, isn’t impressed. He’s not looking for a Barbie doll-type wife, but someone who is real.
Nora and Ethan find themselves thrown together – almost literally – is a small hotel in Bath, England. Nora has been given a trip to the Jane Austen Festival as a birthday present, and Ethan’s company is buying the hotel. They find themselves forced to share a room because of overbooking – or perhaps because of plan hatched by Nora’s mother and Ethan’s uncle.
Nora hears Ethan rudely berating a hotel clerk, and Ethan has to help a jetlagged Nora, throwing up and exhausted after her journey to Bath. Despite a bad (and justified) first impression, Nora begins to find herself attracted to Ethan, and Ethan is certainly attracted to Nora.
It’s Bath, it’s Jane Austen, and it’s elements of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
Second Impressions, a novella by Pepper Basham, is the story or Nora and Ethan, two people who find themselves unexpectedly falling in love, discovering the works of a beloved novelist, and overcoming both their first impressions of each other and attempts to sink their relationship.
Basham is the author of numerous historical and contemporary romance novels, novellas, and stories. A Twist of Faith is the first in her Mitchell Crossroads series; the second is Charming the Troublemaker. Second Impressions is one of two novellas by Basham involving the work of Jane Austen, the second being Jane by the Book. Basham and her family live in Asheville, North Carolina.
Second Impressions is a fun love story, an easy read, and something of a guide to Bath and Jane Austen mania.
Top photograph: Bath Abbey, by Diliff via Wikimedia Commons.