Julia Jenkins is a young woman juggling several balls in the air. The victim of date rape, she found herself pregnant and decided to keep the baby, delaying her final year of college to do so. She’s running a bakery, using her own recipes, and she’s clearing out an old Victorian mansion willed to her by her deceased aunt. The young man who raped her was tried for the crime but was acquitted for lack of evidence.
Henry Wright is an English composer; he’s staying in the town of Pleasant Gap to write the music for a movie being produced by his best friend. He’s shy and introverted; he also carries baggage in the form of a brother who stole his fiancée and a mother who believes she controls her children’s lives.
He literally collides with Julia at the bakery door, and she mashes iced cupcakes all over him. From that inauspicious start begins a friendship that grows into a relationship. As Henry helps Julia clear out her aunt’s mansion, they discover that the aunt was not only a concert pianist, but also an American caught up in World War II espionage. And, though dead, she has a lesson for both Julia and Henry.
When You Look at Me is the second novel in the Pleasant Gap series by author Pepper Basham (the first is Just the Way You Are, and it tells the story of Henry’s actor/producer friend, Englishman Wes Harrison). It’s the story of two people, both with buried hurts but strong in faith, who slowly overcome internal resistance and fall in love.
Basham is the author of numerous historical and contemporary romance novels, novellas, and stories. Charming the Troublemaker is the second in her Mitchell Crossroads series; the first is A Twist of Faith. 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.
When You Look at Me is a charming, easy-reading story about surviving traumatic experiences, letting down walls, and learning some lessons from the past.