Camille is a “landman.” Working for her uncle Scott, it is her job to talk people into selling him their gas and oil rights. She's been good at it, except for that one mistake. She was ready for the promised office in Houston but her uncle has asked her to do this one last field job in northern Louisiana. She'd do it because she and her mom owed so much to him.
finds Sweet Olive to be a different community than she had expected,
however. They are a loose association of artists and most of them
aren't interested in the gas rights money. Camille has a heart for
art too as she has always wanted to own an art gallery. Her heart
gets in the way as the gas rights deal falls apart at the edges.
to the mix a handsome attorney representing the art community, a
powerful senator who has money to be made on the deal, and his
ambitious daughter who is also employed by Scott and, in fact, wants
Camille's job, and you sort of have the novel's plot.
found the novel to be a little confusing on two fronts. When the
novel opens it is clear that there is quite a back story to the
situation the characters are in today. I kept checking to make sure
this was the first in the series because I was sure I was missing an
earlier book. All of the back story comes out eventually but I think
a few prologue pages of “twenty years ago” would have helped.
I live on an island in the Pacific Northwest affectionately called
“The Rock.” That's because that is all that is in the ground. I
know absolutely nothing about mineral or gas rights. There's nothing
in the ground here to have any rights to. I was hoping to learn about
gas rights in reading this novel. I'm not sure I understand anything
more about the topic now than I did before reading the novel. For
example, the very last thing Camille did was go to the parish
offices to verify the legal descriptions and surveys of the land.
This was after she had already offered contracts to landowners
and tried to identify nearby land for wells that might preserve the
artist community. I would think verifying land ownership would have
been the first thing a “landman” would have done.
Searching the legal descriptions last allows for a twist at the end
of the story which makes for fun reading but, I would think, makes
for poor “landman” tactics. Near the end of the novel Camille
says, “This has been the most confusing experience of my life.”
(311) Camille, I know how you feel.
romance part was fun. There is some humor in the book and you do
learn a little about the south, but not as much as this northerner
would have liked.
Christie is the author of the Green series of novels and blogs at
and her husband live in northern Louisiana.
received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the
purpose of this review.