Nicci Beauvoir is part of privileged society in New Orleans, wealthy and established. However she really has no real interest in this life. Instead she has chosen to become a nurse, simply for practical reasons. But while attending her cousin's debutante ball, her interest is captured by David, a young artist attending with an older society woman. The consensus is that he's a gigolo. But the attraction between Nicci and David is undeniable and inevitable. They fall in love.
Weis skillfully builds the tension between Nicci and David, chronicling an affair from beginning to end. It is romantic, passionate and beautiful to read. I did say 'to end'. David is not quite as he has presented himself to Nicci. Nicci discovers his manipulations and ends their relationship. She settles for a relationship with a doctor her aunt introduces her to. But it isn't the same. She is existing, rather than living life.
I love the characters Weis has created in To My Senses. Nicci was a complicated protagonist, sure of herself one moment and unable to find her way the next. The supporting characters were great. I especially enjoyed Nicci's father and uncle. They play a key role in the culmination of this tale. Comedic relief is provided by Aunt Hattie and cousin Colleen - descriptions of their situations and clothing are quite funny. Some of them though, are sad as well, a closing of the ranks to prevent 'outsiders' from knowing their business at what seems to be a steep cost. I wondered how much of this world Weis knows personally.
I enjoyed reading about the setting as well. (Pre-Katrina New Orleans) The descriptions and pace of life are incredibly appealing.
It certainly didn't end the way I expected or wanted it to. Weis completely caught me off guard. And isn't that what a reader wants? A romance but with a little added something. A good read that kept me turning pages.
Weis has been working on the sequel to this book, called "Recovery". She has entered the first 25 pages into the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Awards contest and has made it to the quarter finals. You can read those first twenty five pages here.