Thursday, May 8, 2014

TLC Book Tours Book Review: A Beauty So Rare

About A Beauty So Rare

  • Series: A Belmont Mansion Novel
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 25, 2014)
Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock knows she will never marry, but with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America–and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path–building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground–and a love neither of them expects. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.

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I absolutely fell in love with the cover of this book from the very start. It is book 2 in the Belmont Mansion series. (Now I have to hunt down book 1!)
I've always been a fan of Christian fiction, especially in historical romance, because bodice rippers get old after awhile. For anyone overly concerned about the genre, there's faith mentioned, but other than that, this is a just a clean historical novel. 
This story takes place in the time right after the Civil War, in Nashville. It is such a beautiful read. For some reason, I've always had a fondness for books set in this time period, because it was such a tumultuous period in US history. To make things better Belmont Mansion and Adelicia Acklen aren't prefabricated.

I love when real people and places are part of the books I read. It makes turning the pages more fun. (And there are a lot of pages to be turned here)

This book was a bit daunting for me. 480 pages are more than my average read, but I became so caught up in the lives of Eleanor and Marcus that they seemed to turn effortlessly. Their relationship was one that grew out of friendship, and I enjoyed that. I also loved how Eleanor wanted more out of life than to be a society lady and the clashes between her and her aunt.

But there is more than the budding romance between Eleanor and Marcus, there's also Eleanor's father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's and is put in an Asylum. It is truly heartbreaking to read that part of the book, especially if you have loved ones that suffer from that disease, and considering very little was known about it in this time period.

Definitely a wonderful read!

Rating: 5 flowers

Alexander, Tamera, HS copyAbout Tamera Alexander

Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children.


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