A Belmont Mansion Novel
March 25, 2014/480 pages/$14.99
Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war--and still had one to fight.
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Sigh. Tamera Alexander's books have one major flaw. They end. Even this gloriously epic tome of 480 pages concluded before I was ready to bid farewell to the captivating story, the delightful characters, and even to the manner in which the words flowed upon the page. Tamera Alexander has once again created a multifaceted saga that gripped me from the opening pages. Her impeccable historical research mingles seamlessly with her gift for crafting rich fiction, resulting in a magnificent tale which pulsates with authenticity. I empathized with Eleanor's insecurities, mourned over her father's decline, winced at Adelicia's stern proclamations, and fell in love with sweet Caleb and "Magpie" and their penniless mothers--as well as gallant Marcus! Of course, as with every good story, A Beauty So Rare also includes a few individuals that raised my hackles but, like Eleanor, I learned which battles were worth fighting. This riveting tale prompted me to turn the pages faster and faster while at the same time Alexander's exquisite prose cautioned me to slow down and savor every sentence, and occasionally I paused to reread a passage just to soak it in. As always, Alexander weaves in a beautiful message of faith which springs from the characters' experiences, encouraging the reader's soul. A Beauty So Rare aptly describes as well as titles this story that will now rest on my shelf of treasured novels. The second in the Belmont Mansion series (yet it stands alone), this is a must-read!
Tamera has been sharing some of the recipes from the novel! You can make Eleanor Braddock's Savory Custard or her Shortbread!
I have a second copy of this book which I am going to give to one of YOU! Enter via Rafflecopter below by 11:59 PM CDT next Tuesday, 2/22/14, and I will randomly choose a winner. Continental US residents only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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