Monday, April 14, 2014

A Beauty So Rare is Just That!

A Beauty So Rare
A Belmont Mansion Novel
Tamera Alexander
(Bethany House)
ISBN: 978-0764206238
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

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.

Tamera invites you visit her website, her blog, on Facebook, or Twitter.


MY THOUGHTS

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!


GIVEAWAY!!

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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30 comments:

Laura Pol said...

I did read A Lasting Impression and LOVED it! Was sooooo good! It's the only one I have read by her, but I want to read this one! Sounds great! Thank you for the giveaway!

Sharon said...

I read To Whisper Her Name and loved it. After reading one of her books I would enjoy having another one for sure. Tamara Alexander is definitely one of my favorites. Thank you for this opportunity!

Hannah said...

I love Tamara's books! If I had to pick a favorite I'd say I really enjoyed Within My Heart.

R Merr said...

My favorite was this one. I only have it in an ebook, though, and have the real thing on my wish list. This book was amazing!

Sereina said...

I haven't read any of Tamara's books, although I plan on reading some!

Amy C said...

I have not read any of Tamera's books yet. But do have a couple on my book shelf waiting to be read.
(To Whisper Her Name and a Lasting Impression)
amyc

Marisa said...

I haven't read any of her books, but I've heard a lot of good things about them and I can't wait to read them!

Anonymous said...


I love the covers on all of Tamera's books. Always so pretty. and I love what this story is about and think it will be real good. I would love to win it. Thanks for giving us a chance to win it. I just might get lucky.
GOD bless, Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...


Sorry forgot to answer the question. I have not read any of Tamera's books, but would sure love to. She is highly recommended. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Beverly Terry said...

You are right. The book does have the feel of an epic story. Great review!

Mackenzie Harting said...

I really enjoyed To Whisper Her Name!

Tamera Alexander said...

Hey friends, just popping in to say THANK YOU to Linda for sharing her thoughts about A Beauty So Rare. Southern hugs to you, gal!

And thanks to all for your kind words and your interest in reading ABSR. So grateful!

Tamera

Hill said...

never read one, but my friend has recommended them to me and I trust her judgment when it comes to books!

Danie Walther said...

Never read any of her books but I have heard that they are good.
Would love to read one of her books
oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

Carla Sankuer said...

I've read A Lasting Impression and To Whisper Her Name. Loved them both! Can't pick a favorite. Would love to win this book because our library doesn't have it....

Steph C said...

I have read all her books. My favorite is probably Rekindled. The characters seemed so real!

Patty said...

I enjoyed A Lasting Impression but I think I best liked her Fountain Creek series. Particularly Rekindled.

Pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

steph j said...

i haven't read any, but would love to win!

Jessica Wyatt said...

I have never read any of her books, but this sounds really good....I'm a sucker for love stories! :)

bonton said...

I haven't read any of Tamera's books - but love the story line of "A Beauty So Rare" and would love to read it!! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

have not yet read any but ..
anticipaaaation =)

Sarah Stewart said...

I have not read any yet, but I have a couple on my TBR list. Would love to win...it looks like a great read! sarah_purcats(at)hotmail(dot) com

tripplanner said...

Mocha and a great book!

Jennifer Smith said...

I have not read any of Tamara's books yet, but this one sounds so good! Would love to read. :) Thanks for the chance to win!

karenk said...

I cannot wait to read Tamera's latest novel...and yes, I have read and loved all of her work :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I have read her older stuff, but need to catch up on her newer books! Thanks so much for this opportunity! I love the books of Tamara's that I I have read! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com Katie Edgar

Angelica McDonald said...

I can't wait to read her book! If she's answering questions, what inspired you to start writing?

Angelica McDonald said...

I can't wait to read her book! If she's answering questions, what inspired you to start writing? I'm not sure if I read any of her books, for some reason I think I have or it could be another author. But if not, I can't wait to start reading it.

Pam K. said...

I read the other book in the Belmont Mansion series and enjoyed it, but my favorite so far is To Whisper Her Name, the first book in the Belle Meade Plantation series. I think I've read one or two of her earlier books as well. I love all the detail and historical accuracy Tammy puts in her books, plus telling a really good story.
I'm looking forward to reading this latest book, A Beauty So Rare. Thanks for the chance to win it!
pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Joan Arning said...

I have loved ALL of Tamara's books! I'd love to read this one too! The only problem is that I can't put them down once I start one of her books!