A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

August 13, 2018

Title: A Beauty So Rare
Author: Tamera Alexander
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 471
ISBN: 9780764206238
Publication Date: March 25th, 2014

About the Book:
 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.
My Thoughts:
I'm kind of reading this series in reverse, but thankfully, it works. I started with the last book in the series first, A Note Yet Unsung. Even though these books are in order, they can still work as a stand-alone.

Tamera Alexander brings post Civil War Nashville to life in this 2nd installment of the Bellemont Mansion series. There is very intricate detail to the historical facts that pop off of the page. The characters are very well fleshed out. Along with those two very important things, she has very real issues for these characters to face.

Elanor Braddock is a woman, who is now a spinster at her age. She is considered plain, and is now poor woman, who must rely on extended family to get by. She must also worry about and care for her fathers failing mental health. There wasn't a lot of knowledge of dementia and other mental issues at the time, but with the portrayal that Tamera showed, I would hope it was like it. It was heart breaking to read about, but the love that Elanor showed was hopeful and the staff she had to rely on, you routed for best outcome possible, even though with how it is today, you already know how it is.

It was a tough subject, but it was an amazing topic to be touched on.

Marcus has been added to my dream hero list. He was one who even though had a rough past, wants to change from it. He doesn't want to follow in his family footsteps. And what a family he has! The mystery and intrigue behind them kept me wanting to read more.

Marcus and Elanor I thought were the perfect balance to each other. They came from different backgrounds, but their passions were similar. Elanor was a woman who had very giving heart and seeing what all she was willing to give up to help made me think and ask, what could I do. Even though fictional, she was an inspiring character. Her desire for those around her was fantastic to read about.

I can't wait to read the first book from this series and see all the pieces. I also can't wait to go and search out even more books by Tamera Alexander. She is an author who has moved to my favorites list.

5 out of 5

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