Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review of A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

Book Review of A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexanear.
From the USA Today bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

Eleanor Braddock, a spinster--plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty--has long since dismissed any hope of marriage. But when a dying soldier whispers his final words, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. But this compassionate deed takes a harsh turn, and Eleanor finds herself dependent upon the richest woman in America and the most despised woman in Nashville--her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, mistress of Belmont Mansion. A clandestine act of kindness leads Eleanor to an unlikely path for her life--building a home for destitute widows and children from the Civil War. And while Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve.

Gerhard Marcus Gottfried, Archduke of the House of Habsburg and fourth in line to the Austrian throne, arrives in Nashville in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Collaborating with botanist Luther Burbank, Marcus seeks to combine his own passion for nature with his expertise in architecture. But his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widow's and children's home run contrary to the wishes of practical, frugal Eleanor, who sees his ideas as costly nonsense.

Yet as the construction project continues, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expected. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor to marry, and even if he were, someone who knows Marcus's secrets is about to reveal them all.(less)
Paperback484 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers (Baker Publishing Group)
original title
A Beauty So Rare (Belmont Mansion, #2)
0764206230 (ISBN13: 9780764206238)
edition language

Leona's Review:
The book begins with the prologue on December 15, 1864 with Eleanor helping a Confederate Civil War soldier who is dying. He thinks she is "His Mary" and gives her a hankie that is stained with his blood. I found the mission of Eleanor to find Mary is a important part of the  book. Yesterday, I attended a class at our local library about Civil War sewing kits that were give to the soldiers by women who made the kits. The kits also carried pictures and mementoes for the soldiers. A story the presenter, from the Minnesota Historical Society, told was of a soldier who died holding pictures of three children in his hand. An artist at the newspaper drew the faces for the paper and a woman who saw the paper knew it was her husband who had died. I am sure there are many stories like this.
Chapter one begins September 2, 1968.
Eleanor's mission is to open a restaurant but with her father ill of dementia, she finds she may not be able to open one. She moves in with her wealthy aunt while her father lives at the insane asylum.
The friendship of Eleanor and Marcus increase throughout the book. When they first meet, Eleanor thinks he is a undergardner but soon finds he is a botanist and later  finds he is also an architect. Together they work to build a home for the widows and children of the soldiers of the war. Both have a secret they do not want known.
Marcus is working on producing a rose for the aunt, Adeclicia Acklen; she wants certain colors for the rose.  We also find the potato an important part of the story.
Find some recipes on Tamera's blog site from some of the characters.
The  book is dedicated to: For my readers, who not only take these journeys with me, but who add joy and beauty to my own.
It is a historical romance book by an award-winning author, Tamera Alexander. I give it a 5 star rating. I enjoyed it so much, I woke the next morning disappointed I had finished the book.
I won this book from A review was requested but the opinions are my own
A Beauty So Rare is full of history, love, loss, family, hope, God, friendship, compassion, Civil war, cooking and recipes.
A Beauty So Rare is the second book of the Belmont Mansion Novels. The Belmont Mansion is in Nashville, Tennessee. See
For a trailer on A Beauty So rare visit
You can find Tamera Alexander:
Her blog:
Leona Olson

No comments: