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Sunday 27 April 2014


Sweeping Southern Romance from
Tamera Alexander

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.

Pages: 471 pages
Series: Belmont Mansion #2
Setting: 1868 Nashville Tennessee
Published: April 24th 2014
Publisher: Bethany House

My thoughts?
"She turned then and headed straight for him.
He summoned an air of practiced nonchalance...
The woman didn't so much as blink in his direction as she passed.
Feeling aptly put in his place - and not overly fond of the feeling, Marcus watched her exit the post office.  He wasn't accustomed to being ignored."

Reminiscent of Jane Austen's beloved Elizabeth and Darcy,
the stage is set for the iron sharpening iron between Eleanor and Marcus.
The more I read, the deeper my love grew for these two, 
and for their possibilities of a relational future.
Intelligent, witty, compassionate ~ Eleanor has me cheering for her
from page one.  At the bedside of a dying soldier, I see her
caring heart, the rule of life that motivates her, that compels my 
desire to see, to know more.  
471 pages later I'm still desiring more.
Accomplished author, Tamera Alexander, introduces us to such a grounded and solid young woman
it is a pleasure to meet and follow her journey.  Financial downturns
as her father's dementia prevents the provision to which they're accustomed are capably handled by Eleanor and a new life direction
embraced.  Not content to burden another, albeit a relative, she
arrives on her wealthy aunt Adelicia's doorstep with plans for provision
in hand.  Will her aunt support her in her dreams?  She hopes...
The turns in situations, relational influences, dependencies and
independencies, as Eleanor makes her way to freedom through each new
circumstance, is reading that inspired me.  No hysterics or drama.
She knows what she's about.  A pleasure to follow her on her journey.
When the gorgeous Marcus makes his debut in her life,
the sparring has just begun!
He's determined to establish his own name despite the life
he's born and entitled to.  Again, a character of strength and determination.  They are a match whether or not they can see it or desire it.
And the reader has the joy of the ride through their discoveries.
Well drawn scenarios of the era, destitute single moms and children
flooding the city after the war losses, extreme wealth versus poverty
without a directed social network, marriages arranged for financial gain,
political shenanigans, and the perseverance of our main characters 
in the face of resistance at each level, provides a novel of depth.
Highly recommended for reading enjoyment that lasts.
5*s from me.  A Beauty so Rare ~ indeed!
Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander is a novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers worldwide as well as multiple industry awards. Tamera enjoys a devoted international following with her books being translated into German, Dutch, and Polish. She recently returned from a book tour in The Netherlands for the release of A Lasting Impression,the first of three Belmont Mansion novels, showcasing the larger-than-life history of Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America at the time, and the Belmont Mansion in the years following the Civil War.  A Beauty So Rare is book 2 of this series.

Tamera is the recipient of two RITA awards for
Best Inspirational Romance.

Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children who live nearby, as well as a ten-pound silky terrier named Jack. 


Learn more about Tamera and her books at
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*My appreciation to the publisher for a copy to read and review without compensation or obligation.

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