Sometimes the best reasons for reading historical fiction is to gain insight on how differently things were many years ago. Take for example, Tamera Alexander's latest novel in the Belmont Mansion series, A Beauty So Rare. We understand that for a woman like Eleanor Braddock, women have their place in the late 1800's. For a woman of her social status and living with her Aunt Adelicia Acklen Cheatham her goal in life should be to find a suitor who will allow her to grow in social circles and the wealth she should be accustom to, if she was accustom to it at all.
Having to leave her ailing father at the Tennessee Asylum for the Insane in hopes that the memories he has been losing might be recovered at some point with treatment and she might be reunited with him once again. But lately some of her father's outbursts have gotten violent and even now she fears there may be nothing more that can be done. Thankfully her Aunt has agreed to keep the matter out of the public eye as her father was a well-known attorney and all Eleanor has now is the good name her father left her with. She just wasn't planning for her father and Aunt to collaborate to find her a suitable match with little hope of finding someone that would be willing to marry Eleanor now that she was nearing thirty.
On the heels of recovering from a Civil War, Eleanor has seen the horrors of what war can bring and take away in both the love and lives of men who left their families behind to serve. Vowing to find the man who claimed a piece of her heart in trying to find 'his Mary' while holding on to her hand in his final moments, Eleanor believes her life is destined for more than being a suitable wife to a man she probably won't love but will provide for her and her father in the future.
She wasn't hoping to fall in love with the under gardener at her Aunt's estate, especially since their personalities click so well at the people they each are underneath all the layers of social propriety. Marcus Gottfried is trying to find something more out of life than merely assuming his throne as Archduke of Austria and will do anything to keep anyone from finding out. He finds peace and solace in learning how to graft plants and flowers to produce something better than what nature intended, something like the rare beauty that he sees in Eleanor that she doesn't see in herself. Is there a way for them both to do something with their lives than what society has destined for their future?
I received A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander compliments of TLC Book Tours and Bethany House Publishers. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. This is the second book in the Belmont Mansion series, with A Lasting Impression being the first. I intend on picking that one up as well because I love Tamera's writing style. She isn't afraid to take her time in getting to the end of the book without rushing unlike so many other authors do. I love that I didn't feel hurried by the time I got to the end and it maintained that level of content that kept me glued to what would happen between Eleanor and Marcus. In a time where society had certain social standards to uphold, I am glad that Tamera took a different road and showed what could happen if they were to each cast off what the world thought they should do and instead embrace the gifts and talents that God gave them. This one easily hits a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and I can't wait for more!!!
For more information about A Beauty So Rare, Tamera Alexander, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Tamera Alexander on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on A Beauty So Rare, please visit TLC Book Tour page.
Thanks to the generosity of TLC Book Tours and Bethany House Publishers, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter:
1. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. If you have already "liked" it, just leave me a comment telling me you're stopping by.
2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.
3. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this novel along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.
If I don't have an email address with your comment, I can't notify you if you're the winner of the giveaway. The giveaway will end on May 15th and I will notify the winner at that time by email.