Monday, April 28, 2014

Gardner of the Spud

A Beauty So Rare

Tamera Alexander

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.

Eleanor Braddock--plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty--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 hedetermines, 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.

      Tamera Alexander has written an elegant book that is marked with colorful (clean) language and a diverse cast. With several hundred pages to go, the beginning starts slow and moves at Eleanor's pace. It quickly picks up a few slower moments scattered throughout the text.  A Beauty So Rare is the second book in the Belmont mansion series, but I don't feel at a disadvantage having not read them in order. They seem to be stand alone. 

     I really enjoyed the book. It was huge, which was really nice because that meant I could enjoy it for a lot longer. All those pages means more characters and more mini plot lines, and that was fantastic. I liked not having the focus purely on the romantic relationship, but on the relationships of the characters with friends and family and the relationships that the friends and family had with their own friends and family. There were also mentions of Gregor Mendel, the Wars, Potato Famines and etc.

     One of the pick up lines for the book is that Eleanor doesn't like pink, but I don't remember the answer. I guess I am just going to have to read it again. Yay!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

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