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A Beauty So Rare

Tamera Alexander
A Beauty So Rare

In A Beauty So Rare, A Belmont Mansion Novel from author Tamera Alexander,  Eleanor Braddock, a spinster at 30, 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 determine... Read More

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In A Beauty So Rare, A Belmont Mansion Novel from author Tamera Alexander,  Eleanor Braddock, a spinster at 30, 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. However, 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 a new and unlikely path for her life - building an orphanage, a place that will house widows and orphans from the Civil War. But while Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve.

Soon Marcus von Quint, 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. There, he seeks to combine his own passion for nature with his expertise in architecture. His plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the orphanage run contrary to the wishes of practical, frugal Eleanor, but as the construction project continues, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground, and a love neither of them expected.

Product Details:
Page Count: 480
Released: 03/2014
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2014
  • UPC: 9780764206238
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 474
  • Publish Date: Apr 1, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0764206230

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Captivating! by Nancee on 7/27/2014

Tamera Alexander is a masterful author of historical fiction and romance. "A Beauty So Rare" is no exception! From the hospital tents toward the end of the Civil War and their gruesome particulars to the extravagant wealth represented at Belmont Mansion, detailing is well orchestrated. The Belmont Mansion's conservatory reveals architecture and statuary that rival landmarks in Rome, not to mention the grandeur of the roses and other floral plants that it houses. The ravages of poverty are depicted as brilliantly as the spectacular beauty and artistry possessed by the wealthiest woman in America.

Characters are developed with strong attributes, well exemplified in their varied positions, whether it be impoverished or those of prestige and prominence. Romance is palpable between the unlikeliest of characters, and arranged suitors are not necessarily prone to love. I fell in love with the descriptive elements in "A Beauty So Rare." I highly recommend another of Tamera Alexander's beautifully written novels!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House through the Book Fun For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander by Tina on 5/21/2014

A Beauty So Rare, A Belmont Mansion Novel Book 2 ***** by Tamera Alexander

Eleanor Braddock, is in her late 20's and still unmarried. Eleanor has resigned herself that she will never find love, marry and have children of her own, as she is too tall and far too plain, what man would want her? The war is now over and Eleanor finds they are in dire financial difficulties and must sell her family home. Her father's health has taken a disturbing turn and he must be put in a facility where he will be cared for. With her heart breaking over leaving her father, Eleanor makes her way to her Aunt Adelicia Acklen Cheatham's home, the Belmont Mansion, in Nashville, Tennessee. Belmont looks much the same as she remembers from her last visit years ago and is hopeful that she will not have to stay with her aunt for long. She plans to find employment, a small place of her own and bring her father home again if he is able. However, her aunt has other plans which do not include Eleanor working—an affluent woman working of all things—but a proper marriage to a man of their station.

Austrian Archduke Gerhard Marcus Gottfried von Habsburg is in Nashville to pursue a dream he has long had instead of the life that is mapped out for him in Austria, including an arranged marriage. Known in Nashville as Mr. Marcus Geoffrey, a “common man”, he is working with plants in the conservatory at Belmont Mansion developing a rose per Adelicia's very detailed specifications. As an amateur botanist he enjoys working with plants but his true dream is in architecture and he longs to build a building like none other in Nashville. However, his architecture plans do not go as hoped.

Unlikely circumstances bring Eleanor and Marcus together repeatedly and they find they share many common interests. When a long time dream of Eleanor's is not meant to be, God places on her heart to open a widows and childrens home. Together Eleanor and Marcus work diligently to finish renovating the home by the agreed date. As they spend more time together they find a budding attraction far beyond friendship. But anything other than friendship is out of the question. There are secrets that both Eleanor and Marcus keep hidden, but secrets are about to be revealed. What will the consequences be once they are made known? Will it forever change their budding romance? Will Marcus really leave Nashville and return to Austria? What does God have in store for them?

While the story started a little slow, it does pick up and captures your attention. I found myself rooting for Eleanor and Marcus and all they had gone through in their lives as well as the widows and orphans. Society certainly frowned on unconventional behavior in women of that time. But our heroine meets these challenges head on and learns a great deal about herself. As does our hero once he arrives in America and finds his own way to becoming the man he was meant to be. I loved the way Eleanor, even with so much opposition against her, championed for the underprivileged widows and orphans; a sad fact of war. Tamera Alexander does a great job grafting in bits of historical facts within the characters lives much as Marcus did with his plants. Humor between the two main characters is delightful to watch and their growing faith. There is much to this beautifully written story. Tamera gives some background of the history of the Belmont Manson and Habsburg in Austria at the end of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed A Beauty So Rare.

~~I received a copy of this book from the Book Club Network for my review~~

Where Real Beauty Lies! DON'T MISS!! by Rachael on 5/6/2014

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander is quite possibly the best fiction book I've read this year. This is my first book to read by this author. I totally fell in love with the main character, Eleanor. I could really relate to being plain, simple, and thinking that marriage wasn't a possibility for me. Yet, she used her life for the betterment of others. Her character can teach a lot about love. This book will tug at your heart, teach you what real love is, and make you want to spend your time more prosperously...and not for money.

This is a beautiful love story with so much more than that to offer. I rarely give a book five stars, but this one is well deserved. A beautiful story that is woven with lessons to learn and wonderful characters.

When I find myself thinking of characters when not reading a book...I know it's great. I SO relate to Eleanor in this book. Tremendous read! Highly recommend.

I received this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion which I have given.

Gloriously Epic Tome! A Must-Read by Mocha with Linda on 4/28/2014

Sigh. Tamera Alexander's books have one major flaw. They end. Even this gloriously epic tome of 480 pages concluded before I was ready to bid farewell to the captivating story, the delightful characters, and even to the manner in which the words flowed upon the page. Tamera Alexander has once again created a multifaceted saga that gripped me from the opening pages. Her impeccable historical research mingles seamlessly with her gift for crafting rich fiction, resulting in a magnificent tale which pulsates with authenticity. I empathized with Eleanor's insecurities, mourned over her father's decline, winced at Adelicia's stern proclamations, and fell in love with sweet Caleb and "Magpie" and their penniless mothers--as well as gallant Marcus! Of course, as with every good story, A Beauty So Rare also includes a few individuals that raised my hackles but, like Eleanor, I learned which battles were worth fighting. This riveting tale prompted me to turn the pages faster and faster while at the same time Alexander's exquisite prose cautioned me to slow down and savor every sentence, and occasionally I paused to reread a passage just to soak it in. As always, Alexander weaves in a beautiful message of faith which springs from the characters' experiences, encouraging the reader's soul. A Beauty So Rare aptly describes as well as titles this story that will now rest on my shelf of treasured novels. The second in the Belmont Mansion series (yet it stands alone), this is a must-read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Historical Nashville by MaureenT on 4/19/2014

A Beauty So Rare, or a woman that feels she is ugly and out of options as far as marriage goes. How sad, and on top of all her brilliant lawyer father, is suffering from dementia. She is now forced to sell her family home, and place her father in a mental hospital, and this is breaking her heart. She was raised with the proverbial silver spoon, and comes from affluent society, and cultured up bringing. Her Aunt by marriage to a deceased Uncle, is coming to her rescue for a short time, and helping with her father. So we enter and now live in Belmont Mansion in Nashville, Tennessee, and here is splendor that we walk and enjoy with Eleanor Braddock. Through her I could almost smell the beauty of the flowers in the conservatory.
The War Between the States has just ended and people are trying hard to get back to some normalcy of life. We travel the streets here in Nashville, seeing the differences in the people with much and the people with nothing. We also meet Archduke Marcus Gottfried, or Marcus Geoffrey as he is know by all here in the States. He is described as one very handsome, easy on the eyes, fellow. He has a gift in building and designing and working as an architect and on a side note, his passion seems to be botany, which brings him to be working at Belmont.
Of course these two, Eleanor and Marcus are thrown together at various times, and you will love the compassion shown by both to various people, and unknown to one another some of the same people. Come and join them as they bicker and travel through the tunnel under the Conservatory, and although the book is rather long, you will hate for it to end. Not wanting to leave it, for real life, and wanting to know what is going to happen. Enjoy, I did!!

I received this book through the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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