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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. 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 an orphanage, a place that will house widows and orphans from the Civil War. And while Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve.
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: Belmont Mansion
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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.
From USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander 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.
MauriKansasAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Best FriendsMay 18, 2015MauriKansasAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is a wonderful book! I absolutely loved Marcus, not just because he was charming and handsome, but because of his love for Eleanor. She is someone who I'd like for a friend. When she saw a need, she worked to do something about it. She regarded herself to be plain (and some even had the audacity to call her that) but I don't think she really was. Marcus saw her as beautiful; she had a beauty within that transformed her. Marcus and Eleanor were friends, though they developed stronger feelings for each other. But there were obstacles: obligations and fears. I loved that they had such a strong friendship that developed. "Beste Freunde machen die besten Liebhaber"--Best friends make the best lovers.
smileyOntario, CanadaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Brilliant!August 14, 2014smileyOntario, CanadaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5So well written, you actually feel like you are walking in the pages of the book. I could smell the flowers in the conservatory, I could see the grand mansion for all its glory, I could feel the tension and irritation the characters sometimes had with each other, and on and on the experience went throughout the whole book. I am so grateful to have read this story and that there are authors in this world who ache to tell the ultimate love story of Jesus for us in romantic and funny ways. Well done Tamera and thank you so much for following God's leading in fulfilling your purpose.
CarolLebanon, PAAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Belmont Mansion StoryAugust 14, 2014CarolLebanon, PAAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is an extremely well written historical fiction story. It was
a mix of humor, mystery, family and human value during that
era. It takes place in Nashville, post Civil War . Some of the
story takes place at the Belmont Mansion, some in the mansion
conservatory, some at the asylum for the insane and some in
the town itself. The attitudes and social realities of the times,
although seen through a fictionalized story were truly captured
by the author. The research was impeccable and the details
made you feel as though you were part of the entire story.
The author addressed many social issues: dysfunctional family
life, loss and grieving, mental health, hunger, lack of food and
clothing for the widowed and poor women and children who
were products of losing their men to the war, fear, rejection,
living with deceit. The author gets you inside the heads of her
characters. She presents them to the reader so you understand
all of their inner workings.
The main female character is Eleanor Braddock, an unmarried
30 years old who is very plain. When her fathers health fails
and he is institutionalized, she takes her Aunt Adelicia Acklin's
offer to live at the Belmont Mansion. She wants to open a
restaurant in town which is below her status but she loves to
cook. It is in the building she wanted to rent that she discovers
God has different plans for her talents as she starts to cook for
the widows and their children who are poor and hungry.
The main male character is Marcus Geoffrey who is hiding a
secret. He has a talent for nature working with grafting of plants
and has studied architecture. Things just dont seem to go the
way he plans. Everyday issues are thrown in his way that
There is an undeniable chemistry between these two well
They both need to realize that faith and prayer make a
difference in lifes decisions.
This book is power packed with emotion from the main
characters to the supporting secondary characters. Hope you
This is the second book in the Belmont Mansion series but
can be read as a stand alone book. This is the first book I
read by the author but will be reading more of her books.
I received this ebook from bookfun.org. My opinion is
loriwellerLancaster,PaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Historical Read!!!!!!!!!!!!!July 29, 2014loriwellerLancaster,PaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A Beauty So Rare is an incredible book. It is a typical Tamara Alexander read that keeps you entertained from start to finish. Eleanor lost her mother and brother during the Civil War, and her father is suffering from dementia. Eleanor places her father in an asylum for treatment. There is plenty of romance, trials encountered, and obstacles in place. Despite it being a long book, it seems to go so quickly. I can't wait to continue reading Tamara's books.
I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
NanceeGrand Rapids, MichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Captivating!July 28, 2014NanceeGrand Rapids, MichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Tamera 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.