A Beauty So Rare, Belmont Mansion Series #2   -     By: Tamera Alexander
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A Beauty So Rare, Belmont Mansion Series #2

Bethany House / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

She's plain, practical. No stunning Southern beauty. And she never wears pink...

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764206230
ISBN-13: 9780764206238
Availability: In Stock
Series: Belmont Mansion

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Publisher's Description

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.

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.

Author Bio

Two-time Christy Award winner (and six-time Christy finalist) Tamera Alexander is the author of nine novels, all of which have been bestsellers. She and her husband make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, where their two adult children live nearby. Learn more at www.tameraalexander.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. memakf
    Ephrata,PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Southern History with romance, adventure, intrigue
    July 21, 2014
    memakf
    Ephrata,PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    This is a story set in the late 1800’s in the south following the Civil War. The author weaves an excellent story that makes you feel like you are a part of that tumultuous time when the south was struggling to recover and families were trying to heal. The setting is a beautiful southern mansion that is an actual place you can go see today. There is plenty of romance, but I liked that the story was very full and capturing besides the romantic part of it. The two main characters are very different in personality and even if you don’t always agree with them, you end up cheering them both on. They each have obstacles to overcome as the story progresses and are woven into a tapestry of two lives blending together. Although this is book #2 in the Belmont Mansion group, it stands alone in the characters and story – the setting is the common thread.
    I received this book from Bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review

  2. Mrs ARS
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Queen of the Night blooms
    July 9, 2014
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    In Tamara Alexander’s latest novel we meet Eleanor Braddock who is dealing with some major life decisions. Having lost her mother to sickness and her brother in the Civil War, she is now dealing with her father’s dementia. Not a lot was known about the disease in those days, so with the help from her very wealthy Aunt Adelicia Acklen Cheatham she is able to send her father to an asylum with the hopes of him getting better. Eleanor, who is 29 and considered an old maid, had previously helped the doctors and nurses during the Civil War and saw many men die of their wounds, leaving their wives and children in dire circumstances. Determined not to be a burden to her Aunt and her household, Eleanor comes to Nashville, Tennessee with a desire to open a café. She just has to convince her Aunt to let her do this. Working in her Aunt’s conservatory, is Marcus Gottfried, who is keeping his identity of being Archduke of Austria a secret. He is trying to pursue his dual passions of botany and architecture. As they begin to interact with each other on more of a daily basis a friendship begins. One of the things I really enjoyed was the banter between Eleanor and Marcus. When Eleanor’s dreams are not realized and Marcus is about to lose all he has worked for in America, they both realize that maybe their plans and purposes have changed for the better good. Not only that, but a forbidden love has developed between them. I really enjoyed this tale, and at almost 500 pages it was one to be slowly devoured. I also enjoyed learning about the true life historical characters like Adelicia Acklen Cheatham who owned Belmont Mansion located in Tennessee and a bit of the House of Hapsburg of Austria. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

  3. GA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Historical Novel
    June 28, 2014
    GA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    This is a 5-star plus book. I had never read this author's books before, but I loved this one.
    The story is set in Nashville after the Civil War. The main characters are Eleanor Braddock, Aunt Adelicia Acklen, Archduke Marcus Gottifried from Austria, along with some good supporting characters. The characters are well developed in the story.
    Eleanor's father is ailing and is being placed into a home where he can be taken care of and looked after around the clock. As a result Eleanor comes to the Belmont Mansion. Her aunt is the richest woman in America.
    Eleanor wants to do something with her life and plans to never marry. Besides she is not a beautiful woman and has now reached the age where she does not have much opportunity. No man will ever look at her or fall in love with her or will they?
    Marcus has come to Nashville seeking a life he can never have because he must return to Austria and assume his rightful duties. Will he and when? Why? Questions answered if you read the book. He loves to work with plants, flowers, etc. and Eleanor mistakes him for one who is the gardener but not the master gardener. What could they possibly have in common? Besides, he does not turn Eleanor's head like most women. He does not share his heritage with her.
    Aunt Adelecia has promised she will find Eleanor a husband. She will want her to be secure as a result of a promise. She is high society and wants Eleanor to become part of it. Will Eleanor follow the direction of her aunt?
    When Eleanor shares her plans for what she wants to do with her life, how will her aunt react. Will she love the ideas or scoff at them?????There are many twists and turns and how does a widows' home fit into all of this?
    Will Marcus have other talents besides those of a gardener? How does he help a young fellow named Caleb, a widow's son?
    There is so much to this novel, buy the book and read it. You will love it. Usually I read mysteries, but I was given the book by bookfun.org to review. This is my honest opinion and not because I have to give a certain rating. The book is interesting, long, but kept me reading even too late at night. This is one of the best books that I have read in quite awhile. I do hope you will buy this book and stay with it to the end. Enjoy!

  4. Jolene
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Tamera Alexander delivers again!
    June 22, 2014
    Jolene
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4

    Eleanor Braddock's arrival at Belmont Mansion relieves some financial difficulties, but presents a new set of complications. Her wealthy and demanding aunt, Adelicia Acklen, provides her with a place to stay as well as proper care for her ailing father. However, Eleanor longs for more than an arranged marriage to a rich suitor of her aunt's choosing. She finds purpose and passion in serving the widows and orphans of the Civil War, but her endeavor brings her closer to Marcus Gottfried, an architect, botanist and man of secrets. Eleanor and Marcus have very different ideas about how to house the widows and orphans, yet even as they disagree, romance seems to unexpectedly arise. Read more in A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander.

    A Beauty So Rare is the newest installment in Tamera Alexander's Belmont Mansion series. Though it's the second book of the series, it works fine as a stand-alone novel. I hadn't read the first one and didn't feel like I was missing anything. In traditional Tamera Alexander style, the book is long with plenty of twists, but the story never drags or becomes boring. I liked the character of Adelicia Acklen, but kept wishing someone would flat-out refuse to acquiesce to her. There was plenty character development for most of the characters and the romance was sweet. I recommend to fans of historical Christian fiction.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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."

  5. Patsdream
    Huntsville, AL
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Post Civil War, Romance, Faith, Helping Others
    June 9, 2014
    Patsdream
    Huntsville, AL
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4

    This is the first book I've read by Tamera Alexander. It started a little slow but the pace quickly picked up and the characters aren't perfect. Eleanor is unusually tall for the day, she believes she is rather plain and almost past marrying age. When she has to put her father in an institution and moves in with her aunt, whom is wealthy and in a lot of the leagues for women in Nashville. Eleanor meets Marcus and believes he's an under gardener for her aunt's estate. Eleanor wants to rent a building and start a café. When she goes to her aunt for advice and help she is turned down. She finds herself helping widows and children to have at least one meal a day. There are so many of them and the line keeps getting longer for those who lost loved ones in the Civil War.

    This book shows the poverty of the widows and children left behind. New friendships abound, engagements by arrangements keep Eleanor and Marcus from being more than friends. Follow the characters in this book as they strive to not only improve their lives but those of others. You have those that truly live by faith, the women that can be so catty, others that give of whatever they have. I can see why Tamera Alexander is a well-loved author. I had heard so many nice things about her writing that I was glad to have received this book from the publisher (Bethany House) and Book Club Network. I received this book to read, review and to leave an honest opinion. All opinions are my own and any errors are mine. I do recommend this to any of Tamera Alexander's fans and those that are wondering if her books are really good.

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