I received this book from the author/publish for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
“Eleanor Braddock, a spinster–plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty–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 a home for destitute widows and children from the Civil War. And while Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve.
Gerhard Marcus Gottfried, 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. Collaborating with botanist Luther Burbank, Marcus seeks to combine his own passion for nature with his expertise in architecture. But his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widow’s and children’s home run contrary to the wishes of practical, frugal Eleanor, who sees his ideas as costly nonsense.
Yet as the construction project continues, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground–and a love neither of them expected. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor to marry, and even if he were, someone who knows Marcus’s secrets is about to reveal them all.
Tamera Alexander is a wonderful author who never fails to write good, fulfilling love story. Her characters are well-developed, spunky, and humorous. They are always ready for a good adventure and their pasts are full of exciting surprises.
In A Beauty So Rare, Eleanor and Marcus are quite the comely pair, always getting into trouble, having knowledge wars, and just having a good time. What is gripping and fun about this romance novel is that the author put enough subplots in the main story so that we don’t get bored with the main plot (the love story). There is a good amount of mystery, suspense, laughter, and emotion so that those who enjoy all of the above will be equally pleased.
Things worthy of mentioning are: a background character commits suicide, however there is no detail whatsoever, it is only discussed among other characters. There are a few kissing scenes, but of course that is to be expected in a romance title, and Eleanor has a few “thoughts” on being married both directed towards Marcus and just being married in general.
All in all, I rate A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this title as a good, wholesome, Christian love story.