A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander is the second book in the Belmont Mansion series. Each book in the series is a stand alone novel so no worries if you haven't read the first story. Just like the first book, I was reeled in right from the beginning and had a really hard time putting it down. The characters were so well done, and I loved their hobbies and interests. The author always has such tension and uncertainty in these books without any "bad guy" which makes it even better to me. So much more realistic and enjoyable. Needless to say I can hardly wait for the nest book!
Almost thirty year old Eleanor Braddock is a strong woman who has seen her share of grief and sadness. Helping at the medical tent during the Civil War, hearing of her brother's death, and now facing the fact that her father, a revered judge, has dementia. When she has to sell their home and move her father into a mental institute, she is heartbroken. Destitute, she accepts her aunt's offer to stay with her, but having Adelicia Acklen Cheatham as her aunt is more than she bargained for. Will her life ever be her own again?
Marcus Gregory has always had his life planned out for him, but after his older brother died his uncle, the emperor, lets him have a hiatus to America for a year. Now that he is next in line to the throne, he needs to live how he has always dreamed he would so he travels incognito to Tennessee with the hopes of designing and building something beautiful before the year is up. Not only is Marcus an architect, but he has a passion for horticulture which leads him to Mrs. Cheatham's estate. conflicting emotions get even worse when he meets practical, plain Eleanor he is left even more conflicted than before. What's an "undergardener" to do?
Eleanor was definitely my favorite character. She has this indomitable spirit that makes you cheer her on as you read. She definitely could go head to head with Adelicia! haha I also loved how the author portrayed Marcus' struggle of accepting God as interested in our lives. It was one of the most powerful parts of the story to me. Plus, I loved Eleanor's journey of trusting in God even when she didn't understand what God was doing. This phrase, "Focus only upon what is before you. What you can see, Eleanor. Not on what your imagination attempts to convince you is there," was a wonderful touch to the story. It's Eleanor's mantra throughout the book; a quote of her father's that she remembers when she needs it the most. There were so many layers and stories within this story, and they all intertwined so well.
I was given this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like more info on the author, check out these sites. :-)
Here's the link if you want to buy the book. :-)
Beauty So Rare, A (A Belmont Mansion Novel Book #2)