Monday, December 19, 2016

My Bookshelf: A Beauty So Rare + A Linkup

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.
Eleanor Braddock—plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty—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.

A Beauty So Rare is the second book in Tamera Alexander’s Belmont Mansion series, coming after A Lasting Impression. I really, really loved the first book in this series, so I was extremely excited to be able to read this one! Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed, but was in fact surprised to find that I loved this novel even more than its predecessor! I absolutely love historical novels, and Nashville, and Belmont Mansion, Adelicia, Eleanor, and Marcus, so this was a very, very enjoyable story to read! Plus, the storyline was absolutely perfect, and Tamera is a fantastic writer, so there wasn’t a page of this novel that I didn’t enjoy.
Eleanor Braddock is such a fantastic character! She is so kind and patient and caring of others, and worth loving despite her not-so-great feelings about herself. Although she thinks that she’s not much to look at, and that no one will ever truly want her, Marcus does a fantastic job of proving her wrong, and I absolutely fell in love with the two of them. Especially Marcus. He and Eleanor are the cutest thing and they kept me laughing all through the book, but I especially loved how sweet and funny Marcus was. And my heart went out to him and all he faced because of his family and their position of nobility.
All in all, I really loved the both of them, and the entirety of their story, so I am happy to give this book all five bookshelves, and a place on my all-time favorites list! It is the whole package, and now I’m even more excited to read the third book in the series—A Note Yet Unsung—which releases next month! Tamera did a wonderful job with this novel, and I can’t wait to read more of her books in the future!

And now on to the linkup!


First, I’m featuring Casey from Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish and her post about being in the “middle.”

Second, I’m featuring Nina from A World of Dresses and her post full of tips on how to dress when traveling in the winter.


-Link back to Spreading His GraceBows and Clothes, or both

-Subscribe to both blogs and follow each of us on at least one social media

Mackenzie: Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Sarah: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin'

-This linkup has no theme so we encourage you to link any of your recent posts. Also note that we have the right to delete your link if it isn't appropriate. However, we are super excited to read about your passions and are so glad that you've decided to join us!

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Tamera Alexander and Bethany House Publishers.