Eleanor is tall, nearly 30 years old, and in possession of a dream: to own a restaurant.
Marcus Geoffrey is taller, older, and in possession of a secret: he’s a archduke of Austria and second in line to the throne.
Post-Civil War Nashville and the Belmont Mansion is the setting for Tamera Alexander’s newest historical romance. I loved other books I’ve read by her and was eager to get to A Beauty So Rare.
I love how layered and deeply textured Tamera’s characters and plots are. She uses many true historical details to add authenticity and the books are the richer for it.
Eleanor never feels like a stereotypical spinster. She’s a real woman who’s given up on finding love and being married and having a family. Marcus is a fine hero, caring and considerate. Since this is a romance, it’s clear they will end up together, the fun is in how they get there.
Although Eleanor’s dream of a restaurant is quashed almost immediately, she soon sees that God has an even better idea. A thank you dinner for a few friends grows until Eleanor is feeding a host of Nashville’s widows and children. Along the way she navigates Nashville society, an arranged marriage, and tending to her father’s failing health.
Marcus also harbors a dream: creating a blight-resistant hybrid potato and designing a building acclaimed for its beauty as well as its practicality. I thought his two passions were very different and wasn’t sure how Alexander could marry them in one man. But he’s a archduke and therefore very accomplished. I believed he’d be passionate about both endeavors.
As Marcus and Eleanor spend time together (and after she realizes he’s not the Belmont under gardener) their hearts are knit together as surely as a scarlet wool scarf.
I highly recommend A Beauty So Rare to anyone who loves romances, historicals, or just plain just books.
I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Done and done.