Book Talk Tuesday: A Beauty So Rare

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.

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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.

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I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Done and done.

Book Talk Tuesday: A Home for My Heart

Anne Mateer’s newest is a tender tale of forgiveness, letting go, and trusting.

It’s 1910 and Sadie Sillsby is the assistant to the matron of Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children. She has a special tie to the home: she was once a resident before being adopted into a loving family.

When the current matron resigns to get married, Sadie joyfully accepts the position. Although she and Blaine have an understanding, they both know it will be several years before they can afford to marry. Except Blaine has a surprise of his own: he purchased a farm and is ready to propose. But the matron must be a single woman and Sadie has given her word. They decide they have different goals and part ways. At least that’s what they tell themselves while hoping their hearts will go along.

The job is bigger than Sadie bargained for. Especially having to do it without Blaine in her life.

I’m a big fan of Anne’s first two books, Wings of a Dream, and At Every Turn, so I was eager to read her latest. I love Anne’s way with words, they suit the historical genre like a high button shoe under a gingham skirt.

With a nod to “The Gift of the Magi,” A Home for My Heart explores themes of mercy, leaving the past, and making a fresh start. I loved it and recommend it for anyone, but especially for those who love historical novels.

~ I received a free copy of A Home for My Heart in return for an honest review. I’m happy to say I honestly loved it.