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.
From the USA Today bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society–and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.
This story opens with Eleanor traveling with her father to live with Aunt Adelicia in Nashville, when Eleanor endures a heart wrenching scene. Tamera Alexander leaves no doubt in the readers mind that this is a character we are going to love and want to see succeed. We quickly learn Eleanor is a woman with her own plans. This is something which goes against her aunt’s ideas. Yet, even in her bid for independence she still desires to please those she loves, always keeping their feelings ahead of her own. So often we judge a person by the way we perceive them, whether by their looks or their financial status (or lack of). This book addresses that issue in depth as we see Eleanor struggle to break free from society’s expectations and be the person she feels God is calling her to be.
My mom says God brings friends into our lives at just the right moment. In this case, Tamera brought Archduke Marcus Gottfried to Nashville. He is escaping his own family drama and wants nothing more than to be his own person. He adopts the name Marcus Geoffrey to remove himself as far as possible from his real life. This isn’t a man running from God, but rather running toward his own destiny. He is determined to live life on his own terms.
Two people, hurting in their own ways, needing God and finding each other in the process. Their unlikely friendship experienced many bumps in the road, but through each one the reader falls more in love with the story.
I highly recommend this book, as a historical read, but also as a fun romantic read. I loved getting to know the characters and hope to see them again in a future book! (hint hint).
For the last few weeks I have taken part of a bloggers group helping to promote this book. I posted a recipe from this book last week, you can find it here. Being a part of this group has been so much fun. The women have been kind and Tamara is such a wonderful person, she is incredibly sweet.
In addition to the recipe, she also provided links for the background of the photo shoot for the cover of this novel. http://tameraalexander.blogspot.com/2014/04/photo-shoot-for-beauty-so-rare.html
She also included a link with an interview about the seamstress who created the dress on the cover. I love it! The woman behind the dress: http://tameraalexander.blogspot.com/2014/04/meet-woman-behind-cover-dress.html