|A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House)|
A Beauty So Rare, A Belmont Mansion Novel Book #2
(Bethany House Publishers)
5 stars *****
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Another Belmont Hit!What a wonderful read! A Beauty So Rare starts out a little bit slow but have no worries, Tamera Alexander soon takes off with a story wonderfully woven. I was tickled pink over heroine, Eleanor's reaction to certain colors of clothing, which I enjoy. Mr. Geoffries, a German archduke, and is a wonderful hero. Eleanor is strong and capable and learns to trust her heart, over the course of the story. Loved the secondary characters, with the widowed ladies and their children receiving help through the hero's and heroine's efforts. Some terrific antagonists, with great characterization.
This is the second book in the Belmont series and I can't wait to read the next book when it releases! The reader can settle in on A Beauty So Rare for a nice long read, though--as it comes in just under 500 pages!!!
Bibliotherapy: Eleanor's father has Alzheimer's and must be placed in an institution. Tamera does a great job in showing how irascible and even dangerous someone can become with dementia. Having had several loved ones with this disorder I've seen how someone with Alzheimer's can turn on the very ones they love the most--the paranoia that sets in can be terrifying. Beautiful and tasteful showing of both the sweet and the awful moments of coping with a parent in these later stages of deterioration.
Also, although it isn't dwelt upon, Eleanor begins the story in a combat field hospital with a dying man. So we have a 26-year-old woman experiencing the horrors of war (I could have done without some of those scenes) and so the reader can assume she has some PTSD issues. With Eleanor now 30, in the story, she is also struggling with singleness and being "an old maid." She feels abandoned by her father and it is her intense loneliness at Aunt Adelicia's home that helps cement her relationship with "the gardener" who isn't a gardener at all! Having been almost 30 when I married my husband, I know it is worth the wait, as it is for the heroine!
Superlatives: This book will be on my best of 2014 list here on the Overcoming With God. We OWG reviewers publish these "Best of" lists the end of December. The book will also be entered in the Bibliotherapy category as well.
Highly recommend--don't miss this!
Disclosure: I purchased this book as a paperback through Amazon but I also received a Kindle copy through NetGalley and am under no compulsion to post a positive review. The reviewers on the OWG blog love Tamera's books so much that we made sure everyone got a copy of this new release, in paperback, for the gorgeous cover, too. I also ordered the audio copy of the book. Unfortunately, the narrator on the book doesn't do the story justice--so I'd recommend that you read on Kindle, setting the font to large, if you have difficulty reading long books with your eyes, like I do.
Giveaways: We are giving away several items this week, including copies of the book and my surprise pink giveaway and a $10 Starbuck gift card.