18 April 2014

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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!!!

SPOILER ALERT!!!
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.

30 comments:

  1. Wonderful informative review Carrie... I love it when stories have such depth and cover issues that affect so many people. You made me laugh with the 'tickled pink' bit! I'm sure you would have loved to have had Eleanor's dress!! And Carrie, a big THANK YOU again for sending me a copy of this beautiful book! Definitely one to treasure! :)

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    1. Haha, yes and I have a pink surprise for one of our commenters this week! SO glad they had the book available on Book Depository! Thanks, Noela!

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  2. CARRIE I am so glad you posted a review on Tamara's lovely book! I always love seeing a book through your eyes! :-)

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    1. I don't know if I should be glad about that or scared, T! Haha, bless you this Good Friday!

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  3. CARRIE, I'm so glad I already read this book b/c you know I ALWAYS read the spoiler alerts! haha Thank you for your insightful review of such a wonderful book.

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    1. I DO know that, and so do I lol, Diana! I enjoyed your and Noela's reviews earlier this week, too! Hugs!

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    2. Thank you, CARRIE! Hugs back and a blessed Easter to you and yours!

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  4. I can't wait to read this book - it sounds like a good one.

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    1. It really is, Angela! Wishing you a Good Friday full of blessings!

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  5. Very nicely written. I will look forward to reading it.
    Jen
    Jking23(at)kent(dot)edu

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    1. Jen, this is one of those books you want to carve out some time, like over the course of a week to savor the read! Blessings!

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  6. Hello Carrie. Great you joined the other reviewers. All of you do great jobs(and give us extra chances). LOL Do love you girls. I love the pink dress also. As I have said before, Tamera's books always have beautiful covers.My mother-in-law's mother suffered with Alzheimers and it did get to a dangerous stage. Her sister lived with their parents and took care of her. Later, mom went to help relieve her sister, and it was so sad, but she never knew who she was She called mom that other woman. This was my mother's greatest fear. But, GOD took her home without having it. This book sounds really good and I would love to win it. Thanks for a chance to do so because of my OWG sweet girls. And, of course, Tamera. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Well Maxie, we love you. So of course we want you to have this book. And I'm so sorry you had to witness first hand the devastating results of end term Alzheimers. Your poor mom!!! My aunt, who just died, had cancer and late stage Alzheimers. We need to get you on Kindle, Maxie, LOL. Hugs!

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  7. Wonderful review The book sounds great Im proud of you for dealing with a difficult subject like Alzheimers
    Most of all though would each of you Please have a terrific Easter He Lives!
    Chris
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. He lives, He lives--Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along lives narrow way.
      He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
      He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
      He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
      You ask me how I know He lives?
      He lives within my heart.

      Source: http://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/503#ixzz2zHr78JYU

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  8. Wonderful review! I would love to win this book 😊
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. I know you would love it, Betti. Tamera never shies away from difficult topics.

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  9. I am looking forward to this. Thank you for your review.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. TY, Mary! I don't normally post my reviews unless it is for audiobook or if it is one that is going to go on my
      BEST of lists. I don't think it is fair for me to list my favorites at the end of the year if I didn't post a review on the blog. But the OWG angels are the real deal as far as reviewers. I do bibliotherapy reviews, too. So fortunately this book had all three aspects and more!

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  10. Thanks, Carrie, for your post on Tamera's great book! I have enjoyed all you OWG ladies' reviews this week. I am so fond of this great author, who is so inspiring, and I love her books!
    You ladies are the greatest, and I wish you a Happy Easter weekend!
    Blessings and prayers for you...~
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  11. What a great review on this book.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com I am a huge fan now. :). Would love to win this book

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  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Carrie! Loved reading them all--incl. the spoiler alert. Guess I'm as bad as Diana. ;)

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    1. LOL Marian--we're all bad about liking to read spoilers!

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  14. Thank you, Carrie, for your wonderful review of "A Beauty So Rare"!! I like knowing the Bibliotherapy aspects of the book (love psychological info) and I read "spoilers" also - with my memory, I will have forgotten them when I read the book (LOL)!!

    I KNOW you enjoyed looking at that pink (LOL)!! Thanks for another opportunity to win a copy of "A Beauty So Rare", Carrie, and kudos to Tamera for writing such a beautiful book!! I loved Julie Lessman's 500 page books and feel sure I will love Tamera's also, the more pages - the better (LOL)!!

    Hugs and love to you - have a blessed Easter week, Carrie!!

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! Happy Easter! Of course I loved the pink! Too bad the heroine didn't! Yes, the more the better here in this book!

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  15. I just can't wait to read this story... Its close to home for me. Thank you for your sharing your thoughts on this Carrie.
    Love and Hugs
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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