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A Beauty So Rare

(Belmont Mansion #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,698 ratings  ·  441 reviews
Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock 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, ...more
Paperback, 471 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Bethany House
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Amy Walker It's a fine stand-alone read. However, you'll have a better understanding of Adelicia Acklen and Claire Munroe.…moreIt's a fine stand-alone read. However, you'll have a better understanding of Adelicia Acklen and Claire Munroe.(less)

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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  3,698 ratings  ·  441 reviews

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Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. Boom. Done.

Oh, so you were looking for little more with this review? That’s fair, so how about: This book is really, really, reallllllly amazing, so read it! Like now!

Alright…alright…I’ll try and share my love for this novel in a only a few words…

My first thought after finishing A Beauty So Rare was that I didn’t give it permission to end. I was not prepared nor willing for this story to end. But it did anyways.

So rude.

But y’all. I cried. I sighed. And then cried again.

I lo
This was a pretty great read. The main characters and side characters were absolutely lovable, and this is one of the few novels where I actually really liked the female lead. Writing was solid, and the plot flowed, although I felt like the book could have been just a bit shorter. Overall really entertaining, and a great addition to the series.
An excellent Reconstruction-era tale about a young woman, impoverished in war, attempting to take care of her father, who is losing his reason to dementia. Her very rich cousin-by-marriage takes her in and means well by her, but doesn't understand Eleanor's passion for cooking.

I loved the rich historical detail, the colorful characters, and also that the romantic parts were subdued rather than soapy. I also loved that Eleanor isn't beautiful and is a tall heroine! And the cover matching the stor
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Library copy. This is my first read by this author, though I've been aware of her for some years. Though it is classified as historical fiction, I would call it historical romance, which is not my favorite genre. That being said, for a good portion of the book I had a love-hate relationship with the story. Obviously from my rating, the book won.

I love the cover! The characters are well developed and intricate and diverse (and more than a few but not confusing). The action started on page 1 and c
Kellyn Roth
Originally posted on Reveries Reviews.

When I began this book, it’d been a while since I’d read anything by Tamera Alexander. I really love her writing style, and this was no exception.

Historic Nashville is such an intriguing place, and the characters in it – some based on real-life, other fabricated – are equally as fascinating. I really adored this book. The historical details were amazing, I liked both Eleanor and Marcus, and of course I still love ‘Aunt Adelicia.’ She’s really the most amazin
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m very behind with this review due to enjoying a wonderful Christmas season and putting my eARC reviews high on the priority list. My mother-in-law even asked me why I hadn’t reviewed it yet! (I loaned her book #1 a few months ago.) So, here we go. (For those of you who regularly read my reviews, you will note a bit of a “rerun” on the bottom of this review from my review for To Win Her Favor about the books in this series and those of Ms. Alexander’s other recent series set in the Nashville a ...more
Jasmine Shadows
If you enjoy reading stories about the Postbellum era then yes I recommend this book. The characters are real with faults and with strengths. There are portions that will stir a sympathetic chord in your heart, but there are also portions that will have you spouting at the characters. It is a very well balanced story. You will find some characters insufferable, but the main characters you will love and root for as they reach for their dreams and face challenges that were a basic truth of the era ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My Comments
What a DE-LIGHT-FUL book!! Goodness, this is my first time reading Alexander’s work, but I sensed something SOOOOOO special about this story I couldn’t pass it up…..indeed, EVERY part of this book was wonderfully written and tangibly enjoyed from the FIRST page! I am NOT a fan of pink, but I couldn’t stop looking at that BEAUTIFUL cover while reading and the story never failed to keep my attention through almost 500 pages. It was such an amazing read that I even forgot to take notes!
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Eleanor Braddock, a spinster--plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty--has long since dismissed any hope of marriage. But when a dying soldier whispers his final words, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. But this compassionate deed takes a harsh turn, and Eleanor finds herself dependent upon the richest woman in America and the most despised woman in Nashville--her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, mistress of Belmont Mansion. A clandestin
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am so thankful that the author is not afraid to write a long book. It is not long for the sake of being long, but long to do justice to the plot, and she certainly does that. Besides working several plot threads that require time, Alexander develops the characters, the setting, and the historic detail that bring the novel to life, turning the length purely to her advantage. There is no pointless puttering around, but every passage is working towards the conclusion.

The author does a marvelous
Carrie Pagels
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beauty So Rare, A
~Bethany House Publishers

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Belmont Hit!, March 24, 2014
By Carrie F. Pagels "Carrie Fancett Pagels"

This review is from: Beauty So Rare, A (A Belmont Mansion Novel Book #2) (Kindle Edition)

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
Kate (The Shelf Life)
I'm kind of reading this series in reverse, but thankfully, it works. I started with the last book in the series first, A Note Yet Unsung. Even though these books are in order, they can still work as a stand-alone.

Tamera Alexander brings post Civil War Nashville to life in this 2nd installment of the Bellemont Mansion series. There is very intricate detail to the historical facts that pop off of the page. The characters are very well fleshed out. Along with those two very important things, she h
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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. A ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I liked this book, I don't think it was as strong as the other Tamera Alexander novels I've read. I liked both Eleanor and Marcus, and saw character growth in both of them to some extent (though it seemed more so with Marcus), and I really liked that their relationship was based on friendship.
I wasn't a fan of the way they both 'lied by omission' to each other, especially after their friendship was strong. There was one part that was especially bothersome to me, when Eleanor questioned Mar
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Part of what I said about the first novel of this series holds true for this second one: "I really loved this historical novel. It was a complex, sweet story, and I enjoyed the characters." Also like the first novel, this second one was written well and had well developed characters; however, there wasn't an element of suspense in this one as there was in the first, which I was a bit disappointed by, but I still really loved the novel and how the main characters gradually ended up truly becoming ...more
Brooke Barenfanger
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was very excited when I saw the cover for A Beauty so Rare. I have to say, before reading it I was wondering whether the plot would be a repeat of the first two books in the series. However, it was decidedly not. It wasn’t much similar to Lasting Impressions or To Whisper Her Name save for the time period. But I think I enjoyed it even more than them, if that is even possible.

I have read all of Tamera Alexander's books and I do believe that A Beauty so Rare is my absolute favorite of all tha
Cara Putman
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adore Tamera Alexander's historical romances set in post Civil War Nashville. They capture the essence of reconstruction in a realistic way while telling a story I can disappear into. This story-telling sets a high standard and leaves me wondering if she can do it again. She does!

In A Beauty so Rare, Eleanor Braddock is not a beautiful woman in the traditional southern sense, so she has resigned herself to a life of singleness. because of her father's illness she has to find a way to support
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be one I didn't want to put down. The characters were well developed, there was a good tension between the two main characters, and it wasn't full of mushy romance.

As I said in other reviews, I will rate the sex factor. This book proves a good Christian novel can be written without the questionable foreplay that is so popular in today's "Christian" novels. There is a sexual tension hinted at, but there is honor in both characters.

This is a book I can recommend.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know what it is but I really enjoy these books. The look at post Civil War in Nashville and the society rules, roles and norms just fascinates me. The stories and characters are original and fun to read.

Highly recommend.
Bluerose's  Heart
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hug-worthy! Gush-worthy! I adored(ADORED!!!)this book, from beginning to end!

Eleanor won a place in my heart as one of my favorite leading ladies to ever pass through my reading imagination. She's considered "plain" as far as her outward appearance goes. She's exceedingly tall for a lady, taking her looks from her father, and well past the "marrying" age. With so many men lost to the war, combined with her "plainness", she's given up hope of a husband. Inward, though, she's as beautiful as they
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I am a fan of Tamera Alexander because I can always count on her novels to be decent and delightful, filled with engaging dialogue and great characters.
And with A Beauty So Rare, I was not disappointed.

The first thing I loved about this novel is how many pages it had! It sounds odd, but it has been my experience that when a book is bulky, it usually means that I'm in for a well-rounded story experience. And it was true with A Beauty So Rare.

I also loved the different perspective Alexander took o
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, historical
Are you ready to be transported to another time and place, one that will capture your heart and attention? If so, then open up A Beauty So Rare. This novel is a treasure trove of delight! To say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, is putting it mildly. The time period, the characters and their story just leap to life. You will be enchanted with the wonderful, well rounded and intriguing characters found within the pages! I loved Eleanor and Marcus, and their fascinating friendship.

Not only that, but t
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have finally -- finally! -- reached the end of this book. It took me considerably longer than my typical reading pace, something that troubled me somewhat, as this is not a reflection on the book itself; as you can clearly see, I rated it four stars. It wasn't until I was a solid 75% in that I realized what I was doing...and why. You see, there were sections of this book that weighed heavy on my heart -- (view spoiler) ...more
At page 108- I can't believe I'm typing this, but I'm bored. The first book of this series was such a surprising delight I should have known that the sequel would have a hard time living up to my inflated expectations. The thing is, I adored the H in the first book. He was a gentleman, and while he had his flaws I couldn't help but root for him. The same went for the h.

On the other hand, the MCs in this book were underwhelming. The beginning of the book started out well but things started going
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
The ending seemed rushed and I felt the story could have been better wrapped up. BUT other than that the storyline was great, and the characters fantastic. I can say that I am still a fan of this author; her morals are so well developed, and I love reading her works.
Grace Bittle
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Reading the back of the book I thought I would really enjoy it but, when I finished reading it I felt like there should have been more. This book was a pleasant read but not what a was hoping for. It has a good story line but, the end of the book was packed in just a few chapters so it wasn't the best ending. ...more
Courtney Clark
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Beauty So Rare is a beautiful novel that shares the hearts of the characters - and the beauty of God's provision for us. Rich in historical details, it is set at the beautiful Belmont Mansion in Nashville (still standing today).

Both Eleanor and Marcus are enduring new seasons in their lives. Eleanor is unsure of herself, feeling somewhat out of place now as the responsible adult of the family, with her father dependent on Eleanor’s decisions. She has to learn to trust and to have a different r
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog (to be posted 5/31):

A Beauty So Rare is the second book in the “Belmont Mansion” series and another wonderful read. I really enjoyed the plant and architecture aspects in the story and how caring Eleanor was about widows and children.

I loved the characters and, while I still really liked Adelicia (who was my fav from A Lasting Impression), I think my favorite character this time
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nancee by:
Tamera Alexander is a masterful author of historical fiction and romance. "A Beauty So Rare" is no exception! From the hospital tents toward the end of the Civil War and their gruesome particulars to the extravagant wealth represented at Belmont Mansion, detailing is well orchestrated. The Belmont Mansion's conservatory reveals architecture and statuary that rival landmarks in Rome, not to mention the grandeur of the roses and other floral plants that it houses. The ravages of poverty are depict ...more
Laura Van Nice
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a rare thing when an author balances poignancy and humor and Tamera Alexander does it beautifully in A Beauty So Rare.

The story itself is weighty, highlighting characters who struggle with intense personal insecurities, conflicting desires and deep loss, and yet these issues don't weigh it down. Instead they serve as a platform for the characters to grow both in their faith and as people. Additionally the fun, playful banter between Eleanor and Marcus is a light, sweet note that plays thro
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 02:30PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Oct 22, 2014 03:22PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 3 Jul 07, 2014 05:54PM  

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Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels. ...more

Other books in the series

Belmont Mansion (3 books)
  • A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1)
  • A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3)

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