Thursday, May 22, 2014

Before it Was Music City {Giveaway}

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
: March 25, 2014 by Bethany House
Series: Belmont Mansion #2
I don't read very many historical romance books, and I read even less historical Christian romance books. But even so, they're a nice change of pace, as was this one. It's about an "old maid," or a 29-year-old, Eleanor Braddock, who goes to live with her aunt at Belmont Mansion in Nashville after the Civil War. While their she meets Marcus Gottfried, an under gardener working for her aunt, expect Marcus is actually an archduke of Austria trying to escape his life while he still can. And I'm guessing you can figure out where the story goes from there.

As you might expect the whole thing is rather adorable. Yes, there are time you want to pull your hair out because if people would actually say what they're thinking everything would be resolved so much sooner. Except then the book would likely end by page 10 or so. And I did love hearing about the society of Nashville in the 1800s. Although I was a little shocked about how well everyone seemed to be doing, especially when I compare it do the plight of society in my favorite, Gone with the Wind.

But still, it wasn't quite the perfect book. It felt far longer than it really needed to be. I understand keeping characters apart, but halfway through I wondered what else there really was to tell.

Also, I had a few minor complaints with one of the smaller characters Eleanor helps out. She decides to cook a meal for a widow and her won that are Jewish and mentions that she avoids pork because she's not sure if they'll eat it. Instead she cooks them beef with creamed potatoes. While each by itself would be kosher, I find it hard to believe Jews in the 1800s would ignore such a basic kosher rule. Of course I don't know a lot about the history of kashrut and I do realize this is marketed to a Christian audience, but still, it felt a little off to me.

All complaining aside though, I really enjoyed this book and I would love to be able to visit Belmont Mansion in Nashville someday (which is a real place). I'd also be more than willing to read the other books in the series, partly to check in on Eleanor and Marcus, but really because I loved this setting.


I'm happy to say if you want to travel back in time to Nashville in the 1800s you're about to have your chance! I'm giving away 1 copy of this book to one lucky reader. (US and Canada only.) Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I am in need of a new book to read and if this book is on your blog then it must be a good book ;) I would love to win. My email is Thank you (:

  2. Hm - sounds like a good summer read!

  3. I haven't read a romance novel in many years. I like that this has a historical aspect to it. I am kind of bummed that I did not get to Nashville while I lived in Charlotte but hopefully I will make it there eventually!

  4. Your review captured my interest. Many thanks for this giveaway. Being Jewish it is intriguing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I'm going to have to check this out since I live in Nash :) if you ever come here I'll gladly swing you by Belmont!