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.
MY REVIEW-I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! Tamera Alexander is one of those authors you go back to again and again because you trust their writing style. And believe me when I say that this novel is excellent.
As the book opens we meet Eleanor Braddock working as a nurse during the war between the states. She has seen so much and had to deal with things many women wouldn't dream about, yet she is still a tender and compassionate heroine who makes a promise to a dying man. One she intends to keep, even though nobody else knows about it and in the years to come she isn't able to follow through. This is just a beginning of my falling in love with her.
Skip forward a few years and we see the world changed after the war. Men are few and far between and most are not interested in a woman who is almost 30, no money to her name and not what you would call beautiful. Oh, and don't forget her height. Eleanor towers above most of them. We find her placing her father in an insane asylum after he is diagnosed with dementia and has had fits of anger, endangering his daughter. She is also going to live with her aunt, owner of the famed and illustrious Belmont Mansion. Aunt Adelicia was a lot different than I expected her to be. Not quite as charming as Eleanor but not near as snobby as I thought she would be. Not to say that she was the best of people, but I did like her.
Now to get to the fun, Marcus Goeffrey. Boy he was a favorite! Of course, there weren't many people I didn't like:) Marcus is in the US undercover as an architect while in reality he is an heir to the throne in Austria. I totally loved the lessons in botany and flora. It was so interesting. I think he was deceptive when he shouldn't have been but I also see why he was doing it. Once he comes down from his high horse he is kinda nice. I don't normally like characters who are full of themselves and automatically expect women to fawn over them.
Some of my favorite parts in this would be Eleanor cooking for others. The little gatherings with her and her friends. Another funny part was the exploring in the tunnels. Kind of fun when Eleanor and Marcus spar with their words. Love the witty dialogue!
This was an excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed. You also see mention of other characters from previous books. You did it again Tamera!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% mine. No monetary compensation was received.
**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**