Tamera doesn’t shy away from having her characters face difficult situations. Eleanor Braddock, our plain looking but fabulous protagonist, certainly faces her share of hardships. Her father is battling dementia and she is forced to place him in an asylum, her aunt is planning her life to include a marriage of convenience, and her own dreams of starting up a restaurant are quickly extinguished.
However, it is during these difficult moments, that her life begins to take an unexpected direction. Eleanor, while out one day, meets one of the many war widows who are now trying to eke out a living in the city of Nashville. She begins using her own money and limited resources to cook and feed for the needy widows and their children. Although Eleanor would have never chosen this path for herself, she finds a sense of fulfillment she didn’t know was possible.
Unfortunately, this path seems to collide with the plans Eleanor’s wealthy aunt has for her future. Her aunt tries to help Eleanor mix with high class Nashville society so she can secure a match with bank president, Lawrence Hockley.
Complicating things further, Eleanor forms an unlikely friendship with the extremely good looking Marcus Geoffrey who she thinks is her aunt’s undergardener. However, Marcus Geoffrey is much more than he seems. Not only is he a gifted architect and botanist, but is also heir to the Austrian throne.
Eleanor and Marcus’s friendship quickly lead to romantic feelings, but Marcus is engaged to a Baroness back in Austria and will have to return back home soon to assume his responsibilities. Eleanor, on the other hand, needs a husband now as she knows she won’t be able to provide for the cost of her father’s care much longer.
When Eleanor finally goes out to dinner with Lawrence Hockley, she may have found the solution to securing her future. Lawrence, while painfully practical and void of any emotion, seems to be the answer to her prayers, but Eleanor is keenly aware her marriage would be devoid of any love.
Will Eleanor trust God to provide for her needs and continue on in the work she feels called to do? Will she marry the man who can certainly provide for both her needs and the needs of her father or will the thought of a loveless marriage be too high a price to pay?
This hard to put down novel challenges us to trust God in times of uncertainty, to see the people that may be hurting around us, and to embrace the courage to live out lives of purpose. I highly recommend this book….as in go get it now
From the Back Cover:
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.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.*
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