Monday, August 1, 2016

Reviw - A Beauty Refined

Bethany House; 320 pages; $14.99; Buy Link; Blog Tour

While I do review many Christian titles on here, I haven't always been a fan of the genre. Throughout my teen years I read only horror novels by Stephen King, Anne Rice and John Saul; however, I stumbled upon the Left Behind books around the summer/fall of 2000. After that I started to expand reading horizons, though I didn't begin to read Christian romances until after I read a Beverly Lewis's Amish title a year or so later.

Since then I have read hundreds of Christian titles, including ones written by Tracie Peterson. The first books I had read by her was the Heirs Of Montana series. Her newest novel "A Beauty Refined" (book two in the Sapphire Brides series) was released to bookstores last month.

Set in the 1907, the novel centers on Phoebe Von Bergen, a young woman who is visiting America for the first time with her German count father. She has been sheltered for most her life, so she is exciting about taking a trip to Montana, where her father is supposed to be picking up sapphires. However, her father isn't exactly truthful as he has other "business" plans that she isn't aware of.

Ian Harper runs into Phoebe while she is staying at the Broadwater Hotel, and of course he is instantly attracted to her. Despite her father's deceptions, sparks fly between Ian and Phoebe, which leads her to consider staying in the USA.

Final Thoughts: Being a fan of the author's other works, and after reading several good reviews on this title, my expectations were probably a bit too high for it. With a dazzling cover, an intriguing main character, and wonderful descriptions, the novel had all the ingredients for a great read, but sadly, for me, this wasn't the case.

While the author avoided all the typical cliches, I thought the plot was a little shallow. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but there was something just missing to me. Technically, this is a historical romance, but it's a little darker than what I expected it to be as it does have a subplot involving spousal abuse and child abuse. I don't mind that the author took on this dark subject, but I thought this part of the story was poorly written.

In the end, I'm left with mixed feelings about "A Beauty Refined." A part of me liked the setting, the descriptions, and the main character, Phoebe, but the overall plot left a bad aftertaste. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad read; however, I was disappointed with it. I'm crossing my fingers that the next book in the series will be better.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

A Beauty Refined Tracie Peterson

About the Author: Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.


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