If you like mysteries, suspense, romance, and a complex plot rolled up into one 300+ page novel, you will enjoy A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson. This is the second book in a series, and while I have not read the first book, which I was slightly disappointed to find that this was book two when I received the book, I think that the books must be separate enough that one could just read each book individually and not feel as though they are missing any part of the series. I know it was definitely so with this book.
Graf Von Bergen travels, with his daughter Phoebe, from their home in Germany to America to buy cheap sapphires for the esteemed Sapphire Duchess. Unbeknownst to Phoebe, her father has some shady dealings going on and Phoebe is about to be in for the shock of her lifetime when they stay at a little hotel in Montana. The mother she long thought died on a ship traveling to America is a maid at the hotel and trying to keep her cover because Phoebe’s father is not aware she is there either; she is afraid if she is found out, that hers and Phoebe’s lives would be in grave danger due to past attempted correspondence.
Ian Harper has known Phoebe’s mother since she came to America and has always thought her beautiful, but way too old for him. Needless to say, when he sees Phoebe who is a carbon copy of her mother, he is immediately entranced with her beauty and yearning for ways to get to know her better and get closer to her. His one dilemma is that his little sidekick, Kenny, takes an immediate liking to Phoebe, but Phoebe doesn’t really know who Kenny is and Ian feels the need to protect the secret until the right timing for the safety of all involved.
Certain circumstances along the way bring Phoebe’s perfect world caving in and things she thought were constants in her life turn out to be nothing but shattered illusions. Being with her mother again has rekindled her childhood faith, but will the faith stand through the test and trials and fires of life, or will it crumble under the pressure?
This book is a heavy read content wise. There are topics of abuse and such that aren’t usually detailed in a Christian fiction book, but it definitely is a good book and worth the read. It’s one of those books that you won’t quite know the ending until it’s there. This book is definitely for mature readers as some of the content will be a little difficult for younger readers and isn’t necessarily what a younger reader should read.
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I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.