Eleanor Braddock, a spinster at 30, has long since dismissed any hope of marriage. But when a dying soldier whispers his final words, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. But this compassionate deed takes a harsh turn, and Eleanor finds herself dependent upon the richest woman in America and the most despised woman in Nashville--her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, mistress of Belmont Mansion. A clandestine act of kindness leads Eleanor to an unlikely path for her life--building an orphanage, a place that will house widows and orphans from the Civil War. And while Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve.
Marcus von Quint, Archduke of the House of Habsburg and second in line to the Austrian throne, arrives in Nashville in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Collaborating with botanist Luther Burbank, Marcus seeks to combine his own passion for nature with his expertise in architecture. But his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the orphanage run contrary to the wishes of practical, frugal Eleanor, who sees his ideas as costly nonsense. Yet as the construction project continues, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expected.
But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor to marry, and even if he were, someone who knows Marcus's secrets is about to reveal them all.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Glenda on 17-10-17
The South Lost . . . get over it!
I enjoyed several different things about this book and I realize that atrocities were committed by both the North and the South but come on! Attempting to make the South's pro-slavery message more palatable by making "owners" nice to their "slaves" and more charitable to their communities is asking too much! Alexander could have at least made the prior slave owner to have had an epiphany of some sort recognizing "owning" people is bad!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Kathryn on 06-09-18
Excellent book and interesting portrayal of history.
Although we really enjoyed the book, it was very slow getting started: we were about to return the audible book when we finally understood the direction it was going. Also, at time the book seemed a little drawn out. The narrator’s reading with a British accent was sometimes difficult to understand making it difficult to increase the speed as we occasionally do when a story line seems too slow.