I love a good historical novel. One that sweeps me into a location that is enriched by a time I don’t know and a place that is new. Tracie Peterson has created such a place in her latest novel A Beauty Refined. This story is one of finding the truth in a forest of lies, discerning the truth when deception has been a regular occurrence. Many of us won’t battle through to the truth…and the risks of that are highlighted in this engrossing story.
The hero and heroine are real people from different cultures and experiences, and the attraction between them is real and strong. Ian is a renowned lapidary who finds himself caught with a secret and asked to do things he’s uncomfortable with. He knows there’s more to Phoebe from the moment he meets her, but he doesn’t expect the layers of complication. Phoebe comes to Montana thinking it will be a safe foray into the American West, but is not expecting the utter chaos that comes to her personal life when she arrives.
I love that the backdrop of the story is the sapphire mines of Montana. I didn’t realize that these jewels were mined in that state at the turn of the century. One of my favorite parts of historicals is learning something new, and this novel definitely delivered.
This book will delight lovers of historical fiction, with sweet threads of romance, history, and mystery artfully intertwined.
A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)
What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?
Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions—both for her and the gemstones—are not what she thinks.
Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie–a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.
Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.