Journal

A Beauty Refined

27066698What 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.

**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

3 Stars

Every once in awhile, there are those books that you are torn between liking or not. This was one of those books for me.

On one hand, there were many things that I loved about it. The main characters, Ian and Phoebe were so wonderful to get to know. Ian’s job was fascinating and I loved seeing him at work as a lapidary. Phoebe was from a noble family travelling with her father. Stepping into each of their world’s was such fun. The secondary characters were also great. I also loved that so much of this book involved secrets and I couldn’t wait for each one to be discovered and to see how each would play out and impact the book.

But, sadly this book just fell flat for me somewhere. Perhaps there was a bit of tension missing even when the possibility for it was there. Or maybe things were actually a bit predictable for me. Either way, I never struggled to put this book down and come back to it later. I didn’t feel that rush to need to know what would happen next. And for that reason, I’m leaving this book at three stars. It was good, it was an easy read, but it was missing that tension that can make some books so wonderful.

About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 100 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.

Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings’ Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership’s vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell, Kimberley Woodhouse and her daughter Jennifer.

Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer’s conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents book line – overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women’s conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA “Best Books 2011” Awards, best Religious Fiction forEmbers of Love!

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family–especially her three grandchildren–Rainy, Fox and Max.

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