A Beauty Refined

A Beauty Refined

4.2 27
by Tracie Peterson
     
 

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Tracie Peterson Delivers Bestselling Historical Fiction with Romance and Adventure

Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to accompany her father when he travels from Germany to purchase sapphires in Montana. Little does she know that her father's plans—for the gemstones and his daughter—are not what they seem.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena,

Overview

Tracie Peterson Delivers Bestselling Historical Fiction with Romance and Adventure

Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to accompany her father when he travels from Germany to purchase sapphires in Montana. Little does she know that her father's plans—for the gemstones and his daughter—are not what they seem.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the 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. Phoebe is determined to stay in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger as the deception begins to unravel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/09/2016
Peterson continues her faith-based historical journey with this feel-good second Sapphire Brides romance (after A Treasure Concealed). The year is 1907 and German-born Phoebe Von Bergen has come to Helena, Mont., with her father, Count Von Bergen. They’re on a grand tour of the world for the count’s business interests—specifically the acquisition of sapphires. The journey brings Phoebe more than she was prepared for as unexpected dark secrets await in the American West. Ian, who lives in Helena, is a man of strong faith who abhors a lie. He finds himself wrapped up in the beautiful young Phoebe’s life after he discovers that the woman living in his home is Phoebe’s long-lost mother—a convenient coincidence. In a situation fraught with betrayal and facades, Ian is the only person Phoebe can turn to. Peterson employs a boilerplate plot and unimaginative characterization, concentrating most of her attention on the flowing descriptions of the pre-WWI American West. Despite the story being light on substance, the underlying message of the triumph of faith and honesty makes for a satisfying if saccharine read. (July)
Library Journal
06/01/2016
Phoebe, the daughter of a German count, is shocked when she finds out her father lied to her about her family origins and his intentions for bringing her to America. But in Montana she falls in love with Ian, who teaches her about self-forgiveness and accepting others.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764213250
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/05/2016
Series:
Sapphire Brides Series , #2
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
63,929
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. 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. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

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A Beauty Refined 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Shivani2 11 days ago
This book caught my attention from the Synopsis. It was a little vague, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I loved almost every minute of it! My favorite part about this book was probably how shocking the plot itself was. One of the major points Phoebe finds out sets this whole book in motion, and I loved watching Phoebe grow as a character and woman as she continued to face obstacles in this book. The undertones of serious issues I think were dealt in the correct way in this book, and although there was romance in the book, it did not overshadow the bigger concepts and ideas that the book was trying to get across Something that was a personal preference for me that I did not quite enjoy was that this book did have Christian heavy characters, so there were lines from the Bible, church, and praying. I’m not a Christian, so I don’t believe in some of the things mentioned, but I still got the chance to enjoy the story. The concept of this book was quite a different approach as to showing the big ideas, because the plot was something very original. Usually the main characters are not diamond carvers and take take place in Montana, and that’s just another thing that made it unique and enjoyable to read. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!
Sparrowhawk24 23 days ago
A Beauty Refined was a remarkably well-executed storyline with well-crafted characters that shed light on the issues of domestic abuse from a Christian vantage point. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, and to anyone looking for a bit of courage ― I liked it! ___________________________________ WHAT I LIKED + A Beauty Refined takes place during a time when industrial and mining capitalism was on the rise in America; hence, the name for the series Sapphire Brides. Through this lens, Tracie Peterson gives the reader a glimpse into the unrelenting greed and deception in the heart of man and I suppose this is where the book held its merit. That is to say, for a Christian fiction, this book added a surprising amount of weight and depth. It questions the nature of divorce, it challenges the reader’s morality and vantage point, and it reminds us that whilst our past may look grim and hopeless, God is able to restore those who call upon His name into a beauty refined. + A Beauty Refined prides itself with an incredible amount of character development for such a short story. Most of this development focuses on our tragic protagonist, Phoebe who sadly endured a lot of heartache and calamity. Truly, I was stricken with so much grief given her dire circumstances and how they each affected her character arc. It goes without saying that, most of the plot’s climax is rooted in this deep internal conflict. It’s a story that touches on truly frightening issues and the book does a great job at depicting these real life motifs. The other main character who stole the spotlight was Phoebe’s egocentric father, Graf Von Bergen; ugh! I’ve read a good handful of books penned by Tracie Peterson and I have to say, this antagonist goes down as the worst! This brute imbued all the radical traits of a misogynist cynic which made him more than an archetype ― he is condescending, ambitious, narcissistic, erratically violent with a severe inferiority complex View Spoiler ». I was truly skeptical about the way Tracie Peterson was going to resolve the conflicts surrounding Graf Von Bergen’s character arc. I won’t reveal the end, but let’s just say, it was undeniably intense, nail-biting and well-drawn out; I was left agape, to say the least, and we’ll leave it at that. + Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite writers in the historical fiction genre; thus, it comes as no surprise to say that I loved the writing in A Beauty Refined; particularly how it feels very much like a Colonial novel and imbues a clever yet dark tone to the narration; dark in light of its thematic scope. Even more, the book that is riddled with German culture, even the dialogue! THINGS THAT MADE GO HMMM. . . - The only quibble I had with A Beauty Refined was with its otherwise torpid pacing; specifically with the scenes where we are told how sapphires are graded and formed. I don’t mean to disprove the author’s extensive research and study, however, these factors just didn’t seem to pique my interest. Nevertheless. . . Full review @ http://www.mysoulcalledlife.com/2016/09/04/book-review-a-beauty-refined-by-tracie-peterson/
ChasRay0 4 months ago
A Beauty Refined is the second book in Tracie Peterson's Sapphire Brides series. Although it is the second book it can be read as a stand alone. I have read them both and highly recommend each one. Graf Von Bergen is on a business trip to America. He is to be buying sapphires from Ceylon for the Dutchess She has deemed those the best, but he has found he can ger beautiful sapphires elsewhere. Not only are the sapphires beautiful in Montana, they are also a great deal cheaper. Even with his travel expenses he can still save a great deal, of course he doens't plan on telling the Dutchess they aren't from Ceylon, nor does he plan to give her the money he saves. The Graf is a man used to getting his way, one way or the other. He commands, rather demands respect and will not tolerate anyone crossing him or getting in his way. Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to travel with her father. She has heard much about America and can't wait to see if those stories are true. Used to her father's temper she doesn't think much about it when he barates the hired help. Afterall, if they did what he asked he would have no reason to get upset. She isn't cold hearted, but after losing her mother at such a young age she does tend to make excuses for his unacceptable behavior. Phoebe is nothing like her father, she takes after her deceased mother both in looks and in manners. Due to her father's frequent meetings, Phoebe tends to spend a lot of time by herself. She dones't mind however, there is plenty to do and explore both at the hotel and in the city of Helena. On one of her excursions touring the grounds she bumps into Ian and Kenny. They quckly become friends and she enjoys spending time with the duo. A Beauty Refined is a story that reminds us things aren't always what they seem. Graft Von Bergen seems to have everything a man could ask for: money, social standing, a handsome son and lovely daughter and a dream job of buying gems for a Prussian Dutchess. However, a long held secret comes to light and threatens to destroy the very image that the Graft has tried so hard to contain. This is yet another wonderful work of art by Tracie Peterson You will fall in love with the characters and be carried away back in time to a world most have forgotten. Of course, if you're like me you won't love all the characters. Along with the Graft there were a few others who made my stomach turn. It's hard to believe some people can really be that despicable. It's not all doom and gloom however, and I don't mean to give you that impression. There is also love, friendship and families restored. A Beauty Refined is a must read for those who love historical romance, and if you've never read a historical romance novel then I recommend you start with A Beauty Refined. You won't regret it! *I was given a copy of A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House Publishers in exchage for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own.
Indywrites 4 months ago
The moment I had read the book blurb of A Beauty Refined, I was hooked. A book that promised love, beauty, mystery and intrigue along with a historical romance begged to be read. I was not disappointed; the book is well written, full of surprises and twists that keep me awake. The times, culture, mannerisms, parties and times of a bygone era are depicted so perfectly by the author. Phoebe is beautiful, sweet and a delight to be around, her gentle nature and calm demeanor was so endearing. She invoked admiration and ruffled many a hearts with her exquisite beauty but it was the gentle, handsome Ian who she fell in love with. The book has the sweet, slow romance between the two and it was so refreshing to read the nothing urgent, getting to know each other kind of love. Where holding hands was a big thing and stealing looks the ultimate rush. The suspense in the book is from Elizabeth, and Frederick Graf Von Bergen, Phoebe’s father. His search for the sapphires and his underhanded ways. The cheating, lying and trickery would put any modern day movie to shame. A lie that changed lives and deprived children, a man so selfish and evil that he would not hesitate to harm his own. Above all this, the case of domestic violence – a cruel truth that age, money or culture has no impact on the nature of a person inclined to abuse. The book handled the sensitive subject of marital abuse, lies and infidelity with a gentle touch. The author has done full justice to the topic. She highlighted the fear and helplessness of the victim and how one must stand up against abuse. How difficult it was for a woman to survive and escape the violence in that era. The book draws heavily from god, asking us to keep faith and that even though we might feel slighted or forgotten by god, it is never so. Just like the stones and sapphires are faceted and polished to make them shine, god tests us to make us stronger. It is all about the intangible faith and love. The author, Tracie Peterson has intertwined faith and prayer with the challenges faced by the characters making them stronger effortlessly. Ian and Phoebe find themselves after almost losing each other, the dramatic twist, the intrigue and the quest to procure and sapphires all lead to the climax which quite a cliff-hanger. I was more worried about Ian than anyone else, I am biased towards him. A leisurely read that was a good romantic read as well as full of drama – a historical romance with all the grandeur of yesteryears.
ARS8 4 months ago
A Beauty Refined is written in the usual Tracie Peterson fashion. In this one we are taken to a hotel resort in Montana with Phoebe Von Bergen and her father. She has accompanied her father from Germany to America so that he may acquire sapphires for a wealthy heiress. However, in the midst of all the usual business of her father’s, Phoebe finds out that what she thought was her life has turned out to be lies. Now confronted with another reality, she must now find out who is telling the truth. Danger abounds in this novel when those you trusted most mean to do you harm. One of the big lessons from this story is when do you tell the truth, sometimes or always? When all is going well and everything lines up or do you always tell the truth no matter how hard, even when you’re very life depends on it? I liked how the story revolved around bringing out the flaws of gems, and showing how life’s circumstances and trials can shape you and make you the beautiful jewel in God’s eyes that you were meant to be. There is a romance, but I think this story deals much more with familial relationships. This is the second in the series of the Sapphire Brides but it read well as a standalone. My thanks go to Litfuse Publicity for providing me with a copy for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
BrittanyMc 5 months ago
A Beauty Refined was a very interesting, enjoyable, and easy to read novel. I thought the author did a great job at creating a very complex backstory to weave these characters together. And my, oh my! What a cast of characters they were! I really liked Phoebe right from the start. She had been very sheltered, however, when her eyes were opened to the truth and many terrible things were revealed to her, she showed her strength of character. I also liked the spiritual journey that the author took her on. Although Ian frustrated me a little bit at the beginning of the book, I soon warmed to him and enjoyed watching him grow closer to Phoebe. A Beauty Refined contained a sweet romance, past hurts that were revealed, danger, and a villain so deceitful and mean that it was hard to watch as he took his vengeance out on all who opposed him! A Beauty Refined is a good addition to the Sapphire Brides series, yet is also able to be read as a complete stand alone novel. I received a compimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Normally I am a huge fan of Tracie Peterson, but this book just did not cut it for me. The plot was rushed. The characters were underdeveloped, and a huge twist was made blatantly obvious and then revealed near the beginning of the book. I felt like this made the rest of the book feel like an afterthought, and she really had to reach to keep the story going. She lost me about halfway through, but I kept reading. Not her best work.
Britney_Adams 5 months ago
A Beauty Refined is an intriguing tale of danger, deception, and romance! When Phoebe Von Bergen arrives in Montana with her father, she is shocked by several unexpected discoveries. I was quickly captivated by Phoebe’s story, not putting the book down until the last page had been turned. I delighted in the historical details included in the narrative, as well as the threads of suspense and romance. Tracie Peterson transports readers to the past with her beautiful storytelling, and I can’t wait to read more of her stories! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Digging4Pearls 5 months ago
Phoebe Von Bergen jumped at the chance to accompany her father to America. The rugged beauty of Helena, Montana stirs her heart in a way she hasn't experienced before. She's content to explore while her German father is occupied with purchasing sapphires. Ian Harper is intrigued by the sophisticated young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel. He comes to learn more about her father's true reasons for the trip and the lies that she's been told. He battles with the hurts from his past and leading her to true freedom. Tracie Peterson once again delivers an enchanting tale, steeped in historical accuracy. The reader will continue to turn pages until the very end and wish for more. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 for happily-ever-afters. This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers - 2016.
NatashaMarieL 5 months ago
Wow...where to start! I must admit, I'm not all that hard to please when it comes to novels. As long as they're clean and entertaining, I'm happy. But I feel that this particular story is an exceptionally well cut gem (pun totally intended - I'm not sorry). I really enjoyed Tracie's first book in the Sapphire Brides series, but this one completely and utterly surpassed it! The plot was fabulous. Kept me on the edge of my seat and turning pages as fast as I could. Phoebe is not only the main character, but ended up being my favorite character, which doesn't always happen. Very sweet, proper, very in control of her emotions, willing to experience new adventures. I found much to admire about her. I appreciated her loyalty to her father, refusing to believe the worst about him until she was forced to. We know from the beginning that he is a hard man, willing to do anything to keep is business (and secrets) safe, but it takes a lot for her to believe it. I will say no more because spoilers. Ian is very nice. Not very exciting, but nice. And I don't mean that in a negative way at all. He's the type that girls would actually want to marry. Maybe he doesn't lead a super exciting life, but he's steady, has a good job, and loves the Lord. And, of course, good looking, so how could you go wrong? I appreciate the strong Christian characters in this story. When they live and talk their faith, it feels real and believable. Not forced at all. Which is rare in Christian fiction, unfortunately. I also really, really appreciated the fact that Ian and Phoebe saved their first kiss for after they were married. So many "Christian" novels are packed full of steamy, border-line inappropriate romantic scenes. I would gladly hand this book to my daughter when she's in her later teens with an easy mind. Well done Tracie Peterson! I can't wait to read your next book! : : I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. : :
Deal_Sharing_Aunt 5 months ago
I just finished reading "A Beauty Refined" and I really liked the story. This was written by Tracie Peterson who has written many great stories. This is one that is about a girl named Phoebe Von Bergen who is in America. She is a German count's daughter. She thinks that she can trust her father but he has some secrets. Ian Harper has just met her and he does not want to see her hurt. He knows her father's secrets though and he is not sure what to do. Maybe they will start to think of each other as more than just friends. Should he tell her what he knows? I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book for a review. I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. These are all my opinions.
LVandercook 5 months ago
I was given a copy of Tracie Peterson’s book A Beauty Refined from Bethany Publishing House in exchange for my honest review. I should remember that Tracie Peterson is not my favorite author. I don’t mind the premise of some of her books, although this one had some parts that I had to disagree with completely, however, the style that she writes in is very unrealistic. She does not have a good sense of how people think or speak when it comes to religion and forces it out of their mouths in such unnatural ways. I read a line and think, “No one would ever say that!” Warning this book contains physical abuse. Please do not continue reading the review if you are sensitive to this topic. This book dealt with a husband beating his wife and daughter, and the way that Tracie has the situation handled is very weird. When the daughter is beaten for the first time she stays locked in her room while she heals from the abuse. Even her mother, who had also been abused didn’t think the timing to be weird and think to go and check on her. It was awful. The way that Ian acts about the situation is also very weird. A man should do everything in his power to protect a woman from being beaten, and he didn’t seem to think that. Instead he puts a woman in a place of danger with a person that he is positive has beaten her to the point of murdering 3 unborn children. I recommend this book to no one, and especially do not recommend this book to anyone who is sensitive towards physical abuse.
THouchin1 5 months ago
I love Tracie Peterson’s writing! She always has wonderful characters that I fall in love with. This book is no exception. Phoebe, Ian, Kenny, Elizabeth along with the antagonistic Count are all very well written. Phoebe has led a sheltered life in Germany. Her father takes her on a business trip to Helena, Montana where he will purchase sapphires for a client. Things are never as they seem. He has more planned for poor Phoebe than she can fathom. He is being deceitful not only about the sapphires but about his marriage plans for Phoebe. as well. While her father is in meetings Phoebe is excited to wander around the hotel grounds and learn as much about this foreign land as she can. She meets a handsome man and an adorable young boy at the hotel’s natatorium. Little does she know the role these two will play in her future. The setting is beautifully described. I can just picture this regal hotel out in the middle of the Montana rolling hills. The natatorium with the huge boulder waterfall, filled with warm spring water that has healing properties. The beautiful formal gardens that I would love to wander through. The quaint town that was a trolley ride away. They all sound beautiful. Phoebe finds that there are many secrets waiting to be uncovered in this Montana town. Her father is not the man she thought him to be, The suspense pulls us along page by page. I didn’t want to put this books down. I want to thank Bethany House for giving me a copy of this book to review. Here is my honest review. I think you will love this book. It is full of surprises and a sweet romance too.
Heart2Heart 5 months ago
Secrets. Intrigue. Sapphires. Romance. Suspense. Two Continents. A Family Torn apart. These all fall into the latest novel from Tracie Peterson, A Beauty Refined, the second novel in the Sapphire Brides series. From the family home in Germany, Phoebe Von Bergen and her father are in Helena, Montana in search of the treasures from the Montana Sapphire mines. Said to be of equal quality to those of Ceylon, Count Von Bergen has been hired to construct the latest in jewelry for the Duchess all bearing prize sapphires. But as honest as his intentions may be, deep down inside he holds a secret that will threaten to topple his plans not only for financial success but in marrying off Phoebe to the Duke has he already chosen. As compliant to her fathers wishes Phoebe is, she believes she is only doing her part as a woman in keeping the family estate going smoothly. It has always been her father's plans to arrange for the same marriage that he, himself, garnered when he wed Phoebe's mother. After all, women need to understand their role and place in society especially in the titled circles they esteem from. Now he needs to tie up a few loose ends and then arrive back home in Germany in time for Phoebe's arranged wedding. Only problem is, that she is not aware that any plans have been made. All she knows for certain, is that she has accompanied her father to America to see the famous legends she has only read or heard about. Cowboys and Indians, and the famed wild west. While her father leaves for a few weeks to search out the stones he desires from the Montana mines, Phoebe runs into more than just fate. It appears that the story her father constructed of her mother's ill-fated sinking at sea has been just that, a rumor and a lie. She only realizes it when she runs into a woman who looks eerily like her mother working as a maid in the hotel she is staying at. Now she has a few short weeks to uncover the truth before her father returns and she will have to face him and the lies he has built over these years in her young life. Can God really help her? Has God orchestrated this divine appointment just in the nick of time? What role does Ian Harper have to play as the hired lapidary for her father's sapphire purchase? Only time will tell as it all plays out. I received A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased personal opinion. We all have secrets in our family at one time or another, but in this case the lies that Count Von Bergen have constructed is a like a game master choosing precisely how each piece will move in accordance to his desires. The only thing he fails to control however, is what happens when it all doesn't go according to plan? What happens when the only control you think you have is all in your own mind? I love it when the plans of evil are foiled by God as only light can truly uncover darkness. Darkness always exists, it just takes light to cause it to pull back and withdraw. Readers of historical romance and fans of Tracie Peterson's novel will love this recent addition to their own personal library much like I have. This one now squeezes in to my own library and garners a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
VicG 5 months ago
Tracie Peterson in her new book “A Beauty Refined” Book Two in the Sapphire Brides series published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the lives of Phoebe Von Bergen and Ian Harper. From the back cover: 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. Helena, Romance and Brides these are the ingredients for a wonderful read. This time the focus is on Phoebe. She is an innocent just over from Germany. Ian, a lapidary who may be selling sapphires to Phoebe’s father, is a wise wonderful character but he has to put things together when it all begins to unravel for Phoebe a dark secret as well. There is a large amount of depth to keep you flipping pages. I recommend you start this book early as you are going to want to finish it before going to bed for the night. “A Beauty Refined” is a wonderful romance and the history of Helena is explored with some depth in this one. Ms. Peterson is an amazing writer and she has given us a great story with believable characters in Phoebe and Ian as well as the supporting players that we just fall in love with. I recommend this book and look forward to the next one in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
mymissdaisy 5 months ago
I truly can't say enough good things about this book. To tell you the truth I haven't recently been too interested in Historical novels. I began my adult reading career reading Historical Romance. And then I found contemporary. I was hooked. And then I found Contemporary Suspense. But because of Tracie Peterson's worked I am now a fan of Historical Romance again. And now a fan of Tracie Peterson. A Beauty Refined is book 2 in the series. I look forward to reading more in this series. The story was interesting from page one. I have to admit I expected a boy meets girl romance. Followed by events that separate them. And then the two getting together in for a happy ending. I was very wrong. And that was refreshing. There is a Happy Ending The romance is only part of the story. The storyline as described above is about the challenges Phoebe faces once she learns about lies and deceptions in her family. The story also has a bit of intrigue. There's some plotting, double-dealing, and underhandness in more than one character. These aspects of the story make it not a typical romance. And I liked that. A Beauty Refined is worthy of my 5 star rating. I wish to thank Litfuse for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. A huge thanks Tracie Peterson for re-introducing me to Historical fiction. This review is posted at MyJourneyback-thejourneyback.blogspot.com At at the following link parties: The Art of Homemaking, Share Your Cup, Create With Joy
mackenzie_carol 5 months ago
A Beauty Refined is the second book in Tracie Peterson’s Sapphire Brides series, coming after A Treasure Concealed. Though I didn’t get a chance to read the first book in this series, I had heard both good and not-so-good things about it, so I was a little nervous when I picked up this novel. Especially since the last book I read by Tracie—A Steadfast Heart—definitely was not one of my favorites. However, I have liked some of Tracie’s other past novels, so I decided to give this one a chance, and I was only somewhat disappointed. It was definitely better than A Steadfast Heart, but I can’t say that I really enjoyed this one all that much either, as I skimmed quite a bit of it. My first issue was with many of the scenes, especially at the beginning. While the story had much potential—in fact I really liked the plotline—so many of the scenes were slow, and I found myself bored and skimming them before I even realized it. There were quite a few fluffy parts that in my opinion could have been left out and would have made for a more enjoyable story. However, many of the other scenes were wonderful and I quickly read through them, although I absolutely hated to read the scenes written in Count Von Bergren’s perspective. He was far too slimy for me to enjoy reading anything he was thinking. The next issue I had was with a few of the characters. While they were each wonderful in their own way, except Von Bergren of course, I had just a few issues with them, Ian and Phoebe’s mother in particular. At the beginning of the book, Ian comes off to me as a little bit of a baby. When everything begins to unravel and he is forced to play a part, his reluctance based on the grounds of his own painful past is just a little too much to be believable. While I understand his struggles were real and probably caused him a lot of hurt, I can’t imagine a strong, compassionate man such as himself would really have that much of an issue with lying for the safety of someone he cares about. All in all however, I did like the ending, although some aspects were extremely unexpected. I suppose that’s a good thing though, since that means Tracie handled the element of surprise really well in that case. When it all boils down, I enjoyed the plotline, but I just wasn’t exactly fond of the way the story was told. Because of that, and the fact that I really skimmed my way through most of this novel, I unfortunately cannot give A Beauty Refined any more than three out of five bookshelves. But, I have read many other reviews of this novel, and not everyone is of the same opinion as me, so don’t let me keep you from giving this novel a try if you really want to, I just wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
WishEnd 5 months ago
A BEAUTY REFINED was a story about a woman who finds her past isn't at all what she thought it was and the danger, love, and spiritual trial she faces as the truth comes to light. The characters were lovely, the setting well-done, but the story a little slow. Those who enjoy books by this author or Judith McCoy Miller may enjoy this one. I really liked the characters, specifically Ian. He was strong but also gentle, intelligent, skilled, and honest. I also liked Phoebe for the most part and little Kenny added some fun to the story. I loved the time that Phoebe, Ian, and Kenny spent together and how the romance blossomed. The issues I had were in that the story didn't engage me the whole way through. There were also some places where things didn't click or feel realistic (such as a woman who has just been beaten and who has just come out of unconsciousness and hardly be able to talk to then have a full religious discussion; or a man and a pastor thinking it's okay to put people in harm's way and no one getting any authorities involved). Some of the conversations also felt stilted. In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a so-so read for me. Not bad, but not great. The books from this author that I have loved are the ones where I felt engaged the whole way through the story and had some great chemistry that you could literally feel off the pages. Those things were lacking in this story for me. Content: Some innuendo including suggestive, and some violence including references to abuse. Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity, which did not affect my review in any way.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A Beauty Refined is book 2 in the Sapphire Brides Series written by Tracie Peterson. Phoebe Von Bergen is the daughter of German Count Frederick Von Bergen. They have come to Montana for the Count to buy sapphires for the Sapphire Duchess. The sapphires in Montana are much cheaper than those requested and the Count is planning to make a lot of money cheating the Duchess. When Phoebe was twelve, she was told her mother, Elizabeth, had died while traveling to the United States. But Elizabeth is alive and working at the Broadwater Hotel, where Phoebe and her father are staying. While the Count is involved in his business, Phoebe is left to herself and meets Ian Harper, a friend of her mothers. Ian is also a lapidary and is consulted by the Count to cut the sapphires he purchases. On one of the Count's business travels, a message is delivered to Phoebe for him. Phoebe finds out that her father has arranged for her to marry an elderly duke. Everything that Phoebe has thought was true is unraveling in her life. She is finding out that her father has repeatedly lied to her. I really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed the part of Elizabeth, as she relied on prayer and sought out help from fellow Christian when she was struggling with issues. There also is a touch of romance between Ian and Phoebe. Even though it is book 2 in the series it is a stand alone story as well. This is a historical fiction set in Helena, Montana in the early 1900's. It is very well written and easy to read. The story has romance and suspense to keep it entertaining.
busymomoftwo 6 months ago
I enjoyed reading the complimentary review copy of A Beauty Refined. The historical setting of Montana in the early 1900s was the backdrop for this tale of discovering of the truth and the faith needed to face it. The author did a nice job of developing the landscape for the story, including the hotel that once was and was once again. I enjoyed reading about Pheobe's clothes, many of which were the latest fashion. Despite the fact that the thought of wearing the accoutrements associated with the fashion of that day do not appeal to me, there is something so fun about the thought that there were clothes for each type of day and even for the different 'occasions' of the day. How often do you get to dress for dinner in modern times? I must admit that I had to make a small effort to overcome the coincidence of Phoebe and her father arriving in Helena at the same hotel where her mother now worked. I recognize that without that coincidence, there would have been no story, but in the early 1900s it seemed a little bit of stretched opportunity for the German Count and his daughter. As the story unfolded and Phoebe began to learn that what she had always held as true, was not actually her reality, I really felt for her. The reader journeyed with her as she went through the stages of denial, recognition of the signs, many that she had dismissed, that supported the truth, and the recognition of the truth for what it was It takes exploration of her faith to allow her to come to terms with this new reality and in that journey, she finds that Ian is the one she can turn to and becomes a more important part of her life.
Debragg 6 months ago
I absolutely love all of the books that I have read by Tracie Peterson. "A Beauty Refined is no exception. Phoebe Von Bergen is in America for the first time. She has no idea that her father is hiding his real motives for being there from her. While she is there she meets a man named Ian Harper and he knows more about her family's past than she does. Phoebe really has a lot of issues that she has to face. Her family has so many problems and she has never been told the truth by anyone she has trusted. As she finds out some of the secrets she finds herself in danger as well as others that she cares about. Will she be able to ever have a family that cares about her? Will she ever really be safe? I was give this book by Litfuse Publicity Group for a review and these are my opinions. I give this book a 5/5. These are all my opinions.
Baranski1987 6 months ago
A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson is absolutely amazing. A Beauty Refined is book two in the Sapphire Brides series. This book is full of surprises and unexpected happenings. Tracie does such a wonderful job with the characters and the settings. She makes you feel as though you are part of this most wonderful story. You will be cheering your favorite characters on in this story while you want to slap others. This is a must read book. Be sure to get your copy today. I received a copy of this book for my honest review. 5 stars!
cathyc1 6 months ago
A very interesting story of what appears to be a loving father and his beautiful daughter Phoebe. But, things aren’t always what they appear to be as Phoebe soon finds out as she arrives in America. The changes she experiences aren’t just from a culture that she’s accustomed to. She sees a different side to her father, Count Frederick Von Bergen as they reach their destination in Helena, Montana. I liked Phoebe and Ian Harper. The relationship between them progressed at nice pace. The setting of the Broadwater Hotel was one that I really enjoyed as Phoebe explored the property and meets other characters. I’ve always liked Tracie Peterson and fine that she never disappoints in her unique story telling. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.
MaureenST 6 months ago
Phoebe Von Bergen, is following her father, the German Count, on a world tour looking for sapphires. They are now in Helena, Montana, and while her father is on a buying trip, she stays at the hotel and while on a walk literally runs into her dead mother. Obviously all that she knew was a lie perpetrated by her father, and what she learns will change the course of her life. She has always done everything her father asked and he has spoiled her, but she is compliant for him, until…well you need to read this book. I had the feeling that the Frederick was the personification of pure Evil, and everyone around him had better take care. He really doesn’t have a conscience and only loves one person, himself. Don’t let this story get away, it reads like your in the room with them, and you want to do something about what is happening, even to unlocking the door. I received this book through Bethany House Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
KrisAnderson_TAR 6 months ago
A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson is the second book in the Sapphire Brides series. Graf Frederick Von Bergen (Graf is like an English Count) has come to Helena, Montana to purchase sapphires for his client, the Sapphire Duchess. Frederick has brought his daughter, Phoebe with him on the trip. Phoebe has always been an obedient and doting daughter. Ian Harper, a lapidary, is visiting the hotel to speak with his mother when he sees Phoebe from afar. Phoebe looks just like someone he knows (but he is also drawn to her). Phoebe is walking around the grounds of The Broadwater Hotel where they are staying and sees a woman who looks just like her mother. Phoebe was told that her mother, Elizabeth, passed away when she was twelve (and still feels the loss deeply). It turns out that Phoebe’s mother is alive. There are aspects of her father that Phoebe is unaware of (or ignored). While the Graf is away for two weeks looking at a sapphire mine, Phoebe gets to know her mother and Ian. What Phoebe learns changes her view of her father and what she wants in life. What will the Graf do when Phoebe no longer bows to his wishes? A Beauty Refined is a lovely story that focuses on truth/honesty, faith, and the power of prayer. It contains good characters (like Phoebe, Elizabeth, Ian, and Kenny), a lovely setting (of Helena, Montana), and interesting time period of 1907 (summer). The novel is well-written (as are all of Tracie Peterson’s books) and easy to read. You can enjoy A Beauty Refined without having read the first book in the Sapphire Bride series (each book can be read alone). There is some violence in the books (fair warning) that can be disconcerting. I give A Beauty Refined 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I will definitely be reading the next book in the Sapphire Bride series (as well as any others books by Tracie Peterson). I received a complimentary copy of A Beauty Refined from NetGalley (and Baker Publishing) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book. The opinions and comments expressed above are strictly my own.