A Marriage of Convenience, a change in circumstances, and the blossoming of true love.
Today we are thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson.
Isabelle and Alexander is a story about facing adversity with good grace and making the best out of what life has handled.
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 4, 2021)
ISBN-13 : 978-1629728476
Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time to combine the upper-middle-class wealth of her father’s coal mines with Alexander Osgood’s prospering Northern country textile mills. Though not a man prone to romantic gestures, Alexander is well-known as an eligible bachelor. His good looks have turned more than one head, so Isabelle is content to think of herself as Alexander’s wife.
However, her marriage is not what she expected. Northern England is nothing like her home farther west in the lake country. Cold, dreary, and dark, the soot from the textile mills creates a gray hue that seems to cling to everything in the city of Manchester. Alexander is distant and aloof, preferring to spend his time at the mill rather than with her at home. Their few conversations are brief, polite, and lacking any emotion, leaving Isabelle lonely and desperately homesick.
Sensing his wife’s unhappiness, Alexander suggests a trip to his country estate. Isabelle hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know her new husband without the distractions of his business. But the change of scenery doesn’t bring them any closer. While riding together on horses, Alexander is thrown from his and becomes paralyzed. Tragedy or destiny? The help and care that Alexander now needs is Isabelle’s opportunity to forge a connection and create a deep and romantic love where nothing else could.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
Links provided by the publisher
Isabelle was young and very sheltered. She was matched with Alexander by her father without being consulted or having ever met him.
When they finally met, Alexander turned out to be handsome but distant and cold. I felt for Isabelle in that impossible situation, and it hurt me to think how many real women have experienced that same helplessness.
Their relationship was detached and restrained. Two strangers married for life with no actual knowledge of one another.
And things got worse; Alexander suffered an accident that made him dependent and vulnerable.
Isabelle was so strong and loyal despite her youth and consequent lack of life experience. She was relentless in seeing the positive in everything and in trying to make things better.
I liked that Alexander was a mill owner respected by his employees. He had, in this sense, a John Thornton (North and South) vibe. I just wished he was a little more like John in his dealings with Isabelle. Alexander had a sense of inferiority that kept his walls high and his heart guarded.
My favorite side character was Glory, a lovely painter who struggled a bit and, at that time in history, was considered simple-minded and, therefore, worthless. Glory’s talent and friendship played an essential role in the story.
It was great to see that the caregivers’ struggles and perspectives were also portraited. Very often, stories forget about these heroes that do so much for those they love. Both Isabelle and Glory’s mom were great examples of selflessness and unconditional love.
Isabelle and Alexander is an emotional story about disability, perseverance, and love; a very inspiring read.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Rebecca Anderson is the nom de plume of contemporary romance novelist Becca Wilhite, author of Wedding Belles: A Novel in Four Parts, Check Me Out, and My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions. Isabelle and Alexander is her debut historical romance novel.
High school English teacher by day, writer by night (or very early morning), she loves hiking, Broadway shows, food, books, and movies. She is happily married and a mom to four above-average kids.