A Beauty Refined
By Tracie Peterson
Sapphire Brides #2
Bethany House, 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.
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Helena, Montana - 1907
A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson is an intriguing blend of history, romance, and relational drama, with spiritual depth throughout. Don’t expect this to be a “fluffy” romance, for Tracie has infused it with a richness of characterization and themes dealing with difficult life issues. The characters and setting captivated me from the first page and I never wanted to put it down. A Beauty Refined is book #2 in the Sapphire Bride series, continuing the story of the Montana’s Yogo sapphire mines, but stands alone.
Ian and Phoebe are two characters that I loved. I admired Phoebe’s way of accepting that reality was completely different from all that she had known. Ian has a strong, trusting faith in God, and it was fascinating to learn about sapphires through his vocation as a lapidary – the cutting, polishing, and removal of flaws. There’s a beautiful analogy to the refining process we go through as Christians in order to better reflect the beauty of Jesus.
There’s also a reality to this story, brought through themes of domestic abuse, greed, anger, and lying. Something that really spoke to me was Tracie’s confronting the perceived need to lie vs. total trust in God. My mind went back to the phrase that was so popular many years ago, situation ethics, which basically said that a sinful action can be okay if there’s no other way out of a bad situation. I thought the way Tracie dealt with this issue was compelling. I appreciate what she said in an interview, that “we are all works in progress, but we have to yield to the Master’s hand in order to fulfill all that He wants us to be.”
These words from Psalms, quoted by Pastor Clearwater to Phoebe’s mom, convey the essence of A Beauty Refined:
In God have I put my trust: I will not
be afraid what man can do unto me.
- Psalm 56:11
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. 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.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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