About the Book
Book: Isabelle and Alexander
Author: Rebecca Anderson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Victorian Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: May 4, 2021
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.
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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.
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Praise for Isabelle and Alexander
“Anderson’s first foray into historical romance is an atypical, yet satisfying story set in Victorian Manchester’s upper middle class. Hand this to readers looking for a book that navigates the peaks and valleys of two strangers attempting to make a life together despite the hardships life throws at them.”— Library Journal
“Isabelle transitions from an unaware, leisure-class woman to a more enlightened spouse and supporter of the working class. Intimacy and romance develop between Isabelle and Alexander because of simple gestures, like a long look or a thoughtful gift, and their conversations. Their slow, stately courting is reader appropriate for any age or audience. Manchester also gets its due as a place of grit and incredible production. Descriptions of bustling mills reveal their impact on the couple’s family and its fortunes. Isabelle and Alexander is an intimate and touching romance novel that focuses on women’s lives in the business class of industrial England.”— Foreword Reviews
“Isabelle must use her quiet spunk, busy mind, and compassionate spirit to woo her husband in a wholly new way. Anderson’s debut is a lovely northern England Victorian romance about confronting the seemingly impossible and the power of empathy. Anderson also addresses the time period’s treatment of physical and intellectual disabilities. Most of all, she beautifully depicts love in its many forms beyond romance, such as compassion, patience, and vulnerability; and her characters illustrate the ways that these expressions of love carry us through even the darkest hours. Isabelle’s loving and persevering fervor and devotion will resonate with any caregiver’s heart.”— Booklist
In the first discussion question at the end of this book the question begins with this statement: “Isabelle and Alexander is not a typical romance.” I wholeheartedly agree. Isabelle and Alexander is unlike any Romance novel I have ever read. This is a story of true love — of real and substantial love — and it is a novel I will never forget. I am blown away by the experience I just had with this story. It isn’t a case of, “I had all the feels,” but rather it is a case of, “I don’t even know how to describe the depth of all the feels I had!” I don’t know if that makes any sense, but truly this is a story that has made a lasting impression upon me.
I feel this story will resonate the most with someone who has experienced trauma early on in his or her marriage or other significant relationship. Isabelle and Alexander join in an arranged marriage and things are prickly from the very start. Then a very BAD accident happens and their already tumultuous marriage is literally tested beyond anything either one could ever imagine. Yes, this is certainly not your typical lovey-dovey romance. This story is hard and painful and frustrating and devastating, but it’s also filled with fight, courage, hope, awakening, and love. There is no flirty, witty dialogue. There are no sweet, longing looks across the ballroom dance floor. But there is choosing to love every minute, every day. There is choosing to respect rather than react every minute, every day. There is learning to put self aside and being present for a partner every minute, every day. And wouldn’t you know it, out of this hard work blossoms real, true, deep love. A fantastic TRUTH to share with readers! Reading Isabelle and Alexander is hard, not because it is slow-paced or boring, but rather because it confronts the reader with a mirror and in this mirror the reader cannot get away from evaluating his or her marriage (or a relationship in general if the reader isn’t married). It makes one stop and consider, “Am I in my relationship for me, for what I can get? Or am I a partner in my relationship working to better the relationship for the both of us?” I admit, this story had me seriously self-evaluating, which, to me, is a testament of truly outstanding literature.
Isabelle and Alexander is a powerful story about finding one’s self and discovering true, lasting love. This novel is a stellar example of masterful storytelling. I highly, highly recommend Isabelle and Alexander. This is a story you, dear reader, will NOT want to miss.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishers, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
BLOG TOUR INFO
Join the virtual blog tour of ISABELLE AND ALEXANDER (Proper Romance Victorian), Rebecca Anderson’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel, May 3–16, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and Victorian romance will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in Manchester, England.
Blog Tour Stops
May 03 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
May 03 Timeless Novels (Review)
May 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)
May 04 Literary Time Out (Review)
May 04 My Bookish Bliss (Review)
May 04 The Book Diva’s Reads (Excerpt)
May 05 Heidi Reads (Review)
May 05 Laura’s Reviews (Review)
May 05 Wishful Endings (Review)
May 05 Gwendalyn’s Reviews (Review)
May 06 Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
May 06 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Excerpt)
May 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)
May 07 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)
May 07 The Reading Frenzy (Review)
May 07 Nurse Bookie (Review)
May 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
May 08 The Bibliophile Files (Review)
May 09 Reading with Emily (Review)
May 09 Fire and Ice (Spotlight)
May 10 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
May 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
May 10 Booked Solid (Review)
May 10 From Pemberley to Milton (Spotlight)
May 11 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)
May 11 Captivated Reading (Review)
May 11 The Green Mockingbird (Review)
May 12 For Where Your Treasure Is (Excerpt)
May 12 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
May 13 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)
May 13 Library of Clean Reads (Review)
May 13 Robin Loves Reading (Review)
May 13 So Little Time (Excerpt)
May 14 Eli’s Novel Reviews (Review)
May 14 The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 14 The Bluestocking (Review)
May 15 Reading Is My Superpower (Review)
May 15 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)
May 15 A Darn Good Read (Review)
May 16 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
May 16 CozyNookBooks (Review)