Thursday, May 13, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Isabelle and Alexander


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.


  • "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

:   Isabelle and Alexander
Author:  Rebecca Anderson
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain
Genre:   Historical Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   324
Date of Publication:   May 4, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Isabelle Rackham will not allow herself to be disillusioned. She knows her marriage is not even close to a love match. However, she accepts it and facings an unemotional, business-minded husband every day. However, she longs for more - even if it is a glance, a touch.. But, it is not to be. Perhaps she will have a child and the void in her life can at least be filled in a bit.

Alexander knows that Isabelle is unhappy, but he is reticent, holding his thoughts and emotions close to the vest. However, he is a good man and does have an idea. He writes her a note and offers her to accompany him on a trip to his country estate. Has the window of opportunity opened for the pair of them?

Before much progress can be made, Alexander suffers a tragic accident that leaves him completely disabled. Isabelle is bound by duty, although certainly not by love, and she takes on the task of caring for Alexander while he begins the long road to recovery.

This is how things take a turn in this tragic story. Communication lines are open, and this starts to show a major difference between Isabelle and Alexander. As a reader, I could see how easily it was for her to love and how she did care for Alexander from the very beginning. I enjoyed watching Alexander thaw towards his wife, even though the tragedy of his injuries.

This touching story by Rebecca Anderson was evenly balanced with characters that warmed your heart and one or two that were really unlikable. This balance made an already good story even better. Although Ms. Anderson is new to me, she has definitely found a new fan, leaving me eager to see what else she has in store for her readers.

Many thanks to Shadow Mountain, NetGalley and Austenrose for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


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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