Friday, February 10, 2012

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie Daly has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to trade beauty for ashes.

I enjoyed Dorothy’s first book in her Hickory Ridge series, Beyond All Measure, so I was glad for the opportunity to review Beauty for Ashes
and continue reading about the widow Carrie Daly.

Poor thing.

Although Carrie is not the main character in book one, you do find out that she’s finally decided to retire her widow’s weeds and be open to finding love again. Carrie is now comfortably courting Nate, the town’s bookstore owner, who is patiently biding his time for Carrie to announce a wedding date.

Enter the competition, Griff. Surprisingly, I didn’t really like him. He reminded me of Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler (a blockade runner, perceived as ungentlemanly, etc.), although perhaps Griff was not quite as greasy as Gable. I certainly found it unacceptable that he told Carrie, in reference to her nephews, ‘every man ought to know how to swear, ride a horse, play poker, and hold his liquor.’ Huh? Yeah, I was not impressed. Griff may have been joking, but it certainly fit his ‘Rhett Butler’ character and there was no evidence of spiritual change as the book continued.

Throw in a nasty sister-in-law, disrespectful, hooligan nephews, a shocking elopement, and more, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Carrie and wish that she could have a spot of sunshine in her life.

Carrie was easy to like and empathize with, but I liked the overall storyline of Beyond All Measure better.

I review for BookSneeze®

Thank you to Dorothy and Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze for sending me a copy to read and review!

Also reviewed on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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