Please welcome Dorothy Love, author of Beauty for Ashes, who is touring the blogosphere with LitFuse Publicity!

Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Carrie Daly was widowed when her husband, Frank, was killed during the Civil War. Since that time, she’s been living with her brother, Henry, in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee. Carrie has been seeing a new man, Nate Chastain, and feels reasonably sure that she will marry him. Some day, that is. She’s just not completely sure of the idea.

One day, a handsome gentleman saves her from being run down in the street by a runaway horse. Carrie’s thoughts are sidetracked, though, when Henry gets married and Carrie feels she is no longer welcome in her own home. Henry’s wife, Mary, is extremely rude to Carrie, treating her like a hired hand rather than a sister. Mary’s boys (from her previous marriage) are physically violent with Carrie and no one does anything to stop them. Carrie realizes she has no choice but to leave and moves into town.

Griff Rutledge is relatively well off financially but is estranged from his Charleston family. Determined to get to Australia, Griff stops over in Hickory Ridge to work with a spirited horse and train it for the upcoming race. But Griff has a quiet and mysterious nature about him that causes the townspeople to be cautious of him. So when Griff and Carrie are seen in town together and their attraction becomes obvious to the town, people begin to pull Carrie aside and inform her that she needs to end her budding relationship.

Suddenly, Nate turns up married, Henry announces that he’s heading to Chicago to find work and asks Carrie to move back to the farm to care for his wife and children. She refuses, but relents when she finds out that Mary is confined to bed with her pregnancy. Carrie feels the responsibility of caring for Henry’s family, but isn’t sure she can handle the stress, either financially or emotionally. When word comes that Henry was killed in a freak accident, Carrie leans on Griff to help Mary and the children work through the grief process.

Beauty for Ashes is the second installment of the Hickory Ridge Romance books by Dorothy Love. In it, we see that a person can experience many hardships and trials in life, and feel as if there is no hope and no God to help them through. But God always brings beauty from the ashes of the fires that we go through. Carrie went through several sad times and feelings of being let down by the circumstances in her life, but her faith in God saw her through those circumstances and caused her to be better on the other side of them.

Both Beauty for Ashes and the first installment, Beyond All Measure, are good stories and are well-researched, but there is something lacking in the writing style. The books seem a bit simplistic and not as deep as they could be, considering they are part of a series. I was disappointed that something was mentioned early in the book regarding Bea Goldston from the first book, Beyond All Measure, but the tidbit of information was never revisited or further explored. Perhaps that will come in the third book!

I did enjoy the book and will read the next book in the series to see what happens next. I hope that Love continues to write and that her writing improve with each book!

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book!

The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Nelson. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

Dorothy Love’s Beauty for Ashes Kindle Fire and a Sapphire Ring Giveaway! Enter Today & RSVP for 3/20 Facebook Author Chat Party!

We’re thrilled to announce the fun giveaway Dorothy is hosting! First, she’ll be giving away a Kindle Fire (3/1-3/20), then on the evening of the 20th she’s inviting everyone to her Facebook Author Page for a fun Author Chat party! Don’t miss a minute of the fun … sigh.

One beautiful winner will receive:

  • A Brand new Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love
  • Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/20/12. Winner will be announced at Dorothy’s Facebook Author Chat Party on 3/20. Come for an evening of chat, trivia, and a sneak peek at the next book in Dorothy’s Hickory Ridge series – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a stunning sapphire ring!

So grab your copy of Beauty for Ashes  and join Dorothy and friends on the evening of March 20th for an evening of fun.

Don’t miss Dorothy’s delightful giveaway and party. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!