Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beauty For Ashes by Dorothy Love

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...that he might be glorified."  ~ Isaiah 61:3

Oh, such a beautiful promise from God's word, and the perfect verse to serve as the theme for Dorothy Love's latest book, Beauty For Ashes, the second book in her Hickory Ridge Romance series. To begin with, here are a few words from the publisher:

About the book:

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 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 give beauty for ashes.

About Dorothy:
Before returning to her writing roots in historical fiction, Dorothy Love published twelve novels for young adults. Her work has garnered numerous honors from the American Library Association, the Friends of American Writers, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and many others. The Hickory Ridge Novels mark her Christian fiction debut.
For more about Dorothy visit her website, or friend her

When I was considering how I would describe this book, the first thing that I was going to say was that, well, it made me mad! Now just hold on a second, this is not a negative review. Let me explain what I mean.

From the first few pages, Dorothy Love managed to evoke such strong emotions in me through her characters. Carrie Daly is no stranger to tragedy, and while she seeks God's will in her life, she wonders if her chance at happiness and romance have passed her by.
She does have a love interest in Nate Chastain, if  he can be called that; she senses in her spirit that she's settling, and her encounter with the exciting newcomer Griff Rutledge confirms her doubts.

Tragedy seems to be the theme for so much of the story. First comes the marriage between Carrie's brother and his selfish fiance, whom Carrie essentially becomes the servant to, and then a not so proper woman arrives in town and stakes out Nate for herself.

Through it all she handles herself with grace and quiet strength, holding her tongue when I so desperately wanted her to put those people in their place for crying out loud! ;) Thus, my reasons for getting mad.

I'm pleased to report that this story does turn out well, but, dear reader, you will have to read it for yourself to find out how.

There is only one aspect of the book that wasn't my favorite. For most of the book, the author took more time to lay out the story, provide background etc.. As the story began to wrap up in the last few chapters however, the ending seemed in a rush to tie up all of the loose ends. It all came together a bit too neatly for me. Don't get me wrong, I love a happy ending, but some of the characters ( I'm thinking specifically of Carrie's sister in law Mary) had such an immediate change of heart, and I would have liked to have seen the actual transformation played out a little more.

But all in all, it was a great book. I always appreciate seeing the spiritual lives of the characters developed, and Love did a lovely job weaving the promises of God throughout. I recommend this series for sure.

Interested in purchasing this book? Here's the link:

* I received a copy of Beauty For Ashes by Dorothy Love in exchange for my honest opinion, with no additional compensation.

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!

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