Book Review: Beauty For Ashes

3 Mar

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a charming Charleston gentleman with a notorious past. Both need a place to call home.

After years of mourning the death of her young husband and longing for a family of her own, Carrie Daly has promised to wed bookstore owner Nate Chastain. But questions about his true feelings for her cause her to hesitate.

After years of mourning the death of her young husband and longing for a family of her own, Carrie Daly has promised to wed bookstore owner Nate Chastain. But questions about his true feelings for her cause her to hesitate.

Charlestonian Griffin Rutledge, scion of a low country rice planter, former blockade runner, gambler, and horseman, arrives in Hickory Ridge to collect an old debt before heading off to try his luck in Australia. Estranged from his family for years, Griff is a loner and likes it that way. Offered the opportunity to train a magnificent Thoroughbred for the local banker, he settles down . . . temporarily. But a chance meeting with Carrie triggers a chain of events that causes him to question his choices. Maybe God brought him to Hickory Ridge – and to Carrie – for a reason.


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 on


My Impressions:

Do you like historical novels that have that authentic feel?  Then you should pick up Dorothy Love’s book Beauty For Ashes.  The second book in the Hickory Ridge series, (see my review for Beyond All Measure), this stand alone novel will bring you back to the hard times faced by many Southerner’s in the years following the Civil War.  Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, a small town in the Appalachians, is feeling the effects of the Depression of the 1870s.  Many businesses are closing. Men are leaving their farms and families to find work elsewhere.  Carrie Daly’s life is affected as well.  Along with financial struggles, the young widow has always felt at home on her family’s farm, but the introduction of a new sister-in-law with two rambunctious boys forces her to flee to a boarding house in town.  She wonders if she will ever feel at home again.  But Carrie feels the pull of duty over desire, a sentiment echoed by friends and family alike.  Then Griff Rutledge, a slightly disreputable gentleman, comes to town to settle a debt and is enticed to stay to prepare for a big horse race sure to bring back the fortunes of Hickory Ridge.  Carrie’s attraction to Griff goes against all reason, and her reputation suffers from the association.

Beauty For Ashes explores the struggle to do what is acceptable and the urge to follow the heart.  It also focuses on the overarching will of God in our life. Carrie’s struggles to meet obligations are very real.  It is easy to succumb to society and family expectations even when our heart yearns for something more — even when God longs to give us more.  The book also looks at life lived with regrets, and God’s desire to free us and bring us to an abundant life.

Dorothy Love’s characters are very real.  Her descriptions bring the small town of Hickory Ridge to life.  And if you like romance, you will love Carrie and Griff’s story.


(I received Beauty for Ashes from the publisher and LitFuse in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To read more reviews of Beauty For Ashes, click HERE.


LitFuse is 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!

2 Responses to “Book Review: Beauty For Ashes”

  1. Dorothy Love March 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Hello! Checking in to say a huge thank you for reviewing BEAUTY FOR ASHES.

    Your blog site is gorgeous!! I’m happy to have found you.


    • rbclibrary March 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Looking forward to book #3!

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