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Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
She's a beautiful young widow. He's a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

It's 1876 and eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge. 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 date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is passing through to collect an old debt. Formerly a member of Charleston society, Griff has been estranged from his family for years. Determined to lead an unencumbered life, he is on his way to explore the gold fields and cattle ranches of Australia. But when he's asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay a bit longer.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. But Griff isn't sure if he wants to settle down. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise of beauty for ashes.

Goodreads Summary

Carrie Daly, a childless Civil War widow, had been helping her brother run her family’s farm in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee.  When her brother marries, her sister-in-law and two children move into the family home.  Two newcomers in town, along with a failing economy, change Carrie’s life. She struggles to accept the trials that come her way; she prays for God’shelp for others…and prays that she will have the patience and grace to accept the disappoints and heartbreak in her life. She expects her attraction to Griff Rutledge to conclude with unhappiness because he states from the beginning that he intends to leave for Australia as soon as the thoroughbred race is ended. 

Carrie Daly is a strong, creative, family-loyal woman. I silently thanked the author as I read about Carrie Daly’s experiences with her sister-in-law, nephews (although 5 year old Joe can be adorable),original boyfriend, and new friend.  Although Carrie always seems to take the high road, Dorothy Love did relate some of Carrie’s fuming thoughts.  If she hadn’t, I would have been too angry myself to finish reading the book.  The situations in the book, when other people take advantage of her, annoyed me enough that I would have jumped in and lent a hand if I could.  A bright spot is Griff who helps her “run away from home” and learn to enjoy life again. 

Readers will enjoy discovering Carrie’s character; there are so many facets to her personality.  Other characters, except for Mary: the sister-in-law you will love to hate – are less complex.

Three and a Half Stars       

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.