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 found this novel to be a very tender-hearted and realistic one. Although I had actually met the characters in the first novel of the series, not having done so would not spoil the story. The story is told with rich word imagery, bringing the country side and small town folk to life, from Carrie trying to think of anything but the wedding at the beginning of Beauty for Ashes, to the last word.
I must admit I was angry at Mary, a secondary character for her whiney and childish behavour, but I guess some people just never grow up, and I think it might have changed after she had to take care of her children on her own. Carrie is a strong farm woman, intent on being in control of her own life. Griff comes from the city of Charleston, of a family rich in resources, but with a questionable past. Although the characters deal with losses, this is not a story of discouragement, but rather encouragement. These people have realistical problems of anger, disallusions, gossiping, and the other things that torment the rest of us. Throughout all of the trials, though, the Love of God and friends, shines through.
I would recommend this Hickory Ridge Romance to anyone who enjoys a good romance novel.
I received this free book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. The opinions are my own.
This book is available where ever good fiction romances are sold, Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, and your local bookstore.