I love fiction. I learn a lot from non-fiction, too, but there’s just something about getting lost in a story.
This week’s review is another fiction novel entitled Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love. As I began to read it, I realized that there were some characters and events mentioned that I felt like I should know but didn’t. Come to find out, Beauty for Ashes is actually the second novel in Love’s Hickory Ridge Romance series. But, none of the information I lacked was critical to this story, and I did not find myself lost as I read. Beauty for Ashes, while leaving one small storyline hanging for the next book in the series, stands pretty well complete on its own.
The story centers around the life of Civil War widow Carrie Daly. She lives with her bachelor brother and enjoys an extended and comfortable romance with the local bookseller Nate Chastain. For some reason, though, she simply cannot commit herself accepting Nate’s proposal of marriage. Then Carrie’s brother marries a woman Carrie cannot find a way to tolerate, much less love. Suddenly Carrie’s life is turned upside down as she finds herself lacking a place in her world.
Meanwhile, someone new has ridden into town. Griff Rutledge is in Hickory Ridge only for a brief stay to take care of some personal business. In the spirit of Jason McCullough in Support Your Local Sheriff, Griff is literally “just passin’ through on my way to Australia.” But, like Jason, something seems to be keeping Griff around much longer than he expected. And the longer he hangs around, the more powerfully drawn he is to the beautiful widow Daly.
I wouldn’t set Beauty for Ashes apart as an extraordinary or different novel. In ways it is the comfortable and predictable love story pattern that most Christian romance novels follow. On the other hand, there are enough unique aspects to this novel to keep it interesting and flowing. If you’re in the mood for deep and different, Beauty for Ashes is not the book for you. But if you, like me, enjoy escaping into a sweet, easy, romantic read for a few hours now and then, I definitely recommend Beauty for Ashes.
This book was sent to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.