Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Beauty for Ashes
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.
This is one of those books that can keep you biting your lip and wondering will she or won't she? Which man will she choose? Nate may not give her the butterflies in the stomach, but he's always been there - always been dependable and the one she can rely on. Griff -- well he tends to not always hang around the right people and make the right choices . . . plus he's already planning on leaving. He's as much as told her not to count on anything with him. That doesn't stop her heart from beating out of control when he's around though.
Carrie has plenty of other things to deal with in this book as well. Family problems of every kind pile on her until a lesser woman would crumble under the weight. I don't know if I would have had her strength or patience. She certainly got mad - but when push came to shove - she was there when they needed her.
I think the title fit this story perfectly - and not just for Carrie but for many of the characters. Thankfully it's a promise for us as well. I look forward to the next installment by this author.