Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Beyond All Measure

Beyond All Measure (Hickory Ridge Romance - Book 1) by Dorothy Love

Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc.
Genre: Christian Fiction/ Inspirational
Pages: Pages: 320pp
ISBN-13: 9781595549006
ISBN: 1595549005

(Received for an honest review from TLC Tours)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Christianbook.com, IndieBound

Dorothy Love on the WEB: website, blog, facebook

Excerpt from Beyond All Measure


Ada has loved deeply and lost dearly. But protecting her heart could mean missing the love of a lifetime.

Ada Wentworth may be young but she's seen enough of life to know she can only rely on herself. Everyone including God it seems, has let her down. Having lost her family, her fiance, and her fortune, Ada journeys from Boston to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, to take a position as a lady's companion. Though initially charmed by the pretty little Southern town tucked into the foothills of the great Smokies, Ada plans to stay only until she can earn enough to establish a millinery shop.

Her employer, Wyatt Caldwell, the local lumber mill owner, is easily the kindest, most attractive man Ada has met in Hickory Ridge. He believes Providence has brought her to town and into his life. But how, after so many betrayals, can she ever trust again? Besides, Wyatt has a dream of his own. A dream that will one day take him far from Hickory Ridge.

As the South struggles to heal in the aftermath of the Civil War, one woman must let go of her painful past in order to embrace God's plans for her. Can she trust Him, and Wyatt, with her future and her heart?


Dorothy Love's Christian fiction debut, Beyond All Measure is an inspirational historical read that will garner Love a lot of new fans. Her writing in the YA genre is well known and serves her well in her latest book. Love continues to write strong and complex characters that grab the interest of readers and hold it throughout her novels. Love weaves historical references from the post Civil War reconstruction period into her latest book with ease. Readers will find themselves lost in the rich period detail and every day life in rural Tennessee.

Ada Wenworth is a character that readers will quickly identify with. Ada has seen her better days. She was recently jilted by her lover and left practically destitute after her father's death. But Love portrays Ada as a strong, independent woman and that is apparent in the fact that she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and starts to build a new life for herself. Ada is self sufficient and wary of men due to her recent experiences. Throughout the book Love shows different sides to Ada. She can be tough be also seems to have a soft spot for an orphaned mulatto child named Sophie. Ada comes across as a woman who has built walls around her heart and many readers can understand why.

Ada has some serious trust issues that offer the main conflict in the book. When she meets Wyatt Caldwell she has no intentions of feeling anything for him but her emotions eventually get the better of her and she has to make a decision about him that requires a lot of trust. I thought Love was able to make Ada real to the reader. Her struggles are struggles that many women face. Once you've been hurt it is hard to let down the walls and I think this character is one that readers will have empathy for. They will root for Ada and Wyatt as their relationship develops.

One aspect of the book that I found particularly interesting was the response of the townspeople to Ada's friendship with Sophie, a young mulatto girl. Readers have to take into consideration that this book is set in the period shortly after the end of the Civil War. Ada is a Northern woman living in a Southern town. She is used to being friends with people of different races, while the townspeople are not used to seeing this kind of thing. It causes some tension surrounding Ada and adds to the conflict of the book. I thought Love did a wonderful job of integrating this issue into the book and I think readers will find this an added bonus to the overall story.

Wyatt is another character that Love does a fantastic job with. She portrays Wyatt as a savvy business man who has some far reaching dreams. What I found most endearing about Wyatt was his ability to throw caution to the wind and fall head over heels in love. In my experience this is not typical behavior for most men. Wyatt's care for his aunt was also compelling. She is quite a hard lady to contend with, yet he shows her the respect and dignity she deserves. I thought he was a perfect compliment to Ada and Love did a great job of making the romance between them realistic and sweet.

This is a book that focuses on trust. Ada must learn to trust herself, Wyatt and God in this novel. Love weaves the issue of faith and trust in God into the story with precision. She doesn't allow the book to become preachy or less than heart felt. The biblical references are interspersed and well planned. Readers will not feel overwhelmed by the Christian perspective, but it will flow naturally and seem to be an essential part of the story. Certainly not an easy feat.

This is a fast paced book that can be read in just a couple of sittings or over a lazy autumn weekend. I recommend it both Christian fiction fans and mainstream romance readers. This book is for all intents and purposes a love story and I think readers will find Love's debut a great addition to the Christian fiction genre.

Beyond All Measure is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

A native of Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their two golden retrievers. An accomplished author in the general market, Dorothy makes her debut in Christian fiction with the Hickory Ridge novels.


TLC is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love.

~ You must be Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only (TLC request)
~ The deadline to enter this  giveaway is Midnight EST November 15th.

1. Please leave a comment on THIS post in appreciation to the author.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Dorothy Love said...

Hi Debbie,

Thanks so much for hosting me today and for your very kind review. I had a great time writing Ada's story and it makes me very happy when readers enjoy it. I hope your blog readers will like it, too!

Wendy Newcomb said...

Thank you for writing Christian Fiction, and especially Historical Christian Fiction. I can't thank you authors enough for giving us readers good books to read.


CrystalGB said...

Beyond All Measure sounds great. Love the cover.

Ammy Belle said...

This sounds like a great bbook! Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Ammy Belle

Anonymous said...

Her friendship with the mulatto girl reminds me a lot of the stories my mom told about growing up in New York City and having friends of every race, then visiting her grandmother in Florida and seeing signs along the way that read "Whites Only." It was literally like another world to her.

I'm thrilled you enjoyed this book! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Martha Lawson said...

This sounds like a really great book, I'll look forward to reading it. I'm going to put it on my to buy list.

lag123 said...

I would love to see what God's plan for Ada is. Thanks for the giveaway.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

mamabunny13 said...

I really love this cover! This sounds like a good story and I can't wait to read it.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Literary Chanteuse said...

This looks like a great read to curl up with. Thank you for the giveaway! I'll keep my fingers crossed!

In Julie's Opinion said...

I love reading Christian fiction and this book sounds like a really good one! Thanks for the review and giveaway:)

rubynreba said...

I really look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Dolly said...

Your review made this sound like a good book to read, and one I could pass along to my mom.

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com