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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: Every Perfect Gift

Author: Dorothy Love
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Series: Hickory Ridge Romance # 3

Sophie has spent a lifetime guarding her heart and a long-held secret. It will take all of her courage to speak the truth and embrace the future God has planned for her.

The year is 1886, and Sophie Robillard returns to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after living in Texas for 15 years as the ward of Ada and Wyatt Caldwell. Now that the town's population has exploded, her intention is to reopen the long-defunct newspaper office that so captivated her when she was still an orphan. The rejection she experienced as a child because of her mixed parentage has left deep scars that she hopes can be healed by succeeding in this new venture.

Ethan Heyward was uprooted from his home as a boy following an unspeakable tragedy. Horace Blakely, a millionaire businessman, took Ethan under his wing and eventually put him in charge of the construction and opening of Blue Smoke resort in Hickory Ridge.

They meet when Sophie arrives at Blue Smoke to interview Ethan for her newspaper. As their attraction deepens, each hides a secret that, if revealed, could end their relationship.
 
 
“She opened a desk drawer, thumbed through a dusty stack of old invoices, and slid the drawer shut. Why so many people of both sexes thought she had to choose one or the other was the mystery of the ages. Writing for newspapers and magazines was the perfect occupation for a woman who didn’t mind preserving in a man’s world, and there were plenty of women who agreed. Just look at Nellie Bly. And Mrs. Lydia McPherson, who not only wrote for but also owned one of the biggest newspapers in all of Texas. And Sophie’s old boss at the Dallas paper was a woman too. The country was hurtling toward a brand-new century. It was high time for a new attitude about what women could accomplish.” – Paperback Copy pg. 4


“Her heart lifted at the sight of her only childhood friend. All grown up now, of course, but she’d know Robbie Whiting anywhere. He’d often accompanied his mother to the orphanage and kept Sophie company while the other children played or studied. Together they had roamed the hills in search of arrowheads, picked wild blackberries along the riverbank, shared penny candy from Mr. Pruitt’s mercantile, and reveled in the dime novels Robbie bought from Mr. Chastain’s bookshop. Her mixed-up parentage, whatever it was, had never mattered one whit to Robbie. For that alone, she was prepared to love him forever.” – Paperback Copy pg. 22


“She hurried to the Verandah, eager for the evening to begin. After the difficulties of her childhood, she did feel a bit like a fairy-tale princess. Not that Ethan Heyward would ever turn out to be her Prince Charming.” – Paperback Copy pg. 68


“The two of them sat in the creaking rocking chairs Sophie remembered from her childhood. The summer breeze smelled like Ada’s teacakes, yeasty and moist. The rosebush beside the door sagged beneath the weight of the season’s first blooms. From inside came the clank of silverware and the muted voices of the women who soon would begin new jobs at Blue Smoke.” – Paperback Copy pg. 71


“Something about this place called to me – these beautiful, unspoiled mountains, the clear springs and grassy meadows, and…well, a sort of peacefulness that seems to fill the air, like a favorite hymn on Sunday morning.” – Paperback Copy pg. 84


“The Lord makes no distinction among us, Sophie. He sees and feels all our suffering and is willing to offer solace if we ask.” – Paperback Copy pg. 118


Everything about this book from the cover to the characters within deserves the five start rating that it received! The writing style and the pace that this book maintained allowed me to fly through it in one night. I absolutely could not put this book because I had invested too much in these characters and their situations. Dorothy Love draws a contract with her readers unlike any I have ever witnessed before. They become your friends and their problems become your own.


Sophie Caldwell has journeyed back to Hickory Ridge in order to get the once famous newspaper called the Gazette back up and running. Once she returns to Hickory Ridge she meets her past face to face, visited by some good and some not so good memories. She sees her childhood best friend, but also stops by the abandoned and closed down orphanage where she spent most of her childhood years. She is determined to overcome the feelings of angst that she has towards a mother she never knew and to make a new name for herself in Hickory Ridge. She doesn’t expect to face some who won’t very well like the idea of a woman starting up a newspaper in town, and she certainly didn’t expect to fall in love.


Sophie Caldwell is hands down my favorite character in this book, along with Lucy and Sabrina “Gillie” Gilman, whom she befriends along the way. Sophie is free-spirited and good-natured and I just love to see a woman try and work her way to the top. What I love most about Sophie is that even in a time when women are expected to marry and produce a family; she still pursues her long-time dream of owning her very own newspaper. She uses other intelligent and successful women who have gone on before her to help keep her motivated and to help keep her eyes on the prize. It takes real guts to up and leave your family and try to make a name for yourself somewhere else, not to mention doing it alone.


Let’s talk love!! Love stories have to be really well-written for me to feature them in the review. I will usually talk about everything else I enjoyed other than the romance, just because it is so easily overkill. Not here. Dorothy gives us two people, Sophie and Ethan Heyward, who each harbor secrets that they may not be so keen on letting the other know. They are both stubborn in a sense and if you ask me, they are perfect for one another. What I enjoyed most about their romance was that it unfolded slowly. It wasn’t just one look and they were on their way to the chapel in white. I really enjoyed watching them come together, and waiting didn’t bother me so much because I knew that the two of them being in a relationship was inevitable.


The town of Hickory Ridge in itself is enough to dive headfirst into this novel. This is the third book in a series all of which take place in Hickory Ridge and are told from the different viewpoints of three intelligent and charming women. This is the first book that I have read in this series and to be quite honest I didn’t even realize that it was a series. This book can be read alone, but I do believe that now I will have to pick up the other two books to add to my collection. Come take part in all there is to see and do in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee!


***Lots of hugs and thanks to the author, Dorothy Love, for providing me with a copy of this book and a very lovely Christmas card in exchange for my honest review***






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