Beyond All Measure

( 44 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Following her broken engagement, Ada Wentworth accepts a position as companion to an elderly woman in Hickory Ridge, TN. The young Bostonian plans eventually to open a hat shop in town, but she soon befriends two people who change her life in unexpected ways: Wyatt Caldwell, a lumber mill owner, and Sophie, a young mulatto orphan. In the aftermath of the Civil War, townsfolk are none too happy about Ada's friendship with Sophie, and tensions quickly rise. Then Ada's employer dies, and Ada must decide what to do about work and her feelings for Wyatt. VERDICT With well-drawn characters and just enough suspense to keep the pages turning, this winning debut will be a hit with fans of Gilbert Morris and Lauraine Snelling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595549006
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Series: A Hickory Ridge Romance Series , #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 539,620
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. Anaward-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. Facebook: dorothylovebooks Twitter: @WriterDorothy

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First Chapter

Beyond All Measure


By Dorothy Love

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Dorothy Love
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8558-4


Chapter One

Hickory Ridge, Tennessee June 1871

Holding tightly to her worn travel satchel, Ada Wentworth stepped through a cloud of billowing steam and scanned the rain-slicked railway platform, looking for the woman who had promised to meet her. Smartly-dressed travelers folded their black umbrellas and pushed through a knot of farm wives, mill workers, and station peddlers hawking candy and magazines. A line of buggies and wagons waited in the heat, the placid horses swishing their tails against a cloud of flies. A group of schoolboys jostled Ada roughly as they passed, their languid, high-pitched accents falling strangely on her ear.

She pulled her handkerchief from her cuff and blotted her face, her gaze traveling from one person to the next. People aplenty, but no red-haired woman carrying a white parasol.

She skirted a mound of baggage and wound her way toward the agent's office, trying to quell her growing apprehension. She'd known Hickory Ridge wouldn't be anything like New England, but this bustling village rimmed with fog-shrouded mountains was unlike any place she'd ever been.

Outside the station agent's office, she paused to get her bearings. A steady stream of travelers flowed around her like water around a stone. She swallowed the hard lump forming in her throat. What on earth had she done?

"Purty little town, Hickory Ridge, ain't it?" The salesman who had slept away the entire morning's journey leaning against her shoulder grinned at her, exposing a mouthful of rotted and tobacco-stained teeth. "Hotter'n blazes, though. Rain didn't do a bit of good if you ask me."

Ada moved farther down the platform and brushed the cinders from her traveling dress. The salesman followed, his battered sample case banging against his knee. He tipped his hat, a brown felt bowler that had seen better days. "Name's Cyrus McNeal, ma'am. From the Southern Medicinal Supply Company. Any type of curative, preventative, or tonic you may require, I'm yer man."

Opening his case, he produced two small brown vials. "Would you like some free samples? One's fer yer stummick ailments, and t'other calms yer nerves."

"Thank you. No."

"Suit yerself. There's more'n two hours before my train to Nashville. I figger to have me a good hot meal at Miss Hattie's. You care to join me?"

The station agent, a lanky man with a thick walrus mustache and graying hair parted in the middle, made his way to her side. "Is this here feller botherin' you, Miss?"

The salesman dropped his samples into his pocket. "I was just leaving."

Ada nodded to the agent as the salesman disappeared into the crowd. "Thank you. That tiresome man made a nuisance of himself all the way from Knoxville."

He gestured toward the far end of the platform. "That your trunk?"

"Yes." She suppressed a long sigh. Twenty-six years old, and all her worldly possessions fit into one moldering trunk. Given half a chance, the auctioneer would have taken it too. As it was, she had nothing, not even a proper mourning dress. But mourning clothes were of no consequence here at the edge of the livable world.

The agent wiped his forehead with a wrinkled blue handkerchief. "Is someone supposed to meet you?"

"Miss Hannah Fields. She wrote that she'd carry a white parasol so I could recognize her. I don't suppose you know her."

"Hickory Ridge is growin' these days, but I pretty much know everybody around here. Miss Hannah should be along directly. That is, if Old Starch and Vinegar hasn't thought up somethin' else for her to do."

"Starch and vinegar?"

"Mrs. Willis. The woman Miss Hannah works for. Folks call her Starch and Vinegar, but not to her face, o' course." He grinned. "No ma'am. Not to her face."

A piercing whistle sounded. The engine heaved, belching smoke and cinders, and lumbered down the tracks. Another shower of sparks rained down. Ada brushed the ashes off her skirt. Now she regretted having worn her best dress for travel, but she needed this job desperately. First impressions were important.

Her stomach rumbled. Although there had been plenty of good food aboard the train, it had come at a price. Mindful of her swiftly dwindling resources, Ada had made do with bowls of lukewarm soup and cups of bitter hot chocolate as the train lumbered southward, taking her farther away from all that was familiar. She couldn't remember when she'd last enjoyed a full, hot meal. Hungry and dazed with summer heat, she swayed on her feet.

"Careful, ma'am!" The agent took her arm and led her to a wooden bench on the shady side of the platform. "You just sit tight, and I'll get you some water."

Ada sank heavily onto the bench. Last evening, as Miss Fields's letter had instructed, she had sent a wire giving the woman her arrival time. Where in blazes was she? Ada blotted her face again and fought a wave of panic. Suppose the offer of employment had been withdrawn? It had taken most of her cash just to make the long trip to Hickory Ridge. There wasn't nearly enough for a return ticket.

Not that returning home was an option. Ada's heart squeezed with sadness. She tucked away her handkerchief and blinked back sudden tears.

The agent returned with a glass of water, and she drank it gratefully.

"Better?" he asked.

"Yes. Much better. Thank you."

He consulted his pocket watch. "I should get back to the office. You're welcome to wait inside if you've a mind to, but the truth is, it's cooler out here. I'm sure Miss Hannah will be along before too much longer."

He went back inside. Restless with nerves, Ada rose and walked to the far end of the platform, which afforded a better view of the town. The streets rang with the clatter of horses' hooves, the rattle of harnesses, and the faint tinkling of shop-door bells. Along one side of the street stood the mercantile, and next to it a bank with gold lettering on the windows. Farther down was a newspaper office and a dentist's office. A haberdashery, a barbershop, and a bookshop occupied the opposite side of the street, next to the Hickory Ridge Inn. Behind the newspaper office sat the Verandah Hotel for Ladies, a faded blue building with drooping shutters and a weathered sign that hung unevenly from a rusty chain. In the distance, the tree-clad mountains stood like sentinels against the rain-washed sky.

Of course Hickory Ridge can't compete with Chattanooga or Knoxville, Hannah had written, but for a small town we're quite progressive.

Ada watched two women in old-fashioned poke bonnets emerge from the mercantile, their arms laden with packages. A progressive town was precisely what she needed to secure her future. Not that she planned to stay forever in Hickory Ridge. But the employment notice in the Boston Herald had seemed the perfect solution to her immediate dilemma. A chance to start over in a town where no one knew the first thing about her while she set her plan in motion.

It had seemed simple enough. Now she was much less certain that she'd made the right decision. It was one thing to make a plan and quite another to put it into action.

A buckboard rattled down the street and came to a stop near the elevated platform. The driver, a man in rough clothes, boots, and a wide-brimmed hat, smiled up at her. Backlit by the sun, he appeared muscular and broad shouldered. "Miss Wentworth? Ada Wentworth?"

"Yes."

"I'm Wyatt Caldwell. I'm here to drive you out to Miss Lillian's place."

"But I thought Miss Fields was coming for me."

He smiled, crinkling the lines around his eyes. "Yes ma'am, that was the plan." He scanned the now-deserted platform. "I assume that trunk is yours?"

"Yes." Ada took a deep breath to steady her nerves. Where was Hannah Fields? Had Old Starch and Vinegar dismissed her without any warning? Another wave of anxiety rippled through her. If that happened to her, where would she go? Her resources were nearly depleted. Letters to her mother's Southern cousins had gone unanswered, leaving her with few options apart from the clattering, stifling textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts—or, even worse, a life as a mail-order bride, brought west to cook and clean and bear children for a man she'd never met.

Her escort, his face shadowed by a battered Stetson, jumped lightly to the ground. Shoving aside a stack of wooden planks and a couple of gleaming saw blades, he hoisted Ada's trunk into the back of the wagon.

"Ma'am, are you ready? Miss Lillian's place is a good seven miles down this road. We ought to get going."

Ada sized him up. He appeared trustworthy, but experience had shown her that people weren't always what they seemed. "Thank you, but I'll wait for Miss Fields."

"Then you're going to be waiting for quite a while. Hannah Fields up and left town last night without so much as a by-your-leave." He smiled. "I'm afraid you're stuck with me."

He offered his hand to help her onto the buckboard seat and climbed up beside her. "I apologize for the undignified conveyance. I didn't know until an hour ago that you were expected today. There wasn't time to fetch my rig." He handed her a parasol and a bundle wrapped in a red-checked tea towel. "I brought you some of Miss Hattie's fried chicken. I figured you'd be hungry."

"Thank you. I am famished!" Leaving the parasol on the seat between them, Ada unwrapped the chicken, bit into a drumstick, and chewed with relish.

Her Boston aunt, rest her soul, would be horrified at such undignified behavior. She could almost hear Kate's chiding voice. "That's why you've never made a suitable match, Ada. You're too forthright. Too lacking in the feminine graces."

Well, she had made a perfect match once, but now she was alone in the world. She would do as she pleased. As the buckboard gathered speed, she devoured the second piece of chicken, polished the apple on the sleeve of her jacket, and took a bite, enjoying the satisfying and decidedly unladylike crunch.

"You are hungry!" Wyatt said. "Hollow all the way to your toes."

Ada blushed and then chided herself for caring what he thought.

"That's all right," he added. "I like a woman with an appetite."

Ada took another bite.

"So, you came out here from Boston." His friendly demeanor seemed to have cooled a little. Not surprising in a Southern town, so soon after the war—and from his voice, Mr. Caldwell was obviously a Southerner.

Oh well. She lifted her chin a little. She could only hope to do her job and eventually win over the townsfolk.

They passed the ladies' hotel. Two white-haired women sat on the porch. Wyatt nodded to them and touched the brim of his hat as they passed. The buckboard rattled onto a narrow rutted road that led upward into the foothills.

"Yes, Boston." Ada wiped apple juice from the corner of her mouth. "The land of steady habits, as they say."

He nodded. "Miss Lillian will appreciate that. She's a stickler for order."

She took another crunchy bite.

"Your letter said you were born there?"

"Yes. I lived there off and on for most of my life." A wave of bitter recrimination and regret nearly brought her to tears. Determined not to dwell on the life that was lost to her, she concentrated on the play of sunlight in the rain puddles beside the road and on the soothing sound of his voice as he pointed out clumps of wild honeysuckle, their pale blossoms shimmering like ghosts.

"You're sure a long way from home," he observed. "Hannah placed the ad in the Boston Herald as a last resort. She was surprised to actually receive an application from so far away."

Ada chewed slowly. "My father and my aunt died in March, and I need to make a new start. This position as lady's companion to Mrs. Willis seemed suitable." She turned toward him, her skirts rustling against the rough wood of the seat. "Tell me, Mr. Caldwell, do you know anything about the rest of the household staff? The cook and so on?"

"The—" He threw back his head and laughed. The horse snorted as if he, too, found her words amusing.

Something snapped inside her. "Stop this wagon!"

"Beg your pardon?"

"I said stop this wagon, Mr. Caldwell, or so help me, I will jump."

"Oh, I'm sorry." He surveyed the empty road. "The closest outhouse is down the road a ways, at the Spencer place. But the woods are—"

"I am not in need of the out—the ladies' facilities."

"Then what—"

"I have no intention of spending the next several hours, or however long this dreadful journey takes, riding next to a man who laughs at me."

"You're right. I apologize."

"Too late." She stood and braced herself against the movement of the buckboard.

"Whoa!" He pulled on the reins. The horse stopped and tossed his head, rattling the harness. "Just how do you intend on getting out to Mrs. Willis's place, if I may ask?"

"I'll walk."

"All that way?"

Without another word she dangled her legs over the side of the wagon and dropped to the ground, wincing as her feet made contact with the dirt road. Squaring her shoulders, she marched ahead of the wagon.

* * *

Wyatt slowed the buckboard and studied her as she set out along the road, her feathered traveling hat perilously askew, her arms swinging. A prettier woman he'd never seen, but she sure was prickly.

Miss Ada Wentworth had the fairest skin he'd ever laid eyes on. Dark-brown hair that lay in shiny waves beneath her hat. Wide gray eyes fringed with thick, dark lashes. A generous mouth that would be even lovelier if she'd smile more. But, as she was in mourning, he really couldn't fault her for that. She was wrapped in a neat package, he couldn't help noticing—small and compact, with hills and valleys in all the proper locations.

He guided the buckboard around a deep rut in the road, reining in the horse to avoid getting ahead of Ada. She was nearly perfect, from his point of view—if only she weren't a Boston blue blood. He'd checked out her references and discovered that she was from an old New England family. A family with connections and power.

A family that represented everything he detested.

She slipped and then regained her footing. He fought the urge to scoop her up and set her back into the buckboard. She might be a Yankee born and bred, and she was acting tough as nails, but she couldn't mask the hurt and vulnerability beneath her brave facade.

He flicked the reins and pulled up alongside her. "I didn't mean to offend you, ma'am. Honestly. It was your question about the staff and the cook that hit my funny bone."

She kept her eyes on the ribbon of road in front of them. She'd begun to limp and was trying hard not to show it. Wyatt glanced at the delicate spooled heels of her thin leather shoes. He didn't know the first thing about ladies' footwear, but any fool could see that those shoes were meant for city streets, not seven-mile hikes over a rutted country road.

"You sure don't sound like a regular Bostonian." He raised his voice to be heard over the creaking of the wagon wheels. "I kinda like the way you talk, if you don't mind my saying so."

Ada walked on.

"Miss Wentworth?"

She stopped, arms akimbo, and stared up at him. "What is it, Mr. Caldwell?"

"My lumber mill is just over that next hill. It will be embarrassing if I have to drive past there with a pretty woman walking alongside the wagon. My men won't ever let me live that down. I sure would be obliged if you'd reconsider and come on back up here. I promise to be on my best behavior."

Chapter Two

Ada shaded her eyes with one hand. Already a painful blister had formed on one toe. Undoubtedly, she'd need a salt soak and a camphor patch tonight. But she wasn't about to let this infuriating Southerner get the best of her, no matter how charming his smile. "Why should I care what they think?"

"I guess you're right. Never mind." He flicked the reins and urged the horse onward.

Ada's toe was on fire. She could feel blood oozing into her stocking. Her blouse was drenched in sweat, and a thick layer of dust coated the hem of her skirt. Maybe she would ride with him now, at least until he made her angry again.

She hurried alongside the wagon. "Very well. I'll ride with you."

He looked down at her. "I'm sorry. Did you say something?"

She ground her teeth. "You're enjoying this, aren't you?"

A wide grin split his tanned face. "Maybe."

He jumped down, ran around the buckboard, and lifted her onto the seat. Settling himself beside her again, he snapped the reins, and the horse set off at a brisk trot. "Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

She rested her throbbing foot and retrieved the parasol he had brought. "What is it?"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love Copyright © 2011 by Dorothy Love. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

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(26)

4 Star

(9)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Reviews seem "profess ionally" written!

    I don't trust all of these reviews. Not one is shorter than TWO pages and some are as long as SIX!! Not the typical reviews you usually get for a book. Won't duy a book based on reviews written by copy writers who seem to be getting paid by the word!!

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Whats up?

    Why r there so many long reviews? I have to agrre with the last reviewer. R these people getting paid or something? Sure it soundsike a good book but i have never seen so many good reviews. ??????????????

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2012

    It's been a while since I read a Christian romance, I was lookin

    It's been a while since I read a Christian romance, I was looking forward to this one and I love series. I enjoyed this book of a young girl Ada who seemed to have a strong will, determination and loyalty.

    I was able to predicate what was going to happen before it even happen. I was hoping that the author would really show what TRUE courtship was about, but it seemed to move at a fast pace, which for a series, was disappointing. It did not leave me "waiting" to read the next book.

    I enjoyed the quality of the characters. Even though some of them seemed a little stretched. It's hard to find quality books these days and this would be a nice one to start off with if you are getting into romance books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2011

    RATING:4.5)A MUST READ POST CIVIL WAR HISTORICAL WITH ROMANCE AND FAITH!BEYOND ALL MEASURE BY DOROTHY LOVE....

    BEYOND ALL MEASURE by Dorothy Love is an exciting inspirational historical fiction set in 1871 Hickory Ridge, Tennessee. This is this author's debut into Christian fiction. It is the first in the "A Hickory Ridge Romance". It is written with depth and details.The plot is intriguing,easy to follow,exciting with the charm of the old South.The characters are enchanting,charming,engaging and will capture your heart. It has romance,faith,healing,the struggles of the aftermath of the Civil War,trust,community,dreams,forgiveness,painful past,betrayal,the charm of a small community,misunderstandings, fear,hate,h,and finding love after the sacrifices of war. Ada Wentworth,is penniless,and has lost that she holds dear.She must find a job and travels to Hickory RidgeTennessee from Boston to become a Lady's companion. Ada stills has dreams of her own. Wyatt Caldwell,local lumber mill owner,kind,ex-war veteran,a,his Aunt Lillian is who Ada is a Lady's companion,and he believes Ada coming to town was Providence,but he has dreams of his own. While Ada and Wyatt fights their attraction,they must learn to trust each other and let go of the past. This is my first time reading this author but it will not be my last. While this is a Christian historical fiction is not "preachy".It does have the underline message of faith,hope and God's plan for our life. A must read for any historical,romance,inspirational,post civil war,and Old South readers. A keeper. This book was received for review from the author.Details can be found at Thomas Nelson and My Book Addiction and More.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Recommended Read

    I really enjoyed this book. Set in Hickory Ridge TN just after the Civil War, with the ongoing problems of living after a war had torn apart the country. Ada Wentworth is from Boston, MA, and moves into the Southern reconstruction. Wyatt Caldwell, a man who fought for the South in the War, now owns a Wood Mill, and is prospering.
    Ada has come to be a companion to Wyatt's Aunt Lillian, or so she thought, not only is she a companion, but the cook, cleaner and chauffeur. The job certainly wasn't what she expected, and Aunt Lillian is kind of caustic.
    As time goes on she ends up repairing one of Lillian's hats, and now others want an original Ada creation. Neither Wayatt or Lillian like that Ada is doing a side business, but Wayatt tends to really like Ada. Both Ada and Wayatt need to trust on the Lord, and he has answers to their prayers
    This is a sweet romance, and a very quick read...you will have a hard time putting this book down.

    I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson, I was not required to give a positive review.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    A great summer read!

    I've read Dorothy Love's books for young adults and loved them, but I wasn't sure what to expect when she changed genres. Could she create a world where I would be drawn in and fall in love with the characters in post Civil War Tennessee as well as she created the worlds in which her young characters played out their lives with such intensity? I should have been more trusting. Hum, come to think of it, trust is a major issue for Ada, Dorothy's leading lady, in Beyond All Measure. My doubts were swept away much more quickly than Ada's. From Chapter One, Dorothy weaves history and story into a seamless presentation of life in rural Tennessee. Ada, a young Northern woman jilted by her fiance and left destitute by her father's death, comes to the South to be a companion to an elder widow. The issues of Civil War hatreds, race, and a woman's place surround Ada as she learns to trust God, trust herself, and trust the man who falls head over heels in love with her. The fact that these issues are still current gives an added dimension to the book. Why did I say a good summer read? It's a good read anytime of year.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Plans Do Not Work Out As Planned - Exciting Story

    Dorothy Love in her new book, "Beyond All Measure" Book One in the Hickory Ridge Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee in 1871.

    Ada Wentworth has been attacked by life. She has lost her family, her fiance and her fortune and now feels that the only person she can rely upon is herself, certainly not God. So she has traveled to Hickory Ridge to be a lady's companion to Lillian Willis, an elderly woman not in good health. Wyatt Caldwell is the local lumber mill owner and Lillian's nephew. Ada eventually wants to open her own millinery shop and stay in Hickory Ridge, Wyatt wants to return to Texas and start his own Longhorn ranch. How will this relationship ever work out?

    Dorothy Love has woven some very complicated themes into "Beyond All Measure". There is the theme of racism as Ada gets involved with Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Tensions rise as group of locals seek to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. Hickory Ridge is a town set in a time just after the Civil War where the people are just trying to figure out how to rebuild after the war. Not only the town but each other as well. Ms. Love is an excellent writer and makes all her characters believable and you care deeply for them as she deftly unfolds the plot before us. This is a nice romance with great themes. Ms. Love has given us a great beginning to a wonderful series. I am looking forward to the next book.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    inspiring...

    I don't usually cater to romance novels, but when I saw this on booksneeze, the summary just caught my fancy. What the heck, right? It's a book any way you look at it. Well, as it turns out, it is more than just a book. It's an entertaining book. The story was well thought out and presented in such a way that makes it hard to put down. It's definitely kept me awake through the long hours of the night, reading on and on if only to find out just what Ada Wentworth is going to do with the slew of changes that's coming to her life, and just how each change and each action is going to change her for the better.

    I must say I was not disappointed. Like I said, the story was well thought out and is sure to entertain as well as teach every Christian women the value of trusting God and letting the people who genuinely care about you help you through your ordeals. The romance between the protagonists ran a natural course that made it all the more believable that I have found real love in each other. This is the kind of romance book that people should read and learn from nowadays. A five out of five!

    I got a free copy of this book to review from booksneeze.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    --it was an interesting read Not terribly exciting.

    There were some interesting twists, but the end was what I expected. It was entertaining but not too exciting.

    I would say this book is for the casual reader--not very deep or thought provoking. It reads very fast.

    I might read another one of this author.

    No I would not recommend this for a book club discussion--not enough to discuss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    ?

    Thanks to all these long overly excessive plot spoilers, here is another book ruined. I refuse to pay goid money after these rude, self absorbed wanna be authors rewrite the book in their reviews. They should be banned from posting on here. If they want to cliff note the authors work, go to the publishers web site, since they love to brag how they got the book for free.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Protecting your heart can mean missing out on the love of a lifetime!

    He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best -
    Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest. - Carolina Sandell Berg, "Day by Day" (C. 1865)

    A broken heart is a difficult thing to bear. Even worse is the ability to let down the walls that we build up to protect the wounds from being hurt even more, while hopefully allowing the heart to mend. Yet in that process, we fail to realize what our actions are really doing. They set us apart from allowing others to see what we truly are like, and block the ability to ever really love and trust again.

    Ada Wentworth is looking for a way to begin again. Vowing a personal covenant with herself, she promises to stand strong, become an independent woman and never trust the love of a man again, no matter how kind or attractive he may be. Hickory Ridge, in Tennessee offers her that hope again. Answering an ad in the paper for a ladies companion, she hopes to work long enough to save up the money to move back to Boston and start up a hat shop of her own. Healing from a broken heart, she has hardened herself to everything and everyone including God. Determined and strong-willed, she resolves to do whatever it takes to make it on her own, without the help of anyone, no matter how her heart still hurts inside.

    Wyatt Caldwell is the local lumber mill owner, whose ad, Ada has come to answer. Living a bit far away from town, he is looking for someone to care for his aunt Lillian Willis. Since the mill has been busy, Wyatt has built a home near the mill and therefore, needs someone to look after Lillian while he is gone for most of the day. The only problem is that Lillian Willis, is herself set in her ways, strong-willed and cantankerous. She knows just about everyone in town and has an opinion on everything. Not only that, but she has some spells that may just about push poor Miss Ada back to Boston.

    What surprises await Ada when she steps off the train and into the hearts of the residents of Hickory Ridge, and what danger also looms under the cover of darkness that may end things for her before she has a chance to find love again.

    I received Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review. Being a huge fan of western romances with a twist, this one was a delight to read. I loved the characters that she develops and makes the readers have a real relationship with them. Ada's so determined to not let anyone in, she fails to see the truth that lies right before her eyes at times. Lillian has to be my favorite, being so blunt and honest, she doesn't hold back when something needs to be said. That being said, this book rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and can't wait to continue the story in the next book in the Hickory Ridge Romance series.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    My Hat Is Off to Beyond All Measure!

    As a native Tennessean, I'm always excited to find novels set in my home state and somewhat concerned that the author might not get the setting or the attitudes of the people quite right. In the case of Beyond All Measure, I didn't need to worry at all. From the first page Dorothy Love's story grabbed me as she delved into the emotions of the people in Hickory Ridge, an East Tennessee community.

    As Ada Wentworth of Boston begins a new life far away from everything she's ever known, her desire for something of her own threatens the love she's finding with handsome Wyatt Caldwell. Dorothy Love weaves a compelling love story as Ada learns to trust and find God's plan for her life.

    Beyond All Measure marks Dorothy Love's debut in Christian fiction. As a dedicated reader of historical fiction, I salute her on writing an inspiring story that I won't soon forget. I can hardly wait for the story to continue in the next book when Ada and Wyatt return to Hickory Ridge for a wedding.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Beyond all Measure Captivates

    Beyond all Measure, a hickory ridge romance by Dorothy Love, keeps readers intrigued throughout the entire novel. Ada Wentworth, the heroine of this Christian romance, is a strong young woman who has come upon hard times and needs to accept a position as a caretaker for an older Southern woman from Tennessee. Ada must leave her beloved Boston and the only culture she knows for this new, unknown world in the post-civil war South. Her determination and courage make her a truly captivating character. Added to this mysterious plot enters the handsome Wyatt Caldwell, the nephew of Ada's future caretaker who currently owns the lumber mill in town. In a fast-paced, enduring story, Love writes with richprose and a keen sense of history that makes this novel a must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2011

    Loved It

    Left penniless after her father's death, Ada Wentworth heads to the backwoods of Tennessee to earn her living as an assistant to an elderly woman. Her life in this new place is completely different than the life she was used to in Boston. Ada's new job brings struggles and duties she was not anticipating; Ada also wasn't anticipating falling for the nephew of the woman she cares for. Life isn't all fun and games for Ada, especially when she comes face to face with deep roots of racism and anti-Yankee sentiment. Beyond All Measure follows Ada on the journey of discovering who she is, overcoming the past and embracing the future.
    This was a fun book to read, the story lines that intertwined kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to bed. The author, Dorothy Love, really keeps the reader in suspense about how the story is going to turn out. As I was nearing the end, I was sure that this write up would state that it didn't end the way it should have and that there was no closure; as I got even closer to the last page, however, I changed my mind and decided that this story ended just the way it was supposed to. This is a great work of post-Civil War historical fiction.

    Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read I Definitely Recommend

    Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love is a wonderful book about a young woman from Boston who finds herself in Hickory Ridge Tennessee in the years following the Civil War.

    In the summer of 1871 Ada Wentworth has no family, no home, and no money to her name. Ada accepts a position as a lady's companion for the elderly Lillian Willis, aunt of the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada plans to save up enough money to establish her own hat shop with the millinery skills her mother taught her.

    With unanswered questions from her past, Ada is guarded but finds herself drawn to Wyatt, a Texan with big plans, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who lives at the local orphanage. The problem is that Ada's friendship with Sophie attracts attention from some townsfolk who want to displace Two Creeks, a settlement of "colored" men and women at the edge of town. Tensions rise but Ada is determined to help Sophie.

    When Lillian passes Ada is left without employment or a home. And now that his aunt has passed Wyatt is free to return to Texas to start his dream of owning a ranch. Can Ada let go of her past and trust god with her future? Can she let go of the betrayal of another to trust Wyatt with her heart?

    This is a book that I really enjoyed. I am currently working on several books, and you know when you are drawn to put other books down that you've found a keeper. Beyond All Measure if definitely a keeper. I enjoyed the main characters, but I really liked the secondary characters. They were not left behind while the story centered on a select few. This is a great read and I can't wait for the next Hickory Ridge book!

    This book also had a discussion guide at the end, good for personal reflection or a book club.

    Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of the ebook for review purposes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    A Lovely Surprise

    I'm not a romance reader, which makes me a good reviewer for this book, I think. I received a copy free to review. But I love history (especially the Civil War and post-Civil War era), so I started this book with hope! I also am a transplanted Yankee from up north who, for family reasons, is living in Texas, so the story line was intriguing. Ada, the transplanted Yankee from Boston, resonated with me. She seemed real, which enabled me to get involved in her life and the life of the story.

    Although it's a historical romance, much of the content is relevant to today's woman. Everywhere you go, people are dealing with loss (and Ada has many). Women today are struggling to trust people and afraid to allow themselves to love again. Letting go of past hurts and trusting others (and trusting God) again is a real challenge-which Ada struggles with as well. So many people are looking for a fresh start. So I think BEYOND ALL MEASURE will speak to women who, like me, might not ordinarily pick up a romance. There were plenty of subplots true to the post-Civil War times to keep my interest. I think you'll find the same thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    Could not put it down!

    "Beyond All Measure" by Dorothy Love is one of the best books I have read in a long time; I could not put it down. I am an avid Francine Rivers reader and I have to put this book right up there with my favorites of hers. I enjoy books that transport you back in time and that are about second chances not only at love, life, and relationships but also at faith. This one transports you back the late 1800's in rural Tennessee after the Civil War, gives you insight on the way of living, the still grown ignorance and intolerance of people, the growth in industry, the community events and education at that time, and the mindset of the people of those days. It paints a clear picture on how God helps us to find the right paths in life, and how he steers us in the right direction whether we know it or understand it at the time. Wonderful book, I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2014

    Great book. Couldn't put it down. Great love story.

    Great book. Couldn't put it down. Great love story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Shorter reviews

    Please post shorter reviews. The long long overly positive review smack of purchased words .

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  • Posted August 20, 2013

    This is a captivating Christian Historical novel. After Ada Wen

    This is a captivating Christian Historical novel.

    After Ada Wentworth loses everything and everyone that is important to her she sets out to take a job as companion to an elderly widow, Lillian Willis, in rural Tennessee. This is a drastic change for the young lady from a well-to-do Boston family shortly after the end of the Civil War. Many of the local residents of the small town in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains view Ada as an enemy because of her Yankee upbringing.

    Wyatt Caldwell is Lillian Willis’s nephew, Ada’s new employer. After the war ended he returned to Hickory Ridge and opened a lumber mill.

    I was drawn into the story very quickly. The characters were very easy to connect to. The plot was easy to follow and did not become bogged down at any point. Dorothy Love handled the touchy subjects of the Ku Klux Klan and the freed slaves that were trying to figure out the new order of things. I wanted to see the people in Hickory Ridge work out their differences and sort out their problems. I thoroughly enjoyed the simple way that those whose belief in God was solid encouraged others to trust Him and rely on Him.

    I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads, First Reads giveaway.

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