Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love.
Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget she would never be one of the beautiful people.
that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.
When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again?
When Tom challenges her to see her own beauty, Ginger must decide if she will remained chained to the past or move freely into a new, exciting future.
About the Author
Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.
Read an Excerpt
A Brush with Love
By Rachel Hauck
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2014 Rachel Hauck
All rights reserved.
The crazy January day it snowed in Rosebud, Alabama, Ginger Winters sensed a shift in her soul.
In the distance, pealing church bells clashed with the moan of the wind cutting down Main Street.
"Have you ever?" Ruby-Jane, Ginger's receptionist, best friend, and all-around girl Friday, opened the front door, letting the warmth out and the cold in. "Snow in Rosebud. Two hours from the Florida coast and we have snow." She breathed deep. "Glorious." Then she frowned. "Are those the church bells?"
"For the wedding ... this weekend." Ginger joined Ruby-Jane by the door, folding her arms, hugging herself. "If you're Bridgett Maynard, even the wedding bells get rehearsed."
Ruby-Jane glanced at Ginger. "I thought they were getting married at her grandparents' plantation."
"They are, but at four o'clock, when the wedding starts at the Magnolia House, the bells of Applewood Church will be ringing."
"Disturbing all of us who didn't get an invite." Ruby-Jane made a face. "It's a sad thing when your friend from kindergarten turns on you in junior high and ignores you the rest of your life."
"Look at it this way. Bridgett dropped you and you found me." Ginger gave her a wide-eyed, isn't-that-grand expression, tapping the appointment book tucked under RJ's arm. "What's up with the day's appointments?"
"Mrs. Davenport pitched a fit but I told her we were moving appointments around since you didn't want anyone driving in this mess. And you know Mrs. Carney wanted you to come out to the house but I told her you weren't driving either."
"Sweet Mrs. Carney."
"Demanding Mrs. Carney."
"Come on, RJ, she's been coming to this very shop, with its various owners, since after the Second World War. She's a beauty shop faithful."
"Either way, she can go a day without you blowing out her hair. Maggie never catered to these blue hairs."
"Because Maggie was one of them. I'm still earning their respect."
"You have their respect. Maggie wouldn't have sold you this shop unless she believed in you. So they have to believe in you."
The wind rattled the window and skirted tiny snowflakes across the threshold. "Brrr, it's cold, Rubes. Shut the door." Ginger crossed the salon. "I think today ..." She pointed at the walls. "We paint."
"Paint?" Ruby-Jane walked the appointment book back to the reservation desk. "How about this? We lock up, go home, sit in front of the TV, and mourn the fact that All My Children is off the air."
"Or, how about we paint?" Ginger motioned to the back room and shoved up her sleeves, a rare move, but since the doors were shut, the shop was closed, and snow was falling, she didn't mind exposing her puckered, relief-map skin. "We can use the old smocks to cover our clothes."
Ruby-Jane had been the first person outside of Mama and Grandpa to ever see the hideous wounds left on her body after the trailer fire.
At the age of twelve, everything changed for Ginger Winters. But out of the pain, one good thing emerged: her superpower to see and display the beauty in her friends. Despite her own ugly marring, she was the go-to girl in high school for hair and makeup.
It was how she survived. How she found purpose. Her ability took her to amazing places. But now she was back in Rosebud after twelve years, starting a new season with her own shop.
She'd left home to become a known stylist, fleeing her "burn victim" image.
And she'd succeeded, or so she thought, landing top salon jobs in New York, Atlanta, and finally Nashville, traveling the world as personal stylist to country music sensation Tracie Blue.
But the truth remained, even among her success. Ginger was that girl, ugly and scarred, forever on the outside looking in.
Face it, some things would never change. If she hoped different, all she had to do was look at her role in her old "friend's" wedding. The hired help.
Ginger tugged the paint cans from the storage closet. Six months ago, when she returned to Rosebud and signed the papers for the shop, she ran out to Lowe's and purchased a pinkish-beige paint to roll on the walls, giving the old shop a fresh look and a new smell, adding her touch to the historic downtown storefront.
But Maggie kept a full appointment book and Ginger hit the ground running, with only enough time to paint and decorate her above-shop apartment.
Then the two long-time stylists who had worked for Maggie retired. And ten-hour days turned to fifteen until Ginger hired Michele and Casey, part-time stylists and fulltime moms.
Painting had to wait.
"Can we at least order lunch?" Ruby-Jane tugged open the doors of the supply closet, the long-handle roller brushes toppling down on her. With a sigh, she collected them, settling them against the wall.
"Yes, pizza. On me."
"Ah, I love you, Ginger Winters. You're speaking my language."
Kneeling beside the paint can, Ginger pried off the lid and filled the paint trays, then moved to the shop and dragged the styling stations toward the center, covering the old hardwood floor around the perimeter with paper and visqueen.
"Have to admit, I love this old shop," RJ said, pausing between the shop and the back room.
"Me too." Ginger raised her gaze, glancing about the timeworn, much-loved room. "Don't you wish these walls could talk?"
Ruby-Jane laughed. "Yes, because I'd like to hear some of the old stories. No, because talking walls would really freak me out." She eyed Ginger, pointing. "But one day these walls will tell our stories."
"Can we go back to talking walls freaking you out?" Ginger laughed with a huff as she pulled the last station away from the wall. "I don't want any stories going around about me."
She'd heard them already. Freak. Ugly. She gives me the creeps.
"I think the walls will tell lovely stories: Ginger Winters made women feel good about themselves."
She smiled at Ruby-Jane, the eternal optimist. "Okay, then I can go with the talking walls. Okay ... painting. Shoo wee, this is a big wall. Let's do the right side first. Then, as time allows, we'll finish the rest. With the right side done, we'll be more motivated to get the rest done."
"You're the boss."
Adjusting the scarf around her neck, Ginger smoothed her hair over her right shoulder, further covering herself. While she had the courage to shove up her sleeve and expose her scarred arm, she wasn't brazen enough to expose her neck and the horrible skin graft debacle.
Two infections and three surgeries later, Mama had given up on doctors and decided to "leave well enough alone."
Ginger had cried herself to sleep at night, her hand pressed over the most hideous wrinkled, puckered skin patch at the base of her neck.
She knew then she'd never be beautiful.
"You can have a social life if you want," RJ said, helping her with the last station.
"Who said I wanted one?" Ginger headed for the storeroom. "Let's get painting."
Five minutes later, their rollers thick with paint, Ginger and Ruby-Jane covered the wall with fresh color, their beloved country tunes filling the air pockets with twang.
"You ready?" RJ said. "For this weekend? One bride, seven bridesmaids, two mothers, three grandmothers—"
"Yep. Just a walk in the park, Kazansky."
"I still can't believe she didn't invite me. We were good friends until high school."
"Maybe because you dated Eric for awhile after they broke up."
"Well, there's that." Sigh. After graduation, when Bridgett and Eric went their separate ways, Ruby-Jane was more than eager to be the new future Mrs. Eric James.
"As for dropping you in high school, I don't know, but her loss was my gain." There were no truer words in this moment. With an exhale, Ginger relaxed into the repeating motion of rolling on paint.
The shop was warm and merry with the occasional ting of crystalline flakes pinging against the glass.
"Well, that's true, but I like to think we'd have become friends anyway."
Ginger glanced over at her tall, lithe friend. "You can come to the wedding as my assistant."
"And flaunt my shame in front of everyone as the help of the help? No thanks."
Ginger laughed. "Good point. You can get Victor Reynolds to take you to a romantic dinner instead."
"Ha! Haven't heard from him in weeks."
Ginger lowered her paint roller. "Really? Why didn't you say something?"
"Oh, I don't know ... I'm twenty-nine, divorced, living in my hometown with my parents, in my old bedroom, and when all is said and done, I can't keep the interest of Victor Reynolds." Ruby-Jane's expression soured. "Victor Reynolds ... who couldn't get a date to save his life in high school."
"You and me ..." Ginger rolled paint against the wall. "The single sisters in solidarity."
"Ugh, so depressing. At least you have a life calling. A skill." Ruby-Jane loaded her roller with paint. "You can take an ordinary woman and make her extraordinarily beautiful."
"I love what I do." Ginger glanced around the shop. "And I want to make this the best place in the county for hair, makeup, and all things beautiful. Next year, I hope to have an esthetician on staff."
She stepped back to admire the beige-pink covering the dull yellow wall. Beautiful. She loved it.
Making things-women-beautiful was her calling, her duty in life. She channeled every ounce of her heart and soul into her work because the truth was, she could never do it for herself.
And this weekend Ginger would play her role as a behind-the-scenes stylist, or as Tracie Blue called her, "the beauty-maker," for the Alabama society wedding of the year, if not the decade.
Socialite Bridgett Maynard was marrying the governor's son, Eric James. A pair of Rosebud High sweethearts, the beautiful people, united under their umbrellas of success and wealth.
While Ginger was looking forward to working with Bridgett, she did not look forward to the weekend. She'd have to live among them at the old plantation.
"Well, if anyone can make this place a success, it's you, Ginger. Last time I saw Mrs. Henderson, she was still smiling over how you styled her hair."
"Grandpa was the first to tell me I could see the beauty in everyone else." She saw it that day Mrs. Henderson sat in her chair, with her wilting, over-dyed, over-permed hair. "I believed him. He'd buy me a new baby doll every month because I'd cut the hair off the old one. Right down to their plastic scalps." Ginger's heart laughed. "Mama would get mad. 'Daddy, stop wasting your money. She's just going to destroy this one.' And he'd say, 'She's becoming who she's meant to be.'" Ginger added paint to her roller and started a slow roll along the wall, the blue sparkle of her grandpa's eyes making her warm and sentimental.
She missed Gramps, a stable force in her trailer park life, always making her feel safe. Especially when Daddy left. And again after the fire.
Then came Tom Wells. Ginger shook his name free from her thoughts. He didn't deserve any part of her memories. Handsome high school boy who disappeared on her and broke her heart.
She'd pushed him out of her mind until she moved back to Rosebud. Until Bridgett walked into the shop three months ago, begging Ginger to be her wedding stylist, and the boxed memories of her youth in Rosebud, of her high school days, busted out.
"Can I ask you something?" Ruby-Jane said, pressing the last bit of paint in her brush against the wall. "Why did you leave Tracie Blue? Really. Not because Maggie called you about this place."
"It was time."
"Did something happen? It wasn't because of your scars-"
"Because that would be crazy, you know. You were on the road with her for three years. Your scars weren't a factor."
Oh, but they were.
Tears blurred Ginger's eyes as she covered the old wall with a thick swath of paint. Goodbye old. Hello new. She hated lying to RJ, but talking about her departure from Tracie Blue sliced through the wounds no one could really see.
Ugly. That's what one tabloid called her. She'd found an article on the Internet one day last year naming the ugliest stylists to the stars. And Ginger Winters was number one.
Where they found that odd picture of her with her neck exposed, she'd never know.
Ginger swallowed a rise of bitter bile, inhaling, wrestling to shove the accusation out of her mind.
Yet she wasn't sure how to get it out of her heart. The words formed wounds and scars beneath her skin, creating tentacles of shame no long sleeves or colorful scarves could cover.
Ginger stepped back once again to admire her portion of the wall. "What do you think?"
"I like it," Ruby-Jane said. "A lot."
"Me too." The shop was starting to really feel like hers.
The top-of-the-hour news came on the radio. Ginger peeked at the wall clock. Eleven. "Hungry? Let's order lunch from Antony's," she said, cradling the brush handle against her shoulder, tugging her phone from her jeans pocket. "I'm thinking a large cheese pizza."
"You're singing my song. Oh, order some cheese bread too." Ruby-Jane stepped back, inspecting her work. "Love this color, Ginger. The shop is going to look amazing."
"I was searching online for new light fixtures last night and ... Hey, Anthony, this is Ginger down at Ginger Snips. Good, good, how are you? Yes, please ... a large cheese ... thin crust, yep ... and an order of cheese bread. No, for Ruby-Jane ... I know, she's a carb addict."
"I am not."
"Sure, one of us will come down to get it." Hanging up, Ginger slipped her phone back into her pocket. "Let's just take the money from petty cash."
As the words left her lips, the bells hanging from the front door clattered against the glass as a customer pushed in.
Glancing around, she rested her roller on the paint tray. Ginger sucked in a breath. Tom Wells Jr.
Her skin flamed as she adjusted the dark orange scarf tighter around her neck. She'd rather face Tracie Blue's paparazzi than Tom Wells.
"Well, look who it is. My, my, Tom Wells Jr." Ruby-Jane crossed over and gave him a big hug. "What brings you to town? Ginger, look what the cat dragged in." RJ sort of shoved Tom further into the shop.
"Ruby-Jane, hey, good to see you. Ginger ... it-it's been a long time." He ran his hand over his long, wavy hair as his blue gaze flipped from Ruby-Jane to Ginger who wobbled, powerless in his presence. "Are y'all open? Is Maggie around? I was hoping for a quick haircut."
Ruby-Jane smiled, patting him on the shoulder. "Good ole Maggie Boyd retired." She shoved him forward again, indicating behind his back that Ginger should talk to him.
"So Maggie finally took that trip to Ireland? I wondered why the sign said Ginger Snips."
"S-she's in Ireland as we speak. I-I own this place now." Ginger's voice faded, weak under the thunder of her heartbeat. She reached for her brush handle and faced the wall. Get a hold of yourself. Remember what he did to you. If she had any gumption at all, she'd roll him with paint.
"Remember we studied calculus together, Ginger?"
"I remember." She cut him a glance, trying so hard to be cool, but Tom Wells, with those blue eyes and mammoth shoulders, was standing in her shop.
Ruby-Jane stepped around him, still communicating to Ginger with glances and expressions. "It's been a long time, Tom. Since you left town our senior year. What brings you back?"
"Yeah it's been awhile. I-I'm back ... for the wedding. Bridgett and Eric's." He seemed reserved, almost shy. Definitely a lot more humble. "I'm the best man."
Ginger pressed the roller brush against the wall. What? He was one of Eric's groomsmen? She'd be around him all weekend?
"I hear it's going to be the wedding of the decade." Ruby-Jane flicked her hand toward Ginger. "She's the stylist for the whole shebang."
"Really?" Despite his expression, Tom sounded impressed. "Not surprised. You were always good with hair, if I remember right." He brushed his hand over his thick hair again, glancing around. "As you can see, I'm in desperate need of a haircut. But looks like you're not open."
His smile darn near skewered Ginger to the wall. Simmer down, he's just passing through ... do not feel for him.
"Sorry but we're painting today. You can go to the new shopping plaza south of town if you need a cut."
"The roads are horrible," Tom said, stepping close enough for his subtle fragrance to slip beneath the paint fumes and settle on her. "Big backup on Highway 21."
"You know how it is in the South," Ruby-Jane said. "We can't drive in a rainstorm, let alone ice or snow."
Tom laughed, shaking his head. "Very true." He raised his gaze to Ginger. "So is it possible to get a cut here? This is the only time I—"
Excerpted from A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck. Copyright © 2014 Rachel Hauck. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm a huge fan of Rachel Hauck, and she pulled off a great novella with A Brush with Love. It's hard to truly develop a full story with interesting characters in so few pages, but Hauck manages to do just that. I truly enjoyed every aspect of this story and was sad to see it end. How many romance stories have you read where the girl isn't the most beautiful girl in the world? Not many. Well, in this story, Ginger is beautiful, but because of a past tragedy which has left her covered with scars, she believes she is ugly. I loved this aspect of the book. The way Tom befriended her and helped her learn to see herself the same way he does. Beautiful. If you're looking for a romantic story with a little more depth and a sweet end, A Brush with Love is just the story for you. [5 stars] I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
A novella from Rachel Hauck who is one of the only Christian fiction authors that I will read. All of her books definitely fit in the Christian fiction genre and you would be remiss not to know that there is definitely some Jesus in each book. But even though I don't tend to love Christian fiction, I love the plot lines and this one was right up there. I loved the characters and loved their back story. I just loved Ginger's story. I could have had so much more time hearing about her childhood and how she became the woman she was. Although I say this again later, I wanted more time with her. I wanted to hear more about her and wanted more from her. The one thing I had with this book is I wish it wasn't a novella. I wish the author had more pages to make the book feel more full. I felt that the book had a part of insta love and a quick turn around of a main character, but I think it is solely because of the lack of pages and if given a few more pages, she could have built the story out more. So my wish is for more pages!
A Brush with Love Rachel Hauck Book Summary: Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love. Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget she would never be one of the beautiful people, that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade. When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again? Review: Interesting story over all. It was a little slow for me. I liked Ginger and felt a lot of empathy for the childhood trauma. I have heard that it is hard to overcome small town roles, but she was away for a long time and it seemed odd that she would move back to her hometown given they way she was treated. The story was fast paced at points. Ginger and her mother moved into a better relationship, while she was torn between liking Tom and not wanting to be around him. Predictable over all but definitely not your run of the mill heroine. I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
A Brush With Love by Rachel Hauck The story is beautiful. Based on a woman with skin damage and a man with family gossip following him They were once friends but had a falling out. He mends his way through his family drama and she finds love in all the right places while finding it in her self. ♥ The story held a few ‘cue the romance’ scenes but they weren’t there! I know, how can that be? Well this is a christian book and it held a lot of respect for how relationships should be. I pray to find me a Tom Wells (main male character). It made me feel blessed be a child of God and to know that no matter what I look like God loves me all the more and there are people God put out there who will too. The plot was great. The writer showed her experience with the main female character and her issues, even if the author had none. Character development was also great. It’s crazy how the two main characters lives were entangled yet they didn’t even know themselves; very well written and brought together. Dialogue and description played hand in hand. I’ve always said, If an a person can describe winter weather well without over use of the five senses they are good at being a writer. 70% of writing a book is based off of scene description and character interaction with the scene; Ms. Hauck did a great job for a short novella. Overall the message was inspiring and one people all over the world need to preach about more. Why be afraid of who and what God made you/ called you to be? He knows what He is doing, ‘trust in the Lord with all you strength and lean not on you own understanding’, Proverbs 3:5-6. I was challenged! I was challenged to say no to the devil’s lies and accept God’s truth and will for me and my life. I highly recommend this novella. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.” B’Sweet~Stay Sweet, Annie ♥
A Brush With Love is a delightful novella! Rachel Hauck is an excellent storyteller and shares an important message is this beautiful story. I enjoyed the main characters, Ginger and Tom, and their emotional and spiritual journeys. I would love to continue their story! A Brush With Love is another wonderful addition to the Year of Weddings series! I received a complimentary copy of this novella through Litfuse Publicity. All thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
Ginger Winters spends her life making others beautiful because she knows she’ll never attain beauty – not since that fire destroyed the little she had. Tom Wells can’t help but to remember being a no-show for his date with Ginger twelve years ago. Some things just don’t leave your heart. So when he returns to Rosebud and runs into her it’s an obvious blessing. But, can God use Tom to help Ginger find Him and His goodness before it’s too late for a second chance? Hott Review: What I liked: I really enjoyed “A Brush with Love”. I loved Ginger and she just felt ‘real’. This was a peaceful and very fun romance. What I didn’t like: The ending was a bit abrupt. It wasn’t terrible just a huge change of pace. More… Author: Rachel Hauck Source: Zondervan via Netgalley Grade: B Ages: 16+ Steam: Nada Setting: Rosebud, Alabama
Ginger is a famous and gifted hairstylist and has worked with a well known country singer among her accomplishments. She appears to be a sweet girl, with very low self-esteem. She does seem to have a good reason for hiding, but she really is a beautiful person. Tom Jr is back in town and is facing his daemons, but he has turned his life over to God. Being back in the same town he was rushed out of in the dark of night, had to be a bit scary. I didn’t get that impression from him at all; he is such a bubbly and caring person that ends up singing in the street. Yes, he does. Turns out that Tom appears to have a thing for Ginger, but she can and rather will not accept a compliment, or even a date. Ginger has a big hurt as far as Tom is concerned, he invited her for a date and then never showed, and of course that was when his family left in the middle of the night. She felt he could have called! Can Ginger ever trust him again? Will the town accept Tom after the shame? Will Ginger ever make it through her friends wedding as their hairdresser? There are some really funny happens here, and this becomes quite the page-turner. Wait until you see what happens in the mud, which at first I really felt bad about! This could be anyone, but Ms. Hauck has placed me/you in this character’s shoes, and we deal with her pain, and happiness. I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
In A Brush with Love, Rachel Hauck has crafted a story of a deeply scarred woman who has it all -- when it comes to making other women beautiful. However, she will never see herself as beautiful, let alone desirable to a man. She's walled her heart and life off, even as a piece of her longs for more. Enter the hero who walked out on her 12 years earlier when his family fled town in the middle of the night. He's always found her beautiful, but knows she has to accept that truth for herself. This novella is one that I wish had been longer. There was so much truth to be explored as Ginger steps into seeing her beauty first through Tom's eyes and then through God's. A quick read that I enjoyed!
I really liked this book. This was a lovely story about a disfigured woman who had the gift of being able to bring out the beauty in those around her. But she couldn't see the beauty in herself. Then a man from her past returns to town and goes out of his way to prove that not only does he think she is beautiful as is, but that God loves her and values her as well. At some parts of the book, I thougt Tom took it a little too far-- really pushing her out of her comfort zone-- sometimes embarrassing her with all the extra attention he paid her. I can definitely why it would upset her and make her think he was being insincere by being so outspoken about her beauty, etc. Being a quiet person, I can totally get not feeling comfortabke with that. Especially, when you go to such an effort not to stand out, not to have your differences noticed... but at the same time, I think every person secretly wants someone to think them beautiful and loved for who they are... sorry for babbling. This is a really sweet story with a wonderful message.
10 stars ********** out of a possible five Contemporary romance YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! I would like every friend, every girl to hear it from the rooftops. Too often I have heard in the last few weeks, grandmothers and aunties talking about this or that girl being beautiful. After reading this novel, I hope I am brave enough to remind each and every one of them that yes, the girl is beautiful, and if she loves Jesus she is awesome. Rachel is an amazing author, and though because of word restraints, since novellas by definition are shorter than novels, she was able to pull me right into the story and I felt the angst, the hurt and disillusionment that were Ginger's life. I felt Shana's anguish as she unburdened her heart, and know too that if the right circumstances had come, it might have been me who judged her. God is Love, and he makes everything beautiful. Thank you to Chris at Litfuse Publicity Group, Zondervan Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this Ebook. I was given this book free in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
A Brush with Love is a novella in the Year of Weddings spin off series. This series is about the women who helped make weddings successful. A Brush with Love has a strong Christian theme which is reasonable considering one of the main leads is a pastor. Ginger is a hairstylist with a super talent/super power to make women beautiful which is ironic because she feels that she will never be beautiful. When she was 12 she was burned and has to live with the scars. Tom is the boy that she finally let her guard down with in high school. However he stood her up because his family moved the night they were supposed to go for pizza. Tom is now back in town and about to start his own church which stirs up why the family had to leave town in the first place. I really liked Ginger’s character and her friend RJ. There were some funny scenes (getting stuck in the mud) and some tender moments like when she was talking to her mom about what happened so long ago.You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
Don’t you just love this cover? I do! And as beautiful as the cover picture is, the story that unfolds in this novella is even more beautiful. It is the story of a woman who feels that she is less worthy than other women out there. She feels less beautiful, less important, and less deserving of anyone’s love. Ginger is a very accomplished hair dresser who excels at making other women look their best. But, Ginger carries scars on the outside and on the inside that are keeping her from understanding her worth in God’s eyes. In fact, she questions whether there could even be a God, with the things that have happened to her in the past. Tom is back in his hometown to start a church. Having dedicated his life to God, he must work to overcome town bias against his family. Another obstacle to overcome are the walls surrounding Ginger’s heart. Tom sees Ginger’s inner and outer beauty. Will he be able to convince her that both he and God find her beautiful? The author did a superb job with this story. The characters were fully developed and I felt my heart ache for Ginger when she was treated as a second-class citizen at one point in the story. I also enjoyed seeing Tom step up and attempt to set things right. It highlighted his strong character. I really enjoyed this novella, which is a part of the Year of Weddings 2 novella series. I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the publisher, through Litfuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review.
I had a very interesting and unexpected reaction to this story. The synopsis gave no clue whatsoever to the unique circumstances behind the “childhood tragedy” that Ginger must overcome – and normally I would NEVER reveal something so intrinsic to the plot line but it seems something has been said about it in every other review I’ve read so I have no compunction whatsoever in revealing this particular tidbit… Especially as I had a teacher in school with a similar experience. Of course… unlike Ginger, my teacher had found peace with her own scars. She did not go to great lengths to cover them up and I’m not certain I would have been so strong as she was but she had God’s grace on her side and that gave her the strength to find the beauty within. I always thought she was beautiful anyway… And she was a terrific teacher! Don’t miss this heart-warming novella and read about how Ginger deals with her own scars…
This was a good read. Rachel knew how to tug on the heartstrings. She developed some awesome characters. The story lines were kind of twisty. Ginger had a rough childhood. Spoilers on her mother and having burns over her from a trailer fire while her Mom went to party. She left Ginger home alone. Tom shows up, sees Ginger again and feels guilty for running out on her. She is a hairdresser and he is the Best Man in the ritzy wedding coming up. There is a major spoiler on him when when his family skipped town 10 years ago. Ginger got to me as she hides her scars and is a loner. Does Tom want her back? Will she finally leave the past in the past? Please pick this book to read! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
I really enjoyed this well-written story about seeing yourself as Jesus sees you. I really felt for Ginger and the rejection she felt because of her scars. She actually had physical scars from a fire that she covered with scarves, so I think the book description is a little misleading. Tom was such an amazing man of God! To not only see past the scars to who she really was, but to show her God's love so she comes to Christ rather than putting his own feelings first was wonderful to see. There were tears in my eyes at different parts of this story, especially the ending. This story was truly beautiful. I highly recommend it if you like romance or need a reminder about how much Jesus loves you! I received a free kindle copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.