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Every Perfect Gift

Every Perfect Gift

4.6 14
by Dorothy Love

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Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.

Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to


Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.

Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.

Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.

When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.

“Pure Southern delight! Dorothy Love weaves a stirring romance . . . that uplifts and inspires the heart.” —Tamera Alexander, best-selling author of The Inheritance and A Lasting Impression

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Love’s Hickory Ridge series concludes with this novel, a finale that falls a bit flat. That’s not to say readers won’t stick with this tale set in post–Civil War Tennessee that includes characters from Love’s earlier books. This time Sophie Robillard Caldwell, adopted by the Caldwells in a previous novel, returns to Hickory Ridge to prove that an outcast raised in the orphanage can revive the town’s defunct newspaper. Her first interview is with Ethan Heyward, manager of Blue Smoke, a luxury resort soon to open up the mountain. Sparks ensue, but both are burdened by mysteries in their pasts. Each faces a crisis when their pasts catch up, and threats to life and livelihood must be dealt with before they can think about building a present together. The trilogy ender is certainly a gift to readers, but less than perfect, with character motivations that fall short. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary Agency. (Dec.)

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Hickory Ridge Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Every Perfect Gift

A Hickory Ridge Romance
By Dorothy Love

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Dorothy Love
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8774-8

Chapter One

Hickory Ridge April 1886

The orphanage seemed so much smaller than she remembered.

Sophie Robillard Caldwell peered through the bars of the rusty gate, taking in the boarded-up windows, the weed-choked yard, the frayed remnants of a rope swing shivering in the sharp wind that seemed to whisper long-past taunts. Mutt. Muddlebones. Mongrel.

And worse.

Holding her hat in place with one hand, she looked up at the second-floor window of the room where she'd spent a lonely girlhood daydreaming and spinning stories. She'd expected to feel a sense of familiarity upon returning here, a kind of homecoming. But the moment she stepped off the train, she realized that everything had changed.

True, Jasper Pruitt still ran the mercantile, and his wife still owned the dress shop that had once belonged to Norah Dudley.

The bakery and Mr. Gilman's bank were thriving. The Hickory Ridge Inn, where she was currently staying, was full to overflowing every night. Miss Hattie's restaurant had reopened, and even now the smells of frying chicken drifted on the wind. She would write to her guardians, Ada and Wyatt Caldwell, about that. Despite their many years in Texas, Wyatt still rhapsodized about Miss Hattie's fried chicken.

But the pretty gazebo in the park was gone, and in its place was a statue honoring war veterans. And the riverbank where she had once played on her infrequent outings was covered with rows of new houses sporting gabled roofs and elaborate spindle-work porches. It wasn't only the physical details that made Hickory Ridge feel unfamiliar. It was the new busyness that permeated everything, erasing some of the small-town coziness that had so captured Ada's heart all those years ago.

With a final look at the deserted orphanage, Sophie climbed into her rented rig and clicked her tongue to the horse. According to Wyatt, Blue Smoke was responsible for much of the bustling activity. The massive luxury resort going up atop Hickory Ridge employed dozens of men who had come to town to build roads, mill timber, and construct the three-mile railway spur that took materials up the mountain. Soon a small army of farm girls would find work as housekeepers, laundresses, and serving girls for the moneyed guests arriving by train for weeks or months of tramping, fishing, and horseback riding.

The town was growing again, making this the perfect time to revive the long-defunct Hickory Ridge Gazette.

Wyatt and Ada were less than enthusiastic about Sophie's plan. But her work at the newspaper in Dallas had shown her how important a fair and independent newspaper could be to a town.

She guided her rig along the busy road past Mr. Pruitt's mercantile, her thoughts swirling. Of course the Caldwells were right. She could have stayed on at the paper in Dallas or even found a small Texas town in need of a paper of its own. But the notion that unfinished business awaited her in Hickory Ridge had captured her head and her heart, and here she was.

"Careful, miss!" A farmer, his arms laden with boxes of supplies, jumped back as she approached Mr. Tanner's livery. She slowed the rig and nodded an apology.

Truth to tell, she'd always felt she had something to prove. All those years at the orphanage, where she was treated as inferior, had left a mark on her soul. If she made a success of the Gazette, perhaps then she could vanquish those taunting voices in her head and prove she was as good as anybody, despite the whispers, rumors, and unanswered questions about who she was and where she came from.

Was that such a crazy thing to want?

She left the horse and rig at Tanner's livery and, drawing her shawl about her shoulders, walked the short distance to the newspaper office. The key slid into the rusty lock. The door groaned as she pushed it open. A dull gray light barely penetrated the dirt-streaked windows. In the corners, cobwebs undulated like ghosts. Wooden crates, an empty filing cabinet, and a broken-down bookcase littered the small space. The musty smell of old paper and lead mingled with the dust that rose in clouds when she plopped down in the chair behind the scarred walnut desk, bringing back a memory so sweet and sharp that her eyes filled.

What's that smell? She was ten years old and away from the orphanage for a glorious afternoon with the woman who soon would become her guardian. Smells like an adventure!

She still felt the same way. What could be more exciting than newspapering? Every day brought new stories that needed to be reported, examined, and remarked upon. As soon as her typewriting machine and her supplies arrived, the Gazette would be back in business. Assuming she ever got rid of all this infernal dirt and grime. She ran one hand along the dusty windowsill and checked the small gold watch she wore on a chain around her neck. It wasn't yet noon. There was time to do a bit of cleaning before leaving to conduct her first interview.

Ethan Heyward had been a hard man to pin down. It had taken three wires and two weeks' worth of handwritten notes before he finally agreed to talk to her about his role as codeveloper and manager of the new resort. Finally he'd promised to give her a brief tour of the grounds this afternoon.

Last night she'd tossed and turned, trying out interview questions in her head. The last thing she wanted was to have Mr. Heyward think she was frivolous and simpleminded. It might be 1886, but plenty of men—and women too—thought females were unsuited for business and their only place was in the home. Not that she didn't dream of falling in love with the most wonderful man on earth, making a life with him, having children. What woman didn't? But she didn't want to give up the newspaper business either.

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 persevering 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.

She removed her shawl, rolled up her sleeves, and pumped water into the pail she'd left there yesterday. She dipped a rag into the water and tackled the grimy window overlooking the street, noticing with a sigh that several of the gold letters had worn away. She would have to fix that situation right away. Potential subscribers and advertising customers would be less than impressed by a shabby-looking façade.

She wiped the window clean inside and out and dried it, rubbing the glass until the streaks disappeared, then started on the woodwork. Potential interview questions for Mr. Heyward still swirled in her head. What was he like? She knew little about him, apart from what she'd gleaned from other newspaper accounts— that he was the scion of an old Georgia family, that he was an architect, and that he'd teamed up with a Maryland businessman named Horace Blakely to build the resort many compared to those in Saratoga, New York.

Coming up from Texas on the train, she'd bought a copy of the Chattanooga Times that carried a photograph of the balding and rotund Mr. Blakely. No doubt Mr. Heyward looked about the same. Birds of a feather flocked together, didn't they? Especially wealthy birds. And Mr. Heyward surely must be rich as Croesus to build such a palatial hotel. The Times article said Blue Smoke was meant to rival the Greenbrier, the plush West Virginia resort that attracted wealthy guests from all over the country.

After scrubbing the baseboards and windowsills and dusting the desk and the chair, Sophie straightened the picture on the wall behind the desk, a fanciful painting of ladies at tea on a calm lake. For a moment she stood still, drinking in its quiet beauty.

"Hello? Anyone here?" A slender young woman, her whiteblond hair woven into a thick plait down her back, peered through the open doorway, looking for all the world like a water sprite in Sophie's favorite childhood storybook.

Sophie looked up. "May I help you?"

The water sprite stepped inside, holding a thin brown envelope sealed with a blob of blue wax. "Miss Caldwell?"

"Yes, but please call me Sophie." She pulled her sleeves down, buttoned her cuffs, and set aside her cleaning rag. "What can I do for you?"

"You probably don't remember me. I'm a few years older than you." The woman leaned one hip on the corner of the desk. "But I remember you. It caused quite a stir in Hickory Ridge when Wyatt Caldwell and his Boston bride lit out for Texas and took you with them. Jasper Pruitt still marvels at it."

A mental picture of the hard-eyed mercantile owner rose in Sophie's mind. Had the intervening years softened his opinion of those who were different? Perhaps that was too much to hope for. "I'm sorry. I don't ... I didn't have a chance to make many friends when I lived at Mrs. Lowell's orphanage."

"I'm Sabrina Gilman. But I much prefer to be called Gillie. My father owns the bank." She handed Sophie the envelope. "Your deposit receipt. Father said you left it in his office yesterday."

"So I did." Sophie smiled and dropped the envelope into the top drawer of her desk. "I was so eager to get settled and get over here to take a look at things that I forgot all about it." She studied her visitor. "I do remember you, though. You and Jacob Hargrove played Mary and Joseph at the Christmas pageant the year Mrs. Lowell brought us to church to sing carols. You aren't that much older than I am."

"Twenty-eight as of last week." Gillie sighed. "Well past my prime for marriage, according to Mother and her friends."

"I thought you and Jacob—"

"He left Hickory Ridge a couple of years after you and the Caldwells." Gillie shrugged. "I can't blame him. There was no work here for years. He finally got a job at a factory up north and married someone else."

"I'm sorry."

Gillie laughed. "Well, I'm not! It was only a childhood flirtation. Though I will admit, for a while I was in such a state that Father sought Dr. Spencer's help in sorting me out." She traced a scar on the wood desk with her fingers. "At first I couldn't imagine any other life than the one I'd dreamed of with Jacob. Watching our children grow up on our farm. Watching the seasons change. Growing old and wrinkled together." She sent Sophie a rueful smile. "Sentimental beyond all words, I know, but that's what I thought I was meant to do. God had other plans, though."

Sophie nodded. She had been visiting Ada Wentworth the day Robbie Whiting's father rode in to report that Wyatt Caldwell was taking the next train to Texas. That was the day Ada put her trust in God's plans and changed all their lives.

"I'm devoting my life to helping the sick," Gillie said. "It's my true calling. And I owe it all to a ... woman of loose morals."

"A ..." Sophie wasn't a prude, but she couldn't bring herself to speak a word polite ladies only hinted at.

"Exactly." Gillie bobbed her head. "Annie Cook. She owned a house of ill repute in Memphis. A very nice one, so they say. When the yellow fever epidemic broke out several years back, people left town like rats leaving a sinking ship, but she stayed and turned her place into a hospital. She took care of the sick folks till she herself died of the fever. It was in all the papers." Gillie looked up, her face full of light. "If that doesn't prove that God can use anybody for the good, I do not know what does. Annie Cook gave her life for other people."

Sophie made a mental note to look into Miss Cook's story. It might make an inspiring piece for the paper one day. "I hope you won't be called upon to go that far."

"So far my career has consisted mostly of tending colicky babies and patching up farming injuries. But Doc Spencer is teaching me to deliver babies. At nursing school we weren't allowed to attend a mother on our own."

Outside, the train whistle shrieked. Gillie shot to her feet. "My goodness—noon already. I didn't intend to take so much of your time."

"That's all right. Truthfully, I'm glad for your company. I'm afraid I don't have friends here. Except for Robbie Whiting, I never did."

"Their loss." Gillie's voice was warm with welcome. "But you've got one now."

Sophie returned Gillie's smile. How wonderful it would be to have someone near her own age to laugh with and confide in. "I hope so. Thanks for bringing my bank receipt."

"No trouble." Gillie waved one dainty hand and headed for the door. "I'll see you later."

Sophie emptied the dirty water from her cleaning bucket and draped the rag over the windowsill to dry, then headed for the hotel to freshen up before her trip up the mountain to Blue Smoke. Despite her education and practical experience contributing stories to the Galveston News and the Oklahoma Star, the mere thought of interviewing someone as powerful as Mr. Heyward made her stomach tight with nerves.

If she made a mess of this first real interview, folks would talk, as they always did in small Southern towns. If that happened, nobody would take her or her newspaper seriously. More than anything, she wanted her newspaper to succeed—to prove to the Caldwells that their faith in her was justified and to secure her future. She couldn't depend upon Wyatt Caldwell forever. He and Ada had their own children, Wade and Lilly, to consider.

The hotel parlor was quiet. A mother cradling a sleeping infant sat in the wing chair beside the window and gazed onto the busy street. Two salesmen in wool suits and bowler hats occupied the settee. Sophie retrieved her key from the room clerk and climbed the creaking stairs to her room. She changed into her best dress, a dark green frock with lace collar and cuffs, and picked up the new spring hat Ada had made for her. The jaunty little toque, adorned with netting and a single white silk flower, complemented her creamy skin and gray-green eyes.

She studied her reflection in the mottled mirror above the washstand and fought the fresh wave of apprehension moving through her. Despite her fair skin and straight hair, rumors that at least one of her parents carried African blood had marked her childhood and set her apart. Suppose she encountered the same thing now?

Back home in Texas, among Mexican vaqueros who worked Wyatt's ranch, hundreds of German and Czech immigrants, and African sugar plantation workers who sailed to Galveston to begin a new life, it had been easy to avoid questions about her family. Living with the Caldwells, moving through the world under their protection, had given her entrée into the finest homes and schools in Texas. Even so, without a blood family and a history to anchor her, she hadn't fit in with most of the other girls at Miss Halliday's School for Young Ladies. As much as she'd loved learning, graduating and starting her work in Dallas had come as an enormous relief.

She secured her hat with a pearl hatpin and brushed at a smudge of dirt on her nose. Maybe Wyatt was right and it was a mistake to come back to a place where some people—Mr. Pruitt at the mercantile, for instance—would remember the old gossip, and the hurt and rejection might well catch up with her again.

Fighting a wave of homesickness for Texas and the Caldwells, she gathered her bag, her notebook, and her pens and hurried from the inn to Mr. Tanner's livery. No sense in borrowing trouble. She'd made her choice. And the venerable Mr. Heyward must not be kept waiting.

Chapter Two

"Mr. Heyward?" Tim O'Brien, the lanky, red-haired young Irishman Ethan had lured away from Gilman's bank with the promise of higher wages and shorter hours, stuck his head into the room. "That newspaper reporter is here."

Ethan set aside the payroll ledger he'd been perusing and glanced at the leather-bound appointment calendar lying open on his desk. He'd nearly forgotten his promise to give the reporter a tour of the facilities. Normally he enjoyed showing visitors around the marvel that was Blue Smoke, but today he was preoccupied with half a dozen headaches—delayed deliveries, absentee workers he'd been counting on to finish the flooring in the ballroom, and rumors of growing unrest among Negro workers and the Irish boys he'd imported from back east. Besides, the way he understood it, the Gazette was not actually in operation yet. It was only someone's dream—the way Blue Smoke was his.

Still, once the resort opened, he'd need the newspaper, not only to keep people apprised of goings-on atop the mountain, but to act as a jobber for printing stationery, menus, guest cards, and daily activity sheets. If an afternoon with the reporter would put the resort into the good graces of the paper's owner, perhaps he could negotiate more favorable terms when the time came.


Excerpted from Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love Copyright © 2012 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.

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. An award-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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Every Perfect Gift 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
Ready for a sweet, Christian read? This is definitely it! Dorothy Love is one of those authors you can always count on to deliver quality romances where the characters quietly rely on God--or at least learn to rely on Him--and the romance never comes across as sappy. She is a skilled writer, and you will always find the story uplifting and completely appropriate. In this story, several issues are covered that are not often covered in Christian historical romances. She covers women's issues, mixed race, prejudice, and the poor, to name a few. She doesn't mince words, and the romance is exactly as it should be. There is never any doubt about how the story will end, but she does add some bumps along the way that make it quite entertaining. This is a book that is delightful to read! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Love has done a great job with Every Perfect Gift, the third and final book of her hickory Ridge Romance series. When I requested this book for review, I was not aware that it was the third in the series. So, I will admit to being a little nervous at starting the story. Would I have any idea what was going on? Could I understand the background stories to adequately do justice to reading and reviewing this book? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes! Not only does this book do fine as a stand alone, it has made me very interested in going back and reading the two stories that precede it. The two main characters in this story, Sophie and Ethan, are just so likeable. They both have secrets from their past that haunt them. These things that loom in their memories were things out of their control but that impact them and the way they interact with each other. Sophie returns to the town that she was raised in to start up a newspaper. She faces plenty of challenges throughout the book that she much persevere through. In the course of her reporting, she meets Ethan, who has designed and is in charge of the completion on a large resort in the area. He faces many challenges of his own throughout the story as well. Ethan and Sophie are drawn to each other and their attraction and growing love are so well written. However, if they are to ever hope for happiness together, they must face the secrets of their past. A wonderful story that I would recommend to any reader of Christian romance. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
l_manning More than 1 year ago
After being taken in by some very kind people, Sophie has spent a long time in Texas. However, she feels the pull to return to her home in the small town of Hickory Ridge. Sophie wants to start up the local paper again. The biggest news is the new resort opening up in the mountain above Hickory Ridge. Sophie decides to interview the supervisor in charge on things at the resort, and he turns out to be a very handsome young man named Ethan. Ethan and Sophie immediately feel drawn to each other, but they are both hiding secrets about their pasts. Ethan and Sophie will have a chance to make it if their pasts don't overrun them. This was a very enjoyable book. I loved Sophie. She was a hardworking woman in an age where she was not entirely accepted. She knew what she wanted to do and was determined to do it. I loved her zeal for reporting. You want her to succeed because she is so determined. Ethan was equally determined to do his job, but I felt like you didn't get to know him quite as well. I think some of this is due to the fact that his secret stays hidden until much closer to the end than Sophie's. Ethan and Sophie had a host of other characters to help them through their tale, and they had equally interesting lives. I especially liked the storyline involving building an infirmary. There were some very important topics discussed in this book. One of the most important was the idea of equality. This was touched upon in a couple ways. One was racial equality. As Sophie deal with her past, she must deal with the poor way she has been treated because of her suspected bloodline. Ethan has to deal with something similar but in a very different way. Another thing touched on was the ability we have to take care of our fellow men. There were many poor who were not able to get adequate medical care, and the building of an infirmary was meant to help with that. So many people pitched in to make this happen out of love of others. Overall this was a very enjoyable book that combined history and romance into a fun package. Galley provided for review.
ButterflyBlessingsBlog More than 1 year ago
I loved the way this book tied into the past and characters we're familiar with. There is a lot of explanation about those relationships but they are side plots that don't interfere with the main story. It also has a truly beautiful cover that I kept looking at over and over. Sophie is a bit of a puzzle to me. In some regards she seems a strong and determined woman. She moves away from home to own and run a newspaper. That was a brave and atypical move for a woman in that era. She has constant doubts though. She doesn't think people will accept her because of her biracial status - but there aren't any incidents in the present to indicate that. She actually receives a lot of support (other than those who believe her work is unacceptable). She doubts Ethan's love and forgiveness despite his visits, gifts, kisses, smiles . . . After a while I wanted to yell at her that it was obvious he loved her and had moved past it. I admired the way she stood up for her friends and for what she believed was right. Ethan is a good man who is very talented at his work - but finds his boss (and the boss' methods) frustrating and unacceptable. He also has a past that haunts him. This was a satisfying and enjoyable end to a wonderful series. I was offered an e-book of this title for review by BookSneeze - but I had already purchased it for myself. Their offer has in no way influenced my review.
believerCR More than 1 year ago
Sophie spent her early years in Hickory Ridge's orphanage, then moved to Texas. She returns to start a newspaper, but also to deal with some of the hurt from her past. She finds a big change - a resort is being built on the Ridge. The builder is handsome Ethan Heyward, who's also hiding some childhood pain.  How do I love thee, Every Perfect Gift? Too many ways to count!-The multifaceted romance. Sophie and Ethan's stories interweave with an amazing push-pull. -The town of Hickory Ridge. What fun to return to the familiar town and its beloved people. I especially enjoyed seeing Caleb Stanhope, the little stinker, grow up into a responsible adult - it happens!-Historical details, including newspaper printing, work camps, and opposition to the infirmary, give depth to the story. I love learning when I read!-Excellent writing brought the story to life - I'm ready to move to Hickory Ridge.-A cover as gorgeous as the story. I wish this series would continue!
happyhomeschoolmom More than 1 year ago
"Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart. Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl. Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country. When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She's equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance." I had an opportunity to review the first book in this series, Beyond All Measure and really enjoyed it. Somehow, I missed the second one, and because of that almost did not choose this book to review. But, because each of the books focus on a different character, I thought I could read this one now and go back to Beauty For Ashes later. First of all, even as an ebook, the cover was simply stunning!! I was thrilled to learn that Every Perfect Gift focuses on Sophie, the ward of Wyatt and Ada Caldwell all grown up and back in Hickory Ridge. Sophie is able to reconnect with those from her past, both friends and those who rebuked her as a child, and grow new friendships along the way. She is independent and determined to make a success of herself. She shows good character and determination to do and make things right and accepts responsibility for her mistakes. I enjoyed reading Sophie's story and "seeing" the lady she has grown to be. The author did a good job in the resolution of Sophie trying to discover her past and head towards her future. Ethan's story, secret and resolution was well done also. There are some feminist undertones in the story (a woman determined to be successful on her own in a profession dominated by men.) I was glad to revisit those we had already met in Hickory Ridge and was surprised by how they turned out. I also liked meeting the new characters especially Sophie's new best fiend. I was happy to see that in the end the characters should courage to stand up to those that were wrong, even though it came at a cost. I look forward to reading other stories in the future by Dorothy Love. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ebook copy of Every Perfect Gift for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
AudOneinAK More than 1 year ago
A PERFECT 5 FOR THE PERFECT GIFT! This book was a good book that covers a hard time in history for the "women's movement". This it when it was just starting (often as a necessity)......but when women knew how to work hard and still be a gracious lady at the same time. I love how Dorthy blends the desire to find love, serve God, look her best with a desire to fulfill her dream of writing! Very well written on the struggles of this type of life with both thee main character and her best friend who set out to build an infirmary in town! Well written, Exciting, and great dialogue, I love the bits of mystery and the conversations were well thought out and written well! I also love the descriptions of the clothes and the picture of the town! View all my reviews Posted by Audrey G
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The problem with secrets is that they are hard to hide and even more difficult to keep hidden. That's just what Sophie Caldwell and Ethan Heyward are figuring out. Both have moved to Hickory Ridge to try and find new beginnings despite their past. For Sophie Caldwell, she has returned to try her hand at running the local paper, The Hickory Ridge Gazette. She had worked for several newspaper companies in the past and with some luck and an open mind she is hoping that people will be willing to overlook her age and the fact she is a woman to give her a fair chance. With an eye for the truth and strong determination to report the fact, Sophie soon finds herself the town's advocate for a women's infirmary. But with lack of funds and the support of the local men of the town, it is unlikely it will be anything but front page news despite the overwhelming need to provide better care for the women and children in town. Ethan Heyward is trying to put his best foot forward in making a name for himself in Hickory Ridge as the new manager of Blue Smoke, a glamorous resort geared to bring money and the wealthy to stay for vacations in the small town. He is hoping it will bring the vital blood back into the town that seems barely able to hang on. He finds himself enchanted by the beauty and strength of Sophie Caldwell and seems drawn to her in a most unusual way. However when she happens upon a riot during the construction of the resort, she feels compelled to report the truth even though it is simply the opinion of one local worker. Will Sophie's search for the truth uncover more than just the growing popularity of the resort or will she be pulled into a much bigger story that Ethan is trying to keep undercover and hidden. In the novel Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love, the reader is taken back into the town of Hickory Ridge, Tennessee to find strong grit and determination despite overcoming difficult circumstances for both our main characters. They both compliment one another with their secrets and only have to discover that sooner or later, in evidently the truth will always come out. They are both given ample opportunity to share their secrets with one another but soon make more excuses and lies to keep their secrets buried and hidden. Sophie is your historical version of a women's rights advocate even though it still 1886 and the need for women to become accepted as much more than a wife and provider is still many years away from becoming a reality. I love her determination to dig deep when other women may have packed up and went running for the safety and comfort of home. It is that strength that I believe will lead Ethan to find romance and love in Sophie while allowing her the freedom to continue in her passions as a newspaper reporter/owner of the Gazette. How it turns out? Well, you'll have to pick up a copy of this one to find out. I received Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. This is the third book in the Hickory Ridge Romance Series and I can only hope for more by this talented author. This story is charming, heart-warming and truly captivating for the die hard Christian Historical Romance fan. You will not be disappointed. This one can be read as a stand alone but once you read this one, you'll want to go back and check out Beyond All Measure, Book 1, and Beauty for Ashes, the second in this series. For me, I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and each one is completely different but worth reading.
Suz4AU0608 More than 1 year ago
Every Perfect Gift's author Dorothy Love did a wonderful job working in characters from the two previous novels while telling us Ethan and Sophie's story. Sophie spent her entire life trying to find somewhere that she really belonged and an identity that was her own. Her love for newspapers led her back to Hickory Ridge where she began running the Gazette. Her first issue would feature an interview with one of the partners behind the new resort being built on the mountain. Ethan wasn't at all what she expected and she wasn't what he expected either since he was expecting a male. Despite being immediately attracted to each other both Sophie and Ethan had their reservations about the other. An unexpected visit from someone in Ethan's past does little to help the situation and Sophie's hesitation to reveal her past to Ethan nearly stops their romance before it even begins. I enjoyed every detail of this beautifully written story and I highly recommend reading this novel! I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group and Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Love in her new book, “Every Perfect Gift book coverEvery Perfect Gift” Book Three in the Hickory Ridge Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the lives of Sophie Caldwell and Ethan Heyward in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee in 1886. From the back cover: Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart. Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl. Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country. When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance. As human beings what is the one thing we all like to keep? The answer, secrets. What is the one thing that God knows that we should not keep because it is detrimental to, not only our health, but our relationships as well? You guessed it, secrets. What is the one thing that Sophie and Ethan have in common? Of course, secrets. “Every Perfect Gift” is a story about guilt, bad choices and forgiveness. Both Sophie and Ethan made mistakes in their past and it takes God to work out everything in their lives and set them straight for their future. 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. I liked this book and am sorry to say goodbye to Hickory Ridge as this is the last book in this series but I am looking forward to Ms. Love’s next book which will be set in South Carolina. 12 Days of Gifts with Dorothy Love’s “Home for the Holidays” Contest and Facebook Party {12/13} Dorothy Love is celebrating the new book in her Hickory Ridge Romance series, Every Perfect Gift with a “Home for the Holidays” 12 Days of Gifts contest. Celebrate the holidays with Dorothy Love and her protagonist, Sophie Caldwell, as they count down the days to Dorothy’s author chat party with 12 Days of Gifts! Dorothy will be giving away copies of Every Perfect Gift and other holiday essentials, as well as key items from the book that Sophie would have worn during or used to celebrate the holidays (a beautiful, red shawl, Victorian ornaments, stockings). It’s all happening on Dorothy’s Facebook page. She’ll post a new giveaway each day. So bring on the Christmas cheer with Dorothy and the “Home for the Holidays” 12 Days of Gifts. Then join Dorothy on the evening of December 13 for her author chat party! During the party, Dorothy will announce the 12 winners from the Home for the Holidays giveaway and host an author chat about Every Perfect Gift and favorite Christmas traditions. Oh, and she’ll be giving away lots of fun prizes. RSVP today. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
When Sadie Caldwell was a child she left Hickory Hollow with her new adoptive parents Ada and Wyatt Caldwell to start her new life in Texas. Now many years later she has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee where she is still haunted by her unhappy childhood. Sadie is the new owner of the local newspaper Hickory Ridge Gazette. It will be a challenge with the old equipment but she is ready for that challenge. She has enjoyed reuniting with several of her old friends and hopes all the old prejudices from some of the other towns people was left buried in the past. She finally opens for business and is very interested in interviewing the manager of the new luxurious resort Blue Smoke, Ethan Heyward . It will make a great article for the Gazette. Ethan was surprised to find out that S. R. Caldwell was not a man but an attractive woman and the new owner of the Gazette. After the interview he had every intention of spending more time with Sadie Caldwell. He noticed she was a little standoffish with him but wasn't sure why. Sadie got the impression that Ethan was prejudice against some of his workers. He also acted like he was suffering from some dark secret. But it was apparent he was very intelligent and talented. The resort was a great accomplishment and would be an asset to Hickory Ridge and it's businesses. In this final book of this series the author writes the conclusion of Hickory Ridge with two generations. The author focused on the trials and tribulations of women in the workplace. Even though there will always be people that are prejudiced against someone or something the author brings them into the new generation growing with the times. Book three was the perfect gift! I highly recommend this book. Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Apassion4pages More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I didn’t read the first two books in this Hickory Ridge Romance Series by Dorothy Love, but that didn’t stop me from understanding the story Every Perfect Gift. True, I might have known more about Sophie, Ada, Wyatt, Carrie and Griff—but it was perfectly just knowing that they were the main characters in the first two books. However, the number of other characters in the book (in general) was a bit distracting at times. For any average reader of historicals looking for a good story to spend an afternoon or two with, this ‘sweet’ romance would definitely do the trick. It is well-written and the story is interesting—even if is uncannily similar to the book I started writing in November. Fortunately, the style, POV (third person point of view from both the hero and heroine) and over-all ‘sweetness’ of the book are completely different than how my own historical romantic suspense from first person point of view with this sort of ‘old-fashioned resort’ setting will turn out. But boy, I hope I can score a cover as beautiful as this one someday! My favorite thing about this book in general was the fact that it took me to the fictional Smoky Mountain resort called Blue Smoke and showed me new angles into the life of a hotel manager/owner during that era. I can’t help it. I always read as a writer. I have to. I did like the main characters, Ethan and Sophie, though there wasn’t nearly enough keeping them apart for my taste. And they did love each other entirely too easily. Personally, I like to see characters awkwardly squirm with discomfort and suffer through sorrowful broken-hearted-ness before getting to their happy endings. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.