Book Review: “Beyond The Ashes” by Karen Barnett

July 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Karen Barnett in her new book, “Beyond The Ashes book coverBeyond The Ashes” Book Two in The Golden Gate Chronicles series published by Abingdon Press takes us into the life of Ruby Marshall.

From the back cover:  The man flashed a disarming smile, his Bristol-blue eyes causing Ruby’s breath to leak from her chest. Fine lines around his mouth spoke of a life filled with either worry or laughter. Ruby glanced down. She wasn’t going to swoon over a man…

Young widow Ruby Marshall is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother, Robert, with his cancer research. Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby arrives in the city with great hope and determination for a new beginning.

But she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur had dreamed of filling his empty home, but he’d always hoped it would be with a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with family and friends left homeless by the disaster. As he attends to every need of his patients and friends, Gerald doubts he will ever find true love, especially when he develops symptoms of the very disease he’s striving to cure.

She’s had her love and lost it. He is still missing his heart’s desire.

Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Welcome back to 1906 San Francisco. When you have historical fiction I am right there because I enjoy history.  When you mention the Great San Francisco Earthquake I am hooked.  That was an epic disaster that showed the heroism of the people after the devastation as they worked together to heal and rebuild that city.  Ms. Barnett gets it! Against this backdrop this time the focus is on Robert’s sister Ruby. Robert, from the previous book, is doing cancer research. I had no idea that there was cancer research going on way back then. Gerald is Robert’s partner in the research and is temporarily housing family and friends left homeless by the Earthquake. That’s how Ruby and Gerald meet and she takes up helping him in his work. Gerald never had a wife and feels cheated. Ruby, on the other hand, is a widow and is emotionally wounded and needs to heal. These two fall in love just as Gerald finds out he, himself, has cancer. This is an emotionally satisfying story as God brings these two needy persons together to help each other, love each other and bring healing to each other. This is a story that you, simply, are not going to want to put down.  Do not start this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will keep flipping pages as fast as you can read.  Ms. Barnett does an outstanding job of bringing Ruby and Gerald to life and you really want them to heal and to succeed.  I am already looking forward to the next book in this series.

You can find “Beyond The Ashes” at a discount at

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity for this review.   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.”


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