Atoning for Ashes by Kaitlin Covel

I generally enjoyed this historical Christian romance. I am not a fan of romance novels but this one had enough interesting aspects to it that it kept my interest. It was an era in England when young women could dream of marrying for love. Sometimes they were required by parents to marry for financial security or to ensure a family lineage. That’s what happened to Josie. Her father had arranged a marriage to help alleviate his debts. When her older sister refused the arranged marriage, Josie agreed to do it. But Charles, the wealthy man she has agreed to marry, is a deeply wounded man. We wonder if Josie will be able to break through the wall Charles has created and find the lovable man within.Covel has crafted a pretty good novel for a debut effort. She has included important themes, such as honesty, forgiveness and trust. On the other side are deceit, treachery and vengeance. There are a few violent scenes making this novel not appropriate for youth readers. My favorite aspect of the novel is how the characters grow in their faith, especially Charles. The presence of Christianity is very strong in the novel but is also very natural to the characters and their experiences. That was refreshing to experience.A typical romance plot line is boy meets girl, there is are obstacles to their romance, obstacles are overcome and they live happily every after. There are several obstacles in this plot. The main one seemed to be Charles’ character. He is sometimes an angry man, often drinking to excess. The relationship between Josie and Charles was turbulent. It seemed to me, however, that this obstacle then overcoming the obstacle aspect of the plot was repetitive. There would be a confrontation and Charles would then appear somewhat loving. But a scene soon after had him back to being angry hurting man again. He would become somewhat loving but then repeat the pattern. I would have appreciated the novel more if some of those similar scenes had been cut.I do recommend this novel to readers who like historical Christian romance. There is a good bit of suspense included. There are lessons on forgiveness and trust and faithfulness. The Christian message is clear and woven well into the plot.My rating: 4/5 stars.Kaitlin Covel is a certified Nutritional Therapy Technician. Her passion is writing, both fiction and nonfiction. She had written her first novella at age 12 and completed a novel at age 16, stashing it in a drawer. Atoning for Ashesis her first published novel. She lives with her family in Maine. You can find out more at Deep River Books, 320 pages.I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.