Blog Tour Review: Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett

Beyond the Ashes (Golden Gate Chronicles #2)Beyond the Ashes
(Golden Gate Chronicles #2)
by Karen Barnett
Christian Historical Romance
Hardcover, Paperback, & ebook, 320 Pages
June 16th 2015 by Abingdon Press


Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?

Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?


My Review

Beyond the Ashes brought out lots of different emotions. It was heartfelt, sad, inspirational, humorous, and romantic. It was also full of friendships, family, sacrifice, service, and love. 

I loved the setting of post-earthquake San Francisco. It's not an historical setting I've read about before. It's also not one that I had thought much about until now. It was such a terrible catastrophe and yet the city dug in to rebuild, not only structurally, but also many people who never would have befriended each other or been unified in a cause were brought together. It was still a tough situation with illnesses and poor housing for so many. 

I also thought the x-ray research for cancer was rather interesting. I hadn't thought of the time and effort that would have gone into that, and, more importantly, the risks and opposition that would be faced for undertaking such research. I felt for these doctors and patients, as well as the old-fashioned doctors who had trouble letting go of the ways they had always known and how they must have felt threatened by young doctors and new research.

Beyond all these details were these characters that I came to love. Ruby with her vivaciousness for facing her fears, speaking what's on her mind, and wanting to be in control. Abby with her calming presence and simpler wants, while also having her own passion for specific things. Robert and his dreams and friendship. Gerald for his stubbornness, humor, intellect, and open mind. I loved how Ruby and Gerald challenged, attracted, and inspired each other. They were a great couple. I also enjoyed getting to know the other characters. The romance wasn't easy in coming, nor in being resolved. Ruby and Gerald both had a tough road and some things to work through before they could find their happily-ever-after.

If you enjoy Christian historical romance, then I'd definitely recommend Beyond the Ashes. The inspiration was nicely woven throughout, I loved the characters, felt immersed in the setting, and the romance was perfect. It was well worth the read.

Content: Clean

Source: I would like to thank Abingdon Press and Litfuse for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author

Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is the author of "Beyond the Ashes," "Out of the Ruins," and "Mistaken." Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. Great review! I loved learning more about all the history from that setting.

  3. Terrill Rosado7/17/15, 10:22 PM

    I am so happy for Karen Barnett and the success she is having with her writing. I am very excited to get my hands on this one.

  4. This sounds fantastic and the cover is beautiful. It's going to be a crying book for me I can feel it :)


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