Book Review: Atoning For Ashes by Kaitlin Covel

atoning for ashes by kaitlin covel book review


Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father's debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia's sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.

Charles Radcliffe's heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love--let alone the love of her God.

As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it's too late?

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

  • Publisher: Deep River Books

  • Published: 12/14/2019

  • Pages: 320

  • Good Reads Rating: 4.28 Stars

atoning for ashes book review kaitlin covel

Why I Chose This Book

I was personally contacted by Kaitlin to review her debut book. You know I can’t turn down a regency romance. I just love them!

First Initial Thoughts

Josie is a daughter of a wealthy family or at least once was wealthy. Her father gambled away their money and is now heavily in debt. In order for her family to resolve the debt, Delia is to be married to a man named Charles Radcliffe. However, it is found out that Delia has been secretly seeing another man outside of marriage and is now pregnant. When Delia is disowned from the family, Josie must take over and marry Charles. I found this very commendable of Josie. She didn’t have to save her family from being ruined but during this time it was not for the woman to make her own life decisions.

Charles Radcliffe, I wasn’t sure what to think of him at the start. We only get a glimpse of his character at the start with Delia absolutely loathing him. However, we do get a sense that he is a honorable man because Josie is the one who proposed the idea of marrying him to save her family, and he accepted.

Soon after being married, dark secrets start coming to surface. How will they handle them as a couple and family?


Early 19th century in England? I just love this time period in fiction. Kaitlin did a good job at world building and bringing the reader to a time that we can only read about in books. I also have to say that the story had a touch of gothic-ness to it.

Final Thoughts

Kaitlin hooked me in right from the start and I stayed up late at night wanting to know what would happen to the characters.

The marriage between Josie and Charles started as loveless marriage but slowly they started to feel for one another. They also had to face the typical issues we all face as newly weds. Specifically, they had to overcome Charles’ alcoholism. I found it admirable that Josie stayed by him and helped him with his issues. Many would have just left.

What I liked about this story most of all is that it felt like modern day times but set during the early 1800’s. We don’t often think of woman getting pregnant outside of marriage back then, but I am sure it happened more often than we think. This book also was very raw. Covering topics like attempted rape, alcoholism, fornication, domestic violence, and struggles of a marriage. We don’t often see all these topics covered in one book. Kaitlin covered them well and I didn’t think it was overly done or exaggerated.

Despite its dark tones, the story reminded us of God’s forgiveness and redemption. We all sin but we are forgiven and loved by Christ.

This is Kaitlin’s debut novel and I have to say that it was not written like a debut novel. It was well researched and written. She is a talented writer for sure and one to look out for!

Would I Recommend?

Yes. However, I would only recommend this for ages 18+ due to the material covered in this book.

You can purchase the book —> HERE

the caffeinated bibliophile