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Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.
For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.
Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.
“With unusual charm and warmth, Rachel Fordham opens the door to Azure Springs, a place as memorable as the people who inhabit it—namely the unique Em, a hero of a sheriff, and an assortment of heart-tugging, endearing townsfolk. A memorable story of faith, family, and happy endings!” ~Laura Frantz, author of The Lacemaker
“The Hope of Azure Springs is full of love and laughter, hope and happy endings. This delightful book about the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love will keep you turning pages until the very end. After you read Rachel Fordham’s satisfying story, you’ll want to give the world a hug.” ~Jennifer Beckstrand, author of A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill
“A tender story about loss, life, and the beauty that lies within each of us.” ~Stacy Henrie, USA Today bestselling author and RITA award finalist
“Authentic. Strong. Memorable. The Hope of Azure Springs and its refreshingly realistic heroine will remain in readers’ hearts long after they’ve reached the stirring conclusion. With eloquently drawn scenes that will tug at a reader’s heart and a beautifully redemptive love story, Rachel Fordham’s debut offers a tender look at the meaning of beauty and self-worth.” ~Joanna Politano, author of Lady Jayne Disappears
“As The Hope of Azure Springs unfolds, readers will find a well thought out and intricately put together love story about an uncommon heroine. Fans of Melissa Jagears and Jane Kirkpatrick will enjoy Rachel Fordham’s books now and for years to come.” ~Dawn Crandall, author of the award-winning series The Everstone Chronicles
I was excited to finally get to read, The Hope of Azure Springs. The thing I liked most about this novel is the main character Em. She is not your typical heroine found in a romance novel. Em's life has been a hard and very sad one. She is not pretty and people call her plain looking. Her body is scarred and she doesn't have an outgoing personality. What made me love this character? Em is kind, loving, honest, and just a good person. I loved the way that she treated the young girls' that she lived with. This family took her in after she was shot and her guardian was killed. I felt in these scenes Em's personality shone and her true self came out.
The romance takes the whole book to come about. It plays out more naturally than most novels. The hero in the story Caleb, the town's local Sheriff, is struggling a lot in his life too. So of course he is baffled at his feelings towards Em when he has every other beautiful, young lady in town chasing after him. He is determined to find who tried to kill Em and did kill her guardian. There is more to why the attacks happened. I liked the mystery part of this western that takes place in the 1880's. It could be frustrating to some readers that Em and Caleb don't get together sooner, but they both have a lot of healing to do in their lives before they could truly love someone else.
The pace of the story can be slow at times, but I felt it really clipped along the last half of the novel. My only thing that I didn't like in this novel is something that is revealed at the end of the novel. In fact, it frustrated me a lot. It gave me many vibes from the ending of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I wish I could explain why, but I don't want to ruin the novel for any of you.
This book would be a good read for older teens and adults that like historical romance, westerns, and pages full of courage, healing, and love.
Author Rachel Fordham
Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.
Ends 7/24/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.