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.

My Thoughts:

It has taken me a few days to clear the book euphoria in order to write this review. From the very first page, until the very last words at the end of the story, I found myself blissfully swept away on a current of words. Poignant and filled with emotion, this story is one that is sure to linger with you long after you’ve put the story down.

From a young age, Em has felt that she didn’t measure up, that she lacked in beauty and worthiness. She has been passed over, and flat-out ignored for so long that she doesn’t even realize her own worth. Em is an excellent story-teller and has a big heart for children. She likes to help others, she sees a need and she seeks to fill it. She doesn’t hold a grudge and is quick to forgive. Only by accepting who she is in God will she begin to find her own inner beauty.

Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is charming and outgoing. He’s your typical youngest child, seeking to please others. Caleb more than any other character in this story, grows the most. It is fun to watch his progression as he realizes that all he had thought as truth was sorely lacking. But will he realize what true beauty is before its too late?

This story has multiple layers to enjoy. Moments of laughter, and moments that will have you holding your breath and wondering what will happen next. Have a few tissues ready also, because like me, your emotions might just overflow.

I recommend this fantastic story to one and all, especially if you enjoy mid-western prairie, early american, historical romance. I give this wonderful story 5 enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick-up a copy to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)


Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

RachelFordham 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.

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The Hope of Azure Springs


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