Title: The Hope of Azure Springs
Author: Rachel Fordham
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: July 3, 2018
About the Book:
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.
Praise for The Hope of Azure Springs
“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
About the Author:
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.
CONNECT WITH RACHEL
If I didn’t know going in that this was a debut author, I never would have believed it! Rachel Fordham writes masterfully with as much realism and intrigue as a seasoned author! This a book that I’m sure will stay with me, and will cause me to anxiously await Rachel’s next work of art.
There were so many things I loved about this book. I loved how relatable Em’s character was. Books are often about the “dashing” prince sweeping the “beautiful” princess off her feet. Rarely is the “plain Jane” given the second glance. We are in a world obsessed with outer beauty that trumps our value over the inner. Em felt she was destined to be alone simply because she was not the gorgeous beauty men are known to fawn over. But the deeper truth she was battling with was the lie that she was unworthy. The outward beauty was really a mask. I believe Rachel did an absolutely amazing job of developing and expressing this so that we could grasp the real meaning as readers.
I enjoyed walking through Em’s shoes as she slowly came out of her shell the more she was welcomed into the town. From the orphan train, to a home she wasn’t seen or loved, to a town she was unsure of her place in. Something repeated throughout the book is that people often look for the answers to their own prayers, but at the same time they’re unable to see the blessing/answered prayer they are for others. How true is that?? In a place she didn’t feel she belonged, Em was able to be a blessing (and healing) for so many others around her.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I also really liked how Rachel had Caleb express interest in Eliza basically for the sole reason that she was the “belle of the town”. He quickly realized that outward beauty was worth nothing in the scheme of life, but it was something he had to learn on his own. Isn’t that so true for us of many things as well? There are ideals we are taught in life, but often until we experience their reality, we are unable to grasp and appreciate their real value.
There are so many awesome things about this book, I could go on and on, but then I think I would end up spoiling and we can’t go there! I HIGHLY recommend this book! It’s instantly being added to my favorites pile, and I can’t wait to see what Rachel comes up with next. Get your hands on your own copy! You won’t regret it!
*I received a complimentary copy in hopes of a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
(If you’re interested in knowing more from the author, check out my author interview HERE.
Age Appropriateness/Content Awareness: This was a good, solid, clean novel. There is some mild violence but nothing that I would be overly concerned about. The romance is clean as well and doesn’t go above a kiss. If younger readers express interest I believe it’s an awesome read with a lot of really great messages.
Stop by and check out some other blogs on the Tour!
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Blog Tour Schedule
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