The Hope of Azure Springs

The Hope of Azure Springs

by Rachel Fordham
4.7 22

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The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493414222
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 76,129
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She'd pull a book from the shelf, but they'd insist she make one up. Finally she put her love of good stories with her love of writing and she hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

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The Hope of Azure Springs 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Phyllis_H 2 days ago
The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham A heartwarming, inspirational historical adventure My rating is 4 stars Even Em’s name was plain. She knew that she was not a beauty and that no one would ever look at her that way. Despite her looks, Em had a heart of gold. She was kind and willing to work hard. Her outlook was quite positive and she didn’t expect anyone to do anything for her. I loved the way she constantly told stories to the seven-year-old twins Mae and Milly to entertain them. She was able to help those around her who grieved, which was very sweet. One of the themes of this lovely story is how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It wasn’t Em who needed to learn this lesson, however, but Caleb. He had his eye on the town beauty and only spent time with Em because of her case. At first. Then he started enjoying spending time with her and was able to open up and have fun in a way he hadn’t been able to for years. I love the lessons he learned through the story. There were a number of people in the story dealing with grief, each in a different way. Author Rachel Fordham handled this in a very compassionate and tactful way and kindly helped her characters to grow and heal. The story showed a different side of the Orphan Trains than the more romanticized view often seen in fiction. Unfortunately, not all the placements were made with care or the right motives, and not all the orphans were treated well. I appreciate that the author didn’t choose the easy solutions. While Em’s appearance improved after she began to eat properly, she would never be considered the town beauty. There were a couple of other situations that were resolved appropriately, but not necessarily “happily”. Some things detracted from the story, in my opinion, causing me to not give it 5 stars. While overall the writing was good (as you can see by the quotes I’ve included) and the plot was interesting, the dialog was a little awkward and some of the phrasing could have been reworked to be better. I felt that Em’s character was too perfect. Not in outward appearance, but just about everything else. When faced with a new situation, I knew she was going to always do the right thing, and it annoyed me a little. Not that I love mean characters – Em was just a little unrelatable and unrealistic. In the part where she wrote a letter, I would have liked to have seen things spelled as she would have spelled them and the speech to sound a little more countrified instead of almost everyone having perfect grammar. That said, if you enjoy historical novels with a hint of mystery and danger, you will probably enjoy this one. Give it a try. Read the full review of The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham with a Preview at I would like to thank Netgalley, Revell for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Blooming-with-Books 3 days ago
Beautifully moving... The Hope of Azure Springs By Rachel Fordham When a young woman is found alone and shot she is brought to Azure Springs, Iowa. Her identity is unknown and why she was attacked is of utmost concern to Sheriff Caleb Reynolds. When Em wakes up Caleb is even more concerned to learn that Em wasn't the only victim of these men. And Caleb is sure that if these killers learn that Em survived they will come looking for her. For the last seven years, Em has had to survive without the love and care of family, living with a guardian who seemed to care little for her day-to-day needs. The care that those in Azure Springs offer her is something she never expected. But Em has a sister she needs to find - one that she was separated from seven years ago. She promised herself that she would go back for Lucy and her chance has finally come. The Hope of Azure Springs is a story that offers the hope of healing after heartbreak. Healing comes not in hiding and burying the hurt but rather in remembering the joy that came before. And when we see beyond our own pain to reach out to others we allow ourselves a chance to offer comfort and to be healed. There are definitely moments when you'll want to have a tissue or two on hand while reading but it will be worth it. Fans of Janette Oke's books will enjoy this book - Em reminds me a little of Damaris (A Woman Named Damaris) with her struggles and her efforts to overcome. Those who enjoy historical fiction that deals with the different aspects of the Orphan Trains will want to add this to their to-be-read list. Rachel Fordham has created both likable and unlikable characters who don't always do what you expect them to do. The writing style keeps the story moving even when the action slows down and the characters have moments of contemplation. I recommend this to anyone who desires a well brought together story and this would be an excellent book club choice. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.
joyful334209 3 days ago
The Hope Of Azure Springs is a very unique story. You have a very bad villain who kills Ems guardian who is not all that nice - actually is very abusive - and tries to kill her by shooting her - now she ends up in a town Azure Springs - where the people treat her with love and respect and tenderness. She meets up with the Sherriff who wants to help her find out who shot her and her guardian. Now where does GOD fit in? This is extremely important. How does she handle the people treating her with respect and tenderness? How would you after being treated like a dog? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to
AmyWa 3 days ago
The Hope of Azure Springs contained all the elements of a good book in my opinion. The characters were compelling, the story drew me in and I didn’t want to put it down. I read the book in a couple days and found it to be an easy read.I would recommend this book if you are a fellow lover of historical fiction. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I was blessed to receive an electronic complimentary copy from NetGalley but I wasn’t required to write a positive review.
caribougirl 4 days ago
What a fantastic debut novel for Rachel Fordham! This novel takes place in a small Iowa town in 1881 where we find a wounded girl who is nearly dead. Her name is Em and as her story unravels, we learn about how she came to be in Iowa on the orphan train several years earlier. Through a series of losses, each seeming greater than the last, she finds herself in Azure Springs, where she learns how to live and love again. The town sheriff, Caleb, sees Em as a case to solve, but as he digs deeper into the her past to catch the criminals who left her for dead, he learns that there is much more to Em than meets the eye. The story line itself is fantastic - holding to a bit of romance and a bit of mystery, some drama and a lot of character growth and development. While Em is the focal point of the story and her growth and healing are central, she also brings hope and healing to several others in the town of Azure Springs and beyond. Her sweet and humble spirit, strong work ethic and ability to be honest and put people at ease in her presence allow her to bring that same healing to others around her. The focus of the book itself is about this healing and growth and learning the meaning of true beauty. I loved the characters and enjoyed the subtle twists and turns - this wasn't a run-of-the-mill romance story. The story had great depth itself. I had laugh out loud moments and several tear-jerking moments. The ending was such a beautiful turn of events and I just loved how it turned out. I hope the author offers some spin-off prequels to go into further depth on some of the minor characters of this book as I want to learn more about them as well. Overall, kudos to Mrs. Fordham on an excellent debut. I would highly recommend! Special thanks to NetGalley and Revell publishers for an advance e-copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions contained in this review are my own and I was under no obligation to provide it.
TrixiO 5 days ago
3.5 stars The setting is Azure Springs, Iowa circa 1881. The circumstance is an injured young woman named Em with an unknown background. She’s taken in by the kindhearted Howell family and under the protection of Caleb Reynolds, town sheriff. Learning of bandits who killed & robbed her guardian, he vows to bring them to justice while making sure she’s in safe hands. What he didn’t count on was the more time he spent with Em, the more his heart becomes entangled with hers. Perhaps God brought these two together for love & healing! My heart ached learning all the things Em’s been through in her young life. Losing both parents when a fever raged through her hometown & her sister when they were separated on the Orphan train. Then to top it off, she was attacked by three men who left her for dead and killed George her guardian. She’s shown the kindness of strangers when the Howell’s take her in to recover. That’s one family I wished was my own! The two youngest sisters Milly & Mae bring her much happiness and helps fill the ache inside her for her own sister. These two are bright sunshine in a world of darkness; their laughter and fun will have them wrapped around your finger! The whole town takes her under their wings and shows her love and kindness, something she hasn’t felt for a long time since losing her parents as a child. Caleb was a hero in every form you’d imagine. He not only looked out for Em’s safety but befriended her without judgment. He’s kindhearted, a good listener and brings humor & laughter to Em’s world. Mae & Milly even call him the prince of Azure Springs! He’s the epitome of every woman’s dream. I have to be honest & fair in my review, so here are a few things I didn’t care for: Em struggles throughout the book with feeling insecure. She was surrounded by people who showed her kindness and tried to help her see the potential she had inside of her. Understandably she has been through the wringer in life, but I really wanted to see more character growth. That’s an important aspect in a story for me, seeing the character growth as it helps me see areas in my life that I can work on too. Eliza, for instance, had character growth; she wasn’t the same person at the end of the book as she was in the beginning. Secondly, this being labeled as Christian or inspirational fiction, I didn’t see a lot of aspects you’d come to expect from a Christian fiction book. There was very little mention of God or how the characters relied on Him throughout the story. It’s a reason I stick with this genre because I need to see faith play a role in a book. I had a hard time really connecting with the story as good as it was; I really wanted to like it more than I did! Conclusion: it’s a wonderful story, lots of emotions, well-written, good characters, a great town that helps each other, and the eventual happily-ever-after I love about romance. Just because it didn’t engage me as much as I wanted it to, doesn’t mean it won’t for other readers. I’d encourage you to come to your own conclusion after reading it for yourself! *I received a complimentary copy from Revell and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions were my own *
PianoLady831 7 days ago
The description of The Hope of Azure Springs by debut author Rachel Fordham was appealing, so I decided to try it – and I’m so glad I did! The beginning pages quickly pulled me in, and I was immediately drawn to the heroine, Em. There’s some suspense, but this is primarily a character-driven story, my favorite style to read. This is a heartwarming story of loss, love and resilience of spirit. I confess to expecting this to be a typical prairie romance, but was pleasantly surprised to find it much more complex. The story combines elements of the orphan train project, going back to Em’s experience seven years earlier, with life on the prairie. Em is a sympathetic character, realistically portrayed – resourceful and able to fend for herself; strong in one sense, yet vulnerable and caring. Caleb, easily drawn by the outward beauty of ladies, wasn’t my favorite character at first, but that soon changed. The best stories are about transformation, and I enjoyed seeing Caleb and Em steadily grow. I also loved how their romance grew from the solid foundation of friendship and mutual respect, rather than being filled with tension and misunderstandings. The Hope of Azure Springs is a feel-good story that delivers on the “hope” promised in the title. I look forward to more stories by Rachel Fordham. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through Just Read Tours and Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Abold24 8 days ago
This is the first book that I have read by Ms. Fordham. This is a historical novel that examines Em and how she came to be in Azure Springs. The book starts out with Em recovering from a gunshot wound and is taken to Azure Springs so that she can recover. There she meets people that help her to not only survive but thrive. They provide not just what she needs, but connections that benefit her later. The sheriff is Caleb Reynolds who is trying to solve what happened to Em. Together they work to discover what occurred. This is an interesting book and I highly recommend reading it! You will not be disappointed! If you enjoy historical fiction, Ms. Fordham will take you back to discovering Em’s story and wondering what will happen next. ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, this is my own opinion.
FayJac 8 days ago
This interesting book gives the story of Em, an ophan who came west on the orphan trains and was separated from her sister. Her story is one of loss, bravery and survival. Her one goal is to be united with her sister and events take place where her strength and inner beauty shine through. Rachel Fordham is a great writer and this book held my interest. Rachel is a historical fiction writer to be reckoned with. She herself suffered a tragedy in her own family during the writing of this book. This book deals a lot with families who suffered loss, which was common during those times. Em, the heroine, comes through as a fighter and survivalist. I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing other books by this writer. (Please note: Although a complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, the opinions expressed are my own.)
ARS8 8 days ago
In author Rachel Fordham’s debut novel, The Hope of Azure Springs, I was taken back to a time and place when the country was just beginning to heal from the Civil War and the Orphan Train was chugging through the nation. We are dropped right into the town of Azure Springs from the beginning with Em, an unknown woman, with a gunshot wound. As we walk the road to recovery with her, we begin to get to know her, her circumstances, trials, and dreams. There are certain members of the town who have accepted her into their homes and their hearts and want nothing but the best for this lost soul. Sheriff Caleb Reynolds has taken this case and her as his own personal mission and wants to catch the bad guys and keep Em and his town safe. This story had such a fairytale quality to it. When Em is found it is like she is a Sleeping Beauty waking up. There are also hints of the stories Cinderella and the Ugly Duckling. No magical stuff here, just a young woman awakening to a life full of love and happiness hopefully with a much deserving “prince”. I liked reading another book about the Orphan Train and getting the perspective of one who was a child on it. I enjoyed reading this novel and I look forward to more stories from author Rachel Fordham. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Patricia-RoomWithBooks 10 days ago
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS by Rachel Fordham for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Many thanks to I Am A Reader for arranging for the advance copy. Once in a while I have the opportunity to read a book that I find to be an absolute treasure. I found that in THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS by Rachel Fordham. The fact that this is Mrs. Fordham’s debut novel makes this one even more special! Mrs. Fordham takes one of my favorite genres, Christian Fiction, mixes in some wonderful historical fiction, a bit of mystery, and of course, gives the main characters a fairy-tale-like happily-ever-after! The townsfolk of Azure Springs are a wonderful mixture of any very small town to be imagined, right down to the wonderful widow woman running the local boarding house! Mrs. Fordham knows how to give each of her characters life, and color, and emotion and they all came to life inside my head as I was reading! Each one of them jumped off the page and came to life for me as I read! Although I was able to see early on the direction the book was going to end, it was a wonderful journey to take along with Caleb and Em. Mrs. Fordham wrote THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS with many life lessons for those looking to learn a thing or two along the way. She also filled it’s pages with warm Christian values and I enjoyed watching Em learn to accept the love and respect of those around her! I am a true fan of Rachel Fordham and I highly recommend THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS! I give it five steaming hot cups of Reviews by Room With Books Coffee and I hope you’ll pick up your copy today! ©June 9, 2018 Patricia, Reviews by Room With Books
Anonymous 10 days ago
Interesting and unique plot, believable well thought out characters. Delightful read, could not put it down! Can't wait for her next novel!
Melissa Andres 12 days ago
Where do I even start with this beautiful book? It is always my goal to write a review within a couple of days, if not hours, of finishing a book, but this one has taken me a quite a bit longer. I keep starting a review and then having to go back to it, over and over. In The Hope of Azure Springs, Em is a young woman separated from her sister while on an orphan train in rural Iowa. Her guardian doesn't seem to really want her. He's not affectionate toward her, but he's also not cruel. Em learns how to fend for herself, but not really how to care for herself. She believes that no one will ever really want her and has resigned herself to that. Caleb Reynold's is charming, attractive, and reliable. As the sheriff of Azure Springs, he finds himself searching for the men who killed Em's guardian and attempted to kill her. They form a beautiful friendship and he finds himself drawn to Em because he can be himself with her. Their friendship is one of my favorite parts of this story! This is Rachel Fordham's debut novel and leaves me wanting more. The idea that beauty is more than visual is a resounding theme of this book and one that almost every woman can relate to! The question is can Caleb rely on what his heart says and not only what his eyes see. "Don't let anyone else decide which kind of beautiful is right for you. You find a girl who brings out the best in you. Who you can see a happy future with. That's your kind of beautiful." Rachel Fordham "The Hope of Azure Springs"
Nicnac63 12 days ago
After reading the short prologue I was glued! I hadn’t planned on reading the book at the moment—for I was in the middle of one book and had another in queue—but I just couldn’t stop. I LOVE it when a book sucks me in and won’t let me go. The special nuances of historical fiction are what make this genre one of my favorites—especially when they have a sweet, spiritual flavor. Within the pages of a historical novel I can delve back in time, travel to places unseen, experience old customs, and see the world in a brand new light. This story does all that. It blends heartbreak and healing, tragedy and hope. It takes a special writer—one who spends endless hours in research, who can erase the comforts and facilities of modern times with the swoop of her hand, one who educates and entertains by blending history with imagination—to create authentic, believable stories and characters of days gone by. That’s one of the reasons I was surprised to learn that The Hope of Azure Springs is Rachel Fordham’s debut novel. I’m impressed. Kudos, Ms. Forham! I enjoyed the prairie setting, and the main characters, Em and Caleb, are relatable and sympathetic. I was quickly drawn into each of their stories and hoped for them to have a fruitful and positive outcome. This is an engrossing story told in an engaging voice, with heart tugging prose. A 2018 winner! First Lines (prologue): “She dead?” Em heard a man’s voice from somewhere above her. A strange thumping pulsed through her with each word he spoke. Thank you to Revell, NetGalley, and ImAReaderBlogTours for my advanced copy of this book.
sesquius 14 days ago
The story is about one of the children from the orphan trains, but not one of the lucky ones. Instead, her story is tragic and sad. She seeks her sister Lucy and that is her end hope, to find her sister. This was a really good book. To be honest, the cover art was nice to look at, but it in no way portrayed the story that I read between the pages. It was sad, it depressing but yet encouraging and delightful. It had me smiling and then teary. I loved this book. It took me a day and a half to finish it, and by the time I finished, I had texted my friends the picture of the book to tell them to read it! The story is atypical to the traditional Christian fiction story, especially those set in the time period as this one. For a new author, Rachel Fordham, has captivated me. I want to read more from her. In fact, should I ever get an opportunity to write (aka be motivated) I aspire to write like Rachel. I look forward to more stories by Rachel Fordham and encourage others to read this book also.
AE2 15 days ago
Caleb Reynolds, sheriff of Hope Springs, is determined to bring to justice the men who shot a woman, Em Cooper, and murdered her guardian. As he works with Em to try to determine who committed the heinous crimes, Caleb finds himself not only wanting to solve the mystery and serve justice but also to find out more about Em and how a woman is malnourished, lived in a barn, and has nothing to her name, can be so strong and determined and kind. Different from anyone he knows, Em brings peace and healing to him, even as he is trying to help her. Em was sent on an orphan train seven years ago--and separated from her sisters. Now nineteen and free from her guardian, Em has her first chance to hope for the future--and her first chance to find her sister. She needs to heal first, and as a local family cares for her and the local sheriff becomes her friend, Em also finds that maybe she is as unwanted and unloved as she has long believed. This book was really, really good. I loved seeing the building friendship between Caleb and Em. I also liked watching Caleb learning to see Em's true beauty and worth. It was refreshing to read a story where the heroine isn't an obvious beauty. The ending was really, really beautiful--the final chapter and the epilogue just really tugged at my heart. Great book from Rachel Fordham. 4.5 stars. I read a copy from the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own. #HopeOfAzureSprings
KiahJT 15 days ago
5 stars This is truly the best book I have read all year! Rachel Fordham has created a masterful tale of love, hope, second chances and new beginnings. This historical fiction book is set in the small Iowa town of Azure Springs. Em and her little sister were put on an orphan train in New York City; later they were adopted out to different homes. Em’s home was not a good one, yet after a tragedy, she finds family, love, courage and happiness. She gains the ability to finally search for her sister. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire story. It did not end the way I thought it would, it was so much better! I am in awe that Rachel Fordham wrote such a phenomenal first book. Most new authors are unable to create such complex characters and plot lines. I cannot wait to read more from her! I highly recommend this book to everyone. I know this will go on my keeper shelf and that I will reread this book again and again. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
parmilespages 16 days ago
This book captured my attention from the very beginning. The opening chapter has Em, the heroine of the book, struggling to stay conscious, after being shot. The mystery of how she was shot and why then begins to unfold. The Howell family lovingly cares for Em, just plain Em, as she heals and it is here that her new life commences. I admired Em’s resiliency and strong fighting spirit. As Em finds love and comfort from the Howell’s she begins to blossom and find a happiness she hasn’t know in seven years. This novel is complex in that it has several themes going on at the same time. First, Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is trying to solve the case involving the shooting of Em. Second, there is the budding friendship between Em and Caleb. Third, Em is coming to terms with her plain appearance and past, and fourth Em’s desire to seek her sister, Lucy’s, whereabouts. The author weaves all this into a seamless and touching story. The characters are diverse and rich both in character and personality. I especially appreciated that the author solved some of these elements earlier in the story rather than waiting until the last few pages to rapidly tie up all the lose ends. The theme about Em’s appearance and that others increase in beauty as we get to know them was a refreshing point of view. However, the fact the Em was plain was mentioned a few too many times and became tiresome. That point was well conveyed through other aspects in the story and didn’t need the repetition. The author also handled some the horrors of the orphan train with sensitivity and with giving the reader a look at reality without being too graphic in her descriptions. The romance developed naturally, along with being sweet and innocent. I would highly recommend reading this well written and crafted novel
jewelrydiva 16 days ago
I think every young girl needs to read this book. Wait. Every female needs to read this book. Who doesn't suffer from some sort self image issues?! This book is beautifully written and has such Biblical truth in it. It even has a fairy tale quality to it as well. The heroine, Em looks like a little girl, but she is actually twenty years old. She is tiny and malnourished and is plain. She knows she will never marry. The hero, Caleb is the handsome sheriff, who has all of the ladies swooning. He finds Em to be different. She has an attitude of gratefulness. She is hard working, and cares for others more than for herself. She also likes to have fun and doesn't seem to care about lady like manners. This speaks volumes because of her childhood. Needless to say, her beauty is revealed through her sweet spirit and soul. This makes me think of the scripture in Proverbs that says that "Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised." This book made me think and ponder way into the night. Should I be worried about my outward appearance or my inward beauty. Which is going to last? I can tell you at my age, it's what's on the inside that matters and lasts. *I was given a copy of this book by Revell publishers via Netgalley and was under no obligation to leave a review. This is my honest opinion.
PreppyBookQueen 16 days ago
Rachel Fordham's debut novel is one that will definitely delight fans of either historical fiction or westerns. While I went into it expecting to really like it, I ended up being quite surprised with just how much I enjoyed this tender story about overcoming past hurts in order to truly let yourself live, and be able to enjoy every moment. The romance was tenderhearted, sweet and clean; all of which made it a winner in my eyes, and I really appreciated the way that Caleb and Em's relationship starts out as a strong friendship first before turning into anything else. In the beginning Caleb is driven to try and be the best at everything he can, in order to make his parent's proud of him, and part of this is finding a worthy bride who'll be beautiful, and someone he can be proud of bringing home to meet his family. Em is definitely not what he had in mind, but in the process of becoming her close friend, Caleb learns there's much more to beauty than initial physical attraction, and the author did a beautiful job of depicting this. With so many twists and turns happening throughout the story that I never saw coming, I had a really hard time wanting to put this one down. And even in the moments where the action wasn't the focus, I found myself really invested into the story, especially during the many tender moments featured between Abigail and Em, or Margaret and Em. It was also an eye opener to see a more realistic and negative portrayal of the orphan trains and the havoc they wrecked on so many families and children along their way. You could really tell throughout reading The Hope of Azure Springs that Rachel Fordham poured her heart and soul into this beautiful novel, and her thorough research definitely shines through. I expect to see amazing things from her in the future if her debut novel is any indication, and I highly recommend picking this one up when it releases on July 3rd. She's definitely mastered the art of keeping a novel clean while still action packed and compelling to the reader, and I highly enjoyed it. In this case, the gorgeous cover definitely matches the fantastic story enfolded within its pages, and I'm so thankful to Revell and NetGalley to have had the opportunity to advance read this! Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I received a complimentary advance readers copy of this novel from the publisher (Revell) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
sandralb 16 days ago
Rachel Fordham takes us back in history to Azure Springs, a small town in Iowa. The Sheriff Caleb Reynolds has Hollywood good looks without the pride or attitude. Em our leading lady, seven years ago came across on an orphan train from New York. Like many siblings on the trains, she and her sister were separated. Finding Lucy again and reuniting with her is the one thing that keeps Em going. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em thinks this will be her opportunity to pursue finding Lucy. She is finally free. I think I am a lot like the twin seven year old's, Mae and Millie. They enjoyed most the “And They Lived Happily Ever After” at the end of the fairy tails, told to them by Em. That's my favorite kind of story too. Rachel Fordham will take you on an unforgettable journey. Congratulations Rachel on your debut novel, I truly enjoyed it. I received this ARC book from Revell Publishing through Net Galleys. The Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
amybooksy 16 days ago
The Hope of Azure Springs is a fabulous debut for Rachel Fordham. I found it to be beautifully written with vivid details that drew me in instantly. I could not put the book down. I felt connected to Em from the moment I was introduced to her. The story has everything I love to read, entertainment, adventure, humor, history, and moments that tugged at my heart. I am giving The Hope of Azure Springs a well deserved five plus stars. It is among my favorites I have read this year. I can not wait to see what Rachel Fordham releases next. Highly recommended. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
MaureenST 16 days ago
This book has a story in a story in a story and the author has woven them beautifully together. We are given a read that will have you questioning how a child could have been left the way she was, but you get to watch her rescue and how she moves forward. I found this book to be a very fast read, maybe because I found it so entertaining, and I had to know the ending. There are several chuckles, and you just might want to have the tissues handy, there are some very emotional happenings here. Something for everyone, and more! I received this book through The LibraryThing, and was not required to give a positive review.
WildflowerMom 28 days ago
An enjoyable read from start to finish! A western style tale set in 1880's Iowa, with a very likable heroine whose tragic backstory will instantly make readers want her to get a happy ending. A bit of action, adventure and a tender romance round out the plot with a satisfying finish. "Let them say what they would, she knew her own story and they would not steal the measure of joy she’d found." Em was a character that I grew fond of quickly and enjoyed watching her bloom where she was planted. Her sweet, gentle, selfless, hardworking ways quickly spread a positive influence on others, but without them realizing it. Loved how Caleb began to see it and appreciate her friendship, encouraging her and learning how beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. The history of the Orphan Trains was interesting. I would like to read more on this topic. The writing seemed to flow better as the story went on, feeling like a two part tale. I would have liked a little more inspiration infused dialogue, maybe coming from side characters like Abigail or Margaret. Em could have used the scriptural based encouragement. Fans of clean historical romances will enjoy this lovely debut novel. Look forward to reading more from this promising author. (An e-book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.)