The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

The Hope of Azure Springs book cover

Em first arrived to Iowa seven years ago, alone, on the orphan train heading west.  Now she is once again orphaned after her guardian is shot and killed, leaving her abandoned in Azure Springs.  She is determined to find her sister that she lost seven years ago, but the mystery surrounding her guardian’s recent death makes searching for her sibling dangerous.  Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is motivated to secure the safety of his town, and find the men responsible for the attack on the quiet and withdrawn Em.  But her past secrets only seem to complicate his mission, drawing himself closer to Em in spite of his attempt to remain distant from the waifish girl.

I very much enjoyed this debut novel of Rachel Fordham.  The author has a gift that allows her to craft a story that flows well and is easy to read.  The characters come alive with depth and emotion, allowing me to connect with them in a unique manner.  The storyline was creative and contained a few surprises.  The history was fascinating and woven among depictions of scenery and life in 1880s Iowa.  I shared tears and frustrations with Em and I only wish I could have seen her grow just a bit more as a character in the book.  I did, however, like this book very much.  I recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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