Book Review

Book Review: The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Rachel Fordham
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.


I was happily surprised with how invested I became in this story and the characters. Because wow, when I found myself almost crying in a scene towards the end, I was blindsided. This book will really hit in the feels and the soul. It’s not a pleasant sunshine-y romance. There were a lot of hard moments and incredibly difficult pasts that made this book bring out the emotions.

Caleb and Em were adorable. I love their sweet interactions and really would have loved even more romance between them. That’s all that I felt was missing. Caleb was clearly sweet on Em and I love that they actually got a chance to have interactions together. I hate when couple don’t actually get time together so this was great on that front.

I’m not sure I’ve read many (if any?) Western romances? So getting Caleb as a sheriff helping Em figure out her troubles was *chefs kiss*. It definitely did things to my heart reading about him in uniform, riding on his horse, taking down bandits. YES.

Yes yes yes, they were also both very deep characters who were easy to be enjoy. Em learned a lot being thrust into the world and everything felt realistic. It was heartwarming and infused with hope for finding a safe space in someone and a safe space to call home.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: bandits, attempted murder, murder, physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gun violence, kidnapping, being orphaned, separated from a sibling, loss of parents (and siblings)

Instagram || Goodreads

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