Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Longing for Home: Hope Springs by Sarah M. Eden


Katie Macauley gave up her lifelong dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, Wyoming, but her future has never been so uncertain.

Katie’s heart still remains sharply divided between playful Tavish and steady Joseph, though she feels ill-prepared to make a decision. Furthermore, the town is more divided than ever with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives. In the midst of the growing unrest, tem­peratures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of fam­ine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.

Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will her efforts be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?


Sarah M. Eden read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the English Regency era, Eden became a regular in that section of the reference department at her local library, where she painstakingly researched this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Visit her at www.sarahmeden.com.



Longing for Home is one of my all time favorite stories (it's a two book set). I love the characters, the setting, and the beautifully told, if rather heart-breaking at times story. I found myself loving Katie from the very first page with her determination, courage, and kind heart masked behind her prickly facade.  A facade developed over years of being on her own working as a servant from the age of 8-years-old.  She blames herself for her estrangement from her family and wants desperately to return to Ireland to fix things, but first she must earn the money she needs to do so. And that brings her to Hope Springs, a town that unfortunately is having a hard time living up to its name.  The town is sharply divided between the Irish and their neighbors and Katie inadvertently stokes the already simmering tensions. And with two good men seeking to win her heart, Katie has her work cut out for her.

In book 2, Katie having chosen to remain in Hope Springs finds herself desperately trying to stop the conflict between the townspeople from exploding into all out war, but finds that circumstances have moved far beyond her control.  With a heart torn between Tavish, the Irish farmer, and Joseph, the wealthy landowner, she wonders if she will ever find a place to truly call home.

I confess that I found the historical aspects of this novel heartbreaking, the anger and the hatred expressed through violence and confrontation with most people simply wanting to be able to live their lives.  The relationships that Katie develops I really enjoyed reading about as she learns to care about others and let them care about her. I found myself quite torn between the two love interests, both good men with their own strengths and weaknesses. But of course, Katie can't choose both and so choose she does. I confess I was wrong about who she ended up with, but I think in the end she ended up with the man she fits with best, certainly the one she loves the best.

A wonderful series that is one of my all time favorite series and one I can thoroughly and heartily recommend to readers who enjoy historical fiction with a strong dose of romance but also so much more. Sarah Eden is truly a magician in creating stories that remain in your heart long after the book is closed.

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