After reading my very first Sarah M. Eden romance last year, Longing for Home (Book One), I was excited for the opportunity to read the second and concluding book in the pair. I only had one teeny, tiny "con" reading the first book, and that was that it didn't have the tidy, finished ending I expected since I hadn't realized it wasn't a standalone (review here). The good thing about that? She left it wide open for a satisfying ending this time around--something Sarah Eden did flawlessly.
Although book two begins as more of the same from the first book with the feud, the second half of the book really takes off. I appreciated the finer details that fit together so beautifully. There was a remarkable feeling of literary completeness when events happened that I didn't expect but that made perfect sense. I loved that!
The main character, Katie Macauley, is a strong, intelligent woman who finds ways to smooth frictions in the community, but in a realistic "I'm just gonna try something" kind of way instead of the "typical heroine who knows everything" kind of way--if that makes sense. She is an individual who is able to make a difference in a humble, quiet manner of inclusion rather than pushing to get the town to see things her way.
I also like that Katie has to choose between two good men, each of whom would probably have made her happy. First, though, she has to find out who she is and who will best meet her needs. The experiences she goes through help her learn more about herself--her strengths and dreams--which in turn helps her make the best choice for her.
The characters, romance, and setting of the American West make for a fun escape back in time in Longing For Home: Hope Springs. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
Sarah is always fun to listen to, so I'm including this interview. I like how she describes her genre and why she writes romances--optimism and the promise of a happy ending--precisely why the rest of us like to read them.