Blog Tour, Photo Journal + Review: Healing Hearts (Savage Wells, #2) by Sarah M. Eden

10:30 PM

It's finally here! 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Wyoming Territory, 1876

As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara's message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.

PHOTO JOURNAL 



Before I dive into my review, I just wanted to show off some pictures I took of my ARC of Healing Hearts just before the weather got ultra-snowy and unbearable. When it arrived in the mail, I found myself immediately wanting to take it out to the lake in my hometown to take pictures of it. When I saw the colours featured in the cover art, I just knew I had to take it out there to photograph it while the scenery matched in tone. 

It was a nice, quiet day. Rare, too, because it was in the 50s, which is moderately rare and warm for my hometown in January. Mother Nature, of course, rectified that by dipping into the negative digits and hitting us with some snow the next week--sigh. 

Still, it was nice while it lasted! 


THE REVIEW: ★★★★☆
I was sent an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in the blog tour. This does not change my view in any shape or form. 


This was such a good read! I wasn't sure what to think of Healing Hearts when I first got it. One of my goals for 2019 was to explore new genres and sub genres. Which is how Healing Hearts came to be on my TBR. 

As always, I am going to try to avoid spoilers when reviewing this book. 

When we hear romance books, we expect many things. There are so many layers of intimacy in the genre and so many authors who explore it differently. Instant love stories. Explicit tales. First loves. Last loves. Contemporary. Historical. Non-explicit. 

I could go on. 

Healing Hearts falls into the last option and is, at its core, a remarkably simple, but still moving, story of a love blossoming unexpectedly. In many ways, the novel can be referred to as unexpected, too. 

Unexpected in a delightful way. Sarah M. Eden proves that there are many ways in which we craft a love story and her brand of romance is deeply moving because of it. I found myself unable to put the book down, despite it being my first experience with the series and the author's work. Healing Hearts was compelling, a little suspenseful and possessed a quality that was so touching in the way the main romance was explored

Further, it had a cast of characters that were impossible to not root for. I loved them and I loved the whole town, which felt like an extended character itself. There was something so sweet about it all. How rough around the edges it felt when a newcomer arrives and receives the cold shoulder for a simple misunderstanding, to how quickly they all banded together for the sake of love and what's right. 

It was put together in such a stunning way. Let's talk about the characters and the romance, though, because above all else Healing Hearts is a love story, and the book's spotlight shines on two specific characters. And their bond. 

I thought that the way they meet was hilarious. Mortifying? Sure. But, hilarious all the same. I've never read a story quite like Healing Hearts, that tosses in a plotline about mail-order brides.

And, ah, misunderstandings. I'll leave it at that. 

As for the characters... 

Miriam Bricks is a woman ahead of her time in many ways and one who is running from a past that slowly, but surely, tries to best her. 

The way that Eden portrays her is beyond lovely. She's smart, she's driven, she's compassionate and warm. I found myself drawn into her POV far more than her love interest (not that I didn't love him!) because, the care in which Eden put into Miriam is apparent from the start and, while reading her, all you want to know is everything about her backstory. 

Which, if you were wondering, her backstory is developed beautifully. It's heartbreaking and honest and you can't help but to feel pain for her. You know she deserves better than the way life has treated her thus far.  

Then there's Gideon McNamara, our leading man. Like Miriam, he is ahead of his time. He is just sweet in general.   

While his character is the least developed of the two, he still is full of life. He's, by very definition, a good man. Charming, smart, and humorous. Gideon is sympathetic in a way that is different from Miriam. Whereas Miriam has a past that is traumatic, to say the least, Gideon has had some bouts with bad luck when it comes to the love department. 

Like many, he longs for companionship and love. Which is why he took the plunge in sending for a mail order bride... which, of course, did not go according to plan due to some misunderstandings. I felt for Gideon, really, I did--it's no fun being in the position that he has found himself in. And he truly is a good guy, which is refreshing to see in a romance novel. 

The minor characters we meet in Healing Hearts, too, are wonderful. Some provide something that is lighthearted; other bring that spark of conflict to the central storyline, and it's just interesting to see the way these interactions form the stories core. This is definitely the kind of romance I'd like to see more of in the future, and I'm honestly said to have finished it as quickly as I have. 

Overall, I was really surprised by this and didn't expect it to go the way that it did! But, it is the very definition of warm and fuzzies, so I can't recommend it enough. I really, really enjoyed this. I am definitely going to look into more books by Sarah M. Eden in the future.

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