Book Review of Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

Book Review of Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

I love that this book takes place in Victorian England! It reminds me more of a Jane Austen or Bronté sister novel than the other proper romances have. The research that went into this book shows through, and I like that it’s historical fiction as well. I hope you enjoy my book review of Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden.


“The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn’t any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again.

Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, and Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot’s tentative friendship deepens and grows.  Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost.

But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that included Dermot.”


My Book Review:

If I could choose somewhere to travel back in time to, it would be Victorian England. I would love to see the homes with their beautiful gardens and the landscape with the moors. The dresses the women wore would also be at the top of my list. Of course, I’m sure in everyday reality it wasn’t as romantic as a Jane Austen or Emily Bronté book.  However, I would love to stay a week and try it out. Taking this into account, you may imagine my happiness when finding out that Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden takes place in Victorian England.

As soon as I saw the beautiful cover I couldn’t wait to read this book. Evangeline is not the easiest person to like at the beginning of the book. Neither is Dermot, actually. Or Aunt Barton. The beginning of the book is a bit depressing, and there are a bunch of grumpy characters. Evangeline’s mood is understandable, though. She finds herself dropped into some very difficult circumstances. I did enjoy seeing her transformation over the course of the book.

Dermot also comes across as grumpy and rash. At least he usually acts as a gentleman. I thought Ms. Eden did a great job with his Irish accent and personality. Ronan is my favorite character. What a sweetheart! I also loved the school children. Now, I may be biased because my passion (besides blogging, of course) is teaching kids to read. I loved all of that in the book. Evangeline may have used some unconventional methods, but doing what is best for the children is always the right move. The children’s accents and dialect were written so well; you can tell that Ms. Eden did her homework.

I have read all of Sarah M. Eden’s books, and Ashes on the Moor is my favorite! The moment when the title came into play was such a tender scene, and I loved how it fit. The story is predictable and there is lots of cheese, but isn’t that what makes a proper romance so good? I thought that it was well written, well researched, and well….a fun, entertaining read. Will it change the world? Nope, but it is perfect for a snowy afternoon or a warm beach.


Content Rating PGRating: PG (There’s no profanity, no “intimacy,” except some brief kissing, and there isn’t any violence.)

Age Recommendation: YA (12-18 years-old) and up

Rating: 4/54 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden  Longing for Home Hope Springs Book 2 by Sarah M. Eden
Ashes on the Moor blog tour

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden

“The small town of Savage Wells is barely big enough for the people who call it home; it certainly isn’t big enough for more than one sheriff. Yet when famed lawman Cade O’Brien rides into town, he finds he’s not the only man ready to take on the job. What’s more, one of his competitors is a woman. Paisley Bell loves her town and the eccentric people in it. She’s been the acting sheriff for months and isn’t too keen on relinquishing the job to anyone else. Not only does she love the work, but she also needs the income to take care of her ailing father. It’s a true battle of the sexes, and sparks fly between the two as Cade and Paisley banter and boast, neither one ready to acknowledge the attraction they have for each other. But when Paisley’s former beau shows up, along with a band of bank robbers, Savage Wells is suddenly faced with the kind of peril that only a sheriff can manage. Who will be man enough-or woman enough-to step up, claim the badge, and save the town?”

My Review:

This is a proper romance, and it definitely lives up to that name! It is predictable, sweet, fun, and a bit cheesy; all of which make for a great love story. You know from the get-go who the main players are and where it will all go, but that doesn’t mean that the journey is any less enjoyable. The characters are fun and mostly well developed. The banter between the two main characters is sweet and definitely cheesy, but that’s what we love in a romance, right? There are enough other facets to the story that there are a few surprises here and there, and they add a different depth to the book. My grandpa had dementia, so I know how difficult it can be to care for those suffering from it. Reading about Paisley’s father brought back memories of my grandpa. I liked that Paisley was a strong female character. I liked that she wasn’t perfect, she had her hard moments and her shortfalls, but overall she was determined, strong, and usually a likable character. I liked the eccentricities in the town, like the Ribbon Emporium in the jailhouse. Those things definitely made me want to visit there. Overall, this is a sweet love story that draws you in, and I love that it’s clean! There are a few typos, but I do have the Advanced Readers Copy, so those may be fixed in the actual published edition.

Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any profanity-thank you!- or “intimacy” besides some kissing. There is some violence-it was the wild, wild west remember- with shoot-outs and a character dies.)

Recommendation: I’d say it would be ok for a YA (13+) reader or older. Girls will definitely like this more than boys will.

Longing For Home: Hope Springs (Book Two)

Longing For Home: Hope Springs (Book Two) by Sarah M. Eden

(Summary taken from “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?”

I enjoyed the first book and thought it was a nice sweet love story, so I was excited to read book two and find out what would happen to Katie. The most pressing question, of course, was which man she would choose. Would she choose fun, happy, and cute Tavish, or would she choose stable, thoughtful, and handsome Joseph? I really couldn’t decide which one I wanted her to choose because they were both men of integrity and had hard work ethics. They each held qualities she valued and needed in her life.  I had no idea which way it would go, and would have been happy either way. I wondered how Ms. Eden would bring about Katie’s decision, and I thought it worked well.  It made sense and I was thrilled for Katie. Unfortunately, some not-so-good things happened along the way. Do you remember the feud? Well, lets just say that it is still there and escalating. A bunch of main characters die or are severely injured. I can’t imagine living with such hatred. I can’t imagine living my life specifically to hurt a whole group of people. I cried. Yes, I definitely cried during parts of this book. There were some tears of joy, but there were also tears of sadness and sorrow.  I love that Katie is a strong female character. I love that she works hard and has a positive outlook even when life brings her down. This book is fairly well written and is a fast, easy read. I enjoyed this book and did like the ending. I thought it was a good sequel.

Rating: PG -13 ( No language or intimacy; there is quite a bit of violence, and there is a death.)

Recommendation: 13 and up

Disclosure: I did receive this book in exchange for my honest review.

Longing For Home

Longing For Home by Sarah M. Eden
(Summary taken from an email sent to me by the publicist) “Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland s Great Famine, Katie Macauley feels responsible for the loss of her family s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew. Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.”

How is this for an opening sentence: “Eighteen years had passed since Katie Macauley killed her sister.”? Wow, right? You want to keep reading, right? Well, I did! That sentence definitely grabbed me, and I was hooked from the start. I haven’t read a good old-fashioned love story in a long time, and it was fun to get lost in the story. This story is full of everything you need for a love story: cheese, sap, and a handsome main character. Yes, it’s a little cheesy, but you know what? That’s what good love stories need! I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written and the characters were very well developed. Katie is a bit of a mystery throughout the book. You don’t learn her whole story until almost the end of the book, and so you think you like her, but you’re unsure of how she “killed her sister.” I kept wondering if I would change my mind about her when I knew the truth. You learn bits and pieces as the book unfolds, and I ended up liking her even more. Tavish is an interesting character. First off, I love that name, and if I were having another baby boy (I’m not) then I would seriously consider naming him Tavish, because it’s great name. Ms. Eden might be starting a trend in baby names. Anyway, you meet him on page two or three, and you know from then that he will most likely be a love interest in Katie’s life. And Joseph is also a good character. I didn’t like him at first because of the circumstances, but the more I learned about him the more I liked him as well. I also fell in love with his daughters. The townspeople in the book are instrumental in setting up the decision that Katie needs to make. I didn’t envy her situation and definitely felt bad for her. I love that she is a strong female character. She works hard and even though she likes having the men in her life, she shows that she can take care of herself and isn’t whiny or frail. I loved learning about the Irish people and their history. I thought it was so sad that prejudice against the Irish was so strong here in America. I know I like to look back and think that everything was perfect among the different nationalities of our “melting pot.” I guess it wasn’t perfect, but I’m hopeful that there were people like Joseph to help calm everyone down and bring them together. 

I loved that this book was clean. (Yay!) There wasn’t any language, and only a couple small kisses. There was some violence against the Irish people, but nothing too harsh. I think I might like this new “Proper Romance” category from Shadow Mountain. I really did enjoy this story. Like I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a good old-fashioned love story, and I forgot how much I enjoy them! 

Rating: PG+ (It’s clean except for some acts of violence against the Irish people, and they aren’t too harsh.)

Recommendation: 12 and up. And yes, it is YA approved!!!

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.