Healing Hearts (Savage Wells #2) by Sarah M. Eden
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: Shadow Mountain / Proper Romance
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
I accidentally read this before realizing it was the second book in a series but I didn’t find it hinder my enjoyment at all. The only thing was that I now want to learn more about the story of the couple from book 1 haha.
That being said, Healing Hearts was SUCH a unique story that I fell in love with. I haven’t read much ‘Western’ based stories but this is exactly what I want out of this setting.
I really appreciated the subtle elements that Eden included with her characters. I loved Miriam’s history and how it has effected her past and how she works to ensure she can live the life that she wants. She does everything she can to make sure it does not hinder her but inevitably things happen that bring her past to light. I don’t want to spoil anything so I am beating around the bush but the reveal took me by surprise and I don’t want to ruin that feeling for others. Just know, it’s done brilliantly.
Gideon is also a unique character in his own right. I was so happy that Eden brought in his family, how the town absolutely adored him, how he has secrets he also wants to keep for his own reasons, and how he really just needs someone to help and have a life with. A top-notch leading man.
Eden writes this story with the same attention to detail and layered plot that I came to love in her Dread Penny Society series. You think that it will be about one thing but then she brings in so many other aspects (nearly flawlessly) until you realize it is so much more.
The whole cast of characters were wonderful. I appreciated all of their purposes to the plot at large but even their smaller interactions really helped set the stage.
Something I do wish was a bit different was the last 1/4 of the book. I wanted that to take up more of the plot. I fully enjoyed the set up and how Miriam and Gideon’s relationship evolves but I just wanted more from the tension and events that happen in the final 1/4.
I am definitely going to be continuing reading Eden’s back list as she is quickly becoming a favourite.