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Book Review: A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

First, let me say that the cover on Rachel Fordham’s new novel, A Life Once Dreamed, should not be viewed in anything other than print. The internet does not do it justice. In print, it’s very much like a 19th-century painting. Lovely.

For this book, we’ve moved on from the previous books’ setting of Azure Springs to Penance in the Dakota Territory. But don’t worry, Ms. Fordham does leave an Easter egg in tribute to the previous town. 😉

Agnes Pratt fled her wealthy neighborhood in Buffalo, New York after the happiest time in her life turned tragic. She left behind James Harris, her childhood neighbor, best friend, and only love. He was brokenhearted and confused.

A Life Once Dreamed is a second-chance romance that, six years later, brings Aggie and James back together in the little mining town of Penance thanks to her late mother.

I liked Aggie right away but had to warm up to James. Once I did, I was thoroughly on his side. She struggles to keep him in the dark and at arm’s length. He struggles to understand why and pull her closer.

Funniest line in the book:

Rose blushed. ‘We got so busy working on it that we didn’t think hard enough about it and, well…we should have made two.’ …

‘I suppose Rose is right. Two would have been the way to go.’ Mayor Clint slapped James on the back. ‘Now we’ll just have to find a way for the both of you to share it.

Now, on the surface, that isn’t funny, but you’ll understand when you get to that part. **No spoilers**

The story started a bit slow for me but when James hit town, it picked up and became a page turner with an ultimate commentary about judgements and the theme of it not mattering where you came from but where you’re going.

Now I’m eager to finish Sam’s story, so I’m hoping that’s coming next. Otherwise, there wasn’t much point to an introduction.

I’m pleased to give the sweet story A Life Once Dreamed 4.8 stars.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.


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