Ashes on the Moor
When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities. Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers. Evangeline's sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt—a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships—forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr—the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone. Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness—an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot's coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door. Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to "proper English" while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill. When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust--especially Dermot's. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.

Ashes on the Moor Details

TitleAshes on the Moor
Author
ReleaseMar 6th, 2018
PublisherShadow Mountain
ISBN-139781629724027
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Clean Romance

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Ashes on the Moor Review

  • Melissa Tagg
    January 1, 1970
    Ashes on the Moor is a great book for anyone who, like me, looooooves North and South, either the BBC production or the Elizabeth Gaskell novel it's based upon. I couldn't help picturing Dermot as Richard Armitage as I read. :) The setting, factory woes, even the emotion of the book...it all has echoes of North and South while also being its own original, heartwarming story, one I very much enjoyed. I especially appreciated Evangeline's character...watching her strengthen throughout the story an Ashes on the Moor is a great book for anyone who, like me, looooooves North and South, either the BBC production or the Elizabeth Gaskell novel it's based upon. I couldn't help picturing Dermot as Richard Armitage as I read. :) The setting, factory woes, even the emotion of the book...it all has echoes of North and South while also being its own original, heartwarming story, one I very much enjoyed. I especially appreciated Evangeline's character...watching her strengthen throughout the story and her resolve to do right by her students.
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  • Kathy * Bookworm Nation
    January 1, 1970
    I can't even imagine the amount of research that went into writing this one. Ms. Eden clearly spent a lot of time studying the time period and people and was able to write a story that easily transports you back to that time. As always, Ms. Eden is a great writer, is able to create well developed characters in compelling circumstances. While it is a well written story, I just had a hard time connecting to it. I guess I prefer lighter novels, this was just too serious for me. Content: Clean roman I can't even imagine the amount of research that went into writing this one. Ms. Eden clearly spent a lot of time studying the time period and people and was able to write a story that easily transports you back to that time. As always, Ms. Eden is a great writer, is able to create well developed characters in compelling circumstances. While it is a well written story, I just had a hard time connecting to it. I guess I prefer lighter novels, this was just too serious for me. Content: Clean romance, no language or violenceSource: Netgalley
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  • Katie W
    January 1, 1970
    This story is very inspiring as it progresses, but it definitely starts out somber. Right away, deep sympathy is felt for Evangeline and her situation. It's hard to imagine being thrust into an unfamiliar situation and expected to be successful, but she has good reasons to work hard and to figure out how to survive. It's hard for me to picture how tough the times were for so many people during this time period. Eden paints a vivid portrayal of that. It's also tough to imagine families being so h This story is very inspiring as it progresses, but it definitely starts out somber. Right away, deep sympathy is felt for Evangeline and her situation. It's hard to imagine being thrust into an unfamiliar situation and expected to be successful, but she has good reasons to work hard and to figure out how to survive. It's hard for me to picture how tough the times were for so many people during this time period. Eden paints a vivid portrayal of that. It's also tough to imagine families being so heartless.Although this book is labeled as a romance, and a Proper Romance at that, the romance is very, very mild, gradual, and gentle. While the book does focus on some relationships, especially those of Evangeline and her Yorkshire students and of her and her Irish neighbor, Dermot, I thought most of the energy was concentrated on the language and teaching methods. This is a great historical fiction, especially for those who are interested in this area and time period. The last line of the blurb sums this one up well--inspiring, courage, quiet strength, and confidence and all of those characteristics were gentle developed throughout the book. Content: squeaky clean romance and content *I received a copy from the publisher, which did not affect my opinion. All thoughts are my own.*
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  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
    January 1, 1970
    It's always a happy day when a new book by Sarah Eden comes out. I am such a fan of her writing and her stories. She has a gift for weaving me right into her stories where I feel such a part of whatever emotion or activity that is going on and she does it so gently. I think that's one word I would always use to describe Sarah Eden's books. Gentle.This story started off sad and a bit slow for me. It took me a bit to fall into the characters and feel like I was a part of them but it did happen abo It's always a happy day when a new book by Sarah Eden comes out. I am such a fan of her writing and her stories. She has a gift for weaving me right into her stories where I feel such a part of whatever emotion or activity that is going on and she does it so gently. I think that's one word I would always use to describe Sarah Eden's books. Gentle.This story started off sad and a bit slow for me. It took me a bit to fall into the characters and feel like I was a part of them but it did happen about halfway through. By the end I was in love with Evangeline, Dermot and Ronan. I loved the glimpse into the history of the Yorkshire area, the struggles of the people and the very distinct Yorkshire accent. Evangeline, as a school teacher, kept saying that she didn't want to take their words away from them. I loved that too.There was so much to love about this book. It was full and rich, gentle and endearing. Just what I would expect from Sarah Eden.Content: clean- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    This book suffered from a completely unbelievable plot. From the strange behavior of Mrs Barton to the unrealistic for the time period attitudes and ideas of Evangeline it just did not work for me. The characters were what ultimately made this work at all. Eden has a great ability to lead the reader to love and care for even less pleasant characters and really want everything to work out best for everyone.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't wait this book to come out. I am a huge fan of Sarah Eden and I can't think of a book she's written that I didn't like. This one was no exception!In Ashes on the Moor, we meet Evangeline Blake who has just lost her family. With only her sister left, she clings to her as they face an uncertain future with an aunt and uncle. But a cruel twist of fate separates them and throws Evangeline into circumstances that she's unprepared for. Forced to be the town's new schoolteacher and live in a I couldn't wait this book to come out. I am a huge fan of Sarah Eden and I can't think of a book she's written that I didn't like. This one was no exception!In Ashes on the Moor, we meet Evangeline Blake who has just lost her family. With only her sister left, she clings to her as they face an uncertain future with an aunt and uncle. But a cruel twist of fate separates them and throws Evangeline into circumstances that she's unprepared for. Forced to be the town's new schoolteacher and live in a humble home in need of a lot of care, Evangeline is lost and overwhelmed. The only person who shows her a bit of kindness is an Irishman named Dermot McCormick. He's also trying to figure out his place in the world since his heritage is looked down upon no matter what he does. But as Dermot and Evangeline build a friendship, stronger feelings flare and they must decide if love is worth fighting for.I loved this book. It's not a light romance, but a look back in time when a woman had few choices and your birth and heritage could prevent you from having life's basic necessities. Ms. Eden has obviously done an incredible amount of research as the town of Smeatley with its Yorkshire residents comes to life, fairly jumping off the page. So many language, dress, and food details add to the amazing setting, giving the characters even more depth. Our heroine, Evangeline, will draw on all a reader's emotions as she deals with so many losses and has to keep picking herself up over and over. I wanted her to not only get her happily-ever-after, but to stand up and make a few people accountable for what they'd done! Dermot is also a character that will stay with you after the book is finished. He's suffered and risen above it, and all the while built a foundation of love and care for others, instead of bitterness as to his lot in life. He was the perfect match for Evangeline and their romance was a sweet, slow burn, that will give you all the feels. Definitely another one for my keeper shelf!I think the best thing about Sarah Eden's books is that they aren't just stories, they are an experience. She pulls you into another time and place and takes you on an adventure that you won't soon forget!Originally reviewed on http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com
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  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is evidence of just why I love this author's writing! Even though the tone in the beginning is despondent as Evangeline mourns her family and struggles with her new circumstances, it shows how much she grows and how time slowly heals. She does not seem particularly strong or skilled, but her compassion and newfound grit serve her well as she continues to make the best out of what she's been given. Dermot surliness brings out her sassy side and I loved seeing their relationship develop This book is evidence of just why I love this author's writing! Even though the tone in the beginning is despondent as Evangeline mourns her family and struggles with her new circumstances, it shows how much she grows and how time slowly heals. She does not seem particularly strong or skilled, but her compassion and newfound grit serve her well as she continues to make the best out of what she's been given. Dermot surliness brings out her sassy side and I loved seeing their relationship develop from neighbors to unlikely friends to sweethearts. Each person in the wide cast of characters from the community are vibrant and easy to picture, and I especially enjoyed the Yorkshire way of speaking and their interesting phrases and names for things. The setting was very much a big part of the book and it felt a bit like one of my favorite movies, North and South. I liked that it was set in a smaller town though, which gave it a more cozy feel and less industrial. I have a soft spot for stories with teachers that care so much for their students, and Evangeline's determination to do the best for her students, despite her lack of training, is admirable and endearing. I was completely immersed from the get go and was happy that the initial mood of desperation slowly gave way to hope as Evangeline lifts herself with the help of Dermot and discovers her own fierce nature and strength.(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to get to read this new book by Sarah M. Eden. Firstly, I love the cover--it's gorgeous.Evangeline and her 12 yr. old sister, Lucy, lost their parents and their brothers to a sudden illness. Right after the funeral they must leave the only home they've known to go to Yorkshire and are separated--Evangeline is to live in the small factory town of Smeatley as a schoolteacher and Lucy is sent to live with the grandfather they hardly know in Leeds. In order for Evangeline to have Lu I was so excited to get to read this new book by Sarah M. Eden. Firstly, I love the cover--it's gorgeous.Evangeline and her 12 yr. old sister, Lucy, lost their parents and their brothers to a sudden illness. Right after the funeral they must leave the only home they've known to go to Yorkshire and are separated--Evangeline is to live in the small factory town of Smeatley as a schoolteacher and Lucy is sent to live with the grandfather they hardly know in Leeds. In order for Evangeline to have Lucy live with her she has to prove that she can keep a household (cleaning, cooking, manage money, etc) although she wasn't trained to do that as her family was quite well off. She also knows nothing of how to teach children.The nearest neighbor to her is Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who isn't quite accepted by all of the towns people. They have a rocky start but come to an arrangement of extra schooling for his son Ronan in exchange for cooking lessons for Evangeline. Their friendship grows slowly as they spend more time together. Evangeline is slowly accepted by the children she teaches and their parents until her relationship with her grandfather (Mr. Farr) and her Uncle and Aunt Barton comes to light. Then she has to decide if she wants to stay in Smeatley with Dermot and Ronan, or leave to live with Lucy and her grandfather in Leeds.There are a lot of depressing scenes in the story because of the time period in which it's set--factory workers and those who lived off the land didn't have an easy life in the 1870's. They didn't have the safety precautions in the factories we have now, and illness or bad weather could wipe out a herd/flock or crop. But there are also instances of friendship and caring between neighbors as they helped each other in times of need or distress.There were so many times I wanted to slap Aunt Barton and yell at her husband to do something instead of letting her trod all over him and have her way. The woman was miserable and made everyone around her miserable too, and I was so happy when he finally told her enough is enough. I can't imagine treating your sisters children the way Aunt Barton treated Evangeline and Lucy. I felt so many things for Evangeline as she was left to drag/carry her trunk up to the schoolhouse by herself, find it in deplorable condition and attempt to get it ready for the children in just a few days time. She wasn't given the proper tools for cleaning and didn't even have a bed to sleep on. Luckily she had Dermot for a neighbor, who despite his prickliness, turned out to be a great blessing to her. Teaching her how to cook, and basically being the only friend she had for awhile.I loved the scenes in the book with the children showing what they had learned even though Evangeline didn't teach them the way the school board supervisor said she should. She did what was best for her students to help them learn so they wouldn't have to work in the factory. I was relieved to find out why Aunt Barton was such a miserable woman--I wasn't satisfied with the answer but at least the author didn't leave me hanging wondering why she was so wretched a human being.This is definitely a clean romance. Thanks to NetGalley for my eARC and the chance to review this book. All thoughts are my own and not influenced in any way.
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  • Kirsi Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re looking for a Regency romance with complex characters, an intriguing story line, a well developed and inviting setting, and a happy ending, look no further! You will not only cheer for Evangeline and Dermot’s happy ending, but also root for them as they work together to overcome the obstacles life throws in their path. *happiest of sighs*
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  • Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)
    January 1, 1970
    ***4.5 stars***Evangeline Blake's world is torn from her after the tragic death of her parents and brothers. She is forced to leave her home and accept the "benevolence" of her aunt and grandfather. Not all is as she was lead to believe it would be and her true character is tested as she is forced to deal with less than ideal circumstances.I loved the growth of Evangeline in this book. She is compassionate, honorable, kind, and trustworthy. Her ultimate goal is to be reunited with her sister. To ***4.5 stars***Evangeline Blake's world is torn from her after the tragic death of her parents and brothers. She is forced to leave her home and accept the "benevolence" of her aunt and grandfather. Not all is as she was lead to believe it would be and her true character is tested as she is forced to deal with less than ideal circumstances.I loved the growth of Evangeline in this book. She is compassionate, honorable, kind, and trustworthy. Her ultimate goal is to be reunited with her sister. To do that she must prove that she is capable. Fortunately, this lady of refinement meets an unlikely ally in the Irishman Dermot McCormick. He teaches her what she need to know to survive and they forge an alliance that helps them both.I loved this glimpse into the impoverished life of the British countryside in 1871. The people try to survive everyday. Education has just been introduced for ever child to have access to. The divide between the wealthy and the poor is illustrated in stark contrast. In the middle of the story is a remarkable boy who we would now recognize as being on the autism spectrum. This is a wonderful story of a resilient people.This is a clean book. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    This was so well done. This is not a light fluffy romance. There is so much depth to it.I am a huge fan of the Hallmark Series When Calls the Heart. In many ways, this reminds me of that TV series but there are also many differences. Evangeline is not a teacher by choice and she has had everything taken away from her. She had no choice but to make the best of the hand life has dealt her. Times were not easy and everything seems stacked against her and Dermot but both of them have strong wills an This was so well done. This is not a light fluffy romance. There is so much depth to it.I am a huge fan of the Hallmark Series When Calls the Heart. In many ways, this reminds me of that TV series but there are also many differences. Evangeline is not a teacher by choice and she has had everything taken away from her. She had no choice but to make the best of the hand life has dealt her. Times were not easy and everything seems stacked against her and Dermot but both of them have strong wills and are willing to fight for what they want. Through their trials and struggles, we see a beautiful relationship develop.A wonderfully done historical romance that kept me engrossed in the story until the very last page.
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  • Mindy
    January 1, 1970
    Ashes on the Moor is another beautiful story told by a brilliant author. I love Sarah Eden's books. She has an expert way of telling a story. The author created a perfectly subtle way of explaining the different dialects to the reader, all while keeping the story and characters flowing. The reader was learning Smeatley's way of speaking along with Evangeline. I appreciated that. I marveled at the detailed setting and the depth and growth of characters. Right away, the reader is caught up in the Ashes on the Moor is another beautiful story told by a brilliant author. I love Sarah Eden's books. She has an expert way of telling a story. The author created a perfectly subtle way of explaining the different dialects to the reader, all while keeping the story and characters flowing. The reader was learning Smeatley's way of speaking along with Evangeline. I appreciated that. I marveled at the detailed setting and the depth and growth of characters. Right away, the reader is caught up in the hardships of Evangeline and Lucy's sad beginning. I loved how Evangeline pulled herself up and did what had to be done. Dermot and Ronan were also delightful characters. Ronan had a special place in my heart. I absolutely loved this book.
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  • Chesney
    January 1, 1970
    This why Sarah is one of my go to authors. She writes in a way to connect you with the characters and the storyline. I felt like I was in Yorkshire and feeling the frustration Evangeline dealt with. Her books definitely have earned a place on my bookshelf.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    A young English lady is forced by her Aunt to take a teaching position in a small town to prove her ability to take care of herself so she can get custody of her younger sister. She comes from a family of wealth, but her grandfather has control of her inheritance so she must prove she is capable of caring for her. Romance comes along with a stonemason who helps her learn some of what will make her independent. Quick read and keeps your attention.
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  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    Well, we all know how I feel about Proper Romance Books, but this is Proper Romance plus Sarah Eden. Yes, Please!!!! I love this author. I like all of the authors, but I don’t know if I just enjoy her so much because I have actually met and talked with her a few times. She is such a delightful person. Her writing always brings a smile to my face.Evangeline, is forced to be an independent woman after being brought up in high society when an accident takes all of her family away except one sister. Well, we all know how I feel about Proper Romance Books, but this is Proper Romance plus Sarah Eden. Yes, Please!!!! I love this author. I like all of the authors, but I don’t know if I just enjoy her so much because I have actually met and talked with her a few times. She is such a delightful person. Her writing always brings a smile to my face.Evangeline, is forced to be an independent woman after being brought up in high society when an accident takes all of her family away except one sister. Lucy. Instead of being able to mourn their family their Aunt Barton came and ripped them from their home and took them to Smeatley. Evangeline, promised Lucy they would always be together, but her Aunt Barton had other plans. Not only did she rip Lucy away from her, she forced her into a teaching position, and into a home all alone. Then she was told she wasn’t allowed to reveal their family relations or she would be fired.This sounds like such a great family. Aunt Barton told Evangeline that she would be checking on her progress and if she didn’t show that she could take care of her self then she would never be able to take care of Lucy either. Forced into a life she didn’t want Evangeline takes the high road and decides she going to do the best she can with the circumstances she has been put in.She meets a neighbor man by the name of Dermont, who ends up helping her more than any one has in her whole life. Evangeline doesn’t seem to mind that he is Irish like most of the town did when he arrived. Dermont is a hard working man taking care of his son Ronan and building houses and fences. He is a master at masonry.This is such a sweet story of love, hope, endurance, and hard work. The setting is so beautiful. I love the town of Smeatley. I was right there with the town people and Evangeline as she navigates through her new life. It didn’t hurt anything that she had a yummy man living right down the street from her (Dermont) that helped her so much and made her feel welcome.Evangeline is an amazing character. She is kind, loving, compassionate, and fiery! I love the fire she has. She is a lady but is learning that she doesn’t have to take all the grieve her aunt and uncle are giving her anymore. She finds joy in life, in the town and in the children, she is teaching. She genuinely loves them, and it shows through this whole book.I felt for the people in this small town, and all the hardships they faced, and how they all pulled together no matter what. It is just such a wonderful, uplifting story. It gave me chills, made me angry, and made me cry. All good things a book can do for me 😊. I loved every minute of this book. I hope you take a chance to pick it up and read it. It’s just a beautiful story.Source: I was given this book as part of a blog tour in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    First sentence: Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells.Premise/plot: When the novel opens, Evangeline Blake, our heroine, has lost everything--almost. She has lost a father, a mother, and two brothers. Lucy, her younger sister, is her sole immediate family. That day Evangeline makes a promise that they'll be together--stay together--no matter what. But within a day or two, at most, that promise proves empty. Lucy, so she's told First sentence: Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells.Premise/plot: When the novel opens, Evangeline Blake, our heroine, has lost everything--almost. She has lost a father, a mother, and two brothers. Lucy, her younger sister, is her sole immediate family. That day Evangeline makes a promise that they'll be together--stay together--no matter what. But within a day or two, at most, that promise proves empty. Lucy, so she's told, is to live with her grandfather. Evangeline, however, is to become a teacher in a mill town. It is what is best for everyone. Oh, and Evangeline is not to tell anyone about how she's related to them or her grandfather.Evangeline finds herself in a desperate situation for sure. She's young, unskilled and untrained in teaching, same goes in housekeeping and cooking. She's HUNGRY and cold. She finds herself in need of so much, and she finds so much of what she needs in her neighbor, Dermot McCormick. He's relatively new to town; he's Irish; he's a single father raising an autistic son; he's compassionate. Did I mention this is set in Yorkshire in Victorian times?!My thoughts: I loved this one. I LOVED IT from the first page to the last. It was a satisfying historical romance. I loved the teaching aspect of it. How she is changed just as much by her students as they are changed by her. I loved the focus on the Yorkshire language, and how she tried to write down stories for them in their own language so that they could learn to read in a natural environment. I loved how she is transformed by her new home, new surroundings, new situations. In some ways, this one reminds me of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.
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  • Rachelle
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of Sarah Eden's books! She has dozens of bestselling and award-winning titles and I've almost read all of them. This new book is another addition to the Proper Romance line and I couldn't wait to read it! The cover is absolutely stunning and Eden's words pulled me completely into northern England and the city of Yorkshire. This book quickly became a favorite because I was reminded of my own visit to northern England and the incredible town of Yorkshire twenty years ago. Isn't it I am a huge fan of Sarah Eden's books! She has dozens of bestselling and award-winning titles and I've almost read all of them. This new book is another addition to the Proper Romance line and I couldn't wait to read it! The cover is absolutely stunning and Eden's words pulled me completely into northern England and the city of Yorkshire. This book quickly became a favorite because I was reminded of my own visit to northern England and the incredible town of Yorkshire twenty years ago. Isn't it wonderful that we can take a visit through the pages of a book?Ashes on the Moor is set in Victorian England when factories were starting to change the landscape and socioeconomic paths of the English. The character of Evangeline is stoic, maddeningly ladylike, courageous, and romantic. I loved seeing the change that took place in Evangeline when she was forced to live on her own and do things she'd never attempted before--like cooking!The romance that developed between Evangeline and Dermot was layered beautifully and grew slowly, yet at a satisfying pace. If you enjoy great writing, historical romance, clean romance, then you should definitely consider adding this book to your To-Read list!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Lets start with the love - 'Ashes on the Moor' has a beautiful cover, creative title, beautiful location and a fantastic cast of characters to give every aspect of this story depth and uniqueness. I haven't read a historical fiction that follows the lines of this plot and I enjoyed that very much. The story begins so bleak and full of sadness. Evangeline and her 12 year old sister Lucy, have been orphaned and though they come from a family of wealth and privilege, they are separated almost immed Lets start with the love - 'Ashes on the Moor' has a beautiful cover, creative title, beautiful location and a fantastic cast of characters to give every aspect of this story depth and uniqueness. I haven't read a historical fiction that follows the lines of this plot and I enjoyed that very much. The story begins so bleak and full of sadness. Evangeline and her 12 year old sister Lucy, have been orphaned and though they come from a family of wealth and privilege, they are separated almost immediately at the hands of probably the cruelest Aunt on the planet! The amount of ache that you will feel for Evangeline and her plight seems to have no bounds. Her new neighbor, Irish born Dermot McCormick is a local brick mason, who has secured for himself work in the small West Yorks mill town of Smeatley. He and his son Ronan, don't respond too well to their strange new neighbor. As the story progresses there is a gentle and easy development in not only Evangeline's ability to adapt to her new life, but also between her and Dermot. I appreciated the way the interaction between her and the towns folk was written also. She comes from a different class and part of society but she was loving and gracious as she went about her life. As she grows in confidence she is able to find herself in a position to fight for her sister. That was also a joy to read. I was excited to see this story was based in Yorkshire. My roots are there, and I've probably only read a handful of books that have been located in the region. Here is where I will broach my frustrations with this book. When it comes to writing dialogue a choice needs to be made to whether you write it in English or whether you take on the dialect of the locals. I can understand that to make it 'authentic' it has something special to it when it is written more accurately to the people in where it is placed. However, I endured no end of frustration with the constant 'lessons in Yorkshire dialect'. Yes I may understand the language, and many will not - but there are alternate ways to explain away the choice to write in dialect. Some authors will add a glossary for those words/phrases that are really hard to understand (or less obvious to figure out on your own) or perhaps it is just left alone. None of the Irish was 'explained' away. It was irritating and ruined a good portion of my reading. This is my issue, and may not bother other readers. Perhaps with my family being from Yorkshire I found it more frustrating. There was far too much repetition and disrupted the flow. Many times while reading I was reminded of why I love books like 'North and South' by Elizabeth Gaskell. This era and the trials that the people working and surviving on the livelihood of the mill intrigues me. I enjoyed as a child visiting the Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire with my school and then taking my kids there years later. I love the history. It is clear that Sarah Eden has researched it well. Great story & plot. Wonderful characters. A little less on the dialect lesson and I'd have given this 5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.
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  • Shale
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh. I disliked this book. Which for a Sarah M Eden book is really really bad. This book is dreary, depressing, and dark. I honestly never connected with the main character, and never believed that she could overcome the challenges put against her. Her family was more than just mean or the villains; they had the control most of the time where the MC was just pawns in their hands. There was nothing positive about the first half of the book. I was bored and depressed. .Until something happened, so Ugh. I disliked this book. Which for a Sarah M Eden book is really really bad. This book is dreary, depressing, and dark. I honestly never connected with the main character, and never believed that she could overcome the challenges put against her. Her family was more than just mean or the villains; they had the control most of the time where the MC was just pawns in their hands. There was nothing positive about the first half of the book. I was bored and depressed. .Until something happened, something good for once in this melancholy novel. The clouds broke through the sky and there was hope. There was romance. There was challenges but I believed that the MC could overcome them again. It felt like I was reading a proper romance book, a book worthy of Eden's reputation. I enjoyed and consumed the latter half of the story. I give it 2.5 stars because it's not the worst book ever, there were elements I enjoyed, especially the last couple chapters. IThe first 200 pages are horrible monotonous drivel that left a reader hating every second. I quite literally did not want to read it. Why would I read something so droll, bleak, and disheartening? All I learned from this book was that working in a factory was something so terrifying, so hellish, that capitalism was of the devil and the drive of progress debilitating. Eden's novel had the goal of education, of provoking thoughts and learning about them, like class distinctions and factory work conditions. The goal was missed. In fact, she shot the other direction. I learned that the dreary town hated everybody, the school teacher had no learning what so ever, nepotism ran amuck unchecked with detriment to the entire county. I even felt like the MC's sister was better off far away since the MC's life was so gloomy. The MC's whole goal was to have her sister with her, yet I never felt that notion rang true. I was told it, rather than shown it. There was no memories with to share with the read of the two sisters, very little interaction with the character at the beginning. The plot would've been served better by establishing the grief of the loss of her family, rather than the rush of packing. It took me more than half the book to figure out what killed her family, a single word rushed past in the opening chapter, leading to confusion for the rest of the story.There were elements there of reader-character connection, motifs were fumbled, and hard-hitting plot points overlooked. This felt like a first novel, with un-gleaned chances of exposition bumbled by an inexperienced author. It had the makings of an excellent book, with an underlying message of greed, inequality, and prejudice. However, the mark was missed and instead the romance is barely there, the greed and inequality suffocates the reader, and prejudice runs foul of every character. This is the first 200 something pages of exposition and rising action. My largest complaint is that it never felt like a romance. A "proper romance" it proclaims on the cover. In fact, there was very little emotion from the Irishman, apathetic towards his so-called love interest. I would've taken a lot more hate and spitfire, than the shrugging half-hearted help. Their interactions held more of a student-teacher feel, than friendship or romance. There was no unresolved romantic/sexual tension until halfway through the book. In short, the first 200 pages before the grandfather's visit need to be burned and rewritten because it is crap-tastic. The intent is there, but the execution left the reader with a foul taste, looking for something a little more lighthearted to wash out the mouth.
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    This books opens to such a sad scene. Evangeline and her younger sister Lucy have just lost their entire family. In their town, the church bell rings once for each year of the life of the deceased. And it's tolling for their mother, their father and their two brothers. They know they have to leave the only home they have ever known with only their clothes and none of the families belongings. So. Sad. I loved the way the author uses the bell tolling in this book and the way Evangeline thinks of i This books opens to such a sad scene. Evangeline and her younger sister Lucy have just lost their entire family. In their town, the church bell rings once for each year of the life of the deceased. And it's tolling for their mother, their father and their two brothers. They know they have to leave the only home they have ever known with only their clothes and none of the families belongings. So. Sad. I loved the way the author uses the bell tolling in this book and the way Evangeline thinks of it as kind of an indicator of her feelings. Sad and grief filled at the beginning. To happier as the story goes on and she heals.I loved Evangeline in this book. She was born and taught to be a lady, but her circumstances change when her family dies. And through no desire of her own, she's pushed in to the life of a teacher with no instruction on what to do or how to do any of the tasks she's been assigned. But does she sit and mope, nope! She works to learn to care for herself and the young students entrusted in her care. All without the comfort of her family. Her sister Lucy is ripped from her side and her aunt, who should be a kind influence in her life is constantly rude and snide. Wow, she was a real piece of work! But Evangeline works to rise above all of this.And she doesn't do it on her own. Her aunt insists that Dermot McCormick show her the schoolhouse that will be her new home. But he's not the most kind man. He constantly is saying things that come out mean, when he's only trying to tease a bit. I had to laugh at the rule he came up with that Evangeline could only knock on his door one time a day! But when he realizes what's been done to her, that she was given no instructions and doesn't even know how to feed herself, he goes out of his way to help her. And by the end of the book, he's so dear to Evangeline and to the reader as well.I really loved the plot of this one. There really is a whole town in trouble in this one that Evangeline works so hard to help, even a little bit. I loved her growth, and the growth of the whole town, throughout this whole book.
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  • NaDell
    January 1, 1970
    One of the many perks of my job at a bookstore is being able to read some books before they are released (this one is out March 9th)! Awesome perk!Evangelina hasn't been on her own away from her 'lady' lifestyle until her parents and brothers pass away (it doesn't ever say how, but the book starts at the funeral) and she is forced from her home to her mean aunt's care (which wasn't much care actually). She is rescued over and over by a neighbor who is Irish and understands her inability to fit i One of the many perks of my job at a bookstore is being able to read some books before they are released (this one is out March 9th)! Awesome perk!Evangelina hasn't been on her own away from her 'lady' lifestyle until her parents and brothers pass away (it doesn't ever say how, but the book starts at the funeral) and she is forced from her home to her mean aunt's care (which wasn't much care actually). She is rescued over and over by a neighbor who is Irish and understands her inability to fit in with the people in the community despite trying very hard. Evangelina is assigned to be the schoolteacher for this community although she has no idea what to do and they haven't had a school available for the children until she gets there, so she has to start from nothing. This is a community that struggles with poverty and illness and working in mills or farmland and have a hard time valuing education. Her mean aunt doesn't make her life any easier.I liked that this book is long enough to really get into the story without feeling rushed and also long enough to appreciate it longer, without getting boring or over detailed like some books do.I really enjoyed the characters in this story and the way they learned and grew and were strong and also admitted fault throughout the book and the way the community changed.
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  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Life was very different centuries ago and women were taught that their place was to be quiet and not rock the boat. At least that is how Evangeline feels when she loses almost all of her family and is forced to a small town by her Aunt and told she was to be the teacher for the children of the town - even though she had never taught before. But her kind and caring heart have her make the best of the situation and she comes to realize she is actually a great teacher despite her Aunt's hatred for Life was very different centuries ago and women were taught that their place was to be quiet and not rock the boat. At least that is how Evangeline feels when she loses almost all of her family and is forced to a small town by her Aunt and told she was to be the teacher for the children of the town - even though she had never taught before. But her kind and caring heart have her make the best of the situation and she comes to realize she is actually a great teacher despite her Aunt's hatred for her and determination to make Evangeline's life miserable.I always enjoy reading books set in a time that I am not familiar with so that I can imagine what life would be like and wonder how I would handle life in that time period. I am fairly strong-willed, like Evangeline, so imagine that I would react much like she did with the children she taught, her family, and the townspeople.There is a romance too between Evangeline and Dermot. Two people that you might never have expected to fall in love, but it works for them. It takes some doing, and I was quite amused at Dermot's "rule" of only one knock on his door per day. There are some "evil" characters, but all makes some sense near the end when the truth comes out. It does not justify the actions of these people, but it does make some sense.
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, this book was charming! It's been a while since I've read a book like this. It has made me want to seek out more.Taking place in 1871, it follows Evangeline Blake, a young woman who has just lost her parents and two brothers, leaving her and her younger sister at the mercy of their grandfather.While Lucy, the younger sister, is shipped off to school in Leeds, Evangeline is sent to be a school teacher in a small mill town. She knows nothing about being a teacher, let alone living on her own. Oh, this book was charming! It's been a while since I've read a book like this. It has made me want to seek out more.Taking place in 1871, it follows Evangeline Blake, a young woman who has just lost her parents and two brothers, leaving her and her younger sister at the mercy of their grandfather.While Lucy, the younger sister, is shipped off to school in Leeds, Evangeline is sent to be a school teacher in a small mill town. She knows nothing about being a teacher, let alone living on her own. She has never cooked or cleaned, and the fact that she can hardly understand the local dialect discourages her even more.As she attempts to make her place and prove to her grandfather that she is capable of taking care of her sister, she finds help from a stubborn Irish man and his son.This book is categorized as a romance (a "proper romance," actually), but I would say it's much more historical fiction with a sprinkling of romance. And the romance itself is a slow burn, which is honestly my favorite. So many books these days rely on instalove, so I really appreciated this very slow developing romance.My favorite part of the book overall was Evangeline's growth as a teacher, and the clever ways she found to help each student learn in their own way.*I received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Taffy
    January 1, 1970
    Opening line:"Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells."Another lovely romance from Sarah M. Eden. Evangeline Blake lost almost everyone in her family, except her younger sister, whom she promised would always be with her. Her mean, bullying aunt has different ideas, however. Dermot McCormick is an Irish man in England and feels very excluded in the little village where he and his son are now living. He keeps to himself and works Opening line:"Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells."Another lovely romance from Sarah M. Eden. Evangeline Blake lost almost everyone in her family, except her younger sister, whom she promised would always be with her. Her mean, bullying aunt has different ideas, however. Dermot McCormick is an Irish man in England and feels very excluded in the little village where he and his son are now living. He keeps to himself and works hard to prove himself. And he's just fine staying away from everyone--until he meets Evangeline.This is an interesting story about change; not only in circumstances and of the heart, but change that makes us a better human. Evangeline came from wealth and privilege and is thrust into poverty and hard work. She's stubborn enough and determined enough to make her way that she changes and her heart is opened to the village and their children. The same can be said of Dermot and of the village. They all find they can be strong and change (except maybe on person who I wanted to kick really hard). I really enjoyed learning the history of the era and the dialect and hardships these people faced. And I REALLY loved what Evangeline did to help the children.Thank you for the early read netgalley and Shadow Mountain!
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  • Liesl
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not a romance reader. Really, I’m not. But I decided to give this a try since I would be meeting the author. I was pleased to find this wasn’t a sappy romance as I’d feared, to be honest. I enjoyed the character and place development. Sarah does a great job of recreating spaces of the time and making the characters real. I am especially pleased to see a strong woman striving against the times and the representation of autism and special needs learning and education.I enjoyed the book and loo I’m not a romance reader. Really, I’m not. But I decided to give this a try since I would be meeting the author. I was pleased to find this wasn’t a sappy romance as I’d feared, to be honest. I enjoyed the character and place development. Sarah does a great job of recreating spaces of the time and making the characters real. I am especially pleased to see a strong woman striving against the times and the representation of autism and special needs learning and education.I enjoyed the book and look forward to the sequels, as well as have a desire to read the rest of Sarah’s work.
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  • Jolene Perry
    January 1, 1970
    Another fab historical romance from Eden.Great characters, fascinating setting, and some fab twists. So much character growth, while maintaining likability - not an easy feat, and one that was done so well.The slow-build romance was spot-on swoony perfection. And, as always, Eden's historical details are nothing short of fantastic. Learning the quirks of the Northern England language was almost as fun as watching Evangeline grow and Dermot soften. Almost.Highly recommend for anyone who loves the Another fab historical romance from Eden.Great characters, fascinating setting, and some fab twists. So much character growth, while maintaining likability - not an easy feat, and one that was done so well.The slow-build romance was spot-on swoony perfection. And, as always, Eden's historical details are nothing short of fantastic. Learning the quirks of the Northern England language was almost as fun as watching Evangeline grow and Dermot soften. Almost.Highly recommend for anyone who loves the story NORTH and SOUTH. Ashes on the Moor takes place in a similar area with a similar feel, but is definitely a story all its own.Read in one day.
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  • Sheryl
    January 1, 1970
    Just ok. Not my favorite of hers. I felt she spent too much time explaining the Yorkshire dialect that I felt we could figure our on our own. It distracted from the story.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    I just love this book! I love the different cultures, social classes, family clashes and what it means to be family and that delicate change from not friends to love!
  • Kathryn Veil
    January 1, 1970
    I have always enjoyed Sarah Eden's books, but this one has become a new favorite.Taking place in the Victorian Era with factories and child labor, Evangeline finds herself in an unexpected situation. She has a decision to make; will she rise above the circumstances she's been placed in, or will she acquiesce and do what's expected of her? Filled with fun accents and characters filled with depth and strength, this book is a lighthearted read that will keep you turning the page until the very end.
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  • M R
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Eden’s attention to detail in her books has always made them some of my favorite historical romances. Ashes on the Moor captures the impact of industrial change on a small Yorkshire town. The dialect and history was fascinating to read about. As was the representation of how the Irish were often treated. That said, the first part was super heavy and slow. It almost felt like a Cinderella-type story with the extreme cruelty Evangeline’s aunt doled out. How poorly she was treated made little Sarah Eden’s attention to detail in her books has always made them some of my favorite historical romances. Ashes on the Moor captures the impact of industrial change on a small Yorkshire town. The dialect and history was fascinating to read about. As was the representation of how the Irish were often treated. That said, the first part was super heavy and slow. It almost felt like a Cinderella-type story with the extreme cruelty Evangeline’s aunt doled out. How poorly she was treated made little sense even when motivations were revealed later in the book. I had more questions than answers even when things were revealed. I felt the characters were all a bit inconsistent at times. Dermot was a loner, but quickly opened his home to the new school teacher. The grandfather was spoken off as hard and cruel, but was completely reasonable when he finally did enter the scene. Also, Evangeline was a pushover to begin with, and then suddenly fierce and defiant. It would have been nice to see some more character growth woven in as she went through her hardships. I also wasn’t sure why everyone was so angry about her real identity. It didn’t change anything. I really liked how many of the side characters showed that not everything in this world is as black and white as the main characters tried to paint it. The vicar was especially fascinating. I felt the factory was portrayed as this great evil, but it actually provided many jobs to people who wouldn’t have had them. There were some changes that needed to be made, yes, but it wasn’t as cruel as some were during this time period. The people in this town had a hard way of life, normal for this era, but they weren’t as unlucky as others in similar situations. I felt like the hard things were dwelt on while everyone spent a lot of time whining about how difficult life was and, yet, nobody was willing to change. Seemed very hopeless, especially the first half.The romance was very slow going, but sweet when it finally did get started. I would have like to see more development there rather than “we are friends and now we are more” scenario. However, I did enjoy their banter and connection over their outsider status. I didn’t like how Evangeline assumed she knew how to deal with Ronan, though, just because he was similar to her brother. Growing up with siblings with special needs, I know they are each very unique and the tools for one don’t always transfer over to another. I did admire how Evangeline was willing to stand up to the schoolboard and fight for her students, but I think it would have also been important for them to learn how to speak and write properly. The whole point of education was to help them and their children improve to escape the hard life of their parents. In order to do so, they would need to leave their town at some point or find ways to bring greater learning to their home. I think there could have been a compromise to honor the students and still seek the required improvements. We speak slang all the time, most languages do, but that isn’t what we learn in school if we wish to improve our lives. Evangeline was very progressive for her time, which was intriguing. I did admire how she accepted the many challenges thrown at her, despite having little experience. She worked hard and showed that anyone could improve it they were willing to learn and try. Overall, I felt this book was a good read for anyone who enjoys history. The Victorian era was full of so much growth and change, seen as good or bad depending on the impact it had, that is well captured in Evangeline’s world. It felt a little more like a historical or women’s fiction novel than a sweet romance, in my opinion. A little darker than some of Eden’s other works, but that, I felt, was true to the time period and character’s journey. An enjoyable, interesting read.
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