Saturday, March 3, 2018

Review & Excerpt: Sweet Briar Rose by Lena Goldfinch

Heidi Reads... Sweet Briar Rose by Lena Goldfinch

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A delightful historical western romance from the author of The Unexpected Bride.

Colorado 1880
Once upon a time, Rose was a barefoot dreamer, carving whimsical creatures from the driftwood she found on the beach. However, after the death of her father, Rose finds herself cut adrift. So she answers an advertisement to become the bride of a blacksmith in Sweet Briar, Colorado, bravely leaving behind the coast of Maine and her beloved sandy beaches.

Living in the shadow of the Rockies, Emmett Southerland is a bit of a hopeless romantic. He’s been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the dark-haired beauty in the photograph he keeps over his heart. However, once Rose arrives, he finds himself snowed in with her during the worst storm Colorado has seen in twenty-five years.

This sweet mail-order bride romance very loosely reimagines the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, complete with a satisfying happily-ever-after. Sweet Briar Rose is a short novel of approximately 42,000 words.

My Review

I love a good mail-order bride story, and this one delivered! I loved the contrast between Rose and Emmett- she is numb from grief, he has already given away his heart to her. Her emotions are slowly awakened as she learns to trust and love Emmett in a new and very different part of the country. Emmett was pretty awesome- a true romantic inside a burly blacksmith, I loved how he was such a gentleman to Rose and also appreciated her individuality. Their romance is sweet with chemistry that had plenty of sparks ;) While the story felt a little too-good-to-be-true, that same quality contributed to the fairy tale feel. Both settings- the east coast and the snowy mountains of Colorado, were very much a part of the story and they were easy to picture. I'm happy to have discovered a new-to-me author that I enjoy and look forward to reading more!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


It was eerily quiet now in Emmett’s kitchen, alone, with just the snapping of the fire.

Rose strained to hear the sounds of Emmett and his burly dog, Boston, as they left to go downstairs and outside through the front entrance to Emmett’s shop. She heard the creak of the door to the stairwell opening and closing again, and the sounds of them climbing down the stairs. And then nothing. She pictured Emmett lacing his boots and putting on his coat. She pictured Boston too, standing beside him, the long brown plume of his tail swaying, awaiting his own morning ritual.

It was impossible to sit still, simply waiting, a sense of foreboding gathering around her. If anything happened to them, she’d well and truly be alone.

And then she heard it, a crash like a thousand pounds falling. She didn’t know what it was, but she leapt to her feet and scrambled down the stairs after them.

On the final step, she stopped. Emmett and Boston stood before the open door. Snow had spilled in around their feet. Thin swirls drifted across the floor and settled. More snow was piled high in the doorway, all the way to the top. Not only snow—a wall of ice.

“What was that sound?” She stood on the last stair, gripping the handrail.

Emmett turned his head toward her, as if startled by the sound of her voice. He brushed snow from his coat and quickly shut the door against the cold. His leather hat lay on the floor at his feet. It too was covered in snow.

“What was that?” she repeated, frightened by the look on his face. He looked so grim. Had he been hurt? She tucked her robe more tightly about her. It felt too thin, not nearly enough to keep her warm. Her teeth began to chatter.

“A sheet of ice. Up on the roof. It must have formed overnight. All that icy snow... I just opened the door and it broke free.” He said it so matter-of-factly. Despite his grim expression, it didn’t seem as if he was nearly as concerned as he should have been.

“And it fell in the doorway?” she pressed. At his calm nod, she blurted out, “You could have been crushed—you and Boston.”

Did he not see that they could have been severely injured, that they could have died?

She swallowed and asked, “Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m not hurt. And thankfully Boston didn’t push out ahead of me, like he usually does.” For one brief instant, a sickly expression crossed Emmett’s face. He did realize they could have been crushed. That Boston might’ve been killed if he’d rushed out the door first. Emmett reached down to ruffle the dog’s neck fur. Boston simply sat there with his eye on the door, perhaps waiting for his master to open it again, not understanding they were quite literally snowed in.

About the Author

LENA GOLDFINCH is the Amazon-bestselling author of sweet historical western romance, inspirational romance, and books for teens. She's always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it's a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests.

Website // Amazon // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

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