Release Date: Jul 21, 2020
Series: Gold Valley
Heat Level: Sensual
Imprint: HQN Books
The Hero of Hope Springs is the tenth novel in the Gold Valley series by Maisey Yates. This story is about Ryder Daniles the de facto leader and caretaker of his family after the loss of his parents. Ryder’s joy in life is Sammy Marshall, the free spirit that came to Gold Valley seeking security from tragedy of her own. When Sammy decides she wants a baby, and she wants the father to be Ryder, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. But can Ryder convince Sammy that the love between them is real?
I was excited for this latest installment in Yates’s Gold Valley series, because I’ve really liked the character of Ryder in previous stories. I loved his heart and his courage, the dedication to his family after the loss of their loved ones is commendable. But Ryder is a humble man, he doesn’t want to be seen as a hero or anything special.
Sammy is a ray of sunshine even though she’s experienced her own difficulties in life. After seventeen years of living on the ranch she’s become a jewelry artist, but she feels like life won’t be complete until she has a child of her own. She’s convinced that Ryder will be the perfect father for her unborn baby and works hard to convince her friend the idea is a good one.
I struggled with this book because of the character of Sammy and her “reasoning” around the baby. I hate that Ryder, a man I came to admire in previous books falls in love with a woman who thinks having a baby will somehow complete her. Not only that but she thinks it’s the only way to be assured she will have someone’s love. She also thinks that the best way to go about getting pregnant is the “old fashioned” way of sleeping with Ryader. This antiquated idea felt all sorts of wrong to me and I could barely get through this book in order to give this review.
The author tries to paint these plot points as Sammy’s independence, but it felt more like a broken woman in desperate need of mental help. I understand Sammy’s upbringing before Gold Valley was bad, but then she should realize she needs help before jumping into parenthood. I also felt like there was a weird moral message embedded in her desire to get pregnant “the old fashioned way” instead of getting artificial insemination or adopting. Sammy felt neither independent nor modern and I felt myself actively wishing for a different woman for Ryder.
Overall I can’t recommend this book to anyone because of these themes that surround Sammy’s character. I was hopeful for a better end to her and Ryder’s story but I just didn’t get that. Ryder definitely showed some growth throughout the book which is the only reason this gets two stars from me. Sammy remained largely unlikable throughout this book, and I honestly cannot fathom why certain choices were made for her by the author. I have enjoyed other books in this series and would suggest reading those before checking out this title.