BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 9, 2020

Bea's Review of A Wild Hope by Celeste de Blasis

Wild Swan #1
Read As A Stand Alone: Yes
Publisher: Bookouture
Release Date: October 8th, 2020
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo |
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Blurb from publicist:

Banished from her uncaring family home for her growing friendship with older neighbor St. John, Alexandria Thaine is unprepared for the new life she encounters with her distant cousins in England’s West Country. She blossoms under the warmth of the Falconers, and as she throws herself into the thrilling danger of the family’s smuggling trade, Alex forms an unbreakable bond with the eldest son, Rane.

But just as Alex begins to imagine a future in Devon with Rane at her side, the death of her older sister forces her back home to care for her sister’s motherless twins. Still yearning for Rane, Alex grows to love the helpless babies, and as she rekindles her friendship with St. John, she finds herself caught between her heart and her home.

When the opportunity comes to start anew in Maryland’s lush horse country, Alex faces the agonizing choice between the life she dreamed of and the promise of the new world. But starting over in a golden land on the brink of war brings unforeseen dangers to her door, and when Alex’s new family is threatened, can she find the strength to risk her happiness today for the wild hope of a brighter tomorrow?

The sweeping, epic and emotional novel by beloved storyteller Celeste De Blasis, available in eBook for the first time. Perfect for readers who love Poldark, Outlander and Daphne du Maurier.

A Wild Hope was originally published as Wild Swan.

My Thoughts:

I remember reading the original edition of this book, way back when. I believe it was my sister who introduced me to this author but I don't remember exactly. I enjoyed Wild Swan then and I enjoyed A Wild Hope now, though I do think the original title was better. If fits the story perfectly while the newer title is apt but less so. Hopefully the other books in the trilogy keep their original names or get better name changes. 

This first book in the Wild Swan trilogy was full of drama, angst, passion, action, politics, romantic drama, and gallons and gallons of family drama. Alexandria loves two men; no love triangle, she's a serial monogamist. I had forgotten how young she was when she married for the first time, maybe 14 or 14. It didn't bother me the first time I read it years ago, but did a bit this time around. Especially as there's an age gap between her and the first husband, roughly 10 years, maybe more. Most of the time I wasn't aware of their respective ages but then something would remind me and pull me out of the story. 

The story is long, almost 700 pages but so much happens that I was caught up. De Blasis wrote lovely descriptions and engaging characters who made me smile, laugh, curse, and tear up. I really liked Alexandria, Alex, the book's heroine. She is feisty, tender, independent, inquisitive, ferociously loyal, and both strong and vulnerable. She wants love and attention from her cold mother and negligent father and brothers but rarely receives any. Their actions, as well as one of Alex's, are what set events in motion and kick off the story. My heart broke for Alex and how her family treated her, and I loved her grandmother. She and Alex were quite similar, especially with their forceful personalities. Alex had a rough start in life, made some poor choices, but rarely pitied herself. Instead, she would dust herself off, and try again. She had the courage to dream, the discipline to make her dreams come true, and the flexibility to change dreams.

I liked both of Alex's loves and the challenges of each relationship were more than enough for a life time. A Wild Hope is romance, history lesson, soap opera, and family saga in one rich confection. I wasn't thrilled with the portrayal of a character who had some mental and emotional challenges. It lacked compassion and was heavy-handed, and of course that character was a bad person for having those challenges. They were villainous even. Many of the bad guys were over the top and not always fully fleshed out but even so, A Wild Hope was a wild ride that tugged at my heart and pulled me into its world. I am looking forward to more books by De Blasis being released in digital and hope that my favorite, The Tiger's Woman, will be re-released.

About the author ~

Millions of readers have fallen under the spell of the lush, enthralling and bestselling novels by Celeste De Blasis. Tales of adventure and romance set against the sweep of historyes—all are storytelling at its finest. After graduating from Pomona College, Celeste devoted her life to impeccable research and spellbinding writing. A native Californian, Celeste grew up on the historic Kemper Campbell Ranch in the Mojave Desert, where she lived until her death in 2001. 



  1. I'm avoiding anything that is heartbreaking or a tear jerker at the moment but this does look like it could be a good read. These re-issues are always a bit tricky though it is fun what bothers us on recent reads that didn't even make us blink in the original reads.

    1. Yeah, reissues have a different set of challenges, especially with changes in mores and expectations. I'm honest not sure modern readers would classify this as a romance although it was released, then and now, as one. I enjoyed it though, maybe more than I did the first time. And, yes, it is a tearjerker so probably best for you to skip for now.

  2. It's not my current mood but I'll keep it in mind. Wonderful review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. This sounds wonderful! Isn't it funny how things bother us now that didn't in the past. I would probably cringe over that age difference too. It is great to revisit old favorites and it sounds like this one is definitely worth a read.

    1. It's interesting rereading older books and the things you notice now that you didn't then. I still enjoyed it, just from a different perspective.

  4. This sounds really good. Although I'm not usually a fan of long books. Still, this does sound like a good one.

    1. Very long, the length can definitely be off-putting. A good read, but a long one.

  5. It's nice to see older books being digitized since that's what I mostly read. I have a number of books I'd read if there were ebook or audiobook versions. Good review!


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