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Book Review~Bleeding Heart & A Giveaway!


I’m so glad to post this review today because I had been looking out for this book for a long time before it arrived. Amber Stokes, my  editor and friend is such a lovely person! I congratulate her on her success in publishing this book.
So join me and come along to the review below.

About the Book

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

Summer 1886

Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?

A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.

All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.

Inspirational Historical Romance

My Rating
4 out of 5 (stars)

My Review
You’ll never understand how symbolic the cover picture is until you’ve read the book—the flowers, the white dress, the mix of emotions on Sally’s face, the valley between two hills with a dark cloud blanketing one of them like it represented doom, loss, sadness and pain, while the other had a sky with a light that appeared to have broken from the darkness representing hope and a future. And how wonderful to have Sally’s image situated right in the middle of the two hills. I thought I should share my thoughts about the book cover before talking about the book.
Bleeding heart is not a traditional love story. Amber takes us through a story  with characters that are not hard to sympathize with. You see into the troubles of their heart and the mess it leaves behind, and you can’t help but empathize with their actions however unreasonable they may seem. Amber doesn’t spare us from the grief and consequences that could come with wrong choices. You fall in love with a character and experience wishful hope for them and then experience a loss that is heart-shattering. This story is as real as it gets. The loss is very real. It made me ponder and sober.
This is a very good story but not everyone will be able to accept. It is not the traditional romance, but anyone with an open heart to learn about love and forgiveness that is bourne out of tragedy and trials would enjoy this book. I commend Amber for her boldness in crafting this story.
If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you would know by now that I’m no fan of spoilers. But as a way to prepare the hearts of readers, let me say this: this story is like a soap opera. A character would come and exit the story in due time. Again, it is not a typical romance where you predict some of the end from the beginning. In fact, I would dare say  that traditional cataloguing/categorization does not do justice to this book, at least not the categories found among Christian/inspirational fiction. Bleeding heart goes way beyond romance. It is more complex in a good way. I would call it an Inspirational Drama Romance.
I loved what Sally, Seth and Myghal had to learn. Myghal’s lessons struck me the most. It wasn’t about eventually getting what you wanted. It was about finding peace and acceptance despite not having your wish granted and moving on. It was real and inspirational. Each painful experience cut and shaped the character and eventually brought out the best in them.
Overall, it was engaging start and finish.

*Although I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. Much thanks to the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author


Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word – from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing her debut novel, Bleeding Heart.

A Giveaway!

A “Journey to the West” Giveaway! One U.S. resident (randomly drawn) will receive a signed copy of Bleeding Heart and a collection of items from the story’s settings, handpicked by the author.

To visit the blog tour page, go here:

Amazon Purchase Link (Kindle Edition)

Book Website:


  1. Readers, for some reason the rafflecopter ticket didn’t appear under the giveaway. But you can visit the blog tour schedule page and access other blogs to join.

    My most heart-felt apology to Amber and you all. 😦

    • Rafflecopter can be tricky sometimes! But having the link to the blog tour page should be just fine, since all the links and giveaway info are there. 🙂 No need to apologize at all!

      And now…can I just say how much I love your review?

      I absolutely love what Lena did with the cover – and it actually inspired a scene that I added during the editing stages. I thought it was great that the story (what Lena knew of it) inspired the cover and then the cover inspired the story – so I hope that made the symbolism even deeper. 🙂

      I’m humbled that you found the story “real,” and that you found Myghal’s storyline inspirational. Your thoughts on Myghal’s lessons bless me!

      “Inspirational Drama Romance” – I like it! 🙂

      Thank you again for taking the time to read and review BH – and for supporting me in so many ways!


      • You’re very welcome! I remember the first I saw the cover. My first words were: “Aww! It’s so pretty”. Lena’s really talented. And it’s such a breath of fresh air to see a book cover that goes beyond pretty. 😉

        I’m humbled you’re blessed by this review. It is my prayer that BH becomes a tool God uses to heal so many bleeding hearts out there. 🙂 🙂

  2. Fabulous review! Like you, I was excited to share this review – Amber did a masterful job with her lovely debut and I am anxious for what she has coming next. 🙂

  3. Love your review, Miranda, “as real as it gets” and “not a traditional love story” certainly caught my attention! “Bleeding Heart sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to dig in. 🙂

    • Gwen, I hope you find this story as fulfilling as I did. The characters were not hard to sympathize with at all. My heart went out to them. Enjoy your read! 🙂

  4. Great review Miranda, especially of the cover. How insightful of you. I am reading Bleeding Hearts now and have to say, so far your comments are right on. It is a different kind of romance which is why I find it refreshing.

    • ‘Refreshing’ is just the word, Sandra. And you know what, while reading the book, I think my heart became a bleeding heart too, for the characters. And I must say, I think Amber is one of the bravest authors in the world today. We all have something to learn from her—writing a story that touches your heart even though it is outside traditional.

    • You two! *Hugs*

      Thank you for the kind words, Sandra! Isn’t Miranda insightful, and a talented writer?

      And Miranda, I’m stunned and deeply touched by your words. I feel blessed that God has allowed me to take this journey and to be encouraged by such dear friends!


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