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Lessons Learned

(Appalachian Hearts #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  171 reviews
A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.

English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.

Paperback, 235 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by The Writer's Coffee Shop (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  489 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Alexis *Reality Bites*
4.5 STARS out of 5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Very Intense, Highly Emotional and Extremely Raw...


I started this book off crying. I'm talking on the first page I was sobbing so I put the book down for a while. When I finally finished days later I was still crying. In all honesty I read most of this book with teary eyes but I loved it! I consider it A MUST READ!

This is a story about

HATRED is built from fear it knows no color, it has no limit and
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.m. Darhower
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Wow, it’s hard to know exactly where to start. When I heard Sydney Logan’s first novel was being published, I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy before I even knew what the story was about. I went into it knowing only what the blurb tells us about it, so I honestly expected a typical contemporary sappy romance with a smidgen of angst from past turmoil tossed in.

That was not what I got. At all.

Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it

After a traumatic incident at the high school where she was teaching, Sarah Bray returns to her small hometown of Sycamore Falls. Her therapist thinks a change of scenery may help with the panic attacks and her recovery. Lucas Miller has recently arrived in Sycamore Falls from New York. He's also a high school teacher and there's speculation amongst the locals that Lucas is running from a scandal.

This is such a simple and yet beautiful story. The romance was tender and sweet and realistic. Lucas
Kathie (katmom)
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful new cover for a wonderful book

I was blessed to read this as a novel in progress.

Lessons Learned is a lovely romance with a center of drama...made me laugh, made me cry...made me root for Sarah, Lucas and Matt.

Sycamore Falls was a character in itself. I've lived in small towns, and Sydney Logan caught the flavor of it to a T. There were characters that I loved...and some I wanted to smack really hard.

While one part of me wanted a "Footloose" ending, with parades and banners and cheers,
Lissa Bryan
When I first got this book, I opened it just to read a couple of pages. Before I knew it, I was at chapter 16. Sydney Logan has written a lovely romance in crisp, clean prose that hooks the reader before they realize it.

Sarah and Lucas are both looking for a refuge, but one of the things that makes Sycamore Falls so "safe" is also its greatest drawback. There are no secrets and those who are different can face very unpleasant consequences.

Lucas is a charming hero, the kind of man I like in a ro
Sydney Logan’s debut novel, Lessons Learned, is so much more than a warm, tender romance. This book touched on very serious issues. It’s depiction of the much needed lessons of acceptance, tolerance and love was beautifully portrayed.

After a traumatic event that leaves Sarah suffering severe panic attacks, she leaves the big city to return to her small hometown of Sycamore Falls. Lucas has also endured a harrowing experience and relocates to this small southern town from New York City. These tw
Susan (susayq ~)
4.5 stars! This is what a book should made me laugh, made me cry, made me furious. It brought me through a full range of emotions and left me feeling very satisfied for reading it.

While you learn right along with Sarah Bray that tolerance and compassion is something that should be everywhere, but always isn't, you get a wonderful love story between Sarah and Lucas. Lucas proved to Sarah that love will always make things better and life can be happy even though it might not be as you orig
Review posted at: Swept Away By Romance

4 1/2 Stars! Beautifully written and compelling debut book! Sydney Logan takes us on a journey of love, healing, acceptance, taking a stand, and teaching by example.

I did a joint Q & A style review with my blog partner Steffi. Enjoy!

What did you think when you read the prologue? Were you able to guess what direction the book was going to take, or did it take some time to figure out why the author opened with that scene?

Karla says: The prologue was gut
Michela Walters
I was extremely fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Lessons Learned from NetGalley.
4 1/2 stars for this one. GREAT READ!

Lessons Learned is a heart wrenching story about two teachers, each struggling to move on from their respective pasts, and how their pasts help shape them in a way that they could save the life of one of their students.

I will state right off the bat, that I LOVED this book. It is a book that makes you really think about some of the more weighty topics in this world withou

So there I was, lying in bed reading this book when I suddenly started hearing angry, loud & expletive-riddled yelling through my open window. And I literally thought to myself for a second, who would be behaving like that in Sycamore Falls? It took me another moment or two to remember that Sycamore Falls existed in my book and I had never lived in a small town. No, I was smack dab in the middle of Washington, DC, where I've lived for almost a decade.

I had been so transported to this
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
You had me at the book trailer .. and won me over with 235 pages of this amazing story.

I didn't know what to expect from this story just knew that Sydney Logan is an amazing writer and she proven herself again with Lessons Learned.

At first I felt disconnected from Sarah but I completely got why as I kept on reading, because she was disconnected with herself too, and her healing came in the name of Lucas, now can I just add that I want a Lucas for myself and now I blame the author for creating su
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've had this on my list to-read for ages and I'm not sure why I waited so long to read it.

It was a good read. It was definitely an emotional read. It felt like the heroine cried in every single chapter. Actually, I think she did. She was still likeable though.

The hero, Lucas... Well, he was perfect. Too perfect maybe. But sometimes it's nice to read a hero who is a little too good to be true. He was very swoony. I absolutely loved the fact they were pretty solid in their relationship throughout
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lessons Learned was one of THE best books I have read this year. I cried, laughed, smiled, and got mad as all get out but seriously it was an absolutely fantastic book!!!! I loved the characters.... they were so well built up and I connected with them easily. The story was beautiful... extremely well told and consuming.

Full Review...
Nov 07, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition

DNF at 11%

I should have researched this more carefully! The romance sounds really sweet but there are some beliefs about homosexuality that aren't going to work for me (at least from what I read in reviews). I went into this thinking it was going to be different than how it looks like it plays out.

May 30, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
💝FREE on Amazon today (5/30/2018)!💝

A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.

English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.

She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of
Natasha is a Book Junkie
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
You’re looking for angst? This is not your book. You’re looking for fast pace? This is not your book. You’re looking for a book to soothe your cynical heart, make you believe in the goodness of people and that The Beatles were right after all when they said that all you need is love? This IS your book!

A sensitively written story about issues that are not only current but also rarely addressed in romantic novels. This is the story of Sarah, a young high school teacher, who returns to her small ho
Sandi Layne
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, swoony-romance
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Lessons Learned is a sweet debut novel from Sydney Logan. It's got a strong but still emotional heroine who has seen more than she ever really wanted. There's a gorgeous hero who is confident and almost instantly adoring. And there's a town that is a character in and of itself.

Sycamore Falls.

What I found most fascinating about this book was the way this last "character" evolved in presentation and function for the first-pe
Jennifer Garcia
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Wahh!! I cried so many tears: happy and sad.

This book needs a tissue warning on the inside cover.

If you want to see this and more reviews go to My Blog

I want everyone to know how great this book is, and I want them to read it so they can experience the wonderful story I just did. I was able to devour it in one day. It was that good!
I love to share books that leave me with a lesson learned and this story, Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan, was amazing. I was left with such a feeling of wanting
Sarah Aisling
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I was very excited to receive an ARC of Sydney Logan's debut novel Lessons Learned. I give this story a solid 4.5 stars.

Sydney Logan tackled controversial issues in a small town full of intolerant people with finesse. One of the things I admired most is that the author didn't go for the "typical" outcome. A number of times, I had tears in my eyes during this book, and I'm not typically a crier. The author definitely reaches inside and pushes those emotional buttons.

This book was a lovely journey
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The prologue is extremely moving, and given the amount of events such as these happening, it's also very poignant. Logan deals with it in a very sensitive way when the full story is revealed.

Sarah is a very nervous character and this can get a little grating, but once Lucas is introduced, he is the perfect buffer to her anxiety. When their stories are shared, it's understandable why they are perfect for each other.

Small town single-mindedness is highlighted throughout the book and provides the m
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-dream-man


That's probably the best way to put this book. Small town love stories have a way of pouring into your heart like maple syrup. The sweet, sweet relationship between Sarah and Lucas took my breath away. Lucas...ah Lucas...every woman dreams to be loved and ADORED the way you did Sarah.

There is a twist in the story as Sarah and Lucas fight teenage bullying, trying to protect one of their students. It's heartbreaking...and the narrow-minded hatefulness displayed by some of their town was di
Jennifer Pedroza
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being a teacher for 16 years, this book just really hit home for me in so many ways. Sydney Logan lays it all out there. When you are in the classroom with these children you learn quickly that you are teaching them much more than math and science. Many times you become their whole world.

Sarah and Lucas (oh yummy yummy Lucas).. were both broken in different ways, but fate has a way of bringing them together and helping a small town learn some lessons that most of the nation should learn.

Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it a million stars if I could.

Sydney Logan's debut novel made me cry. I say that with some shock because honestly...I'm not a crier. I don't cry at movies, I certainly don't cry at books. But the poignant honesty in Lessons Learned brought tears to my eyes. A mother's words of unconditional love sent me over the edge and looking for tissues. Not in an 'Oh my God, that's twisting my emotions' way, but in recognition of a mother offering her son unconditional love and not understanding w
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of romance with high angst tolerance
I slept 4 hours, I was late for work this morning and I don’t regret it at all.
Lessons Learned was such an amazing book, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a day; it was such an emotional rollercoaster.
Where to start? When I finished the book yesterday I was exhausted, I cried my eyes out. *have tissues near*
From the start it was so easy to relate to Sarah, an English teacher who returns to her hometown after a traumatic event in Memphis. Coming back to the small town of Sycamore Falls brings
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just literally "turned" my last page of this ebook and tears are rolling down my cheeks. What a beautiful and amazing book this is. To fall in love with Lucas is a given, with Sarah, who happens to be an amazing woman, with Matt who is a young man struggling with life and trying to get a hold of things, with Tommy and Audrey, with the falls, the home, even grandma! Wanting to meat all of them and friend them, since they are the kind of people we should all have in our lives. Sydney did an amaz ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sydney Logan. You've outdone yourself. I loved this story so much. I smiled, I gasped, and I teared up several times. Lucas Miller was so sweet and so endearing and so much of what Sarah Bray needed. As a teacher, I was touched so much by the relationships she built with her students and her willingness to fight for them. This was one of the best stories I've read this year. I would/will recommend Lessons Learned to everyone I know.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from the first page. The Prologue totally sucked me in and I didn't want to stop reading. I laughed, I cried and I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a good romance with a plot to support the love story.
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Bargain Basement: Giveaway! Signed book and Applebee's Gift Card 1 8 Feb 07, 2013 04:08PM  
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What kind of cultural shock will Lucas face? 1 11 Jun 17, 2012 08:41AM  

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Sydney Logan writes heartfelt romances that feature strong women and the men who love them. In addition to her novels, she has penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is a Netflix junkie, music lover, and a Vol for Life. Sydney and her husband make their home in beautiful East Tennessee.

To learn more about Sydney and her books, visit her online at www.s

Other books in the series

Appalachian Hearts (4 books)
  • Mountain Charm (Appalachian Hearts, #2)
  • Soldier On (Appalachian Hearts, #3)
  • Stealing Hearts (Appalachian Hearts, #4)
“A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.” 13 likes
“[bookcover:Lessons Learned|13578440] Another shot, and for some reason, I’m the only one who can’t move. Who can’t scream. Who can’t do anything but watch as the young man’s body slumps over his tray. Finally, I find my voice and scream his name.” 3 likes
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