Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter (Review)

Blue Ridge Sunrise Denise HunterFormer free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

Amazon // Goodreads

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Review: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

 

Often in fiction, the story ends and readers are left to assume the happily ever after. It’s usually at high point—a declaration of love, an engagement, a wedding. But what happens after the last first kiss? After the I do’s? When real life encroaches on the high of falling in love? What happens when there are hiccups in the happily-ever-after?

In her latest book, Denise Hunter explores this concept while delicately balancing on the line of realities of life and the hope of love while weaving the main characters’ history with their current-day situation.

Noah and Josephine had a whirlwind romance, one that seemed to set them up for a lifetime of love. But it ended too soon…or has it?

Josephine didn’t completely open herself up to her husband while Noah hadn’t wanted to push his wife whenever he saw that expression of sadness cross her features. Yet, in successful relationships—ones that last lifetimes—communication is so key.

Forced together due to a storm, Noah and Josephine must fast their failures and faults in their relationship while admitting there is still something between them. Will they allow past hurts and angry words to overrule God’s grace, forgiveness, and healing? Sweetbriar Cottage presents a picture that reminds the reader that only God’s love is limitless. That people make mistakes and errors that hurt deeply but unconditional love is not something we earn, it’s something given freely.

My Rating:

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Book Convention Survival Tips (with book giveaway)

Jesus calls His followers to be lights in the midst of darkness. If you’ve ever been to (or thought of going to an ABA book conference), the darkness is rampant.

During the first week of May, I got to hang with other readers at the RT Booklovers’ Convention in Atlanta, GA. This convention moves every year, and in 2018 it will be in Reno, NV. But despite the ever-changing city, the crowds flock to this convention for the parties and opportunities to meet with their favorite authors.

 

I’m by no means an expert at book conventions but this was my second RT (I went to Vegas for my first RT in 2016) and I thought I’d pass along some tips and hints to make the trip more enjoyable and worthwhile.

And if you hang with me until the end of the post, I’m doing a BIG giveaway for fans of Christian fiction (with multiple winners)!! Believe me, you’ll want to stick around and enter!!

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Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

When I’m in the mood to read a feel-good romance that is guaranteed to make me smile by the end, Denise Hunter is always a good bet. And with the third and final installment of her Summer Harbor series, readers get to experience the youngest Callahan brother’s journey as he returns from war.

just a kiss cover

If you’ve followed this series, you know that Riley’s heart already belongs to his best friend, Paige Warren. But in all these years, Paige has never seen him as more than a friend. She even dated his older brother for a time. And now that he has returned home less one leg, he knows he can never be the man Paige deserves but being forced to live with her is testing his resolve.

The Callahan brothers are swoon-worthy, and Riley’s no exception. Hunter handles the darkness and depression of coming home after the trauma of war well—you sense Riley’s despair and struggle with who he once was versus how he sees himself now—less of a man because he can’t do all he once took for granted. In addition to the physical pain brought to life on the page, the mental struggles are even more evident. And as expected with Hunter’s books, there are some kissing scenes that may leave you fanning yourself.

An excellent story of healing (both on Riley’s and Paige’s sides of the story), enduring love, and family. Oh, and all of the beloved characters from the series are back—including Aunt Trudie and Sheriff Colton.

***Thomas Nelson and Booklook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter

Can I just say, I’m hooked on Denise Hunter’s books. She’s been a favorite author of mine for several years now. And I’d have to say others agree considering she’s now got a deal with the Hallmark Channel for one of her books, The Convenient Groom (pick it up if you haven’t read it yet.)

goodbye bride cover

In Hunter’s second Summer Harbor novel, The Goodbye Bride (available everywhere March 8, 2016), readers will enjoy a little twist on the romance trope. Turns out our main characters, Zac Callahan and Lucy Lovett, were engaged before. Seven months later, Zac is still trying to forget the woman who left him with no explanation when she calls out of the blue asking for his help.

A concussion has left Lucy with no memory of the last seven months or the explanation as to why she left Zac. The one thing she knows for absolute certain is she’s still in love with him. But he’s doesn’t trust her any longer.

The mystery of what happened to Lucy—why she left, how her new life (the one she can’t remember at all)—made if difficult for me to put this book down. Despite their past, Zac can’t leave Lucy alone and homeless (and who isn’t going to fall for that kind of hero from the very beginning?) so he brings her home to Summer Harbor, Maine. As the two interacted, I found myself waiting for them both to admit how they felt.

This is a story of second chances. It shows how burying past hurts can affect all of your relationships in your future, especially those with the people you love the most. Hunter is an expert at pulling emotions from her characters, and those kissing scenes….SWOON!!!

Thank you, Denise Hunter for another fantastic clean read. I look forward to reading Riley Callahan’s story in the future!!

***Thomas Nelson Fiction and BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.