Book Review: Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter

Bookshop by the Sea
By Denise Hunter
Rating: 4.5/5

Another winner from Denise Hunter! If you’re looking for a good beach read, this is the book for you. It has some serious moments but also some lighthearted ones too. The chemistry between the two main characters is electric but their personal issues are also real and relatable. 

Sophia Lawson dreads seeing her ex-boyfriend, Aiden Maddox, when he shows up for the wedding of her little sister, Jenna, and his friend, Grant. It’s been years but when she sees him, she still gets butterflies. After the wedding, Sophia has plans to renovate and open her bookshop in a short amount of time in order to have a grand opening with a book signing of Nathaniel Quinn’s newest release. When Aiden isn’t able to leave right away due to a hurricane, he must stay at the same house as Sophia until he get home. Stuck in the same house with Aiden doesn’t help her feelings but Sophia is determined to go through with the plans for her bookshop. When an accident occurs, Aiden decides to stick around and help Sophia get her shop ready for the grand opening event. Can Sophia trust that Aiden won’t leave again? Can Aiden face his fears that he’s not good enough for Sophia?

Denise Hunter is such a talented writer and I always love to read what she writes. She never disappoints and her characters are alway interesting and authentic. Despite his struggles in school, Aiden was still able to be successful with the encouragement of Sophia and the right partnership. Not everyone can go to college or finish college but Aiden didn’t let that deter him from pursuing his dreams. I did get so frustrated with Sophia’s twin brother, sister and father and the way they treated her. I was so glad that part got resolved – although, it resolved rather quickly. 

Highly recommend if you enjoy Christian fiction with romance and second chances.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter

Autumn Skies
By Denise Hunter
Book 3 in the Bluebell Inn Romance series
Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: October 20, 2020

She does it again! It was such an enjoyable experience going back to the Bluebell Inn and hanging out with the Bennett siblings again. I’ve read the previous two books in the series and highly recommend them. However, this book can be read as a standalone.

21-year-old Grace Bennett is ready strike out on her own and expand her business. After helping her siblings start and run a successful inn, the time has come to sell. Grace’s outdoor adventures rental and guide business needs its own location. Focused on her career, Grace doesn’t know what hit her when new guest, Wyatt Jennings, walks in the door to check-in. His gaze is intense but he’s also a bit mysterious since he doesn’t know how long he’ll stay. When Grace offers to help guide him in hiking around the area, two hearts begin their journey of falling in love. Can these two very different people find healing from their tragic pasts? What happens when Wyatt reveals who he is to Grace?

I loved this story so much. It was easy to read and empathize with the main characters. I felt all the panic and terror that occurs with PTSD. Mental health problems are very real and I love when authors can address them in a manner that is non-stigmatizing. The main characters had to fight their way back to health. They had to embrace their insecurities and fears and find resolution for their feelings.

Although this is a Christian romance, it was not at all preachy. Although there’s faith woven throughout and a couple church scenes, I would categorize this book more as inspirational.

And I’m not ashamed to say I might have a crush on Wyatt. (Sigh). 😉

Highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary romance in a beautiful setting.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter

Carolina Breeze
by Denise Hunter
Book 2 of the Bluebell Inn Romance series
Rating: 4/5

We return to the Bluebell Inn! I really enjoyed this next installment in the series but you definitely can read this as a standalone even though I highly recommend also reading Lake Season, the first book in the series, which I have also read and reviewed.

With her fiancé breaking up with her a few months before the wedding and her acting reputation in jeopardy, Mia needs a place to hideout until the tabloids find another story. Since her ex-fiancé had already paid for a nonrefundable honeymoon at the Bluebell Inn in North Carolina, she decides that is where she will escape to. She has always wanted to visit the place where her grandparents lived. When Mia arrives, she meets one of the owners of the inn, Levi Bennett, and realizes that her ex-fiancé opted for the deluxe package and rented out the entire inn and added Levi as a chauffeur. The two get to know each other while being distracted by their attraction. Levi seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders as he tries to handle dealing with the Inn’s finances, his two sisters, and now with Mia and her desired anonymity. He is also interested in helping her uncover some of her family history and they soon embark on a search for a lost blue diamond heirloom. Will either person be able to handle being separated from each other when Mia must eventually leave?

I always enjoy Denise Hunter’s books. She is a great writer of romance and heart. She knows how to draw the reader into her world and she has a gift for writing relatable characters. The setting seems so unspoiled and peaceful that I want to go visit the town she modeled her story after. I only wish she had incorporated more faith into the story. There a few moments that are good but I felt could have been better, more impactful. The character development at the end seemed a bit rushed which was a bit disappointing. The characters are still thought-provoking and genuine. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am excited to read more.

I highly recommend this book for those that enjoy contemporary Christian romance with a bit of mystery.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.