Sweetbriar Cottage

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings



Goodreads:  When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

Ope’s Opinion:  Denise Hunter writes some of the best Christian Fiction I have ever read.  She has real characters with flaws.  She is not preachy, but you know God is the center of the lives of the people in her books.

This book has a really good story line.  It is interesting to see marriage with difficulties and see people trying to figure out if it is worth fighting through it or give it up.  The only reason this book is a three and not a four  for me is the middle of the book drug on a little too long.  At that point you knew where the story was going, but it just seemed to stall too long.

The ending was wonderfully satisfying.


Falling Like Snowflakes

Author: Denise Hunter                   falling
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Holiday Fiction
Source: Purchased


Goodreads:  Eden Martelli is too busy fleeing the clutches of danger to realize she’s running straight into the arms of a new love.

Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.

When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.

Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.

Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again.

Ope’s Opinion: This was an exciting, intense read!  The characters were amazing!  I think this is the beginning of a series – I hope that is right because I want to read more of these people. 

Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors!  I don’t even have to read the synopsis of the book to know I want to read it.  She always has a great story with characters I care about.

Rating: 5 – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…

Married ’til Monday

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson                married
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: NetGalley


Goodreads:  With a big anniversary party in the works for her parents, Ryan will pretend to be Abby’s husband for just one last weekend.

Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive 2-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.

Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.

Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

Ope’s Opinion:  Out of all the McKinlely stories, this was the hardest to read.  Abby had a lot of issues that I think a reader could relate to, but made it a little on the sad side.

Abby and Ryan had a road trip that was a reflection of their relationship – lots of ups and downs.  There were several road blocks along the way and some detours.  It was a long winding road ( could have been a little shorter ).  Abby had to work through some issues.

The ending was expected, but also what you wanted.  It was good to see where all the siblings were too.  The McKinley series was an enjoyable family to get to know.

Rating: 4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

The Wishing Season

Author:  Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson  wishing
Genre:  Christian Fiction
Source:  NetGalley


Goodreads:  She daydreams of whipping up sauces and souffles in her own restaurant. His heart is set on helping foster children. Both dreams are at stake. So are their hearts.

With grand plans to open her own bed & breakfast in Chapel Springs, PJ McKinley can’t afford the most crucial part: the brick and mortar. But when the owner of a local historic home announces a contest and promises her property to the worthiest candidate, PJ makes a fervent wish and tosses her name into the hat.

Cole Evans is cool, confident, and successful, but he’ll never forget his roots. He’s thankful for how far he’s come and knows his life could have turned out drastically different. If he can win the stately old mansion, he’ll turn it into a home for children aging out of the foster system.

When the eccentric house owner narrows the entries down to only two applicants, she extends the contest, giving PJ and Cole one year to prove which one of them can make the best use of her beloved home. As the pair competes in close proximity, something deeper than rivalry sparks between PJ and Cole. And in this battle, they’re likely to lose their hearts.

Ope’s Opinion:  Another good story from Denise Hunter.  She just seems to able to write a story that draws me in and keeps me wanting to read more.  I especially like the McKinley family.  This is the third book – there is one more – can’t wait!!

I think PJ’s story will hit home with the youngest in a family.  Everyone seems to have an opinion about how she should live her life and who she should live her life with.  It makes her second guess herself.

I like when a fiction story teaches me a little something along the way.  I didn’t really think about how hard it would be as a foster child to just be homeless at the age of 18.  I liked learning about transitional homes.  Just another way Denise Hunter writes awesome fiction that feels so real.

Rating: 4.5 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

Dancing with Fireflies

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers                        dancing
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings



Goodreads:  Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, this story is so good!!!  I enjoyed reading Jade’s story.  I love Jade’s free spirit.  Seeing her grow up, become responsible, but still keep her free spirit was such an awesome story.

I liked that Jade and Daniel have known each other since childhood.  Those love stories grow slow and some times surprise you.  Jade’s story was a great balance of fun and flirty and serious and realistic.

I love the McKinley family.  I can’t wait to read more of  Denise Hunter’s books about this family.

Rating: 4.5 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

Barefoot Summer

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson           barefoot
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings



Goodreads:  Madison’s heart closed the day her twin brother died.

Since losing her twin, Michael, in a drowning incident, Madison has rejected the faith he lived by. Instead, she’s devoted her life to fulfilling Michael’s dream—winning the River Sail Regatta in their small Indiana town, Chapel Springs.

As she trains for the regatta, Beckett O’Reilly is teaching Madison to swim. But he’s keeping a painful secret from her—and as they grow closer, that secret threatens to upend their lives . . . and the lives of both their families.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was such an awesome story.  I enjoyed it from page one right through to the last page.  There were enough twists to keep me reading.  Even though you could predict the ending, the  story was not predictable.  

The characters were interesting and engaging.  I wanted the best for each them. They  each had flaws and difficulties they were dealing with – that made them feel real and relatable.

When I started this book I was aware there was a second book as part of the series.  I was glad when I got to the end, to know I would be reading more about this family.

Rating: 4.5 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

A December Bride

Author:  Denise Hunter            dec bride
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 94
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
What started as a whim turned into an accidental—and very public—engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season—for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?
Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy—the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance—would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency—a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.
Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client.
For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was a perfect book for this time of year!  It was short, but all the elements of a good book where there.  The characters were well developed, the story was wonderful and it just swept you away.

Although it was a predictable story line, there were enough turns along the way to keep me reading.  The characters all knew each other before the beginning of the story – that helped make it more believable.

I am now looking forward to the other books in the series A Year of Weddings.

Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.