Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story is told from three perspectives.  Betsy – the older, stable sister; Ty – Betsy’s husband and Jenna – the artistic sister with two children.  The chapters are clearly marked and the voices are distinct.

The characters are well developed, likeable and realistic.  In a small way, I felt like the hurricane was another character in the book.

The story was a constant build to the very end.  All the questions weren’t answered, things were not all wrapped up in a nice bow, but it was a satisfying ending.

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The Goodbye Bride

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the second book in the Summer Harbor series.  You do not need to read the first one to enjoy this one.  It actually brings you up to date on everyone as you read it. If you are part of a church library – this book should be on the shelf.  It is a good example of how God works things out even when we aren’t paying attention.

The characters are wonderful, you care about them right away.  God is a part of the story, but it isn’t preachy or in your face. The story keeps moving from beginning to end.

There is a Summer Harbor #3 ( Just a Kiss ).  I am looking forward to making time to read that one too.

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.

The Wonder of You

Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Mortified after her year abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough to embrace the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her place mean leaving home behind?

Ope’s Opinion: Another wonderful story from the Christiansen family.  It is awesome to read, keeps me on my toes and makes me want to come back to read when I have to put it down. 

Reading about Amelia was a fun, sweet story.  The adventures and suspense were what I expect from Susan May Warren – always keeps me holding my breath!

I will be starting the next ( and final ) one as soon as I am done writing this review!!  What an awesome series.