Title: Sweetbriar Cottage
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre/Audience: Christian fiction, romance, adult
Publication: Thomas Nelson, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
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?
This was a really cute romance novel with a unique and intriguing premise. As with all romance novels, the ending is mostly predictable… but who doesn’t like a happy ending? I know I do! Sometimes, this is JUST the kind of story you need. To show you how much I enjoyed it, I’ll tell you that I started it in the afternoon while outside working on my tan and then finished it before I went to bed that same day.
Just to mention, it is being marketed as Christian fiction, but in this case, it primarily seems to mean no extended sex scenes (which I usually skip anyway!). I feel like the pages of graphic descriptions should really be shortened in most romance books so that the story can just move along. Anyone else? That’s something I enjoyed about this read… no graphic scenes. Other than that, there were a few references to asking God for help, but even if you are not a religious person, you would not find this a hindrance in reading this book. I think all fans of sweet romance stories will find this book to be worthwhile.
All in all, an enjoyable and light read that I would recommend.
Guest review by my mom, Kim.