1. Blue Ridge Sunrise
    Blue Ridge Sunrise
    Denise Hunter
    Thomas Nelson / 2017 / Trade Paperback
    $8.79 Retail: $15.99 Save 45% ($7.20)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 29 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW090500
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3.3 out Of 5
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3 out Of 5
(3 out of 5)
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Well Written, but nominally Christian, Contemporary Romance
    January 3, 2018
    Yvette K.
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    The first in Denise Hunter's new Blue Ridge Romance series had me feeling a little off kilter as a reader. Somehow having what is usually a painful past that a character is looking to put behind them was more immediate than I've typically found in Christian fiction, resulting in a book that felt more like general womens fiction with a few nods to faith thrown in.

    While the portrayal and references to infidelity, pre-marital sex, pre-marital cohabitation were done in a way that is pretty respectful of the sensibilities of readers used to less edgy content in their fiction, and the physical and mental abuse suffered by the heroine was not shown in an excessively brutal way, I just couldn't get comfortable with this story where faith seems more like passing thoughts.

    Zoe Collins is a young, single mother who sings backup for her controlling boyfriend's band. Returning home after her Aunt's death to find that she has inherited a farm with a peach orchard, she finally breaks with him and slowly starts to rebuild an amicable relationship with her ex, Cruz Huntley, who manages the place. The best friend of her brother, Cruz was the Puerto Rican boy from the wrong side of the tracks that her father would never approve of. For five years she has kept the secret of his fatherhood from him, but he soon realizes that Gracie is his. What neither of them realizes is how far Zoe's boyfriend will go to get her back.

    Despite some great lines and touches of humor, I struggled to enjoy what is really a nicely written book. The pacing was well done, the plotting was fine with a few scenes of danger, but it just left me cold. I found myself wishing that we could veer away from Zoe and Cruz and focus on their best friends, who have also been friends for years. The possibility of a story between these two seemed potentially more interesting.

    Contemporary fiction is not my favorite, and this may have something to do with my reaction. So, perhaps this is a novel that will appeal to those who enjoy a bittersweet contemporary romance with nominal Christianity.

    This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received for review from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild. All opinions expressed are my own.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Cautious recommendation
    December 23, 2017
    Claudia
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

    Ever picked up a book and felt that comfortable feeling, that knowing feeling?. Knowing that as soon as you started reading you would be transported to another place, another time, another world? This is one such book. Immediately I was no longer in my world of work and worry, but instead I transported to Zoes world of Copper Creek, Georgia.

    Zoe returns home for her grannys funeral with her boyfriend and her little girl Gracie. Zoe plans to leave as quickly as she came, but something changes in her when she finds out her granny left her the peach farm. Maybe this is her chance to get her life back and stand on her own feet, without her boyfriends constant berating.

    Blue Ridge Sunrise transported me to the town of Copper Creek and introduced me to some stubborn, warm-hearted real characters. I enjoyed my visit and I look forward to my next visit with the next book.

    Note: I do not recommend this book for younger readers. While it is a clean read, its heavy on the sensual.
  3. New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Romance
    December 12, 2017
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Zoe Collins is back in Copper Creek for her grandmothers funeral, accompanied by her musician boyfriend and four-year-old daughter. Shes only planned to stay the dayshe and Kyle have to get back to Nashville for a concert, and she has no desire to reconnect with her father. But her plans change when she finds out shes inherited Grannys peach orchard, the only place shes felt at home since her mother died.

    What no one has told her in the five years shes been away is that the orchard manager is Cruz Huntley, her first love and Gracies father. Now the two are thrown together as Zoe tries to save her family orchard, against the advice of everyone elseespecially Kyle, and her father. And it seems someone is prepared to do more than tell her running the orchard is a stupid idea.

    Someone seems prepared to go to great lengths to ensure she gives up and goes back to Nashville.

    Zoe and Cruz were both great characters, and I wanted them to get back together right from the start. It was good to see a romance where the couple isnt apart for the whole novel. I think thats why I like romantic suspense, because of the way the external suspense plot serves to both bring the characters together and keep them apart. Blue Ridge Sunrise did a great job in this regard.

    There were lots of great lines. Unfortunately, I cant share most of them because they might give something important away (although I did share the opening line last week as part of #FirstLineFriday). Lets just say the writing is excellent, and there are many nuggets of truth hidden in Blue Ridge Sunrise. Like this line at the top of this post.

    The other thing I liked

    While there is a happy-ever-after ending (this is a romance. There has to be a happy-ever-after ending), the ending isnt all roses and pink unicorns. Relationships are messy, and cant always be tidied up nicely to fit a 80,000 word novel (or however long this is).

    Blue Ridge Sunrise is the beginning of a series, so Ill be looking forward to seeing some of those relationships develop and improve in future novels. As an aside, while its the beginning of a series, its the same setting as Denise Hunters last book, Sweetbriar Cottage, and there are a couple of references.

    Overall, recommended for those who enjoy Christian romance with a faith focus, and plenty of suspense.

    Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
  4. VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Blue Ridge Sunrise
    November 28, 2017
    Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Blue Ridge Sunrise is the first book from Denise Hunter's whole new series, Blue Ridge Romance. I read this book in one sitting. I loved it so much, I did not want to put it down. I felt an instant connection to Zoe. I knew what she was going through - the heartache, past secrets and regrets. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness, letting go, and moving on, while in a beautiful setting.

    I most definitely believe this is a must read and highly recommend it.

    5 plus stars.

    I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Book
    November 25, 2017
    Susan Barrett
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Blue Ridge Sunrise is the latest novel by Denise Hunter and is the first in the new Blue Ridge Romance series. As a Georgia girl myself, Im lovin these books set in my home state! While this is in its own series, I was delighted to find references to the characters from Sweetbriar Cottage and The Wishing Season. Like any other by Ms. Hunter, I gobbled this up in practically one sitting; it did not disappoint!

    Zoe has always felt out of place in her own family. She went off to pursue music instead of a law degree, fell for the farmer as a teen instead of a rich young businessman or something, and had a baby at nineteen. Having now returned to her hometown after the death of her grandmother and inheriting her grandmothers peach orchard, what will she do with her second chance? Will she stick with her current overprotective, abusive boyfriend, or is there a second chance with her first love? Will she settle down and run the orchard or continue to pursue fame?

    Although this had some similar vibes to Becky Wades Meant to Be Mine, it became its own story. Once I got the characters straight, it was fairly predictable, but still worth reading. It was cute, it was suspenseful, it was southern. And it oozed charm. The setting drew me in, obviously, but I stayed in the story because I fell for its characters. (Having just bought a bunch of peaches to enjoy while reading this story didnt hurt either.) I really, really enjoyed seeing the characters grow and come out of their shells, learn to forgive and to let go of the past. This is a story with a lot of heart that you should not miss! 5 stars!

    Thank you to Net Galley and to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.

    *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion which Ive done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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