1. Blue Ridge Sunrise
    Blue Ridge Sunrise
    Denise Hunter
    Thomas Nelson / 2017 / Trade Paperback
    $11.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 25% ($4.00)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 36 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW090500
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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Blue Ridge Sunrise Denise Hunter (4 Stars)
    January 9, 2018
    Brittany_BnBblog
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Ms. Hunter kicks off her new Blue Ridge Romance series with Blue Ridge Sunrise. Zoe Collins grew up in the shadow of her brother, Brady, even as she made a name for herself in the town of Copper Creek as a free spirit and talented singer. When her relationship with Bradys best friend, Cruz Huntley, falls apart, Zoe leaves town with Kyle, another local singer, to become professional musicians in Nashville. Five years later, Zoe returns for her grandmothers funeral, discovering along the way that leaving may have been a great mistake. Together with Cruz, Zoe decides to continue her grandmothers peach orchard, which served as a sanctuary for both of them. With faith beyond their own plans and stubbornness, Zoe and Cruz discover a second chance for their relationship.

    With a slight overlap with Ms. Hunters recent Sweetbriar Cottage, Blue Ridge Sunrise shares some characters and locations, but otherwise functions as an entirely independent story. Fans of Ms. Hunters writing style will be thrilled for a new series of her stories.

    Overall, I liked reading Blue Ridge Sunrise. Ms. Hunters writing style is very accessible and quite light, which makes for an enjoyable read. Personally, I was not a huge fan of this particular storyline and set of characters, even as I typically appreciate Ms. Hunters other works. This story includes a child born out of wedlock, questionable relationships, and domestic abuse, all of which could add up to a novel that may be unappealing to some readers of the Christian fiction genre. While Ms. Hunter includes some Christian elements, the storyline still felt rather light in that regard. However, she still manages to bring the story full circle, as her main characters finally resolve their differences by the end of the novel.

    Special thanks Thomas Nelson and BookLook Bloggers for the advanced copy of Blue Ridge Sunrise!

    Thanks!

    Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Second Chances
    January 3, 2018
    Cynthia
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I received this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. This is another book from Denise. Her writing draws you to each of the characters and it has done this with this. Zoe feels is a rebel. Her mom understands her but her father wants her to do as he says and that makes her feel small. Her brother Brody is close to her & so is her grandmother. But being the rebel she is she falls for her brothers friend but doesn't want to tell anybody. Singing is her passion, but her dad doesn't understand. Her mother get killed in accident visiting her brother in CA, and now it is just them. Kyle comes along and wants her for his backup singer for his band. But there are doubts between her and Cruz. She leaves town, but she doesn't tell him she is pregnant. But she comes home 5 years later for her grandmothers funeral. She has lost touch with everyone but her brother. But she get a shock. Her grandmother left her the family peach orchard. She can now leave Kyle and find herself & Gracie a home and maybe Gracie's daddy who is still in town. Little did she know he was working for her grandmother. Can they make it work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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