Monday, November 6, 2017

"Blue Ridge Sunrise" by Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is one of my must-read authors. Her books routinely make my yearly "best books" lists, and I often stay up far too long while reading her books.

That's why I was so disappointed when her last book, Sweetbriar Cottage, didn't land for me. Of course, I still had hope for the books to come, saying,
I have great hope that Hunter's next book, Blue Ridge Sunrise (also set in Copper Creek, Georgia), will be a return to the achingly romantic, captivating stories that are Hunter's hallmark.
Thankfully, my hope wasn't misplaced, as Blue Ridge Sunrise is wonderful!

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

One of my favorite aspects of Hunter's novels is the chemistry between the main characters. In Blue Ridge Sunrise, Zoe and Cruz have chemistry in spades! Even when I wasn't particularly liking the characters' actions (ahem, Zoe!), I still longed for them to be together. I felt like the obstacles to their "happily ever after" were realistic, and their relationship's progression seemed natural.

Also, Zoe's daughter Gracie is one of the cutest children in print! Yes, this is a "secret baby" story, which is a common romance novel trope, but it's actually not used that much in Christian fiction, so it didn't feel so much like a retread of something already written. Also, kudos to Hunter for acknowledging a sexual relationship—which obviously must have happened if there's a "secret baby" involved—while keeping the details off the page.

I will say that the suspense thread wasn't quite what I'd hoped—it was sort of suspenseful but not really, and I think the villain would've been scarier if his actions had been more subtle. Still, that's a minor complaint, as the romance is just so good! I absolutely loved Blue Ridge Sunrise, and I can't wait for the next book in the series, which will feature Zoe's brother Brady and her best friend Hope. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Hunter's Sweetbriar Cottage (3-1/2 stars); the Summer Harbor books Falling like Snowflakes (5 stars), The Goodbye Bride (5 stars), and Just a Kiss (5 stars); the Chapel Springs books Barefoot Summer (5 stars), A December Bride (4.5 stars), Dancing with Fireflies (5 stars), The Wishing Season (5 stars), and Married 'til Monday (4.5 stars); Big Sky novels A Cowboy's Touch, The Accidental Bride (3-1/2 stars), and The Trouble with Cowboys (4-1/2 stars); and The Convenient Groom (5 stars).

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys. You can learn more about Denise through her website or by visiting her FaceBook page at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review through Amazon Vine. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I love the sound of this book! Secret baby stories set a great storyline that I love!!! Thanks for the review! Glad this one is better than her last book.

    1. I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you do read it! It's Denise at the top of her game :-) Thanks for stopping by!


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