Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: "Honeysuckle Dreams" by Denise Hunter

I feel like I've been waiting forever to read this novel! Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors, and as soon as I finished reading Blue Ridge Sunrise, the first novel in this series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Honeysuckle Dreams ... but I had to. My library hold finally came in Friday ... and I read the entire book in about three hours on Friday and Saturday!

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

While I nearly always enjoy Denise Hunter's novels, I have a special place in my heart for her marriage of convenience novels. The Convenient Groom is easily one of my top five romance novels, and when I learned that Honeysuckle Dreams was a marriage of convenience story, my expectations skyrocketed. Sometimes, those high expectations come back to bite me, but not in this case: Honeysuckle Dreams is wonderful!

This book combines two of my favorite tropes: friends to lovers and marriage of convenience. And it's done is such a compelling—and swoon-worthy—way. Brady and Hope have been friends forever (she's his sister's best friend), and when, in the midst of a custody battle over Brady's son, Brady's attorney mistakenly believes Brady and Hope are engaged, they decide to go with it.

As they navigate a sudden engagement and soon-to-follow wedding, Brady and Hope begin seeing each other in a new light. But they both have wounds from the past that keep them from fully opening up to each other, even after making a lifetime commitment.

One thing that I loved about this novel is that it was about much more than the custody battle; that part of the story was resolved with a quarter of the book remaining. Then the book became more about Brady and Hope conquering fear and self-doubt and fully committing to each other.

This is a quick, swoony, satisfying read—just the type of book that contemporary romance lovers will enjoy. 5 stars.

Content note: There is some talk of sex's role within marriage, as well a few "fade out" scenes. I thought all of this was done tastefully and added an authenticity to the novel, but I wouldn't recommend this book for young readers.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Hunter's Sweetbriar Cottage (3-1/2 stars) and Blue Ridge Sunrise (4-1/2 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 award-winning author of more than 30 novels, including The Convenient Groom and A December Bride, which have been made into Hallmark movies.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book from my local library and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. 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. This book is sitting in my TBR stack! I'm hoping to squeeze it in soon. Like you, those are 2 of my favorite tropes when done well -- and Denise is one of the best! :) So glad you liked it!

    1. I'm sure you'll love it, Courtney! It's like the best of both worlds :-)

  2. Hi Becky! What a great review! I'd be honoured if you would share this with everyone over at Books You Loved: August edition. Cheers from Carole's Chatter
    PS Found you through Wall to Wall Books' sidebar


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