Friday, May 22, 2020

Review: "Carolina Breeze" by Denise Hunter

It's always a good day when I have a new Denise Hunter romance to read!

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and celebrity scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the precarious financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

Carolina Breeze continues the story of the Bennett siblings, which began in Lake Season. A full year has passed since the Bluebell Inn's opening, and oldest sibling Levi is struggling to manage everything, but things are on the verge of turning around since a Hollywood couple just rented out the entire inn for a week ... but then the bride arrives, jilted, alone, and escaping a scandal. And Levi's protective instincts kick in.

I loved Levi and Mia together! Their easy camaraderie seamlessly segued into attraction. Throw in a touch of a fake relationship (one of my favorite tropes), a treasure hunt, and a family secret, and you've got a great love story!

I found Mia's journey to finding love and acceptance to be especially touching (I almost cried when she learned something pivotal about her past), and I appreciated that Levi, while being a genuinely good guy, was far from perfect. At one point in the story, I literally wanted to punch him 😉. (I also recognize that, put in a similar situation with my own siblings, I would be Levi ... maybe it's an oldest child thing?)

I also enjoyed seeing the progression of Levi's sister Molly's relationship with Adam (the focus of Lake Season); while you could enjoy Carolina Breeze without first reading book one, why would you want to? Also, keep an eye out for Grace Bennett's story, Autumn Skies, which is slated for release this fall. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble (affiliate links)
Follow the blog tour.
Read my reviews of Hunter's Lake Season (4-1/2 stars) and several of her other novels.

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol 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 rapidly approaching an empty nest. 

Connect with Denise: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have 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. I'm a sucker for a jilted bride (or groom)! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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