Denise Hunter. Blue Ridge Sunrise. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2017.
I have read Ms. Hunter’s books for years, but I’m finding myself tracking down many of her books recently. My sister found these books in my library and can’t get enough of her stories.
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 Brady’s 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 grandmother’s funeral, discovering along the way that leaving may have been a great mistake. Together with Cruz, Zoe decides to continue her grandmother’s 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. Hunter’s recent Sweetbriar Cottage, Blue Ridge Sunrise shares some characters and locations, but otherwise functions as an entirely independent story. Fans of Ms. Hunter’s writing style will be thrilled for a new series of her stories.
Overall, I liked reading Blue Ridge Sunrise. Ms. Hunter’s 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. Hunter’s 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.
Fans of Ms. Hunter will likely want to read Blue Ridge Sunrise, especially as it kicks off a new series. Likewise, readers who typically read contemporary Christian fiction will probably find this novel to be worth exploring.
Special thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for the advanced copy of Blue Ridge Sunrise!
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