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Literary Friday: Sweetbriar Cottage

Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  This week I read an excellent Christian romance: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter.

According to Goodreads:

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

My Review:

This is probably the best Christian romance I've ever read.  One of the main reasons I love it is because both Josephine and Noah are so flawed and are constantly at cross-purposes with each other. There's lots of tension between these two!   Noah is hurt and feels betrayed; he can't get past Josephine's  (perceived) indiscretion(s).  Josephine is guarded to the point of being hostile and snarky.  Both want to protect their hearts from the other above all else, yet neither has moved on even though each think their divorce was finalized.

I love Josephine's character.  The storyline is told partly in flashback, so the reader understands why Josephine sabotages her relationship with Noah.  Her past is heartbreaking, and Noah's cluelessness about it is annoying.  Clearly he loves her, yet he's so easily willing to think the worst of her.  But as the plot thickens, Noah redeems himself. Josephine's faith journey is dramatic, and so is Noah's crisis of faith.

The suspense in the novel is surprising, and I like the pacing of the story. There are several unexpected plot points, and the North Georgia setting is perfect. It's refreshing to read a Christian romance where both characters need a reality check.  If you enjoy Christian romance with uniquely flawed characters and a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then you'll appreciate Sweetbriar Cottage.  I will definitely read more of Denise Hunter's romances.  FYI: two of her books have been made into Hallmark Channel movies.  

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Denise

Website | Facebook | Twitter


I received a copy of Sweetbriar Cottage from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. This sounds kind of predictable but perfect!! I want to read it. :)

  2. I could use a break from murder mysteries...heehee! This sounds good and I like books set in the Blue Ridge mts! Happy reading!

  3. Thanks, Ricki. I just added this to my "to read" list. It sounds like a really good book. xo Diana

  4. I am adding it to my "to read list" :-) Carla

  5. P.S. I also pinned. I usually pin your reviews to my Books Worth Reading Board. :-)Thank you for taking time to do the reviews. I appreciate it!

  6. Thanks for being a part of this tour! I'm so happy to see how much you enjoyed this book!

  7. yes it does sound like a Hallmark movie! {which I can't resist!} Thanks!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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