I stayed up late last night finishing a book so awesome that I need to tell you about it! But first, you should know that I’m a pretty picky reader. The older I get, the more I DNF books. In fact, I bet I finish less than half of the books I start. (I know some readers who get the hives when I say stuff like that; sorry if that’s you.) Life is just too short to spend time with something unless it’s really doing something for me. And I know that it’s not always the book’s fault. Sometimes I won’t finish a book that thousands of people have raved about, or a trusted friend has recommended. Sometimes a book might be a great book, but it’s just not my cuppa tea.
Anyway, I say all that to say that Denise Hunter’s Honeysuckle Dreams was just what I needed right now!
It was recommended to me by the lovely Christian romance author Katherine Karrol, who hasn’t steered me wrong with a book rec so far. I was in the mood for a contemporary marriage of convenience, and Katherine and Denise teamed up to deliver.
Wow! Now, I’m a sucker for a marriage of convenience story, but this trope works so much better in historical settings. I think it’s really hard to pull off in a contemporary, but this is as close as a book has come to being believable enough to not jerk me out of the story with a “yeah, right!” (There were still a few moments that made me think, I’m not sure someone would be willing to do this, but they were almost believable.)
So, why did I love this book …
- Believable premise.
- There was a kid involved. This always helps me keep reading.
- I loved how the book handled the physical aspect of love. So many times sweet and Christian romances completely ignore physicality as if the two people are floating around existing in spirit only. But it’s a fine line, right? Readers like us crave a story that focuses on the spiritual and emotional connection between two people. Well, this book had it all, but did it in a romantic, tasteful way that left me charmed.
- Flashbacks. Now lots of books have flashbacks, but these were just so vivid! Being immersed in scenes from the character’s past made that character so much more relatable. I can’t wait to add some flashback scenes to my new series!
- The grand gesture at the end was just … chef’s kiss! I realized once I started reading this part of the story that it had been set up in the first pages, but still, I hadn’t seen it coming. Good for her, sneaking up on me like that! It made the ending so romantic and satisfying.
So there is my recommendation! Learn more about the book here. This is the second book in her Blue Ridge series, and while it can be read as a standalone, there was lots of content that related back to book one that I really didn’t understand or particularly care about, so I do wish I’d read book one first, however! If you’re in the mood for a contemporary marriage of convenience, you might want to skip to book two like I did!
Please tell me, are there any other Denise Hunter masterpieces I should know about? Any other contemporary marriage of convenience stories for me?