Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

It's release day for Denise Hunter's latest book!

Let’s begin with the summary:

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

And now, my review:

The heroine is insecure and considers herself a failure. She was immediately likable. I sympathized with her and rooted for her. We get a few flashbacks into the heroine’s past and Denise did a great job of characterization, showing the heroine’s less mature side and then her growth. Her voice was very strong in both time periods of her life. She’s well layered, but sometimes I felt we were missing some of the motives so her actions either weren’t believable or weren’t something I could get behind. I did have a hard time respecting her during some later parts of the novel, when she made some decisions that weren’t strong.

As I read, I didn’t highlight much in regards to the hero. I think that’s because we spent a lot more time in the heroine’s deep POV, which is fine.

I had a little trouble following all the characters. I felt like I’d missed book one, but this is book one. As with previous books by this author, there is a lot of mention of cheeks warming in the narrative. This feels more fitting for a historical, and the repetition does get tedious. Perhaps a variety of visceral reactions would boost this part of the story telling, so several characters don't react the same way. A similar, overused phrase was lips curving.

The villain was easy to dislike as I despised his methods. Great descriptions throughout, and I love reunion romances. Some of the themes in the story included control versus independence, and an unhealthy familial relationship.

The secret in the story wasn’t quite believable. It seemed obvious that visually there could be no question, but this wasn’t addressed until a little too late. I also felt the heroine would worry more when the two characters were together (I’m being vague to avoid spoilers) but we didn’t get that feeling while in her deep POV, which didn’t seem believable, or perhaps like a missed opportunity.

I’ll be watching for the next book in this series.

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