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Friday, January 16, 2009

Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweetwater Gap

Thomas Nelson (December 16, 2008)


Denise Hunter


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!


A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter.
When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard.

The new manager's presence is making it difficult. Grady MacKenzie takes an immediate disliking to Josephine and becomes outright cantankerous when she tries talking her family into selling. As she and Grady work side by side in the orchard, she begins to appreciate his devotion and quiet faith. She senses a vulnerability in him that makes her want to delve deeper, but there's no point letting her heart have its way-he's tied to the orchard, and she could never stay there.

A brush with death tears down Josephine's defenses and for the first time in her life, she feels freedom-freedom from the heavy burden of guilt, freedom to live her life the way it was intended, with a heart full of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sweetwater Gap, go HERE

My thoughts:
Sweetwater Gap is not just a sweet romantic story, it's about living with pain and guilt from the past and how it can ruin the future if allowed. Josie left her home and the orchard she loved for reasons only she knew. Everyone figured she was just flighty and undependable and she's content to let them think that because the truth was much worse.

When her brother-in-law calls to ask her to come back to help with the harvest she decides that would be a good time to convince her sister to sell the orchard. Her plan was to help with the harvest, sell the orchard and go back to her life hundreds of miles away. That was the plan. God tends to laugh at our plans sometimes, though. It doesn't take long for everything to start unraveling because of something she hadn't expected. Rather, someone. Grady. She couldn't let him mess things up and she is determined to stay the course no matter what.

This was a wonderful story and I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn in from the start and just as my curiosity was abated something else got it going again. I felt for Josie and the pain she was living with because of what happened so many years ago and the rejection from her father. All the characters were easy to connect with and I was right there with them in the story.

It is a great read especially for anyone who has lived with pain in their life that keeps pulling them down and won't let them go. Sweetwater Gap shows us that when life feels so empty and we feel so unloved there is nothing we can do that would make God stop loving us. We're our own worst enemy sometimes when we refuse to reach out for help when we need it and just keep holding on to the pain. No one has to go through life alone and God wants us to lean on him and those who love us when we're hurting.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "heavy" read. Denise does a fantastic job of showing us Josie's pain without weighing us down. I loved the romantic side of the story and of course I was cheering for them (and laughing at them). I got so tickled when he would call her a "sassy thing." The romantic scenes were written quite descriptively to appease the romantic in all of us but it was also done very tastefully, which I appreciated.

By the way...Camy Tang is giving away a copy of Sweetwater Gap over at her blog, Camy's Loft!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out about my giveaway!