Sweetbriar Cottage
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?

Sweetbriar Cottage Details

TitleSweetbriar Cottage
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN0718090489
ISBN-139780718090487
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Contemporary, Fiction, Christian, Romance

Sweetbriar Cottage Review

  • Robin Lee Hatcher
    January 18, 2017
    "In Sweetbriar Cottage, Denise Hunter has written one of the best stories about emotional healing and forgiveness that I've read in ages. Her heroine, Josephine, is deeply wounded, and everything about Josie's present actions rings true to her painful past. Noah is the hero Josie desperately needs, although neither of them seem to know it for much of the book. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to reach the resolution. Suspenseful, heartbreaking, and ultimately sigh-worthy, you don't want to "In Sweetbriar Cottage, Denise Hunter has written one of the best stories about emotional healing and forgiveness that I've read in ages. Her heroine, Josephine, is deeply wounded, and everything about Josie's present actions rings true to her painful past. Noah is the hero Josie desperately needs, although neither of them seem to know it for much of the book. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to reach the resolution. Suspenseful, heartbreaking, and ultimately sigh-worthy, you don't want to miss this one."— Robin Lee Hatcher, RITA and Christy Award winning author of You'll Think of Me and You're Gonna Love Me
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  • Cara Putman
    March 2, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is a moving romance filled with layers of a love lost, the passion to reclaim it, and the tension of fighting for your life. This story digs deep with emotions and Denise Hunter's beautiful writing. I wanted the characters to find healing even when it seemed impossible. But just likes God love, it was possible from the foundation of forgiveness. This story is one that needed to be told, and one you’ll want to read. A beautiful story of love, healing, and redemption.
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  • Hannah
    April 15, 2017
    I'll be giving a real review later on...closer to publication, as per the publisher's request.Cliff notes version: I'm always eager for the next Hunter book, but I feel that this one is her most meaningful and heartfelt book to date, with a strong Christian message as well. Go ahead and order your copy, because you'll be sure to be touched by this one.Content: pg-13 for some discussion of rape and other things; nothing graphic, though
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  • Madison
    April 5, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is a delightful contemporary romance, one that tugs on your heart and encourages you to take a chance and rediscover the healing power of love.When Noah Mitchell discovers that his divorce with Josephine was never finalised, to say he is shocked might be an understatement. After the marriage ended, he gave up his job and retreated into the mountain, away from town and reminders of what happened and what he lost. Now, though, he and Josephine must reconnect if they want the div Sweetbriar Cottage is a delightful contemporary romance, one that tugs on your heart and encourages you to take a chance and rediscover the healing power of love.When Noah Mitchell discovers that his divorce with Josephine was never finalised, to say he is shocked might be an understatement. After the marriage ended, he gave up his job and retreated into the mountain, away from town and reminders of what happened and what he lost. Now, though, he and Josephine must reconnect if they want the divorce to be filed. Josephine is just as shaken as Noah when she learns of the news and sets out to smooth the process as much as she can, after all she feels the end of the marriage was her fault. But a sudden and dangerous storm leaves her stranded at his ranch and when they are forced to confront the wild weather, they also discover that confronting their past just might lead to healing for them both.Sweetbriar Cottage is a standalone novel. It is written from both Noah and Josephine's perspective during present day, but includes a number of chapter flashbacks to both the beginning of Noah and Josephine's courtship and Josephine's past. And that's when this novel really digs its heels in and gets serious about the topics of faith, mistakes, and forgiveness. In her author notes, Denise writes about her approach to and process of creating this book. There was so much love poured into this novel, and you can tell. It is written beautifully, handled with the tact, grace, and love it deserves. And I heartily agree with her, this story needed to be told. I find that sometimes, Christian novels steer around the really difficult topics. Not all, of course, but some that I have read focus on problems that are easier to discuss. Sweetbriar Cottage tackles some important and heavy themes, including infidelity, divorce, and sexual abuse. And throughout, it gives these topics space to unfold realistically, but also a good measure of grace and mercy. I also loved, that while it showed the darker nature of sex, it also alluded to the desire and joy experienced between a couple. I loved that balance. This novel is delightful, so much fun to curl up with, but it never takes the easy or clichéd route and I was so grateful for that. The romance sparkles, tempers flare, snow falls in great heaps, and love, dare I say it, wins the day. Loved it!The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Melissa
    March 15, 2017
    https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...The subject matter here is heavier than Hunter usually deals with, but it's so well-handled and beautifully done that readers will have much to ponder throughout. Issues such as marital infidelity, divorce and sexual abuse are explored in a thoughtful, God-honoring way. And the exploration of what love should look like in marriage and in general is very deep and contemplative. This is a novel that can help facilitate healing.After his heartbreaking divorce https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...The subject matter here is heavier than Hunter usually deals with, but it's so well-handled and beautifully done that readers will have much to ponder throughout. Issues such as marital infidelity, divorce and sexual abuse are explored in a thoughtful, God-honoring way. And the exploration of what love should look like in marriage and in general is very deep and contemplative. This is a novel that can help facilitate healing.After his heartbreaking divorce from Josephine, Noah leaves his family construction company and begins working on a horse ranch out in the country. A letter arrives from the IRS telling him that his divorce to Josephine has never been finalized, so the two of them are still married. Noah sets out to re-file the paperwork, but a situation puts both he and Josephine together for a few days. As Josephine shares information about her past, both of them begin looking at each other in a different light and try to explore what God might have in store for their relationship.
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  • Amy
    April 13, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is an emotional read. Noah and Josephine find out their divorce was never finalized and the two are still married. Josephine shows up at the ranch where Noah is working to deliver the final papers needed for the divorce to actually happen. The two are stuck together when they are stranded at his cottage during a snowstorm. This forces them to talk about what went wrong during their marriage. Josephine finally tells Noah of her painful past. Will this be enough for Noah to chan Sweetbriar Cottage is an emotional read. Noah and Josephine find out their divorce was never finalized and the two are still married. Josephine shows up at the ranch where Noah is working to deliver the final papers needed for the divorce to actually happen. The two are stuck together when they are stranded at his cottage during a snowstorm. This forces them to talk about what went wrong during their marriage. Josephine finally tells Noah of her painful past. Will this be enough for Noah to change his mind about the divorce?Sweetbriar Cottage is a perfect reminder why I love Denise Hunter's writing. She really knows how to talk to the reader's heart. At first, I was not sure how I felt about Josephine. Once her past was revealed, I had a better understanding of who she really was, and I then felt a connection to her. That is when I realized, I really wanted Noah and her to forgive one another and save their marriage before it was too late.A beautiful story of how to heal from a painful past and learning forgiveness. I would highly recommend this book and give it 5+ stars.I received this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    May 19, 2017
    I have read every single one of Denise Hunter's books. I enjoyed them all and most still reside on my bookshelves. This one is very good. It is a bit reminiscent of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. Just a little bit. The theme is profound and at times heart-wrenching. How can a person live every day life with such hurt in their heart? But God promises unconditional love to His children. No matter what they've done. Hunter has again created very believable characters with great situations a I have read every single one of Denise Hunter's books. I enjoyed them all and most still reside on my bookshelves. This one is very good. It is a bit reminiscent of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. Just a little bit. The theme is profound and at times heart-wrenching. How can a person live every day life with such hurt in their heart? But God promises unconditional love to His children. No matter what they've done. Hunter has again created very believable characters with great situations and a very good plot. I look forward to her next, from what I hear, 4 book series!*I was given a preview copy of this book from the publisher. I was not pressured to leave a positive review and my opinion is my own and honest.
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  • Amy
    March 25, 2017
    Full review coming soon!
  • Rachael
    April 29, 2017
    There's a lot of hard stuff in this story. Abuse, infidelity, divorce--all handled tactfully, but in such a way there's no mistaking what happened. It makes the heart ache, knowing that there are many girls who could claim Josie's story as their own. But on the flip side, there's so much good too--forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, hope. And some serious discussion on unconditional love and whether it's really expected--or possible--in a marriage. It's a hard story, but it's a powerful one There's a lot of hard stuff in this story. Abuse, infidelity, divorce--all handled tactfully, but in such a way there's no mistaking what happened. It makes the heart ache, knowing that there are many girls who could claim Josie's story as their own. But on the flip side, there's so much good too--forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, hope. And some serious discussion on unconditional love and whether it's really expected--or possible--in a marriage. It's a hard story, but it's a powerful one too. The author sure doesn't take the easy way out. All together, it adds up to buckets of tears. 4.5 stars!Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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  • Denise
    April 6, 2017
    LOVED this book by Denise Hunter. Noah and Josie's story kept me riveted to the end. I was rooting for them the whole book and felt like I was a part of their lives in the Blue Ridge mountains. Highly recommended.
  • Amy
    March 6, 2017
    A little darker than other Denise Hunter's books, this one takes me back to the style of another difficult read 'Finding Faith'. In fact all of her New Heights series stories had a similar feel. Its been a while, and felt a little different as a reader since reading something so 'raw' from Denise. Tackling the subject of childhood sexual abuse, is so hard to read, but she so expertly writes a genuine development for Josephine's character, from that pivotal event in her life when she was 12. I wo A little darker than other Denise Hunter's books, this one takes me back to the style of another difficult read 'Finding Faith'. In fact all of her New Heights series stories had a similar feel. Its been a while, and felt a little different as a reader since reading something so 'raw' from Denise. Tackling the subject of childhood sexual abuse, is so hard to read, but she so expertly writes a genuine development for Josephine's character, from that pivotal event in her life when she was 12. I wondered all the way through how she was married for 2 years and for Noah to be completely none the wiser. However, I think she answered that so very well. There's a tedious feel to the angst between Noah & Josephine as they find themselves stranded first in the house and then within the mountains. There is no hurrying this story along, and although it may feel frustrating, its needed to retain the realism of the affect the divorce has had on these two characters. I appreciated the underlying similarities between Kismet and Josie. Although Noah can't see this immediately. The raw emotion of their broken hearted state, and the ability to heal despite all the odds. An interesting question is posed, 'Is unconditional love expected or achieved in a marriage'? I think this is a difficult one to answer. Noah raises the question, so what if unconditional love is required does that give a free pass to infidelity or abuse? I think that's entirely a valid thought process. Often I feel like I have a unconditional love for my children, yet for my Spouse I have a different kind of love. There are expectations in behavior (not that I am saying the kids get a free pass - just this is a different kind of love). Certain lines should not be crossed within marriage. Of course, that does not mean that any of these things cannot be worked through. Protection from harm is entirely a serious issue that must be of paramount importance. But our approach to marriage must be to preserve what we hold highly, and accept that all marriage will require forgiveness, work and a effort to love the other - and as Josephine says so beautifully, to guard your spouses heart. While this book did not leave me with the feel good joy others from Denise have more recently, I found 'Sweetbriar Cottage' a deeper look into the real challenges in the world we live in today, and how we handle the broken souls that are just in desperate need of the same love we may have so generously received from our own parents. This sends me a message to do better, for my own children, but also be mindful of those I may meet who may have not been so fortunate. Extend the gift of love and less judgement to those who, expect nothing but harsh unkind treatment, because that is, what they have always known. FYI - This is more edgy that most Christian books out there on the market.Thank you to Netgalley & Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy. This is my honest review.
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  • Kelly Tyree
    March 16, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is a book about second chances. Noah and Josephine Mitchell thought they were divorced until Noah received a letter from the IRS. He finds the paperwork was never signed by the Judge and that they needed to be refiled. Both Noah and Josephine have gone on with their lives but they have not gotten over one another. Josephine decides to save Noah some time and bring the paperwork to Noah on his ranch. What she did not account for was a snow storm that would keep her at Noah's ho Sweetbriar Cottage is a book about second chances. Noah and Josephine Mitchell thought they were divorced until Noah received a letter from the IRS. He finds the paperwork was never signed by the Judge and that they needed to be refiled. Both Noah and Josephine have gone on with their lives but they have not gotten over one another. Josephine decides to save Noah some time and bring the paperwork to Noah on his ranch. What she did not account for was a snow storm that would keep her at Noah's house for several days. Both have built walls around their hearts but the more time they spend together the more those walls seem to be thinner and thinner. Josephine is plagued by a painful past. She was abused and poorly treated as a child. She also made a series of poor choices that she feels define her. The more Noah learns about her past, the more he begins to understand what she needs from him and why she made some of the poor decisions she made. Things heat up considerably when Noah and Josephine go out into the bad whether to rescue one of Noah's horses. I absolutely loved Sweetbriar Cottage. It is a book that really draws you in from page one. Both Josephine and Noah are characters that you fall in love with. You find yourself rooting for them to give their marriage another chance. The ending was wonderful. The book was wonderfully written. Great book for everyone to enjoy.
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  • Kay Defreese
    March 8, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is a stand-alone book by Denise Hunter. It's the story of Noah and Josephine Mitchell, a couple who thought they were divorced but it turned out the papers had never been signed by a judge. Josephine goes to Noah's home to hand him the divorce signed divorce papers so they can be filed but while at his mountain home gets caught in a storm and is forced to stay there. At first I didn't like either of the characters. I thought Josephine was a little too flirty with her barber cl Sweetbriar Cottage is a stand-alone book by Denise Hunter. It's the story of Noah and Josephine Mitchell, a couple who thought they were divorced but it turned out the papers had never been signed by a judge. Josephine goes to Noah's home to hand him the divorce signed divorce papers so they can be filed but while at his mountain home gets caught in a storm and is forced to stay there. At first I didn't like either of the characters. I thought Josephine was a little too flirty with her barber clients calling everyone sugar and honey. I thought Noah was way to bitter and harsh with Josephine. It was not until later in the story that the characters begin to understand what went wrong in the marriage. We see that Josephine went through some horrendous things in her childhood that influenced what she did as an adult before marriage and what contributed to the downfall of her marriage. I highly recommend this book even though the topics are a little more heavy than most of her books and the storyline a bit more darker. It is a novel of forgiveness and redemptionThanks to Netgalley and Thomas and Thomas Nelson for providing me an e-copy of this book to read and review. Sweetbriar Cottage is due to be released on June 13, 2017.
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  • Debbie Kerch
    May 16, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage is a delightful Christian romance by Denise Hunter sure to lighten your heart and leave you with a smile. Noah Hunter, a handsome local contractor in need of a haircut enters a new barber shop in Copper Creek, Georgia where he meets owner and operator, Josephine DuPree, and his life is never the same. Completely smitten and wanting to spend more time with her, Noah offers to help Josie expand her new shop in order to add stylists and encourage more clientele. As time goes on, Sweetbriar Cottage is a delightful Christian romance by Denise Hunter sure to lighten your heart and leave you with a smile. Noah Hunter, a handsome local contractor in need of a haircut enters a new barber shop in Copper Creek, Georgia where he meets owner and operator, Josephine DuPree, and his life is never the same. Completely smitten and wanting to spend more time with her, Noah offers to help Josie expand her new shop in order to add stylists and encourage more clientele. As time goes on, their work relationship takes a personal turn as each begin to fall in love with the other. Noah wears his heart on his sleeve and is completely head over hills despite his family and friends’ reservations. Against their advice Noah asks Josie to marry and plans to live happily ever after. But Josie is harboring a dark secret of her own and in time it ruins her marriage. No longer wed, Noah begins to settle into a life without Josie. His failed marriage and his unresolved feelings still haunt him and Josie who is unable to deal emotionally with her past. And if things weren’t complicated enough an unexpected letter arrives from the IRS where the couple discovers the divorce was never finalized. Seeking to resolve the matter and make amends Josie files new paperwork and takes it to Sweetbriar Cottage to rectify the error and free Noah. But Providence seems to have another plan as Josie’s car will not start and a snowstorm bears down on the area leaving them alone and stranded. With only each other to rely on, Josie and Noah are forced to battle the elements together, but battling their feelings proves much more difficult.I really liked this book. It was lighthearted, but sincere enough to tackle serious issues. I liked the way Denise Hunter wrote her characters, major and supporting. My favorite character was Noah. He was sweet and sensitive, but conflicted. I especially liked his ability to change and adapt to any given situation. Because of Noah, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Josie. Noah appeared genuine and forthright while Josie remained hidden, a little too saccharin. However, as time went on, I love the way the author began to expose her vulnerabilities. It allowed me to understand her false bravado and the loneliness Josie harbored all through her life. It made me cheer to heal their broken relationship and hope for a brighter future. Sweetbriar Cottage is an easy and lighthearted read perfect for a warm summer day. If you are headed for the beach or pool pack this along with your sunscreen. The characters are engaging, the storyline compelling and the ending sure to please. I want to thank Thomas Nelson-Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced copy of Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter for a fair and honest review.Book Matron
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  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
    May 15, 2017
    That is a really long blurb. It pretty much sums up the whole story. I'm glad I didn't read it before I read the book because it would have taken out the anticipation of what was to come for me. This book was basically Josephine and Noah wading through the muck of their broken marriage and struggling against each other and truth, which always has a way of coming out one way or another. Josephine is a secret keeper. She has an awful, horrible past and it has really messed with her ability to conn That is a really long blurb. It pretty much sums up the whole story. I'm glad I didn't read it before I read the book because it would have taken out the anticipation of what was to come for me. This book was basically Josephine and Noah wading through the muck of their broken marriage and struggling against each other and truth, which always has a way of coming out one way or another. Josephine is a secret keeper. She has an awful, horrible past and it has really messed with her ability to connect to people and share her real self. Noah is angry and confused and rightly so. His knowledge is limited and it's hard to judge situations for what they are when you have limited knowledge. I really loved Noah. Even in his gruffy and self preservation moments, he was kind and protective. He showed respect when most people would say it wasn't deserved. The love in his heart was the catalyst for change and healing. This book deals with such heavy issues. It really isn't a light-hearted romp through the park and reading it at some points was very hard. The characters are in a messy situation. Situations alternate between the present and the past. It was good as a reader to be able to visualize their initial meeting and their growing relationship to balance out the present day angst. The flashbacks to Josephine's past are just sad and hurt my heart. But those helped me to feel the compassion I needed to like Josephine and understand her better. The book is well written and I felt the constant pull to keep reading in order to find the resolution I was so desperately seeking for these characters.Content: rape, sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect, marital affair, Christian fiction- I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Rebekah Crain
    May 9, 2017
    4.5 starsThis beautifully written romance tells a story of true love and redemption. When an unexpected notice draws Noah's attention to a fluke oversight made by his ex-wife Josie he is livid. But as Josie attempts to correct her mistake it seems instead of making things better she inadvertently proceeds to make them worse. As one after another her blunders begins to pile up, Josie starts to feel the weight of every mistake she's ever made. Being caught up together in a surprise mountain storm 4.5 starsThis beautifully written romance tells a story of true love and redemption. When an unexpected notice draws Noah's attention to a fluke oversight made by his ex-wife Josie he is livid. But as Josie attempts to correct her mistake it seems instead of making things better she inadvertently proceeds to make them worse. As one after another her blunders begins to pile up, Josie starts to feel the weight of every mistake she's ever made. Being caught up together in a surprise mountain storm does give Noah and Josie plenty of time to talk through their issues; however, there's such a thing as too little too late. Could this be one of those times?Hunter writes from the heart, a story that compels her readers to keep reading long after their lunch break has ended or the time for bed has come and gone. Her characters' emotions are palpable, and their heaviness grips you. Sweetbriar Cottage isn't a harlequin style, run of the mill, romance novel. It won't tickle you in all the right places just because it can. No. Reading this book is like watching the petals of a fresh rose blossom gently peeling back. There are thorns one must be wary of, you can't simply grab at the blooming beauty and expect to come away unscathed. You must slowly and carefully savor the beauty all the while not letting it go, lest you miss anything. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this delightful review copy and opportunity. It's been fabulous!
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  • Suzie
    May 27, 2017
    Often in fiction, the story ends and readers are left to assume the happily ever after. It’s usually at high point—a declaration of love, an engagement, a wedding. But what happens after the last first kiss? After the I do’s? When real life encroaches on the high of falling in love? What happens when there are hiccups in the happily-ever-after?In her latest book, Denise Hunter explores this concept while delicately balancing on the line of realities of life and the hope of love.Noah and Josephin Often in fiction, the story ends and readers are left to assume the happily ever after. It’s usually at high point—a declaration of love, an engagement, a wedding. But what happens after the last first kiss? After the I do’s? When real life encroaches on the high of falling in love? What happens when there are hiccups in the happily-ever-after?In her latest book, Denise Hunter explores this concept while delicately balancing on the line of realities of life and the hope of love.Noah and Josephine had a whirlwind romance, one that seemed to set them up for a lifetime of love. But it ended too soon…or has it?Josephine didn’t completely open herself up to her husband while Noah hadn’t wanted to push his wife whenever he saw that expression of sadness cross her features. Yet, in successful relationships—ones that last lifetimes—communication is so key.Forced together due to a storm, Noah and Josephine must fast their failures and faults in their relationship while admitting there is still something between them. Will they allow past hurts and angry words to overrule God’s grace, forgiveness, and healing? Sweetbriar Cottage presents a picture that reminds the reader that only God’s love is limitless. That people make mistakes and errors that hurt deeply but unconditional love is not something we earn, it’s something given freely.Disclosure statement:I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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  • Callie
    May 21, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter is a stand-alone novel newly released by Thomas Nelson. It is an emotional, heart-wrenching story about overcoming past hurts and learning to love again.When Noah Mitchell comes down to town from his ranch house in the mountains, he discovers an unsettling problem with his taxes. He filed as being single, having just come off a divorce. But apparently, his ex-wife never finished up the process with filing the papers, and the judge never signed them, so he’s st Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter is a stand-alone novel newly released by Thomas Nelson. It is an emotional, heart-wrenching story about overcoming past hurts and learning to love again.When Noah Mitchell comes down to town from his ranch house in the mountains, he discovers an unsettling problem with his taxes. He filed as being single, having just come off a divorce. But apparently, his ex-wife never finished up the process with filing the papers, and the judge never signed them, so he’s still married. He storms into his ex-but-apparently-still-current wife’s barber shop to see if he can put an end to the mess.Josephine Mitchell had a hard enough time getting over Noah, but when he comes back into her life, out of the blue, months after he broke her heart, she doesn’t know how to handle him. Trying to patch up the mess she’s made, she gets new papers and brings them up to his mountain house to save him a trip to town. Only, she doesn’t plan on being snowed in with the man who wants nothing more than to get her out of his hair.Are hope and reconciliation possible? Can this couple learn to bridge the gap that their anger has caused and learn to understand the other better? How do previous hurts and disappointments play into a current relationship?I really enjoyed this story. Yes, the plot was slightly predictable, but the characters and their struggles were memorable and relatable. I would highly recommend, but probably just to adults, as it does contain some hard topics. It’s definitely a story worth reading.Thank you to Thomas Nelson publishers and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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  • Barb Klein
    March 15, 2017
    I’m not usually one that likes to read contemporary romance novels because the plots seem to follow certain patterns and I get bored with them. However, “Sweetbriar Cottage’ by Denise Hunter was a surprise exception. Noah Mitchell has given up his job to move to a horse ranch outside of town after a particularly painful divorce. It has been three years and he has not gotten over his ex-wife’s deception, but is still trying. Enter the IRS. Noah receives a letter regarding his tax return and upon I’m not usually one that likes to read contemporary romance novels because the plots seem to follow certain patterns and I get bored with them. However, “Sweetbriar Cottage’ by Denise Hunter was a surprise exception. Noah Mitchell has given up his job to move to a horse ranch outside of town after a particularly painful divorce. It has been three years and he has not gotten over his ex-wife’s deception, but is still trying. Enter the IRS. Noah receives a letter regarding his tax return and upon delving into the matter finds that the divorce was never finalized. He blames his ex, Josephine, for not following through and making sure all the “t’s” were crossed and the “i’s” dotted.He confronts her in her place of business and she promises to take care of it. He is not happy about the delay. He wants it done with. Josephine decides to help him out by delivering the court papers to his cottage in the mountains, not realizing that the weather is closing in. She becomes stranded there for the duration of the storm, while Noah keeps his distance and his attitude surly. Circumstances occur which cause them to venture out in the storm, where they become stranded in the freezing weather. Their unwanted togetherness causes them to reconnect and they find that their attraction for one another has not diminished. Josephine is on the verge of death from hypothermia and opens her heart to Noah. Ms. Hunter does not sugar-coat the character or personality of either Noah or Josie. She gives the reader a great insight to what can be solved if each party just listens to each other.I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com but no review was required. You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-pN, and also other reviews on my blog at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.
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  • Nikki
    May 30, 2017
    I LOVED this book. I love Denise Hunter and think her books are great but this one is a big departure from her usual writing. This is not a sweet, Christian novel with flowers and rainbows. While it's not quite dark and gritty compared to her other books this is. There is no silly mistake that can easily be glossed over or some dark past that isn't really delved into. The sin is real, the mistakes are huge and the past is fully looked at. I love that these heavy topics, infidelity, sexual abuse, I LOVED this book. I love Denise Hunter and think her books are great but this one is a big departure from her usual writing. This is not a sweet, Christian novel with flowers and rainbows. While it's not quite dark and gritty compared to her other books this is. There is no silly mistake that can easily be glossed over or some dark past that isn't really delved into. The sin is real, the mistakes are huge and the past is fully looked at. I love that these heavy topics, infidelity, sexual abuse, divorce, healing are not just thrown in but are looked at and handled as best possible. Noah and Josie both grow and change throughout this book. The story is told a lot through flashbacks, something that can become annoying in a novel but this was handled well so that it really made the story. I loved the parallels hinted at between Josie and Noah's horse, it was insulting or demeaning but the wounded horse needing a gentle hand, that's Josie. I received this book free from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for my honest opinion.
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  • Melena Torretta
    May 27, 2017
    Noah and Josephine thought they had gotten a divorce a year and a half ago, but due to a missing signature they are still married.When Josephine tries to expedite the process of refiling the papers to help Noah she gets stuck at his house when a huge snow storm rolls in. They go through a number of both frustrating and sweet moments as they try to come to terms with why their marriage ended and how they feel about each other now.While you get both Noah and Josephine's points of view, I think tha Noah and Josephine thought they had gotten a divorce a year and a half ago, but due to a missing signature they are still married.When Josephine tries to expedite the process of refiling the papers to help Noah she gets stuck at his house when a huge snow storm rolls in. They go through a number of both frustrating and sweet moments as they try to come to terms with why their marriage ended and how they feel about each other now.While you get both Noah and Josephine's points of view, I think that you learn a lot more about Josephine and how her past has shaped her world view and feelings of self worth.I liked the faith aspect of the story as Noah is a man of God and prays often. It didn't feel forced or like Noah's actions were contradictory to how important his faith was to him.I have read a few of Denise Hunter's other books and while Sweetbriar Cottage isn't my favorite, I did enjoy it quite a bit.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Heidi
    May 9, 2017
    This is a different story premise than the author's typical novel, and I applaud her efforts for wading into the complex topic of infidelity. I love that she handled it with such grace and truth, creating two broken, wounded characters who seemed (in the beginning), like they'd never find healing. The hurt was almost palpable--brilliant characterization on Denise Hunter's part. I really loved that Noah struggled so with forgiveness, yet wanted desperately to redeem their wrecked marriage. Josie' This is a different story premise than the author's typical novel, and I applaud her efforts for wading into the complex topic of infidelity. I love that she handled it with such grace and truth, creating two broken, wounded characters who seemed (in the beginning), like they'd never find healing. The hurt was almost palpable--brilliant characterization on Denise Hunter's part. I really loved that Noah struggled so with forgiveness, yet wanted desperately to redeem their wrecked marriage. Josie's past is filled with pain and circumstances that are heartbreaking, and I loved that the author used a real-life scenario to offer a hopeful message to a hurting world. Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the complimentary advance copy.
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  • Christie
    May 17, 2017
    Sweetbriar Cottage was too predictable of a read. The storyline felt very familiar - exes find out that they're still married, dominoes fall and they find their way back to each other. Josie had a tough childhood that shaped her adolescence and her current defense mechanisms, especially in her relationships with men. Noah is able to break through some of her walls, but she was never able to fully open up to him during their marriage. Prior insecurities and doubts crept in and she self-sabotaged. Sweetbriar Cottage was too predictable of a read. The storyline felt very familiar - exes find out that they're still married, dominoes fall and they find their way back to each other. Josie had a tough childhood that shaped her adolescence and her current defense mechanisms, especially in her relationships with men. Noah is able to break through some of her walls, but she was never able to fully open up to him during their marriage. Prior insecurities and doubts crept in and she self-sabotaged.There are some sweet moments but the story was one I feel I've read/seen before... more than once (the movie Sweet Home Alabama, Hallmark's Autumn Dreams, and even in Hunter's own Married til Monday).Overall a quick, light read but a bit of a disappointment. Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for this eARC.
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  • Chesney
    May 16, 2017
    I was not expecting the emotion from this book. I have always enjoyed Denise Hunter's novels. The tension between the two characters is always my favorite. This is about a couple who find out after a period of time their divorce was not finalized. You learn how they met and why their relationship fizzled. I felt so bad for Josephine even though I had not experienced her childhood trauma. Noah and Josephine work to overcome their emotional battle and I was happy to see the end results. While not I was not expecting the emotion from this book. I have always enjoyed Denise Hunter's novels. The tension between the two characters is always my favorite. This is about a couple who find out after a period of time their divorce was not finalized. You learn how they met and why their relationship fizzled. I felt so bad for Josephine even though I had not experienced her childhood trauma. Noah and Josephine work to overcome their emotional battle and I was happy to see the end results. While not a favorite, I still enjoy Denise Hunter's writing style. Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book. 3.5 stars.
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  • Nicole
    May 9, 2017
    When I read the sypnosis for this book I thought it sounded like "Married till Monday " by the same author. But while it did have slimilarities, I thought this one stood on its own very well.A couple who is on the edge of divorce are thrust together buy circumstances beyond thier control.Denise Hunter can write tension and attraction very well. She proves in this book that she can write about the hard things in life too. I appreciate and author that illustrates how we need to look to God for hop When I read the sypnosis for this book I thought it sounded like "Married till Monday " by the same author. But while it did have slimilarities, I thought this one stood on its own very well.A couple who is on the edge of divorce are thrust together buy circumstances beyond thier control.Denise Hunter can write tension and attraction very well. She proves in this book that she can write about the hard things in life too. I appreciate and author that illustrates how we need to look to God for hope in our darkest times.
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  • JoAnn
    May 11, 2017
    I received an ARC via NetGalley. This is my unbiased review. I love Denise Hunter's books and Sweetbriar Cottage was no no exception. The book is a beautifully written story of second chances at romance. The book has a good plot and I loved the North Georgia mountain setting. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Kathy
    May 25, 2017
    4.5 stars.
  • Cindy
    May 19, 2017
    Read, unrated pre-2016
  • Kelly Hodgkins
    May 1, 2017
    Denise Hunter’s style of writing encourages me to read her novels in one sitting, this one is no different. I escaped from a flare-up of my CRPS into this world of well-rounded characters and thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and it’s swift pace. I love the story starting in the midst of a marriage rather than the traditional romance beginning when the couple first interact. The only detraction is the moving back and forth in time, we begin in the conflict the two characters are experience and th Denise Hunter’s style of writing encourages me to read her novels in one sitting, this one is no different. I escaped from a flare-up of my CRPS into this world of well-rounded characters and thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and it’s swift pace. I love the story starting in the midst of a marriage rather than the traditional romance beginning when the couple first interact. The only detraction is the moving back and forth in time, we begin in the conflict the two characters are experience and then flip to the two first getting to know each other and, on occasion, even further back into Josephine’s history. I can see the value of this in making each character more relatable and the reader more empathetic but personally don’t enjoy it as much as the linear journeys. Aside from that, a great book and well worth reading! 4 out 5 on the en-JOY-meant scale!
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  • Sarah
    April 19, 2017
    Well-written story of redemption, love, and second chances. The premise of Noah and Josephine finding out that their divorce was never finalized, and then fighting their feelings and their mistakes to try again was interesting. But Josephine's past was a little more than I expected, and not in a good way. It also seemed like she and Noah reconciled too quickly after years of discord and silence. The reconciliation was sweet, though, and a happy ending is always welcome!
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