Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter
(Thomas Nelson 2017)

This book struck a balance between the pros and cons. In my opinion, although the writing was solid, there were instances where delivery of the art was lacking.

Denise Hunter, in the vein of Song of Solomon, portrayed the sensuality and physical attraction between a married couple. Although these two were in the process of finalizing the divorce, the attraction was still there. The author toed the line (according to Christian fiction standards), never quite stepping over it, when it came to describe the lust, love, and attraction between the characters. There might have been one instance where a reader would say that God's name was taken in vain, but it depends on how the sentence is read.

The faith wasn't as strong in Sweetbriar Cottage as it were in her earlier books. Gladly, there were no more usage of mildly crude language that had appeared in some previous works.

Denise Hunter handled a very sensitive topic well, although I had wished for a little more depth to the subject. To me, a reader needed to know that Josephine's past attack was what spurred her behavior all those years prior to her relationship with Noah. We see a little bit of it in the masterfully way the author handled the flashbacks; but, I felt as though the reader needed to see more of her brokenness in order to understand her doubts and fears.

The one pet peeve that I had with the book was the use of "much obliged". I have never known a late 20s to mid 30s (not even a 40s) Southern man or woman use the term "much obliged". Even though it's Southern, that phrase has fallen out of favor and usage. Thankfully, it stopped before the halfway point.

I will say this about Sweetbriar Cottage: I liked the way the book was written. The story, although predictable, was a great way to show that faith in following God and exercising forgiveness. Not all stories are what they seem. There's always more to it, and this book is no exception. The style was more reminiscent of the older way of writing books, and that sometimes took the emotional impact away.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. The sensuality is nothing to be ashamed of in this book. It showed the beauty of a married couple who still loved each other. I wouldn't recommend it to a younger teenager, though.

For a while I stopped reading Denise Hunter's books, but this one may have opened the gate to reading a few more. 

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***I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange of an honest review*** 


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