Published by Thomas Nelson on June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Also by this author: Blue Ridge Sunrise, Honeysuckle Dreams, Honeysuckle Dreams, On Magnolia Lane
Purchase on: Amazon, Walmart, Target, Books A Million, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble
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?
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Imagine being divorced and receiving a letter from the IRS that you improperly filed as single on your taxes. That is exactly what Noah and Josephine Mitchell experience in Denise Hunter’s standalone title Sweetbriar Cottage.
Before I even get to the actual story, can we take a look at the cover of this book? Does’t the cottage with the lights in the tree and the beautiful sky just invite you into this story?
Besides Denise Hunter being the obvious reason to pick up this book, the cover painted a beautiful backdrop that piqued my interest even more in this story.
Now, think back to the situation Noah and Josephine are in. They find out their divorce was never finalized and are actually married. Someone let the ball drop on finishing up the paperwork, so there is anger and frustration now added to the mix of shock and panic.
To make matters worse, Josephine gets stuck at Noah’s house because of a snow storm. Now the two are forced to be in the same building while tensions are high.
As the story progresses, we are bounced between the past love story between Noah and Josephine and their current situation. Normally I don’t care for books that bounce around like this, but Denise did an excellent job with this. I actually enjoyed finding out about their love story and how they met. I found their past to be interesting.
Josephine also has a story of hurt and my heart went out to her. We learn more about her near the end of the story and Denise did an great job of making me feel for the characters and their situations.
I enjoyed the uniqueness of this story. I found the concept of Noah and Josephine being divorced and then forced to be together an interesting spin. On top of that, the situations that followed created an engaging storyline that I didn’t want to stop reading.
I was really excited to find out that Denise’s next book, Blue Ridge Sunrise is a spinoff from this book. I’m not exactly sure what that will be, but I’m hoping to reconnect with Noah and Josephine in that book.