Book Review -Sweetbriar Cottage


When Josephine & Noah met it was love at first sight. They were blissfully happy together until Josephine’s past reared its’ ugly head. Now two years later, they are both surprised to find the divorce Josephine filed for was never finalized. Noah is angry since it just seems another betrayal by the woman he loved.

When Josephine decides to drop by his house for a signature on the new papers, they both end up trapped by a winter storm in his cottage. With the past a seemingly insurmountable obstacle between them, they are forced to spend several days together in a close quarters. This unexpected challenge forces them to wrestle with the unresolved issues and feelings between them.  And the storm outside can’t compare with the one inside.


Historical fiction is always my first choice but there is a reason contemporary author Denise Hunter is on my auto-buy list. In fact, I’ve been a loyal reader since she published one of her first books Mending Places and made me feel sympathy for a very un-heroic hero.

Hunter’s writes beautiful love stories with flawed people that any reader can relate to. She handles sensitive, unpleasant topics with grace and compassion, taking her characters on a journey to healing and redemption. Somehow in spite of writing about deeply emotional issues, the stories themselves don’t wallow in the darkness, but allow the light to rescue both the reader and the characters.

Sweetbriar Cottage is no exception and another endearing book from this talented author. This reader could relate easily to the anger, fear and caution they feel towards each other.  A divorce may end a marriage but it doesn’t necessarily end the ties and complex issues between the couple.

At first Noah’s responses towards Josephine seem overly harsh, but as their story unfolds it makes much more sense. Even though she made some very poor decisions, the reader is still able to feel compassion for Josie as her past is revealed.  Once again after reading a Hunter novel I am reminded to give people the benefit of the doubt, to extend grace and understanding. We never really know what another person may have experienced that might cause them to act in a way that annoys or offends us.


Fans of Denise Hunter will love her latest offering, Sweetbriar Cottage. And if you’ve never read her stories before than pick this one up and experience it for yourself.

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