Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Review - - Carolina Breeze

Carolina Breeze
by Denise Hunter
Bluebell Inn - Book 2
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything
Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and celebrity scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.
Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the precarious financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.
When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

PJ's Thoughts:

Denise Hunter returns to one of my favorite places - Western North Carolina - for this second book in her heartwarming Bluebell Inn series. As with book one in the series, Lake Season, I was immediately immersed into the fabric of the Bennett family and their newly renovated and reopened Bluebell Inn. Hunter brings them all to life on the page as well as the beautiful lake and mountains surrounding them. 

In book one, Levi is a bit of a taskmaster but in this story the author delves deeper into his character, allowing us to discover the layers beneath the surface and the motivating factors driving him. I enjoyed watching him begin to relax and find enjoyment in the friendship, and gradually deepening emotions, that slowly build between him and Mia. I also appreciated that Hunter didn't make Mia a stereotypical starlet but, rather, gave us a multi-layered, genuinely likable woman with relatable issues. I liked her and was in her corner the whole way. There's no sex on the page between these two but there's enough flirtation and simmering emotion to fully buy into their attraction. The relationship they form is built on a solid foundation of friendship, faith, desire, shared values, and enduring love. I happily accompanied them every step of the way.  

The Bennett family dynamics are a central focus of this series as they work together to turn their late parents' dream of creating the Bluebell Inn into reality. It's heartwarming to watch their journeys as the siblings breathe new life into not only their home but also their family unit, as well as their individual lives. I'm enjoying Hunter's parallel journeys of rebirth and renewal. And, I have to say, as the oldest of five children, she really nails the sibling dynamic. I'm enjoying getting to know the siblings better in each book and am already eager for youngest child Grace's story, Autumn Skies, to be released in October.  

Do you read any faith-based romances?

Any authors or books you'd like to recommend?


  1. I read some occasionally - enjoy Love Inspired - Linda Goodnight's books, especially Redemption River series and also enjoyed Valerie Hansen - Blessings of the Heart.

    1. I've read - and enjoyed - some of Linda Goodnight's books. I met her at a conference several years back. She was very nice. She and I also have one of those odd, random connections. During my 10-year volunteer stint at the hospital in the town where I used to live, my volunteer "partner" at the lobby info desk was a lady who, surprise, is the mother of Linda Goodnight's best friend. Small world, eh? ;-)

  2. Sounds very good thank you for the review

  3. This sounds like a wonderful story. I do read faith based stories. Thank you so much for the review. I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

  4. I love Dani Pettrey's romantic suspense books.


  5. Many of the faith based books I read are historicals. One of my favorites is Karen Witemeyer. Her covers are lovely and reflect the characters and story well. Favorite are the first I read, A TAYLOR-MADE BRIDE, and TO WIN HER HEART. Other favorites are Mary Connealy, Deeanne Gist, and Tracie Peterson.

  6. I'm a big fan of Denise Hunter, so I'm excited to pick this one up. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours