About the Book
Book: Carolina Breeze
Series: Bluebell Inn Romance #2
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2020
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 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 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.
This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.
Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter is my idea of the perfect contemporary romance. I absolutely loved and enjoyed every minute of this story. This book has it all — an excellent plotline that’s highly engaging (I truly could not put this book down); wonderful characters who deal with unique, but relatable conflicts; and, timely themes. This book also employs my most favorite trope ever: the out-of-his-league girl who falls for the small-town guy. I adore this trope, and Ms. Hunter utilizes it perfectly in this story. Carolina Breeze is a home run, and I truly cannot recommend this novel enough.
Mia, the heroine of Carolina Breeze, is the out-of-his-league girl. She really does seem to have it all: a fantastic Hollywood career, money and prestige, and insanely good looks. And, she can take this excellentness one step further because she also has a pretty serious relationship with God. She is the whole package! But, while on the outside Mia seems like she has it all, she really struggles with loneliness, belonging, and allowing herself to trust. From a young girl, it appears everyone uses Mia to get what they want or need, and then dump her like yesterday’s garbage. She longs for a real relationship and a real family all her own, but how can she let down her guard and trust when so many have let her down so badly?
My heart really hurt for Mia. There were several times my mama-heart cried out and I wanted to hug her, especially after Levi’s seeming rejection. My most favorite moment in this story came when Mia pours her heart out to her friend, Sophie. Mia wants so desperately to be someone’s priority. She wants someone who looks at her and thinks, “Mia, you’re worthy of my time and attention.” Sophie compassionately reminds Mia that she already is Someone’s priority and that Someone is the greatest Someone that’s ever been. In a moment of crystal-clear realization, it hits Mia like a ton of bricks — she’s been acting as if God is not enough for her. With this new understanding, Mia is able to gather herself emotionally and is able to reprioritize her life to be more God-centered.
I adore Mia’s character. She’s an out-of-his-league girl for sure, but really she is just like me. I’ve been there before — whiny and lonely, only able to see what I don’t have. Desperately needing to refocus and reprioritize my life to be on God’s path. Needing His forgiveness, and then needing His guidance. What a fantastic and unique way to make the super popular, super pretty girl someone I can relate to! Seriously, Carolina Breeze is an exemplary novel.
Carolina Breeze is an all-around excellent story. The relationship that blooms between Mia and Levi is lovely — it’s sweet, it’s genuine, and it’s a bit steamy! I also love that I got to see more of Molly and Adam from Lake Season. And, the mystery surrounding the Carolina Breeze necklace adds an extra layer of awesomeness to this already awesome story. Carolina Breeze is a story I truly recommend. Add it to your TBR lists, pre-order your copy today, and when it releases in May I hope you devour it with as much gusto as I did.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.