About the Book
Book: Mulberry Hollow
Series: Riverbend #2
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 19, 2022
Contractor Wes Mathews is nearly finished hiking the Appalachian Trail in honor of his recently deceased best friend when he falls terribly ill. He stumbles into the nearest town and soon finds himself indebted to the beautiful young doctor who owns the clinic. In lieu of payment, he proposes a trade that will keep him in town—and away from obligations to his best friend’s sister—for several weeks.
But as Avery and Wes spend time together, their friendship begins moving into unexpected territory. Soon they both begin to question their plans for the future. But will Wes be able to let go of the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?
Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter is an excellent read that I devoured in what feels like minutes. The plot is highly engaging, and I was turning pages well into the night. I just did not want to put this book down. I love Wes and Avery. They are excellently crafted characters. Avery’s emotional struggles with a potentially life-altering diagnosis, her drive to protect and heal her community, and her devotion to always do what is right regardless of her happiness make her a very amazing woman. The way she feels and deals with the hard stuff makes her a very relatable woman, too. Then there is Wes. Oh, my stars, is he a swoony hero. He’s handsome and full of integrity and noble. He’s a little slow on matters of the heart, but once he gets there, boy oh boy does he get there! The chemistry between the two is instantaneous, but it never feels insta. Wes and Avery’s relationship feels as natural as a fictional romance can. And, yes, I cheered for them the entire time! And if this isn’t enough, I found the themes discussed quite relevant and timely. Overall, Mulberry Hollow is a wonderful read. I am so sad my time with this story is over.
There is a moment in the story where Avery contemplates her future. It is a very real possibility that she is a carrier for a very scary disease. So, she makes the decision to be single for the rest of her life. She struggles with the morality of bringing a romantic partner into her life because “why would she put someone she loved through, at best, an uncertain future and, at worse, a lingering, progressive illness that robbed her of dignity and life?” Of course, my heart hurt for Avery, but I also really wanted to shake her. As real life happens, I recently had a conversation with my mom about this kind of situation. This past Sunday was the anniversary of my dad’s death. My mom said such an amazing thing to me about my dad’s passing. She said, “Would I forego the 26 years of love and marriage and family just so I didn’t have to feel the pain and grief I’m experiencing now? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t give up one second with your dad just to escape the pain I feel today.” Yeah, I cried, but I was also super proud of my mom for coming to this realization. And this is what Avery needs to come to understand in Mulberry Hollow. Restricting her life and shutting her heart off to love because something hard and painful might come her way is no way to live. In fact, it’s really nothing more than being the walking dead. So, what does Avery do? Well, you’ll just have to purchase yourself a copy of this amazing story to find out! But I can say her final decision about her future will make your reader heart happy.
Mulberry Hollow is a truly wonderful story that I highly recommend. If you are a fan of Denise Hunter novels and/or you love brilliantly written Contemporary Romances, then this book is one you will not want to miss!
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.