Honeysuckle Dreams – Denise Hunter – Thomas Nelson – Published 1 May 2018
After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.
Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.
Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.
As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.
Honeysuckle Dreams is the second novel in the Blue Ridge Romance series (third if you consider the loosely related companion novel, Sweetbriar Cottage). Honeysuckle Dreams shares with these sister books a sweetly romantic story of second chances, facing fears and finding happily ever after.
Hope Daniels would do just about anything for her friend Brady Collins. So when Brady’s life is turned upside down and he faces losing the custody rights of his young son, Hope shocks herself by agreeing to a marriage of convenience. What starts as a way to hopefully secure Brady and Sam’s future, slowly begins to morph into something more as Hope and Brady spend more time together and begin to integrate their lives.
There’s just something about a marriage of convenience romance. Perhaps because it reminds me of mail order marriages from the western frontier (I rather like a good historical romance). Or maybe because this is a romance novel after all, and I know there is going to be a happy ending. In any case, the marriage of convenience in Honeysuckle Dreams was both romantic and fun.
Hope and Brady have been friends for years and it shows in their lively banter, gentle teasing and genuine enjoyment of each other’s company. It’s not a bad place from which to start a marriage. However, both Brady and Hope have suffered many hurts over the years, and, as they overcome some of the challenges that they face and start to fall into the routine of married life, those fears from the past start to rise to the surface.
Honeysuckle Dreams was such fun. It was all too easy to suspend any doubts I might have had about the likelihood that the events of the novel would play out in such a way in ‘real life’. But this is a work of fiction, so who cares about likely or real life. I truly enjoyed Hope and Brady’s relationship. Their friendship was solid and one of good humour, so it was fun to hang with them, especially as they tested the waters of their growing feelings for each other. Baby Sam also added another layer to the story, as did the depth of fear and hurt with which Brady and Hope both struggled.
Honeysuckle Dreams can be read as a stand-alone novel, though readers of the first book and the companion novel, Sweetbriar Cottage, will enjoy the character crossover. The characters from the third book, Jack and Daisy, also make an appearance in Honeysuckle Dreams, and I can’t wait to read their story.
Honeysuckle Dreams is a sweet, fun and romantic novel, and it touches on timeless themes of second chances, facing one’s fears of the past, and taking a risk on love.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Marriage of convenience, Marriage, Relationships, Custody, Parenting, Fear, Faith, Friendship.
Published: 1 May 2018 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.