Sweetwater Gap

Sweetwater Gap

4.2 22
by Denise Hunter
     
 

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A story of love and second chances. She wished she could go back and change things . . . but life doesn't give do-overs. Could anything but good-byes be waiting on the other side of Sweetwater Gap?

Josie Mitchell's sister Laurel thinks she's come home to pitch in with the apple harvest and save the family orchard. Her brother-in-law Nate thinks she's

Overview

A story of love and second chances. She wished she could go back and change things . . . but life doesn't give do-overs. Could anything but good-byes be waiting on the other side of Sweetwater Gap?

Josie Mitchell's sister Laurel thinks she's come home to pitch in with the apple harvest and save the family orchard. Her brother-in-law Nate thinks she's there to talk the overworked, very pregnant Laurel into finally selling the family business. The orchard's new manager Grady Mackenzie just thinks she's trouble with a capital T. They're all right . . . and all wrong. Because no one really knows what drove Josie from home in the first place. Why she's never come home before, even for her own father's funeral. Why she pushes herself so hard . . . and what she's running from. And nobody, not even Josie, is prepared for the surprising new fruit she'll find on her last trip home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A good kiss goes a long way, especially in a Christian romance novel that is surely free of much physical entanglement beyond the perfect smooch. Bestselling romance novelist Hunter, in her newest, offers the requisite great kiss and loads of tension between Josephine Mitchell, who returns to her family's Blue Ridge Orchard when her sister's pregnancy becomes a crisis, and Grady MacKenzie, the orchard manager, who doesn't trust Josie for a minute. There are secrets to be kept, guilt to overcome, past heartbreak to repair-all fodder for a good romance. The author adds more weight than usual as Josie's guilt over an accident in her past threatens her very life, but like all good romances, everything is tied up at the end. And even though the tale becomes overwrought as Hunter plumbs the depths of Josie and Grady's thoughts and introduces a plethora of side plots (Aunt Lola's pie; Alzheimer's suffered by the father of Josie's childhood friend; Josie's father) this Women of Faith Fiction title is sure to grab readers by the heart. (Dec.)

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Library Journal

Josie, a photographer, is less than thrilled when she is called to return home to Shelbyville, NC, and her family's Blue Ridge Orchard, but she decides to try to convince the family to sell the apple orchard. She immediately clashes with orchard manager Grady MacKenzie, but she eventually develops an appreciation for his quiet strength and lifestyle. Hunter's latest offering (after Surrender Bay) is a predictable love story with the usual stock plot elements of a big city girl who returns to her roots only to discover the important things in life. Still, it is a good tale that will appeal to female readers. Recommended for CF and for women's fiction collections.


—Tamara Butler

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781418574000
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
12/16/2008
Sold by:
THOMAS NELSON
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
322
Sales rank:
150,263
File size:
933 KB

Meet the Author

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys. You can learn more about Denise through her website DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at facebook.com/authordenisehunter

 

 

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Sweetwater Gap 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
melissa_nicks More than 1 year ago
Great story about Gods healing and love!
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I expected this book to be good. I've read some of Denise Hunter's book and have really enjoyed her style and story lines. I was amazed at how much I really loved this book. Simple enough premise - two sisters grow up, one leaves home never to return because of past memories and the other stays to live her life there. Through a series of events the prodigal needs to return and help out. She does so reluctantly and then has to face her past as well as her future and see how God is going to work everything out... so if the concept is that simple then why did I absolutely love this book so much? Denise's writing style and her characters and her spiritual insight all come together in this book to make it a keeper. Whenever you have the chance to get one of Denise's books - do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Sometimes the person most difficult to forgive is yourself. This is the case with Josie, the protagonist, as she hides a guilty secret. This is an enjoyable read; in addition, a lesson on harvesting is included.

I learned a bit about growing apples with this romance novel. Sometimes, I almost felt as if I was standing on the ladder; smelling the apples; falling into the rhythm of "grab, twist, pull, bag;" and listening to the Mexican workers singing a happy tune. What a beautiful place an apple orchard must be!

I like the analogy drawn between two sacrifices. I can't say much more, or I'll give it away. I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. Happy reading.
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
Denise Hunter
Thomas Nelson, 2008
ISBN: 9781595542595
Reviewed by Connie Haycraft for ReviewYourBook.com, 10/08
4 Stars
Inspiring¿
A young woman returns to her roots to help her sister and brother-in-law in a time of need. While there, she resists falling in love with the hired help, because she thinks she is dying and because of things that haunt her from the past. She feels responsible for the death of a young friend years ago. Through the patience, understanding, and prayers of her family and co-worker, she finally finds the peace she needs to get her life back. She discovers her illness is treatable and allows herself to fall in love.
Sweetwater gap is a book that grabs the reader¿s attention and holds it to the end. This inspiring tale is sure to please fans of Christian fiction. The characters are endearing. The lessons to be learned from this story are excellent.
davisbarker More than 1 year ago
It was just OK
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
Denise Hunter has been one of my favorite authors ever since I first read Dancing with Fireflies, so as soon as I found an empty spot on my blog calendar, I hurried to fill it with one of her books. Once again, I wasn’t disappointed, as Sweetwater Gap has become one of my favorite novels. I cannot help but be drawn in whenever a book’s description makes it apparent that the story is full of secrets, just as this one does, so as soon as I picked it out to read and review this month, I couldn’t wait to read it. Happily, it more than met my expectations, just going to show I did well in picking Denise as one of my favorite authors. She weaved such a poignant tale of secrets, past hurts, and regrets that made me want to weep for many of the characters, especially Josie. Josie is so full of pain. I almost couldn’t stand it, especially as I got deeper into the story and learned why, and realized that some of it was self-inflicted, although she wouldn’t have known it. With so much heartache from her past, and even some that had begun when she was only a child, I almost couldn’t tell where the pain stopped and where Josie began. I cannot tell you just how sorry I felt for her, just how much I wish things had been different—someone had told her the truth and helped her to realize she was worth more than she thought—although it wouldn’t have been much of a story if someone had. Denise did a wonderful job of slowly bringing Josie’s secrets, her inner torment, to light for us readers while still having it remain unknown to the other characters, which made it easy to sympathize with Josie when her family unknowingly touched on a sore spot in her life. While many different elements play into my love for this book, the main point is the way the story ends. Though I don’t want to spoil anything for you, I will say that it is written perfectly, and reminds me of Dancing with Fireflies in a way. Obviously the same events do not occur, but Denise brings everything to a head, has something suspenseful happen, and then resolve the whole conflict in a way that is reminiscent of Dancing with Fireflies. I love the way an ending like that pulls you in, almost convincing you that maybe there won’t be a ‘happily ever after’, right before making everything just the way it should be. It is the opposite of predictable. Can I take another moment to dwell on how wonderfully heartwarming this story was? I have not read a novel that touched my heart more. The hurts these characters face are real, and completely believable, especially with the way Denise slowly brought them to light while giving you little glimpses into the hearts of those who carried them. As I got deeper and deeper into the story, I realized more and more just how realistic—and possible—Josie’s heartbreak was, and it caused every decision she made to make perfect sense. And, unlike many other romances, the hurt and fears that made Josie and Grady reluctant to give in to their growing feelings for one another never once felt forced, but rather played in perfectly to their stories and were perfectly valid reasons that anyone would face today. Denise did a wonderful job of weaving the characters’ heartbreaking pasts into a story that not only held your interest all through the conflict, but left you blessed as you made your way to the resolution, ending the book with peace and redemption. I cannot help but give such a touching, faith-filled tale all five bookshelves
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I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a love story without all the sex stuff, and christian beliefs.
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Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story that is destined to be one of Denise Hunter's best. I really feel like I got to know the characters and their plight throughout the story. Both Josie and Grant have been hurt from their past and are trying not to let it happen again. The chemistry between them is wonderful and I liked seeing their relationship grow as the story progressed. The description of the orchard was wonderful. I could see the fields with the apple trees, and I could smell and taste the apples themselves. I loved reading about the movies mentioned in the book. I agree with the pick of The Lake House as it is one of my favorite chick flicks and it's actually quite guy friendly. Even though Josie's dad is only described in flashbacks, I did not like him. I know I've never been in that situation, but I cannot stand it when a parent blames the child for the death of a spouse or other family member. I really hate seeing a child being punished for something they had absolutely no control over. It pained me to see how it affected Josie for the rest of her life, trying to please her dad and never being able to. However, while I felt dreadfully sorry for Josie and everything that happened in her past, I really wish she had just told her sister what was going on. I understand not wanting to tell her during the pregnancy but after that she should have. I don't get why people think that by keeping secrets they will spare the hurt. Like all Denise Hunter books, the story draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. While the book is a wonderful allegory of Christ's love, it is not a preachy novel. It's just a beautifully written story that will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished reading.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
My, my, Sweetwater Gap was a heartwarming romance that went well beyond my initial expectations. Denise Hunter writes great romance novels--and I expected that--but this was her best yet. Few authors do allegories well, and if you look at Sweetwater Gap and Surrender Bay from a purely allegorical point of view, it's impossible to not be impressed with the amazing job the author did with both of them.

I have never read a story with a more emotionally effective and believeable plot that exemplifies Christ's redemptive work on the cross related to our utter unworthiness of his sacrifice. Sweetwater Gap drives that point home in a fresh way and does so in a very effective and memorable manner. All I can say is...WOW. I can see why the Women of Faith picked up this book. It's perfect for that type of inspirational conference.

What amazed me most about this novel was the author's ability to take an utterly selfish and self-condemning act and make the reader totally see their own heart through the story. The character was sympathetic despite what she was doing. NOT an easy task. Ms. Hunter executed that perfectly. The story slowly revealed the conflict and at the same time revealed a little bit more and a little bit more of her heart, thus making for perfect characterization. And the slowly developing trust in their romantic relationship was so believeable and gratifying it will make you want to sigh as the hero and heroine take baby steps toward each other and risk their hearts. He had valid reasons for not trusting women, but it didn't feel contrived like it does in some romances. His issues seemed totally valid, as did hers.

In short, Sweetwater Gap was powerful, emotionally evocative, and the type of story that will not only touch your heart, but have you wanting to talk to your friends about the story because it was so incredibly well done. This is a book that I could even *gasp* read twice, and still enjoy every page. Did I mention that Denise Hunter writes amazing kissing scenes? They are always SO heart-engaging that they sweep me away EVERY time. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago