Sunday, April 18, 2021

Bookshop by the Sea

 Title: Bookshop by the Sea

Author: Denise Hunter

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre: Romance


Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.

When an advancing hurricane strands Aiden in Piper’s Cove after the wedding, he finds the hotels booked to capacity and has to ask Sophie to put him up until the storm passes. As the two ride out the weather, old feelings rise to the surface. The delay also leaves Sophie with mere days to get her bookshop up and running. Can she trust Aiden to stick around? And will he find the courage to risk his heart?

My Review:

Denise Hunter is a highly skilled contemporary fiction/romance writer. Her books are clean, engaging, and always have a happily ever after. I decided to read Bookshop by the Sea simply from the cover design. I did not read what it was because I LOVE books and enjoy reading about bookshops/libraries or anything else that has to do with literacy. Of course, this book did not disappoint.

From the first line, "Eleven months had not been long enough to prepare Sophie Lawson for the sight of him" I was completely captivated. I had all kinds of questions and the only way I was going to find the answers was by reading on! 

The reader gets to know Sophie and Aiden by the story alternating between their perspectives. Sophie is the mother figure to her siblings, caring, empathetic, and oblivious to the ways that they take advantage of her. She struggles with trust and abandonment issues, but she is working hard to have her own life after being a caregiver for many years. Her dreams are finally about to come true as she works to get her bookshop open. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, she struggles to meet her deadline.

Aiden is the dreamy, dare-devil, run from commitment type. He left Sophie once to chase after his dreams. When a hurricane strands him in Piper's Cove he is forced to reconnect with Sophie. As they spend time together the wall that Sophie has built to keep Aiden out starts to thaw. She reveals things from the past that he had no clue about and he is hurt that Sophie had not trusted him at the time to share the details. Aiden is dealing with his own abandonment and trust issues and when Sophie is hurt, he decides to stay to help her get her bookstore off the ground. Unfortunately, Aidan once again runs when his fears get the best of him.

"But when you give fear a voice, it's louder than logic or reality. It overshadows everything you know to be true, and all you can hear are the lies you fear most."

I enjoyed this book immensely. I was surprised when a character from a different book made an appearance and had to go back and see if this book was part of a series. It is not, it is a standalone novel, and it was great fun for the character to make an appearance here! The dynamics between Sophie and her family are so real and relatable. The relationship that Sophie had with her mom and Aiden has with his dad, had me longing for a better relationship with my parents. I absolutely adored the way the residents of Piper's welcomed Sophie into their community.

A heart-warming, second-chance romance sure to engage and delight avid romance readers. From the engaging characters, witty dialogue, and slow-burn romance you will have a hard time putting this one down.

Thank you to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to give a positive review but I am happy to be able to do so. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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