Review: Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

Title: Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter
Blue Ridge Romance Series Book Two
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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 by Denise Hunter is an incredibly sweet and heartfelt marriage of convenience romance. This latest addition to the Blue Ridge Romance series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the entire series.

The best thing  to come out of Brady Collins’ marriage to his recently deceased ex-wife, Audrey, is their baby son, Sam.  To say that his life is turned upside down when he discovers his former in-laws are planning to sue for custody on the grounds that he is not Sam’s biological father would be an understatement.  When his lawyer erroneously concludes that Brady and his good friend, Hope Daniels, are engaged, they decide to keep up the pretense after the disappointing results of the paternity test. After Brady wins temporary custody in the months leading up the judge’s permanent ruling on the case, he and Hope decide their friendship is a strong basis for marriage. Both Brady and Hope carry wounds from previous relationships but since neither expects to fall in love, they are taken off guard when these unresolved issues upset their burgeoning relationship.

Given his history with his drug addicted mother, Brady’s discovery that Audrey tricked him into marriage is an unexpected blow. However, since he dearly loves Sam, he is upset but the trade off is worth the heartache. Brady genuinely cares for Hope and their easygoing friendship is a bright spot in his life, but he is surprised when she readily agrees to marry him.  Even more disconcerting is how easily they settle into married life together. In the weeks leading up their final court date, Brady is delighted by the change in their relationship but he is concerned about their future when he senses Hope is beginning to pull away from him.

Hope has not had a serious relationship since the very tragic end to her high school romance several years earlier.  She genuinely cares for Brady and she loves Sam so a marriage of convenience provides her the family she has dreamed of.  Since they love each other as friends but they are not in love, Hope will get everything she wants without risking her heart again. Hope’s minor concern about the future of her career is easily overcome so she is stunned when her old demons return after she and Brady take their marriage to the next level.

Since Brady and Hope have settled so easily into their new life, neither are expecting any real issues to arise after their “courtship” finally leads to intimacy between them. This change in status quo occurs simultaneously with Brady’s estranged mother reappearing in his life, a career opportunity for Hope and the final custody hearing.  Brady is taken off guard by Hope’s somewhat extreme choices when the dust settles around them and he is at a loss how to handle the unexpected situation. Will Hope finally talk to him about what has sparked such a drastic decision? Or is this the beginning of the end of their happy life together?

Despite some unnecessary drama and angst late in the story, Honeysuckle Dreams is an engaging romance that is very heartwarming. Brady is a wonderful man caught in a situation not of his making, yet he refuses to let hurt and anger control him. Hope is a lovely young woman who selflessly agrees to help a friend in need but refuses to take steps to help herself when her unresolved past unexpectedly resurfaces.  This newest addition to Denise Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series is a wholesome love story with a gentle undercurrent of faith that fans of the genre will enjoy.

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Filed under Blue Ridge Series, Christian, Contemporary, Denise Hunter, Honeysuckle Dreams, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Thomas Dunne Books, Thomas Nelson Publishing

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