Title: Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter
A Riverbend Romance Book Two
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 333 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
When a handsome handyman faces a medical emergency on the Appalachian trail, his sudden appearance in town challenges an ambitious doctor’s plan to remain single for life.
Avery Robinson decided to be a physician after helplessly watching her mother lose a battle with a terrible disease. Now at risk of developing the same illness, Avery guards her heart from love. She’s driven to protect her loved ones as a workaholic doctor in the tiny mountain town of Riverbend Gap, North Carolina.
Contractor Wes Garrett is hiking the Appalachian trail, in memory of the man who died saving his life, when an illness racks his body. After an agonizing fifteen-mile hike to Avery’s clinic, he collapses on her doorstep. He recovers to find himself in debt again—but this time to a beautiful doctor.
When he decides to help her renovate a rundown carriage house, the obstacles to their attraction sprout like weeds—starting with the woman waiting for Wes at the end of the trail. Will he be able to relinquish the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?
This second book in Denise Hunter’s popular Riverbend Romance series explores what it might be like to live fearlessly and free.
Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter is a thought-provoking, faith-based romance.
Dr. Avery Robinson returned to Riverbend, NC to set up her practice and be near her family. She has accomplished many of her goals by her thirtieth birthday but she is looking for another doctor to join her clinic. Avery’s single-minded focus on medicine has helped her maintain her no relationship decision. She has also avoided her friends’ attempts to set up her with eligible men. Avery’s family health history is the reason she does not plan to marry or have children but her family has a difficult time respecting her wishes. Will her unexpected patient Wes Matthews change her mind?
Wes is thru hiking the portion of the Appalachian Trail that in honor of his deceased friend, Landon. As soon as he completes the hike, he plans to keep the promise he made to Landon to take care of his sister Lillian. But an unanticipated illness brings him to Avery’s doorstep. Short on money, Wes works off his debt to her by renovating her carriage apartment. Wes is surprised by how much he enjoys Avery’s company, but will he change his plans to move to Lillian’s hometown in order to honor his promise?
Wes and Avery have an immediate connection and their time together is a welcome reprieve for the usual solitary evenings. Wes keeps in touch with Lillian as his time in Riverbend lengthens. Avery continues to remain resolute in her choice to not marry or have children. Underlying their growing friendship is a simmering attraction they work hard to ignore. Avery’s reason for remaining single is understandable but will love make a difference? Wes has a strong desire to repay Landon’s sacrifice by caring for Lillian, but is there another way to fulfill his promise?
Mulberry Hollow is a heartwarming romance with an idyllic setting. Wes is an honorable man whose choices are dictated by guilt. Avery is a caring and compassionate woman but her fears are preventing her from living life to its fullest. The storyline is engaging and easy to relate to. The secondary characters are well-developed and quite appealing. Wes and Avery’s future together is far from certain as Denise Hunter brings this delightfully charming romance to a heartfelt conclusion. A Riverbend Romance series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend book one as well.