Denise Hunter has once again mastered a heart-warming story with Sweetwater Gap, for it is bound to take every reader on a journey of forgiveness and unwanted love.
Josephine Mitchells is running from the ghosts of her past. Her oppressive childhood memories of rejection and unworthiness resulted in her living a lonely life disconnected from her family, allowing no-one into her heart. However after a year of hearing nothing from her family since her father’s death, Nate, her sister’s husband, contacts her, begging for her much needed help on their failing family apple orchard, the birthplace of her haunting memories. Nonetheless, knowing that she ultimately has no other choice, she returns. But wait, there is more. Her close call to death causes her to confide in Grady, the man whose temptation she can’t wait to escape as he bitter-sweetly reminds her of what life could be like.
However Grady Mackenzie, the orchard’s manager, has a few ghosts of his own. His first failed marriage to Danielle dictates how he judges Josephine, causing him to resent her. This is especially so when he finds out that she plans on selling the orchard, the one place he hopes to one day own. But his handsome features, caring characteristic and integrity causes readers to overlook this aspect and fall head over heels in love with him too.
I must say, Denise Hunter never disappoints!!! This heart-warming romance really makes a woman feel special and wanted. I must say that the romance was my favourite aspect of the whole novel 😛 The gradual attraction Grady and Josie possessed caused a lot of friction, especially regarding the orchard. However because each was unconsciously attracted to the other it made for real intimate moments, and the kisses they share really make you weak to the bone! I love it how books allow us readers to know what is going on inside each character’s head!
Hunter really knows how to create characters that evoke sympathy. Josie has been through so much in her life. The way she is punishing herself really makes you want to help her and let her know that she has a friend. But her personality is also great. Her passion for photography really suits her character, as does being in the country picking apples. Her carefree and easy going attitude was something I really admired as I know I share that trait.
Same applies with Grady, who has gentle soul, but guards his heart. However rightfully so, making you more attracted to him for you want him to find happiness again, as well as someone who will love and treasure him. His care towards Josie is really humbling, making me wish to one day find a man just like him 🙂
Despite all this I was also encouraged and touched with the slight Christian message of why Jesus died on the cross- he who was sinless dying to take the sins of many. The analogy Hunter uses really touched me because it could easily apply to many in this day and age, and certainly me! It made me question if I would readily sacrifice my life, regardless of how much I liked the person. I would like to think that I would.
Sweetwater Gap is overall a lovely romance novel that every romanticist should one day read.