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Sweetbriar Cottage ~ Review

Sweetbriar Cottage
By Denise Hunter

For the last 18 months, Noah Mitchell has been divorced.  Betrayed by his wife Josephine he wasted no time filing and signing the paperwork. Unfortunately, Josephine messed up and the divorce was never finalized. Thanks to the IRS this not so little mistake comes to light and totally ruins Noah's day and his general disposition, which admittedly hasn't been the best since his break from Josie.

 The last thing Josie needs is having more face time with her not-so-ex ex, but she thought they were done with everything. But she's determined to expedite rectifying her mistake even if it means taking the new divorce papers up to Noah's ranch. But Josie's best intentions are about to strand her at Noah's when a winter storm makes an unexpected spring visit to Georgia.

The story shifts between the present day and key moments in the past that contributed to Noah and Josephine's marriage and divorce. Secrets and betrayals are at the heart of their pain and until they can acknowledge them and allow healing to come they will both be trapped by their failures.

In a small way, Sweetbriar Cottage reminds me of  Hosea and yet it is much more than just a modernized fictional retelling of this Biblical book. This is a story of unconditional love and the truth that it cannot be found within the human heart. But unconditional love can be found in God and experienced through His grace and mercy.

This is a book that will leave the reader emotionally moved as one experiences the pain of betrayal that both Noah and Josephine suffer even as their love still is glimpsed at unguarded moments. God gives second chances and this is just such a moment for these two hurting people.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations of a positive review. All expressed opinions are my own.

About the Book:

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never 
actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.
Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.
But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.
As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?