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Blue Ridge Sunrise ~ Review

Blue Ridge Sunrise
Blue Ridge Romance #1
By Denise Hunter

Five years ago Zoe Collins made a decision that she has had to live - one that took her away from her family and Copper Creek. But when Granny dies unexpectedly Zoe is left feeling the loss in ways she never expected. But Granny knew that Zoe needed to return to the place that she once called home and leaving the peach orchard that Zoe used to love working on to her just might be what is needed to bring her home for good.

But returning to Copper Creek means facing her past and the pain that she left behind and facing Cruz Huntley once again. And then there is Gracie the daughter that no one in Copper Creek has ever met. Can her daughter help her reconnect with her brother and her father or will this be yet another wedge to drive them further apart?

But Zoe is determined to keep the legacy left to her regardless of pressure from her boyfriend, Kyle, to sell. But with loans to pay back and a not too great growing season can she hope to hold the orchard? When she is offered a possibility to make a greater profit on her harvest Zoe sees hope for her future, but first, she must confront the secret that drove her from home.

Now Blue Ridge Sunrise as a title has such a beautiful sound to it and one would expect a story equal to such a title. Zoe is her own worst enemy, yes her dad has problems with her, but she is (or was) someone who decided what she wanted and when she wanted it. In fact, Zoe's very stubbornness is what finds her in her current situation separated from friends and family and kowtowing to a real jerk of a boyfriend. Worse she comes home and continues keeping secrets that are a further wedge in her already fragile relationships. And Zoe is somewhat manipulative, disregarding the opinion of others, and determined to do things her way. I can't say I feel too much empathy for Zoe, she more than anything annoys me. Cruz is okay, but he is too easily manipulated by Zoe. Yes, both of them are young but time doesn't seem to mature them too much in the five years between Zoe's escape and return. I think, character-wise, I prefer Zoe's brother Brady, who I hope gets a bigger role in the next book.

Don't get me wrong the book isn't bad, it's just that the two main characters just really annoy me with their hard-headedness. A whole lotta trouble could have been avoided if they could have talked and listened. And did I mention I love the cover - I would love to step into said orchard and pick a few. Now one thing this book lacks is reference to God or faith so if you are looking for Christian fiction (as the Library of Congress cataloging data states) you will be disappointed in this Thomas Nelson offering.

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

About the Book:
Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love. 

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