Sophie Lawson has always taken care of those around her. Seven years prior, after her mother is bedridden and her father abandons them, Sophie chose to give up her dreams to look after her mother and siblings. Now, she is ready to put her life back together and step into a new season as she prepares to open her very own bookshop. However, as one disaster befalls another and delays threaten everything she’s worked so hard to achieve, Sophie will need to trust the person who left her when it mattered the most. Will she get everything ready in time, or will the past continue to hold her back from a bright future?
You deserve someone special, Sophie. Maybe now that you have a new beginning you’ll find him.
Aiden Maddox is a runner. After his mother left him at a young age, he has grown up believing that it’s better to be the one to leave than to be left. Reunited with Sophie, his high school sweetheart, at her sister’s wedding, Aiden seeks to apologize for the hurt he caused her; but, as a hurricane rolls in, stranding them together, will he be able to regain Sophie’s trust, or will his resurfaced love for her only make him run further away?
How could a man who jumped from the sky without reservation lack the courage to love?
Bookshop by the Sea was my introduction to Denis Hunter. One of the queens of Christian Romance, I was looking forward to indulging in her highly anticipated new release. Unfortunately, as I dove further into the novel, I learned that it sat more in the clean romance rather than faith-based category. While Sophie and Aiden’s story was cute and readable (I couldn’t put it down despite the cheesiness), it lacked depth. The plot was very predictable, and feelings were the driving force of the story. Honestly, I don’t know why I expected anything else; it’s such a shame that Christians continue to follow the world, only changing a few scenes to make it “Christian,” rather than standing out. Faith is about more than believing in God, saying a prayer at mealtime, or going to church; it’s laying your life at your Savior’s feet and choosing to lean on His guidance rather than being led by our feelings — especially when it comes to romantic relationships. Where are the Christian novels that praise God over sensual desire?
Nonetheless, while I was disappointed with this book, if you take away the idea of it being a “Christian” novel, Bookshop by the Sea makes for an easy beach read.
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*