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Bookshop by the Sea–second chance romance

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Bookshop by the Sea

by Denise Hunter

Sophie Lawson knows about abandonment and the pain it leaves in its trail. Her father left her family to fend for itself in the midst of her mother’s fatal illness on the very same day her boyfriend Aiden Maddox pulled up stakes and moved five hours away to start a new life. Aiden knows abandonment too. His mother left him sitting on the porch steps as a little boy and never looked back.

Sophie and Aiden loved each other or thought they did. Seven years later, just as Sophie’s dream to open her own bookshop is about to come true, Sophie and Aiden are thrown together once more—by a wedding and a hurricane. Can love revitalize and conquer bitterness, hurt, confusion, family obligations, and distance?

In Bookshop by the Sea, Denise Hunter paints an emotional in-depth picture of Sophie and Aiden, their pasts and the possibilities for their futures. Disaster keeps striking for Sophie who really deserves a break, but it’s hard to see how she’ll get one in time for her grand opening and book signing event. Those stressors are the backdrop for their relationship drama as the threads weave together, breaking in places only to be retied to push the characters towards growth and healing.

Bookshop by the Sea is a clean book with Christian undertones as the characters mention praying over situations. I enjoyed reading it, not really knowing if it would have a happily ever after ending, but hoping so. The characters definitely have baggage to work through—even the more minor characters as found in Sophie’s family. There is a lot of realism as no one’s life is presented as a fairy tale. There is also a lot of hope, kindness, and community spirit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Romance

Publication: April 13, 2021—Thomas Nelson

Memorable Lines:

He’d forgotten how easily words of affirmation rolled off her tongue. She’d always made him feel like he could do anything. Be anything. He let the admiration in her eyes wash over him like a cool wave on a hot summer day.

“Don’t borrow trouble. ‘Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?’ ’’ She gave him a wry look. “Did you just quote Scripture at me?” “Hey, there’s a reason I have it memorized. If I’ve learned anything it’s that worrying does nothing but stress you out.”

I guess somewhere along the line I started believing that when the going gets tough…people leave.” Sophie’s heart went soft and squishy at his words, his vulnerability. At the little boy who watched his mother drive away from him and never return.


  1. Thank you Linda, I love to read stories about bookstores, it sounds sweet~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    I love bookish romances. This just sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It was good. I also liked the second chance aspect although it’s something that in real life I would have hoped they would have worked out sooner. It’s easy to criticize though when you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cozynookbks says:

    Sounds like a good story, Linda. Is the Christian theme strong….the praying, etc.? I don’t mind some subtle Christian overtones but sometimes it can be a bit too much.


  4. Carla says:

    One of the reasons I love Denise Hunters books is the Christian undertones. It doesn’t overwhelm the story, but is more realistic, part of their everyday conversation. For people who are not fully secure in their faith, it still works. Wonderful review, Linda. I enjoyed this book and will be starting her Riverbend series shortly.

    Liked by 1 person

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