Back in September, I did a Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Autumn TBR. These are two of the books that were on that list. Both were very enjoyable, although very different.
Autumn Skies (Bluebell Inn Romance #3) by Denise Hunter
Published October 20th 2020 by Thomas Nelson
The Bluebell Inn Romance series are the stories of the Bennett siblings. When their parents die in a car accident, they decide to follow through with their parents’ dream and open the Inn. Once it was successful, they would sell it and move on with their lives. In the first two books, Molly and Levi have found love, this time if is Grace’s turn. Grace plans on remaining in Bluebell, North Carolina to run her newly opened business of outdoor equipment and tours. She meets Wyatt Jennings, a man who has secrets and his own reason for wanting her to take him out in the forested area to camp and hike. Will Wyatt find what he is looking for? Will the Inn sell? Will all work out for the siblings and they follow their dreams?
This is a romance, but it has some serious themes to it. Wyatt is a great character who has a lot of baggage. He is living with survivor’s guilt as well as needing to have closure on an event from his childhood. He is a secret service agent, who’s job takes first place in his life, so he has no time for a relationship. Grace is an independent young woman who knows what she wants and has plans to get it. She had no intention of getting involved in a relationship, but sometimes the feelings don’t listen to the brain. As she and Wyatt begin to get to know each other, they also begin to accept the feelings they have for one another. I love the themes of family, being there for one another and following your dreams even if they changed without you realizing it. There are also themes of grief, survivor’s guilt and moving forward in your life. This is a Christian Fiction series and there is talk of faith and prayer, but it is integrated well in the story, and not an overwhelming theme. I have enjoyed all the books in this series and definitely recommend it.
The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer
Published September 28th 2021 by Love Inspired Trade
This is the first book I have read by Kathryn Springer, but it won’t be the last. This was such a great story, with wonderful characters, a Christian theme as well as one about friendship, community and taking a chance. Chef, Jessica Keaton, had taken a job in a private home in Winsome Lake, Wisconsin for Elaine Haviland. She was fired from her dream job and this is her last chance. When she arrives, she finds out that Elaine is in a rehab centre following a stroke and a fall. She is looking forward to some time alone to lick her wounds, but that doesn’t happen in this close knit community. A teenager who practises on the piano, a group of woman who are friends and a handsome and caring football coach are in and out of the house, pulling Jessica out into the world of the living.
I enjoyed this story very much. Jessica was a character that grew on me. I didn’t like her much at first. She was a bit sullen and felt sorry for herself, but she eventually realized that everyone has things going on in their lives and she found out that she had the power to help others. The characters in this book ranged from older, quirky ladies to a sad teenager trying to find her way. They were all relatable and realistic. So many of the characters had baggage, and it was seeing the residents rally around to support one another. The love interest, Coach Nick, was a sweetie, who also had some secrets in his background. This book has a lot of themes that I love. Friendship, Community, Family Drama, Forgiveness, Taking Chances and Moving Forward are all in this story. It is emotional, especially when I read about teenage Sienna, but it is also uplifting. I definitely recommend this one if you enjoy Up-Lit and Women’s Fiction. I received a copy of this book from the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.