Autumn Skies is the bittersweet ending to Denise Hunter’s Bluebell Inn Romance Trilogy and what a beautiful series it was. The books follow a trio of siblings, Levi, Molly and their younger sister Grace, who want to continue their parents’ dream of turning their family home into an inn, after both mother and father die tragically. As they work to restore the inn and make it a financial success, each sibling meets a guest and falls in love so each story focuses on a new romance as well as showing the development of the previously established relationships. What makes the stories unique, however, is that each guest shares an earlier connection with the family unbeknownst to them and each installment explores the coincidence of their meeting and the resolution of that background story.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the series although I was initially hesitant about this final installment as the protagonist this time would be Grace, the twenty-two year old sister who decided to forego college and work in the inn with her siblings while she opened her own equipment rental business as well. I mean, twenty-two is a little young to be finding “forever love”, right? Well, that depends entirely on the individual. But Author Denise Hunter broaches and resolves that issue skillfully, showing the characters’ concern about their ages but also, more importantly, showing why Grace isn’t the typical twenty-two year old, and that if there is anyone mature enough and grounded enough to be ready for real love, it’s Grace and her love interest, Wyatt. Wyatt’s character arc was also well executed as we meet him engaged in a job he loves, and see him committed to pursuing his dreams even as he allows himself room to change what that dream looks like. While there is some amount of old-fashioned guy-pursues-girl here, make no mistake that Autumn Skies is the creation of a feminist. While it is refreshing to see the kind of stable men that make women swoon no matter the time period, it is also beautiful to read about those women making their own decisions and standing firm on their choices to maintain an equal footing in their relationships.
Autumn Skies is a wholesome story and a fun, engaging read showing characters that live out their Christian faith in their day to day interactions. The North Carolina setting is the perfect backdrop for the outdoor recreation highlighted in this novel and Hunter’s descriptions paint such vivid imagery that it is easy to feel like you are experiencing the scenes alongside the characters.
Click to read my review of the earlier installments in the Bluebell Inn Romance Series:
Note: I received a complimentary ARC of Autumn Skies from the publisher, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and TLC Book Tours in order to complete this review. I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my honest opinion and genuine enthusiasm for the book.
From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!
When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.
A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.
Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.
There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?