The Sweet Smell of Magnolias was a fantastic contemporary read which transported the reader into the rich vibrant world of Louisiana and particularly the devastating floods of 2016. Jacey finds herself caught literally clinging to a roof top next to a strange man she doesnt know but over the course of the long flooded hours they develop a strong unbreakable bond - until in the final minutes of rescue - Jacey hits her head and all memory of their ordeal initially disappears along with her handsome stranger.
It was quite the original and compelling opening and one that kept a readers interest piqued. Fast forward to the present - and Jacey is a bridesmaid at her friends wedding, now recovered from her injuries - and who should be the officiating minister at said wedding? Colin - her rooftop confidant and flood companions.
What follows is Jacey and Colin trying to sort through the returning memories and confusion which surrounds Jaceys memories and rekindling what might have been an amazing start to a relationship.
This is no mere run of the mill romance novel - its setting and characters are so vivid and real they live beyond the page and for all the serious setting, there are fantastic touches of humour and literal laugh out loud dialogue.
I would recommend this book to anyone weary of the stock standard romance genre which can become predictable and stale. Unique, compelling and surprisingly fun!!!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
** "God doesn't see color. Only people do, and only ugly people at that. God only sees our hearts." **
Celeste Fletcher McHale's "The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories" is a sweet story of love, forgiveness, redemption and coming home.
A year after being stuck on a roof during a devastating Louisiana flood, writer Jacey Lang is still suffering from post-trauma anxiety, suffering panic attacks and patchy amnesia. The only good things to come out of the traumatic experience? Meeting single mother, Lillian, and her adorable children, and meeting Colin Jennings -- a man Jacey falls in love with after three days.
Unfortunately, after being rescued and being forced to leave Colin behind, Jacey, Lillian and the boys suffer a devastating accident -- leaving Jacey in the condition she currently finds herself, and wondering whatever happened to Colin.
When Jacey and Colin, now a minister, surprisingly reunite at a wedding, the two attempt to pick up their relationship where it left off a year ago. And when Jacey learns that three of Lillian's sons are now in foster care, Jacey begins a campaign to adopt these three adorable boys -- offering them love and security.
What follows is a story that cautions us against letting misunderstandings and assumptions rule our lives. It dives into dealing with anger, resentment and forgiveness, and encourages us to embrace life. It helps us remember to trust the plan for our lives, even when you can't see that plan; and to focus on the things to be thankful for in our lives, and not to just focus on the things that test us.
A small word of caution, there is some mild innuendo during conversations, as well as some alcohol use in "The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories."
You will love not only Jacey and Colin, but her quirky roommate Georgia, and Lillian's adorable sons.
The book at first came off as a typical romance novel, with a slightly slow start. So at first I would have given it a four out of five stars. But the end was full of love and grace and sacrifice and the beauty of family coming together, so I would give the end five stars. So, with that said, I'd give this book:
Four and a half stars out of five.
Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
Witty, charming, endearing, just a few of the words that come to mind after reading this new to me author. Southern inspirational fiction that deals with relationships on many levels and how being vulnerable and honest can bring healing. I ended up loving these characters....even the ones that seemed unlovable in the beginning. Perfect read for a summer day while sipping mint tea and imaging you can smell those Magnolias.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Once upon a time I lived in Louisiana and Mississippi, so the story of Colin and Jacey intrigued me, looking forward to reliving my days in the southern states in a romantic vibe.
Jacey and Colin initially met on top of a roof, during a flood that swirled around them. They were rescued, but Jacey ended up in a boat with a young family, while Colin stayed behind for the next rescue boat. There is an accident, and the memories that Jacey had are sporadically gone. She remembers Colin and tries to find him, despite losing the information that he gave to her while on the roof.
Time passes and Jacey comes face to face with Colin. He is now a minister and is officiating the wedding that she is a bridesmaid in. Now that they have found one another, she must face the demons that arise when memories surface from the time of the flood.
This story. I didn't like. I tried so hard to get into it, but I would find myself like the waters in the flood, being swished one way and then the next. It was a great idea for a story, but the follow through in keeping on task was difficult for me to follow. After reading a few chapters, I began flipping through the pages looking for the meat that would carry me through to the end. I didn't find it. I read very quickly the quirks of the story and the way it ended. Had potential, but for my personal style of writing, this wasn't it.
I received this book from the publisher via booklook bloggers. All opinions are my own.
Ok, y'all, I like this book better than her first book. It was more positive. The characters are very likeable-kind of have that "real people" feel. There is some humor too, which I like.
On the negative side, the middle part of the book is sort of long and drawn out-will they get together, or will they not... kind of thing. Also, I feel like some of it is not a very "Christian" message. It also has quite a few errors in it-something that I do not usually see from this publisher!
If you like Southern lit., you will probably like this book. :)
I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.