A Sweet Magnolias Novel, Book 10
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Date published: September 2012
Reviewed by Dawn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Azaleas-Bloom-Sweet-Magnolias/dp/0778313697/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347999124&sr=1-1&keywords=sherryl+woods
Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley
For Lynn Morrow, finding herself in dire straits money wise is having her stressed to the max. She knew her marriage wasn’t perfect but when her husband Ed asked for a divorce and left her and their kids, she was blindsided. Now with bills piling up, no food in the cupboards and more, Lynn is so stressed that she feels like she is on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall off it with a nudge. Determined to make sure her kids have a roof over their heads and food on the table, Lynn struggles with a few part time jobs to make ends meet. But when an old friend knocks on her door, she finds that she has a knight ready to slay her dragons, all she needs to do is let him know. But Lynn is determined to stand on her own two feet. But will she be able to let Mitch into her heart even after she gains the independence she yearns for?
I absolutely adore the Sweet Magnolias series with a passion. It’s my go to series to read when I need a pick me up or when I want to revisit characters that I feel are like old friends. The story of her last Sweet Magnolias series is full of friendships, love, family and more that steals your heart the moment you open the first page to the end. There are a few twists that had me smiling, punching the air in delight and a few tears as the unexpected ending left me breathless. Ms. Woods is a masterful storyteller who has a knack of telling highly emotional stories in a way that will leave you with a smile on your face. Her character rich stories are well written, multi-faceted and feel like you could meet them at the Corner Spa or for an ice cream soda at Wartons (places mentioned in the series). This is where the heart of her stories is, in my opinion, with characters that make you wish you could hang out with them, even for a minute. This is her knack and she does it brilliantly. Her characters are not perfect but flawed individuals like humans are and she takes the time to let her characters grow on her readers, one page at a time.
WHERE AZALEAS BLOOM is a tender, emotional story of one woman’s fight to survive while in the process trying to make sure her kids are going to be okay. It is a story you read every day in a newspaper or know of someone who has had to deal with this sort of thing. It isn’t a magic wand waving over everything and POOF! It’s all right. Ms. Woods delves into Lynn’s story with a sensitivity that leaves you eager for more. She highlights the strength Lynn has inside her, strength she doesn’t think she has, even as she fights tooth and nail for her soon to be ex-husband to live up to his end of the obligations. Mitch is perfect for her as he lets her be the independent woman she needs to be while letting her know he is there whenever she needs to lean on someone. That connection comes across so beautifully in this latest book that it brought a few tears to my eyes time and time again. Mitch is a loving, sweet perfect gentleman and one who knows Lynn needs a white knight in her corner even as he longs to fix everything for her. Ms. Woods delivers an amazing cast of secondary characters that leave the reader grinning. There are some great moments that had me chuckling and I loved seeing all the characters from the past books come back for one final swan song, so to speak. It was nice to see them all together once again, sharing laughter, tears, giving advice and having those wonderful margarita nights. This is what a Sherryl Woods’s book is-family and friends, love and laughter, respect and above all, community.
WHERE AZALEAS BLOOM is a perfect end to a wonderful series and one I will miss immensely. But I know there comes a time for all things to end and Ms. Woods does it justice with this last book. If you are looking for a story that wishes you could go to Serenity Springs even for the day, then please go grab this series. It is one you will not be able to put down, no matter how hard you try. With each book, this is an author who knows how to tell a story that stays with you long after the last page is read. Kudos to Ms. Woods for giving her readers a series that, has stolen not just my heart, but many of her reader’s as well. I look forward to seeing what else this author has in store for her readers in the future. But in the meantime, I plan to read again this series and fall in love with all the characters that make up the Sweet Magnolia series once again.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.