The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories Review

You wouldn’t believe the pile of reviews I have written in my notebook just waiting for me to type them up. It happens people. Us bloggers have crazy lives and sometimes I just keep reading, and just keep going, without making my reviews live. But today I find myself catching up, at least a little bit. I don’t want to say that too loud! So if you’re friends with me on Goodreads, and notice this weekend I have added like twenty books, let me tell you this. No, I did not read them all in one day. No, I did not read them all this week. I just haven’t been good about typing them is all. I appreciate your patience and support 🙂

Onto today’s read. It came from an author I had not read before, and I always get a little apprehensive seeing a new author. Don’t get me wrong, it is also really exciting…but I’m not familiar with the way they write an am always unsure if it’ll be something I like. Nonetheless, I opened to page one and began. After all, I love flowers and it had the word magnolia in the title! If you’ve read this book, I’d be interesting in knowing what you thought. Please share below!

About the Book
Click here to purchase

“There’s no time,” Colin said. “You have to go. Find me, call me . . .”

Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory.

The last thing she remembered was being submerged in water. Again.

As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.

As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.

My Perspective

I really enjoyed this book, and yet it frustrated me at the same time. And I do understand that it is probably just my picky nature, and you may not find anything wrong with it at all, but a review is opinions based, so here it goes. I’ll start with what I didn’t love, and then end on a high note.

I did not enjoy the speed of the love connection in this book. While I understand that scary circumstances can have you running on high, I think that when we come back down to earth we need to allow for an adjustment period, truly getting to know one another period, something. I just didn’t see that with these two. It was almost like Jacey and Colin fell in love with who they thought they remembered from the flood, and didn’t give ample opportunity to find out who they really were today. Some may find their story romantic, and that is fine. I just would have liked a longer period of reacquaintanceness (fyi – I know that’s not really a word, but I like it anyways!).

I also did not love the fact that I felt the author never totally address Jacey’s faith. It seemed like in the very beginning she was so bothered by the fact that Colin was a minister, but then she loved him? It was a little confusing, and I would hope that a minister would not enter into a relationship without knowing the heart of the person they love. Again, just me being me here. Some readers may not even notice this fact at all.

Now, let me share with you what I loved!

I loved the storyline. It was so fascinating to me. Two people stranded together during a flood, separated, and then stumble upon one another. Wow. I was hooked right from the get go. I needed to know who these people were, and how they reached their current destination. And not only Jacey and Colin, but the boys that were missing too. The author did a great job of pulling my heart strings more than once (sorry, no spoilers here), but it was necessary to accurately portray a believable story.

Colin. Colin the present minister. Colin the man with the wild past. I loved this. I know it may sounds cliché, but I just love seeing a person who has gone down such a horrible path, reinvent themselves and use it for God’s good. It was such a wonderful reminder that with God, people can change. They can throw away their old self and be born again into a wonderful person. Wonderful, not perfect. Colin not only learned from his mistakes, but held true to his beliefs, even when he dad tried to convince to do otherwise. He was just an all around good character.

And then there’s Georgia. I gotta say, she was my absolute favorite. She was spunky, outgoing, comical, and highly opinionated. But she always made me laugh at how bold she could be at times. She really made the story come to alive for me. Let’s face it, we all think things in our heads at times that we are probably nervous to say out loud. Not Georgia! She has such a great spirit and heart, and she’s not going to back down for anyone. In all honesty, I found myself looking forward to her scenes the most. She reminded me of someone who used to attend my church that I miss very much, and I miss that almost brash quality. So reading about a character similar to that was such a treat!

Overall, I really did enjoy this book and do recommend it. It is definitely going in my “read again” piles, because I’d like to see if I can get even more out of it! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Fletcher McHale

Celeste Fletcher McHale lives on her family farm in Central Louisiana where she enjoys raising a variety of animals. Her hobbies include writing, football, baseball, and spending much time with her grandchildren. Website: Facebook: FletcherMcHale Twitter: @FletcherMcHale




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