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The self-help books lied: fresh starts aren’t nearly as glamorous as they appear. And love isn’t any easier the second time around.
Avery Broussard was savoring her long-dormant optimism. It was the first anniversary of her husband’s death, and she was finally going to buy the dress boutique from her former mother-in-law. After a year of saving, the deal was nearly done. Avery was about to get her life back.
But every deal in Samford, Louisiana, can change at the whim of a Broussard.
After being unceremoniously ejected from the very boutique she planned to buy – the boutique she herself had rescued from ruin – she becomes a woman without a future… suddenly at war with her late husband’s family.
When carpenter T. J. Aillet begins working for the Broussards doing manual labor, he overhears enough to know that Avery is being victimized. Soon enough, T. J. is lassoed into the squabble by his family connections, his good heart… and the undeniable attraction he feels toward Avery.
But the Aillets are no strangers to Samford society – and T. J. knows what happens when you cross the Broussards. Could these two misfits ever make a start together? Or will the pressures of Samford society pull them apart before they even get a chance to try?
I’m always a bit wary when I choose to read a novel in a series without having read the previous one(s) – but sometimes a synopsis just grabs my attention and I can’t stop myself. In this case, I picked up Judy Christie’s Magnolia Market, the second in her Trumpet & Vine series, before reading Sweet Olive. Luckily, I didn’t have any problems with my reading experience. I absolutely loved the trip to Samford, Louisiana with Avery Broussard, a completely genuine and likeable character. Avery’s story of fresh starts, friendship and urban renewal is charming, delightful and inviting with its Southern small-town feel (though for many of the first chapters, I felt frustrated on Avery’s behalf as her in-laws continued to berate and abuse her).
I should mention that in the construction of this novel, Christie does employ an interesting writing style, which at times felt a bit disjointed to me. Sometimes, characters would suddenly act or make decisions without any given build-up in previous chapters or paragraphs – but ultimately, I found that this did not take away from the story.
I plan to see what will happen next at Trumpet & Vine in the future and will definitely read Sweet Olive when I have the chance, since I wholeheartedly enjoyed Magnolia Market. I thank BookLook Bloggers for my copy of Magnolia Market and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. (I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)
About the Authorwrites fiction with a Louisiana flavor. She is the author of the Green series of novels, including Gone to Green. A fan of primitive antiques and porch swings, she blogs from her green kitchen couch at her website. She and her husband live in northern Louisiana.