Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 8/5/2014
Rating: THREE GOLD STARS!!!!!
My Review: One word: CHARMING
My Review: One word: CHARMING
As you Bookies well know, I am not much for Contemporaries but! have you read The Story (blurb) above? How could I resist? Not only that but I am trying to broaden my horizon that usually entails Paranormal Romance and I took the time to read the Sample of Magnolia and I was pleased.
A red-head Jemma Cafferty sticks true to the saying, with the fiery attitude to go along with it. Jemma is the second and youngest child who doesn't think she shines much -- in comparison to her athletically gifted older sister -- and isn't one much for breaking the rules. Jemma is a mostly likable character who does not entirely get on my nerves which is a plus but there were times when her unnecessary temper tantrums got on my nerves -- but I have a sneaking suspicion that may have been Kristi Cook's intention. On that note, I like that, although her mother as well as her mother's best friend basically mapped out her entire life, Jemma is not completely weak and docile. Holding the title for the best shot in Magnolia Branch county (including among men) and how she progressively comes into her independence throughout the novel are two more pluses.
Moving on, insert plot twist! Ryder Marsden. Honestly, I don't have much -- if anything -- against Ryder; simply put, he didn't do anything to piss me off. Anywho, Ryder is Magnolia Branch's golden boy, the all-star quarterback with his pick of colleges vying for him, the best grades in school, and family wealth. Not to mention is mouthwatering hot. Any girl would love to hang on his arm right? Wrong. Well at least wrong for Jemma.
"I exhale sharply. The answer is boxer briefs, heather-gray ones. And right now they're clinging to him wetly, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. He looks like a god. A six-foot-four, football-playing god, and I am staring at him with my mouth hanging open like some kind of pathetic freak" [page 144].
To make the story interesting, Jemma and Ryder absolutely loath each other. Living on the same property, having Sunday dinner together every week, spending vacations together and knowing your mothers are unabashedly and enthusiastically planning your marriage since the womb can have that affect. Besides when your has been forcing a match on you so the families can finally be tied by marriage, she must be wrong ... right?
"'Go. I hate you, Ryder Marsden!'
'Yeah, well . . . the feeling's mutual,' he throws back over one shoulder" [page 28].
Having said all of that, let us delve into my overall thoughts of Magnolia. I enjoyed the book. I even finished it in one day. The characters were likable, the leading guy was hot, the story takes place in the South (and for some reason, lately I have been drawn to Contemporary Romances set in the South) and there is character growth. Alas, my only complaint is that there were a lot of cliches used in the writing. Believe me, I am not dead set against cliches at all but ... in Magnolia they stood out, nagged at me. Ending on a good note, there were some humorous quotes, which is always an asset that I appreciate when I read. All in all, Magnolia is a quick, enjoyable piece worth it's reading time.
"... That boy's got a stick up his ass, if you ask me.'
'A very attractive one at that.'
'What, the stick or his ass?'" [page 83].
*** Check out Kristi Cook's website for more information about her and Magnolia: HERE