Title: Stealing Home
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 23rd – 26th July 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: Now all of that was at risk.
For the Sweet Magnolias, now a Netflix original series, friendship lasts a lifetime…
Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity and have the best friends a woman could ask for, but her life is overturned when her husband leaves her for a younger woman. With her three children heartbroken from the change, Maddie has a lot to contend with. On top of it all, after years outside the workforce, she must dust off her business skills to take charge of her best friends’ newest project – planning the town’s only fitness spa for women.
When her son’s developing anger issues begin to affect his passion for baseball, Maddie knows she must step in to help. She didn’t expect to develop feelings for her son’s coach, the handsome Cal Maddox, and to learn he has feelings for her, too. But gossip travels quickly in a small town, and Maddie and Cal’s relationship may threaten both their reputations and careers.
Then again, he could be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity after all.
I managed to start two Sherryl Woods series pretty close to one another. Mainly because more of the Chesapeake Shores books aren’t yet on my shelves. And although I love the Sweet Magnolias, I did find that I didn’t find it as much of a great beginning to a series as The Inn at Eagle Point. Having said that. This still gets five stars from me. It’s still fun, cute, amazing and a great way to spend an evening.
This novel perfectly encapsulates the way it feels to live in a small town. It highlights the gossip-tree that spreads throughout. And the ways in which gossip can cause havoc in a person’s life. It actually reminded me a little of the ways in which I hate small towns, even as I love them. Poor Cal and Maddie have to deal with such nonsense throughout this novel. Nonsense that makes you want to smack around the silly people who thought that they could be involved in somebody else’s love life.
The gossip, and the difference in the communities’ reactions to Bill and Maddie were great at highlighting the double standards that women face every day. Maddie is actually innocent in the creation of her relationship (where Bill certainly isn’t). Yet, it is Maddie that has a constant threat hanging over her head due to social pressure. I love that Woods not only highlights this in her story – but it is something that is actually discussed amongst the characters in this novel as well. We definitely need more stories which shine a light on this issue.
There is something about the setting of Serenity that is completely beautiful, peaceful and loving. Gossip crazy members aside, I would love to live in such a beautiful and peaceful town. One in which you can open a Corner Spa with your friends and start a new life surrounded by people who love you. It’s everything that you imagine a small town to be, and I loved that Serenity was almost its own character. One that I look forward to meeting again and again throughout this series.