Tag Archives: The Sweet Magnolias

Feels Like Family by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Feels Like Family eBook by Sherryl Woods - 9781459247512 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Title: Feels Like Family
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 17th – 18th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: What the sundae wasn’t accomplishing, Erick was.

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Synopsis

On the road to success, good friends are never far apart in the world of the Sweet Magnolias. Now a Netflix original series!

Helen Decatur spent a lifetime setting goals – getting through college and law school, opening her own practice, becoming financially secure, and establishing herself as one of the most highly respected divorce attorneys in the state of South Carolina. Achieving those goals was a breeze compared to the one she’s faced with now.

The most driven – and cynical – of the Sweet Magnolias, Helen is forty-two, single and suddenly ready for the family she’s put on the back burner for all these years. Unfortunately, having a child at her age comes with lots of complications, not the least of which is the absence of a serious relationship in her life.

Handling so many divorces has left her sceptical about love, but Helen’s not the type of woman to wait around for fate to step in. Taking charge of her own destiny puts her at odds with her two best friends and sets sparks flying with a man who claims he doesn’t want a family, and nothing turns out like she planned.

Thoughts

So whilst I loved this novel, I do need to point out that I really didn’t like Helen’s decision making and choices throughout this story. It was seriously flawed and just all round not okay. Yet, somehow, even though I was seriously not impressed… I didn’t hate her. Which is surprising. Because the decisions that she made in this were of the sort that I would normally feel pure rage…

All of that aside, this was still kind of a cute little love story. It was filled with the typical lightness (with a dash of serious) that I’m getting used to in Woods’ romances. And it was just… well, pleasant. Plus, I did really adore Eric. I may not have liked some of the decisions in this story… but I still loved the overall reaction and outcome. It was just a cute, easy to read love story that I read while curled up, trying to get over a damn bug.

I really enjoyed the fact that this romance wasn’t just about the lead couple, Helen and Eric. But there was another romance bought into the story. A bit like Virgin River, there are so many layers of beautiful moments throughout this whole story that builds up the whole community, not just the primary characters. In the case of this story, it is Karen’s journey and her romance with Elliot that just helped further the whole world for me. Plus, Karen’s story was a really nice counterpoint to Helen’s. both in personality and occurrences…

Aside from my one point of contention (Helen’s damn dumb ass decisions), this is a really sweet story. It’s about love, family and the importance of friendship. And I loved the fact that although Dana Sue and Maddie get annoyed at Helen, there is still no doubt that they are friends… even when that friendship involves a bit of a butt kicking.

<- A Slice of HeavenWelcome to Serenity ->

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A Slice of Heaven by Sherryl Woods

Overview
A Slice of Heaven, Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods ...

Title: A Slice of Heaven
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 27th – 28th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: “Call him,” Maddie urged.

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Synopsis

Return to the world of the Sweet Magnolias, where friends are closer than family, and fun and scandal are always part of the mix. Now a Netflix original series!

Ever since she discovered her ex-husband’s affair, Dana Sue Sullivan decided to put down new roots and create the best restaurant in Serenity, South Carolina. After years of hard labor, her dream has become a reality. Sullivan’s provides more than just Southern comfort food – it’s become a haven for the whole town – and Dana Sue knows better than anyone that relying on friendship can get you through the toughest times.

But when her teenage daughter, Annie, develops an eating disorder that lands her in hospital, Dana Sue’s perfect life comes crumbling down. On top of it all, her own health starts to deteriorate. Dana Sue knows she needs to change habits now to help them both get better – even if that means letting Ronnie Sullivan back into their lives.

And who knows, his return might end up being a recipe for a new beginning…

Thoughts

Oh. I just absolutely adore Dana Sue. Not only from the first Sweet Magnolias book, Stealing Home, but also from the TV show. There is this great feeling of strength and independence to her that I just fell completely in love with. Partnered with the fact that she’s a chef and I love food… it worked perfectly in my happy little brain. Then there’s Annie… she’s got such amazing spunk for a teenage character.

This novel deals with some very serious issues surrounding body image, women and food. Not only in Annie’s anorexia (which is hinted at at the end of Stealing Home). But also in the ways in which Dana Sue requires food for comfort. And the fact that she is at risk for diabetes. Both issues with food and body image, but both at different ends of the scale. Partner that with the usage of the gym and the deal which the Sweet Magnolias make… I loved how Woods was able to focus on such big issues that are frequently around in our daily lives.

One of the major themes I’m picking up so far in this series is the whole idea of cheating – first it’s Maddie’s husband and then it’s Dana Sue’s. In this story, cheating is eventually forgiven, or at least moved on from. I don’t think that it’s something that I could ever do. Yet, it shows this admirable love and commitment. And a great reminder that we all make mistakes in relationships, so there always needs to be some level of forgiveness…

Not only was this novel a great romance. One that I absolutely adored. It was also a great way to highlight some of the physical, and body image issues that many women face. As someone who is currently on her own health kick, it was nice to read about other women having the exact same issues. Definitely one of those books that I’m going to read again and again and again.

<- Stealing HomeFeels Like Family ->

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Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Stealing Home (Sweet Magnolias, book 1) by Sherryl Woods

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
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Now all of that was at risk.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

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.

<- More Sherryl WoodsA Slice of Heaven ->

Image source: Fantastic Fiction