The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown
Published January 15th 2019 by Montlake Romance
New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown brings together two wounded hearts in a Texas romance of second chances and twice-in-a-lifetime true love.
Inheriting the Magnolia Inn, a Victorian home nestled in the East Texas pines, is a fantasy come true for Jolene Broussard. After living with the guilt of failing to rescue her self-destructive mother, Jolene knows her aunt and uncle’s B&B is the perfect jump start for a new life and a comforting place to call home. There’s just one hitch: stubborn and moody carpenter Tucker Malone. He’s got a half interest in the Magnolia Inn, and he’s planting his dusty cowboy boots squarely in the middle of her dream.
Ever since his wife’s death, Tucker’s own guilt and demons have left him as guarded as Jolene. The last thing he expects is for his new partner to stir something inside him he thought was gone forever. And as wary as Jolene is, she may have found a kindred spirit—someone she can help, and someone she can hold on to.
Restoring the Magnolia Inn is the first step toward restoring their hearts. Will they be able to let go of the past and trust each other to do it together?
I love second chance romance stories and this was an excellent contemporary romance with second chances thrown in. I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw this cover, but I also love Carolyn Brown’s books. She has a folksy, fun way of telling a story and the characters in this one fit right into that. Jolene has had a rough life, losing her father when she was young and her mother sinking into addiction. Her last boyfriend was a weekend drunk and she has had enough. Moving to The Magnolia Inn in small town East Texas, she is ready to work with her cousin to renovate it after being given the Inn from her Aunt Sugar and Uncle Jasper who have retired. What she never expected was her cousin selling his half of the Inn to handsome Tucker, who was a weekend drunk, never getting over the death of his wife five years prior.
This was a beautiful story full of love, compassion, friendship, understanding and yes, second chances. The three ladies who take Jolene into their fold; Dotty, Lucy and Flossie are Sugar’s best friends and they needed a fourth wheel. They are adorable, a bit quirky and so loving and accepting, I would love to have them as my friends. When Jolene and Tucker begin to realize that they have feelings for one another, they were so cute. Both were afraid to love again, but the attraction was just too strong and it is hard to ignore the encouragement of the whole town. There were some twists in the story, but they all led to the right place. There is a bit of a Christian undertone to the story, but you do not have to enjoy Christian Fiction to read this. Carolyn Brown’s writing is beautiful and when I finished this book (in one sitting) I had a huge smile and warm feeling. I do not hesitate to recommend this story to those who love a contemporary, second chance romance. The audio version of this book was amazing. The voices of the “girls” were just what I envisioned and Jolene’s was perfect. If you have kindle unlimited, I recommend you read and/or listen to this one.
Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.
I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.
I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.
Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!
I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.