The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown Release Date: January 15, 2019 Publisher: Montlake Standalone Number of pages: 286 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: R Read 1/8/19 to 1/9/19
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?
Another great story from Carolyn Brown. Also, another story from her where the characters talk to themselves (or dead relatives) a bit too much. I just need to resolve myself to the fact that this author uses that device a lot and I either have to live with it or quit reading her books. For the most part, I enjoy her stories. So, for now, I’ll have to live with it I guess.
Tucker is a very sympathetic character. When he’s first introduced I didn’t think that would be so, but as he started interacting with other people his kindness and good heart shone through. My issues with this author having people talk to themselves did not extend to this character because it really worked for him and his part of the story. If such things had been kept to this one character it would have been completely fine.
In all ways but one I liked Jolene. I felt she was way too judgmental of Tucker, even while understanding her reasons for judging him so harshly. It’s not so much her strong feelings about his drinking that annoyed me, it was that she seemed to think there was some kind of bad seed within him. Her aunt had taught her that nobody is all good or all bad, and she often thought about that when thinking of Tucker. But not in the “hey, he’s a great guy but I know there has to be something bad in there, too” way. Nope. It was more like “this guy is bad news but I see that goodness trying to peek through”, which made no sense with how giving his character is throughout this story.
Needless to say, Jolene and Tucker had things in their own lives to work through before they could see if there could be something more than a friendship and partnership between them. Throughout the whole story there was definitely chemistry with the characters. I was truly rooting for them to resolve their issues and find a way to reach out to each other.
While this wasn’t my favorite Carolyn Brown book, it did a great job of keeping me turning the pages.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**