Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where Azaleas Bloom by Sherryl Woods

Title:  Where Azaleas Bloom
AuthorSherryl Woods
My Rating:

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Sweet Magnolia #10
Main Characters: Jane and Mitch
Release Date: September 2012 
ISBN: 9780778313694
Publisher: Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
Single mom Lynn Morrow is determined to put food on the table for her son and daughter. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband has failed to meet his obligations time and again—but it turns out that Ed is struggling with his own demons.
Enter contractor Mitch Franklin, an unlikely knight in shining armor. A widower with two grieving sons, Mitch once admired Lynn from afar. Now he sees in her not only the sweet girl who got away, but a woman desperately in need of support. While rushing to the rescue of Lynn and her children comes naturally to Mitch, he's also wise enough to encourage Lynn to find her own way…hopefully straight into his arms.

My Review:
I really enjoyed the parts of this book that featured Lynn and Mitch. I liked them together and like that they have a bit of history...i.e. Mitch had a crush on her when they were kids, but it was unrequited because Lynn only had eyes for her soon-to-be-ex-husband Ed. I also liked that there was a bit of suspense/mystery to the story line because no one knows what is truly going on with Ed. All they know is that he's suddenly acting and doing things that are completely out of character for him. 

The problem is that most of those things are adversely affecting Lynn's life and she's about to the point of breaking with the stress of it all. She's looking at losing her house and not being able to feed her kids, but she's still trying to take care of everything herself rather than going to her friends for help.

Mitch's wife Amy died a year before as the result of a drunk driver hitting her. He has two grown boys but they are away at college. He's a construction contractor and is re-doing Raylene's house. She just happens to live next door to Lynn and Lynn has caught his eye once again...mainly because he realizes that she's in trouble. You have to love a guy with a protective streak and a white-in-shining-armor complex. Mitch definitely fits that description, but Lynn won't let him save her. She's determined to do it on her own. 

Overall, I enjoyed her story. Lynn has two kids...a ten yo boy and a fourteen yo girl. I like the perspective they added to the story and especially like the bond that Jeremy and Mitch form. I also really liked Mitch's boys when they came into the story. 

I had NO IDEA what was going on with the soon-to-be-ex until right before it was revealed...definite shocker! I liked how Lynn handled him throughout the book. It would be so easy to make her bitter against him, but the mental health of her kids takes priority for her (as it should be) throughout the entire matter how angry she is. I liked that she kept a good mothers perspective to their conflict.

Part of these books is the Sweet Magnolias and the Senior Magnolias side stories. Before this book, I've enjoyed them. But in this one, I think the Senior Magnolia story line and the romance between Francis and Donnie took too much page the point where I started skipping those sections. I didn't mind the story, but I just think it ran too heavily within this book when it truly had nothing to do with Mitch and Lynn.

Overall, I have loved getting to read these three books out of this series. Sherryl Woods has a great contemporary, small-town voice and her books are just a pleasure to read. I know there's a few of the previous books from this series that I want to pick up to add to my TBR pile.

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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