Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook


I don't think you understand.  Sometimes, every once in a while, I'll read about a book that just clicks with my brain.  I'll see the blurb and think, Yes, yes this.  I must have this.  And then I buy it and read it and it's as glorious as I imagined it would be.  This book was exaaaaaaaaactly that for me.  100%.  Hands down one of my favorite books and favorite romances.

This was basically my face when I saw the blurb.  Just FYI.  Except I can never be as fab as RDJ, but that's another post entirely.

Anyway.  When I saw it was Romeo and Juliet in reverse, I flipped.  I don't like Romeo and Juliet at ALL (unless it's presented as a cautionary tale, and not a romance, because it is NOT A ROMANCE - *ahem*).  But somehow this made sense.  This is the way to go, obviously.  The Bard got it wrong; Cook got it right.  (Sorry, again, I'm off track.)  I ordered it immediately, and when it came in the mail I started it the next day.

I read it in 3 hours.

LET'S TALK CHARACTERS.  You all know I'm a character driven reader/writer.  I can't stand books that lack great characters, even if the plot is awesome.  If I don't have a reason to root for the people I'm reading about, that's a bad thing.

In any case, our heroine, Jemma, is fabulous.  She rocks.  She spunky and fun and totally her own person.  She doesn't do things right all the time but she knows what she wants: to break the mold and go to film school in New York.  I feel like a lot of times authors make their level-headed girl characters emotionally constipated - but not Kristi Cook!  Jemma loves her family and feels deeply, while still keeping her head.  I loved that about her; she inspired me.


Someone please get me a Ryder.  PLEASE.  I need him in my life.  He was as equally dimensional as Jemma, totally his own person, and SO SO good for Jemma.  I loved how he related to her, even when they were arguing.  I mean, what can I say - especially when they were arguing!  The tension!  The friction!  THE BUILDUP!  It was all so intense.

Now, let's get to the story now.  I was sooooo surprised - this book had a lot more to it than I was expecting.  I thought maybe the hurricane would be a small portion of the book, but noooo.  It was a huge part and was actually freakin' scary to read about.  (I live on the west coast and have never experienced any sort of storms like that.)

And then there was the actual romance.  Oh my gosh, it had me falling hard.  I was soooo surprised.  I mean, I love romance soooooooooo much but even this one had me falling harder than I usually do.  It was stunning.  The connection between them was raw and real and based things other than physical attraction...although there was that, too.  Gosh darn it, Ryder was gorgeous, how could there not be?!

Okay, creepy eyebrow-waggle gifs aside.....I loved this book.  I loved Ryder and Jemma and the beautiful southern setting.  I loved the hurricane (*shudders*) and the way their relationship built on itself and the way they fell in love so beautifully and seamlessly.  I JUST LOVED IT OKAY?!  I'm actually surprised it has 3.79 average star rating on Goodreads?  I don't know...I feel like it should be higher.  I highly recommend it to romance junkies and also to people who just like a good story - I sincerely hope you all love it as much as I did!
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
Some brief strong cussing and some heavy making out.


  1. Paula Wallace PattersonJune 22, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Thanks for review. Just added it to my TBR list.

  2. This sounds so perfect! I added this to my tbr last year and kinda forgot about this until I read your review :D Hate-to-love is one of my favorite romance, so I think I'll enjoy this too. Great review, Sierra!

  3. EEEP YES ISN'T THIS BOOK JUST BEAUTEOUS?! so. many. feels. *flails with you*