Review: On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge #3) by Denise Hunter

Lately I have had good luck with reading new to me authors so when this book came up for review, I thought, why not? Plus I really liked the cover

I briefly read the summary and felt like it would be some nice light reading going into the holidays. I had a good chunk of time to read over the Thanksgiving break so I was eager to jump in and read this contemporary romance.

After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace (summary from Goodreads).

So one of the first things that I was a little worried about with this book was that Jack had been Daisy’s counselor. When I first read that in the summary, I was like oh lord how awkward! Here is this guy you have been pouring your heart out to for years and all of a sudden he is in love with you. I would be horribly embarrassed and worried about all that I had said. However, after I thought about it some more, I was intrigued by this concept and eager to see how it played out.

One (like me) could take the stance that it would be awkward and embarrassing, but on the other hand, one could take it like—here is this guy who knows every little thought that I shared with him and he still loves me and wants to be with me. So I decided to go into this one with an open mind.

I was surprised to see that this actually worked rather well in the story. I could actually see this being a romantic comedy mini series or film or something. It’s adorable, cozy, and sweet. I enjoyed watching their romance come alive on the pages and it did read very easy and didn’t have a cheesy feel. The romance and humor were balanced and I loved how they both had to tackle forgiveness in their lives. I thought that element added a lot to the narrative and overall story.

Even though I thought that I would have a hard time with a pastor as the hero/romantic interest, I didn’t have any issues at all. Hunter wrote believable characters with real flaws and real feelings so I had no trouble at all buying into the romance and the story. It sounds like Hunter has written a number of other books, and I can see her experience in how this one unfolded.

This book is the third book in the Blue Ridge series and for me, I didn’t think it was necessary to read the other books in the series before reading thing one. The characters stood well enough on their own and they had their own story separate from the larger narrative.

I throughly enjoyed reading this book and it was just what I was looking for to read over the long holiday weekend. It read quickly and it was light, and full of humor and romance. Just what I was looking for. Readers should know that this is a Christian romance but I didn’t feel like it was a preachy read at all. Even if you aren’t a fan of Christian romances, I think there is enough romance and humor in this book to appeal to a wide audience.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge #3) by Denise Hunter

  • ebook, 320 pages
    Published November 6th 2018 by Thomas Nelson (first published November 2018)
    ISBN 0718090543 (ISBN13: 9780718090548)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own
  • Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5
  • Genre: Christian romance, romance, contempo romance
  • Memorable lines/quotes
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