Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Midnight Promises by Sherryl Woods

Midnight Promises by Sherryl Woods
Mira Books
July 2012
Format: Paperback, 384 pages

First line: The bride wore a cocktail-length, off-the-shoulder gown in shimmering off-white satin and an antique lace mantilla - a family heirloom - reluctantly provided by her soon-to-be mother-in-law.

From the back of the book: When Elliot Cruz first courted struggling single mom Karen Ames, it was a romance worthy of any Sweet Magnolia fantasy. The sexy personal trainer made it his mission to restore Karen's strength - physical and emotional - and to charm her children.

Now, a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear them apart. Elliot's desire to finance the business opportunity of a lifetime with their hard-earned "baby money" stirs Karen's deep-rooted financial insecurities. It's the discovery that their brother-in-law is cheating on Elliot's sister - and thinks it's justified - that puts their irreconcilable differences into perspective. Will their own loving fidelity be a bond so strong they can triumph against all odds?

My thoughts: I am so glad Sherryl Woods has decided to revisit Serenity and the Sweet Magnolia's. I've read all the previous books in the series and have enjoyed each one. 

This latest installment follows up on a couple we met in some of the earlier books - Karen and Elliot. They have now been married for a few years and are adjusting to married life. But all is not as good as they wish it were. Karen still has deep issues with money - her ex-husband left her with more debt than she could handle and she almost ended up having to declare bankruptcy. Since then, she is extremely careful with money. Elliot, well aware of her past, comes to the marriage with issues of his own - his strong Hispanic heritage and his strong-willed family. When Eliot risks the family's savings on what he feels is the business opportunity of a lifetime, the marriage is put at risk. Can Karen learn to overcome her fears? Can Eliot learn to treat his wife as an equal partner in the marriage?

As each works through these issues, old friends we've come to love in Serenity are there to help. The Sweet Magnolia gang is always there for one of their own, and while Karen is not part of the original group, she is a cherished part of the group nonetheless. The husbands of the group are all there to help Elliot, providing much needed advice at times. 

While I loved the story of Karen and Elliot working through issues in their marriage, I think my favorite storyline involved the Senior Sweet Magnolias and the antics they find themselves in. Their version of margarita night was hysterical!!! But at the same time, it leads to some touching moments when Frances, who is like a mother to Karen, starts showing some signs of Alzheimers.

I love when you get to revisit characters who you've come to love. I think that is why I really enjoy reading series - seeing how characters develop over time, catching up with them as we meet new characters and deal with new issues. I also like how Sherryl Woods writes about real-life problems in such a way that it is easy to relate to at least on some level. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, Catching Fireflies.

Are there any series that you wish the author would continue so you can stay in touch with the characters?

Be sure to look come back later to read Sherryl Wood's guest post about the Sweet Magnolia series and enter the giveaway to win a copy of Midnight Promises.

I received a complimentary copy of Midnight Promises by Sherryl Woods from Eric at  Media Connect.
Books in this series:
  1. Stealing Home                           6.  Sweet Tea at Sunrise
  2. A Slice of Heaven                     7.  Honeysuckle Summer
  3. Feels Like Family                     8.  Midnight Promises
  4. Welcome to Serenity              9.  Catching Fireflies - due out Aug 2012
  5. Home in Carolina                   10.  Where Azaleas Bloom - due out Sept 2012

1 comment

  1. I mean, for series that I would like to stay in touch with the characters, sometimes Twilight. Even though I abhor vampires.


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